Hello spiritual friends!
We are heading into the time of year when our inner peace is most vulnerable. The holiday season is coming up when expectations are high, and traditions bring a sense of excitement, stress or for some, sadness. Worse yet, we have a very contentious mid-term election happening right now. Changes may be pending at all levels of state and local leadership, government and a number of referendums. Many of us experience strong differences of opinion within our families, social circles, and even close friends. It is easy to let what people are saying and doing get under our skin and allow it to rankle with our sense of inner peace and contentment.
Of course, it is important to honor our inner wisdom about our values and to take action towards moving our intentions forward. We need to speak up about things of importance when appropriate to maintain our authenticity and self-respect. Today's message is about navigating these next few weeks and months with more love and integrity.
The most important message for today is very simple. We can focus on being more mindful about our thoughts, emotions and intentions. From early life we are programed to react to the world and people around us. It is easy to become triggered by political messages, outcomes or even comments that do not support our values. Reading the newspaper or watching the news can easily set off emotions of anxiety, anger or fear, that may escalate and erupt like a volcano or continue a slow boil just below the surface. Strong emotions may cause us to misjudge a situation and trigger our worst behavior or push us into resistance or avoidance.
But mindfulness doesn't mean we would ignore our emotions. In fact, it is just the opposite. Mindfulness is acknowledging our feelings and allowing them to surface and process. What am I feeling right now? Can I allow myself to feel it more fully, let it surface and process in a natural way? Mindfulness is getting in touch with our emotions and letting them flow.
Mindfulness is becoming more aware of the mental chatter that may be feeding our emotions and asking, what is the source of that voice. Is it someone else's voice, our own voice from an earlier time of life, or fear about the future -- and are those thoughts still in alignment with our truth?
The argument within
When someone's words or behaviors trigger our emotions, there may be an argument happening on an unconscious level within us. Look to see what the message is at a deeper level. Notice what comes up. What is it that you really want verses what makes you feel vulnerable, threatened or afraid? For some of us, trauma from childhood or early teen years may be at the root of it. Our unconscious mind doesn't have the ability to reason, so it may be surfacing our worst fears in contrast to our perspective about reality. The inner argument may be about our self-image. In this case, our vulnerabilities and fear fight with our idea of who we think we "should be", as a parent, family member, friend or co-worker. The unconscious well is quite deep.
Identifying our worst fears or vulnerabilities and bringing them into the light of our conscious mind can help us evaluate the internal message and decide if it still make sense for that moment. Is it true or is it from another time? For some of us, just allowing ourselves to be human with all our fear, frustration, anger or anxiety about the future allows us to process and release it.
It's a decision
Despite all that is happening in our world, we can choose to create our own inner reservoir of peace. Yes, we can feel angry, sad or fearful about the future and "have our emotions" while at the same time preserving our spiritual center.
We can decide how much we will let these things bother us and at the same time detach a bit from the divisive energy of the election. We can allow ourselves to experience challenging feelings, speak up when important and take peaceful steps toward our goals in the political (or any) arena -- yet maintain our core resilience and connection to spirit that will carry us through the tough experiences of life. If there is a tornado swirling around you, choose to be safe within the calm eye of the storm.
Mindfulness in community
Why not offer a mindful attitude toward important loved ones who think differently? During divisive times it can be wonderfully healing to extend mindfulness into our most cherished relationships. It is easy to have a fixed idea or "picture" in our minds about who someone is, e.g., "well, he is______ " or "she thinks______". It is good to remember that we are all growing and changing along our spiritual path in this world. We can give someone else the space to change and grow by seeing them with fresh eyes and listening to them with a without the preconceived idea about who they are. A great way to bring healing to a challenging relationship is to listen to them with curiosity. You may learn a new way to appreciate them!
Why not focus on the present moment and choose peace?
- Choose mindfulness
- Be aware of the argument within
- Decide to have a calm center
- Bring mindfulness into your community
Blessings to you on your spiritual journey!