Unplugging from crisis mode

Published - 12 April 2021

Artemio Morales is founder of AltSalt, a website aiming to connect underserved publishing communities in hopes of collectively envisioning an alternative world. We’re currently in alpha and looking to connect with zinesters, comics creators, gamemakers, and more; anyone interested in learning more can feel free to email artemio@altsalt.com or apply for an account onsite.

A couple of years ago, I’d been programming so much that my fingers started hurting as a result of repetitive stress injury. I’d been working on my full-time job, then coming home and moonlighting an earlier incarnation of AltSalt, but in that pursuit, I’d begun neglecting my health.

In that same way, a million urgent issues demand our attention everyday. While it’s true that urgency exists, taking a long view of history can allow us to unplug from crisis mode, think strategically about our goals, and plan for the long run — not just on a cosmic scale, but the scale of our own bodies and health too.

Around us, so much is sacrificed in the pursuit of progress that it can feel transgressive to put healthier, more sustainable practices into place. When it comes to showing up everyday though, should we be sacrificing our physical and mental wellbeing for our pursuits? If we are doing so, what kind of outcome are we really working towards?

Recently, I’ve begun to understand that to have a different outcome, we must do things differently — to work towards a better world, we need to foster, cultivate, and live that better world right now. Each small step is an accomplishment that, taken consistently, can weather mountains, shape landscapes, move reality.

One of our greatest human traits is the ability to see into the future. Focusing so much on the short term, it’s easy to forget how powerful that is. I believe It’s possible to holistically work towards a new outcome; all we need is to take a moment to reflect, and consciously choose the steps to get there.

Surviving and Diving

I love this book of poetry by Brian Walker reflecting on the tumultuous events of 2020, from the election, to BLM, to the pandemic and racism. To read this helped in my own processing of those events; some refrains have stuck with me, and even feel like a part of me.

Brian started writing this on his 32nd birthday, and I resonated in particular with his reflections on aging. I’m 30 now, but could have probably benefited from this wisdom in my 20’s 😆 (What is resonance?).

For more info on resonance, here’s a PDF that talkes about the practice and its theoretical underpinnings (you can find even more information via the organization Relational Uprising).

Note: This book costs $8, though can be previewed in browser (AltSalt doesn’t take commissions on recommendations).