Staying Positive in a Negative World
A colleague asked me this week how I stayed so positive - wasn't I upset by the happenings around the world? I stood looking at her for a minute, collecting my thoughts.
Of course, I'm upset about the horrors of this past week, month, year! The pain I feel for my brothers and sisters around the world is palpable. But, if I succumb to the pain, how can I do the work I need to do? So, I stay positive. How?
First, I limit my access to the news media (no TV, no cable). I know what's going on in the world. I read the headlines. (BBC is my go-to news source because I have found it gives a much less biased view of news than other agencies.) I don't need to sit in front of a television screen 24/7 to know that the world has serious issues. I don't need to be terrorized in my own home by newscasters who sensationalize every event and promote an aura of despair, distrust, hate and apocalyptic claptrap.
Second, I focus on what I can do to make the world, my world, my tiny corner of the world better, safer, more joy-filled for myself and others around me. I garden, visit with family and friends, sing, read poetry and scriptures. I surround myself at home and at work with little reminders of how beautiful the world is by hanging photos and artwork of/by my family and friends. Each time I look at them, I feel lighter, happier.
Third, I find time to quiet my mind and connect to Spirit. (This is something everyone can do no matter their religious/spiritual path.)
Fourth, I do creative things. I sing, dance, paint, photograph, sew, design, embroider, knit, crochet...any number of creative activities that help me to focus on the positive...on beauty. I laugh! Laughter is as creative an act as there is...each time we laugh we release tons of stress, increase our production of serotonin and "create" a healthier self!
Finally, I give thanks. Gratitude has an amazing way of making things change for the better. With gratitude in our hearts and on our minds, we are able to see the silver linings. I highly recommend to anyone having trouble dealing with life in this day and age to begin a Gratitude Journal. Write about one thing you are grateful for each day...there is so much we can be grateful for in this life! After a week, you may find that you can't just write one thing. Great! Make lists of what you are grateful for and post them were you can see them. Then, when you feel despair, doubt, fear creeping in, look at your list. Read it aloud. You will feel better.
May we all find that quiet center that allows us to continue on through the storms of this life. May our anchors hold us safely in the harbor of peace. And, may we bravely shine our Light into the world, joining with others, creating the change we have been waiting for.
More on Journal Writing:
Journal Writing: Making it Personal