The ever-present sideshow 

Oh, they are always there, if you let them be. And they clamor for our attention.

Sideshows big and small, dangerous and trivial, new and old.

Sideshows labeled “reality” that are anything but.

Sideshows ignited by hate and fear and ignorance.

Sideshows designed to pull us apart–rooted in an “us” v. “them” narrative–when what we so desperately need is greater compassion and more connection.

The most dangerous sideshow is the one that lives in our head or sits on our shoulder. It’s the voice that tells us we aren’t good enough, the one that expects us to fail and that so often keeps us from even getting started on the work that matters.

The fuel of most sideshows is attention. I can’t control CNN, but I can set my intention and largely control where my time and attention are directed. Though it’s not always easy to resist the seductive pull of the sideshows.

Naming the sideshows that distract us from progress is a good start. My list includes Trump, a bunch of Kardashians and that little bastard in my head that tells me that I don’t know what I’m doing and that my latest speech, project or blog sucks.

None of these sideshows serve me. And while I know they are always there, they only have power if I let them. Indeed, the wolf we feed is the wolf that wins.


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