I don't know about you, but I feel like we've been lurching from one disaster to another. It's stunning, isn't it? I keep starting the next sentence with a list of all the crap that's happened, but that would be taking this post in the entirely wrong direction. I want to broaden our point of view a little.
Imagine were field mice in a meadow. When we look around our world, we see the blades of grass and wildflowers that surround us. We see a patch of blue sky above. We see any insects that crawl by or fly over.
Our perspective is that of the mouse. We can pretty much only see what's being broadcast to us through our TVs and phones and computers. And because bad news attracts hundreds of times more views and clicks than good news, and since the ultimate goal of all media is being ever more widely consumed, that's what they focus on. So that's the mouse's point of view.
It's important to know what's happening, so we can donate and protest and vote accordingly. But we have to avoid letting it destroy our now. To stay balanced and healthy, we have to focus frequently on the real life in which we live. We have to turn off the noise. We have to get outside. And above all we have to acknowledge how very good things are in our here and in our now. Right here, in our house, in our living room, in our back yard, and as far out as you can extend that. And right here, too, in our minds, in our hearts, in our bodies, in our relationships, in our jobs, in our lives, and as far as we can extend that way too.
Those who understand the metaphysics of how things work know that finding good in each moment is the single most powerful act we can commit toward creating improvement.
But what if we also try to widen our lens a little? What if we take the point of view of an eagle, flying above the mouse's grassy meadow? Think how much further she can see, how much more information she has.
I like to think of the eagle's perspective as being like the point of view of my soul, the part of us that isn't physical. The soul enters our body with our first breath and exits with our last. It does not die. It has always been and will always be. It is consciousness. It's a beam from the one great consciousness many call God.
The soul has access to a far broader and wider range of knowing than our physical mind does.
If we pull back to the perspective of the eagle, we might see that from a broader view, the trajectory of our social development is steadily upward, steadily forward, steadily improving and expanding and evolving, just as it's supposed to do.
The line from hunter-gatherer to modern human is an upward line. Every time we have a big crisis, despite a brief dip, the rebounding upward slant gets sharper. Problems cause solutions. Challenges cause triumphs.
Humans, as a rule, hate and fear change. And yet, life IS change. That's literally true. The act of living exposes us to myriad experiences, all of which we weigh and judge as good or great or bad or horrible, and so on. The bad stuff turns up the heat on the status quo until it becomes unbearable to stand still, and that's when we evolve. We change. We adapt. We grow.
The overall trajectory is upward, always toward improvement, expansion. The upward line on the graph will have jigs and jogs, spikes and dips, but the overall line is ever upward, ever improving, ever wiser.
There is no question that we are living through epic times. Times of great upheaval are times of great change. It's what I keep thinking of as a sea change. Everything is in transition from our financial systems to our energy systems to our climate. We are in transition, too, as a species, I think.
All of this is part of a process that will inevitably work toward the benefit and improvement of the whole, and our society as a whole will evolve to a better place than it was before all this.
But the process of change is not fun. We're living through the hard parts of this massive change. This is a time of exposing ignorance and hate to the light of knowledge and love. You can't change what you can't see, and so it gets bigger until you can't fail to see it.
What we can do
I think it's important that we shine our lights as we navigate our way through this time of great change. How we get through it is up to each of us. We should get as involved as we feel compelled to do in the causes that speak to our hearts. But we must also keep living our best lives, too. We must not fall into despair and we can't keep our attention continuously on what's wrong without getting mired in it. So it's vital that we develop the habit of shifting our thoughts to all that is good in our here and now.
This is the art of presence or mindfulness. Stopping to appreciate what is, right here, right now. Do this over and over throughout your day. Make it a new habit. A way to help it become a habit is to list, mentally or in a journal, ten wonderful things about your experience every night before you sleep.
Dip into the news, and then dip back out again just as quickly. I can fall easily into the habit of keeping it on as "background noise" to my work. I tune it out, but I must still be absorbing it on some level, and it can't help but bring my energy down a bit.
Focus more on the changes that have already come than on those we're still working toward. Society as a whole is more enlightened than it's ever been and in a continual (with brief blips) state of improvement. If you subscribe to the newsletter Future Crunch you get a twice monthly round up of positive changes around the world.
Focus more on the solutions to come than the problems that are inspiring them. Think in terms of the good that has to come in order to move past the problem. Dictators dethroned. True equality. A healthy relationship with the environment. Limitless, renewable energy. And on and on.
Let the problem of the moment serve its purpose and then let it go. A problem's purpose: To inspire us to make the changes we must, in order to solve it.
Meditate. Daily. 15 minutes, quieted mind, focus on the breaths, counting, a dull drone, all of the above, and away from mind chatter. It'll change your life.
Presence. Mindfulness. News dips. Focus shifts. Meditation.
That's how to get through it.
Beam like the shining, divine goddesses you are.
Champion positive change and then become it.
We're going to be okay. Better than okay. We're going to get through this and thrive.