If you would, please read these following sentences:-*
Lollipop lady Karin Williams flings herself in front of an out-of-control car to save children.
A paralysed man, Dan Black, donates the money raised for his treatment to help disabled boy walk again.
“After being jailed for drug smuggling, Gina, 36, turned her life around with the help of the Prince’s Trust and now owns a flower shop and two cafes in the area.” *
Now read this:-*
“Spies fear massacre is planned for tomorrow.”
“Marxists behind misery of strikes.”
“Britain’s fear of growing old alone.”
What do these two sets of sentences have in common?
Both are recent media articles in the UK. Now, if necessary, re-read both sets of sentences- really absorb the content- and note your reactions. I can’t speak for you, my friend, but I’ll tell you my response. Dwelling my heart and mind in the first set I felt a tickled expansion, my body softens, a smile creeps across my face and a general feeling of lightness honeys my heart.
Reading the second produces the reverse affect; my body notably hardens, as if stepping up to a high alert status. There is a constriction, my shoulders want to hunch and sag, my jaw stiffens and the muscles cushioning my eyes seemingly strain and hitch. My stomach squeezes internally, much like its being carelessly wrung by an invisible fist.
Over time can you imagine the implications of dousing your consciousness in perpetual negativity? This storehouse of accumulated fear is ejected out physically and manifests as dis-ease. And what does dis-ease tend to do? It provides us with a ready excuse to not participate in the world. We disable ourselves.
So what can we do to prevent ourselves from getting energetically depleted and defeated from the deluge of negativity and fear that saturates our culture?
Adopting these steps have made a night and day difference in my life, enabling me to settle comfortably into my bright side perspective and replace the deep-seated negativity and fear that once sat in my consciousness.
1) Consider boycotting the news: Its not a true, objective reflection of what’s going on in the world. Bad news sells, and whether that’s us a populace that perpetuates this then taking a stand and not buying those fear mongering papers nor watching the news is your small protest. Its just as important what your mind digests as what your body does, so a feast of murder stories, tragedies and terror is not going to help your psyche. Remember, the news is very one-sided. There are amazing stories of heroism, divinely hallmarked coincidences and serendipitous events that are gracing our planet every moment, yet we rarely get to hear about them because they’re not considered newsworthy (aside from perhaps the odd token good news story at the tail end of the news program).
If you must read/watch the news, consider seeing it as a prayer request or, better still, a call to action.
2) Be mindful of the movies and TV that you watch and the magazines you read: As we did in the news example at the beginning, take a feelings inventory after you watch a show or read a magazine. Do you feel expanded, inspired and motivated? Or drained, depressed and disturbed? What type of show/movie/magazine is causing these reactions? What can you do about it? To exemplify, I find lifestyle TV enlightening. It feels like a healthy deposit. Sensational reality TV and violent movies aggravate my sense of peace and so I avoid them. Likewise in the past few years I’ve refrained from buying celebrity magazines, glossily and enticingly displayed at the checkout counter, because they have an ingenious way of making me feel inferior and wanting clothes and make-up products that, really, I know I do not need.
3) Surround yourself with positive people: As far as possible, seek the company of those who make you feel happy, inspired, motivated or any other goody- bag emotion. A positive chat with a friend can literally flip a depressed mood on its head and leave you feeling sunny side up. Think now of an example of someone you know who lights up a room, feel what a difference they could provide you with. Now think of someone that seems to sucker the life force out of you. See?!
“Dwell on the beauty of your life. Watch the stars and see yourself running with them.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations
4) Watch your thoughts: Yes, you are the master of your mind and, despite your mind at times feeling like a runaway freight train, you do get to choose what gets air time inside your head. Positive thoughts are vibrational, provoking positive feelings and these are a magnetic force field attracting positive things happening in the physical world that surrounds you. Mush your mind in feel-good media, books, shows, YouTube videos. Then let your spirit dance in all that self created gorgeousness.
“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” Elvis Presley
5) Notice when your equilibrium is off and take steps to bring it back: As Philip Holder, PhD says in his Fear article ask yourself “is this situation really going to have any affect on the overall outcome of my life?” Much of the time the answer is no. Other ways to recenter when negativity knocks you down is to meditate, nap, breathe in for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, pop on some restorative music and lose yourself for a few minutes. In short, stop and do what you can to break the chain of negativity. I like to also address myself as I would a dear friend in a similar situation with words of encouragement and affection, sometimes I even speak aloud and wrap my arms around myself if there is no one else around to deliver that much-needed hug!
Remember; you remaining positive is far from selfish. If you have your well-being reservoirs full to overflowing you are then far better equipped to soothe, inspire and serve those in need. The world needs your light, especially in dark times.
Namaste, Bright One!
* The Best of Pride of Britain: Inspirational stories of courage and strength from 15 years of the awards
* Quote taken from above Best of Pride of Britain Awards
*News stories taken from headlines in Mail on Sunday newspaper July 12th