Reflections for June – Five Ways to Cope with the Challenges in Today’s World

Inflation rising, threats to democracy looming, congress bickering, war in Ukraine continuing, COVID mutations concerning, gun massacres spreading, the environment hurting, relative and friends ill or dying. How can the body and mind cope with this increasing cascade of troubles?

Here are some practical suggestions I find helpful for remaining centered and sane during these challenging times:

  1. When you hear of a tragedy, first take time to feel whatever emotions of sadness, anger or fear arise fully. Choose the most dominant one and ask where it resides in your body. Stay present to and lovingly concentrate on it. Track any shifts that happen. Most often, a more peaceful state will eventually arise.
  2. Place your difficult feelings on one side of your heart. On the other side, place all the wonderful things that are happening in the world—marriages, new births, falling in love, music, dance, the natural world. If you have a passion that uplifts and excites you, also place it on this side. Take a moment and see what happens as you place these opposites together. This practice brings wholeness. Just focusing on the difficulties creates imbalance and adds more negativity to an overburdened world. I like the saying by Hazrat Inayat Khan. “If the heart is large enough, there is nothing it cannot accommodate.”
  3. Imagine sparks of light permeating the environment as a whole or those particular places and people that need healing. Observe how you feel after doing this practice.
  4. Once you have acknowledged and balanced your emotions, place them into radiant light or surrender them to a Higher Power, perhaps saying “I don’t understand why this is happening and am doing my best, but I hand it over to You.” This creates positive energy.
  5. Once your feelings have settled after employing any of these methods, ask if there is something you need to do about this situation? Is it to pray, send money, join an organized effort, or write to your Congress person or Senator? Try to follow through on what you decide. You might sense that you need not do anything because there’s another undertaking that calls you. No person can attend to the many problems needing attention in the world.

These techniques help me when bombarded with sorrows and challenges. May they help transmute your negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones, benefiting both you and the planet.

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