I was speaking with a friend recently and we were bemoaning how mad the world seems to be right now. All the violence in Israel, the Ukraine, Syria to name, unfortunately, just a few. The doom and gloom of climate change and how out of kilter the weather is getting in some places in the world. The earthquakes in China and around the world that seem to come with more regularity.
If you focused on everything bad in the news it is a very depressing sight. So how do we live in this world as it is and not get caught up in it? How do we manage our own lives without feeling helpless at all we read and see?
One thing I always recommend to my clients is to limit the news in their life. That is not so say not to be informed, you do need to know what is happening but not to have a diet of it continually. I like to get news alerts from my favourite sites and on reading the headline will decide if I need to know more. I have stopped watching TV news; I don't need to see the graphic scenes to be informed. It is important to stop the drip feed of negativity in our lives. What we focus on is what we create and so if we only see doom and gloom that is all we will see everywhere in the world.
After this conversation with my friend I was walking down the street one day and a thought popped into my mind. I remembered Ghandi's famous quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world". Thinking about the world situation I wondered how on earth can I be the change I want to see in the world when the world is in such a mess. What came to me was that all creation starts with thought. For anything to happen in this world it first has to a thought. If that's the case then I can be the change by changing my thoughts.
Since then I have begun to notice where my thoughts are violent, where my thoughts are out of kilter. Sure it is not the same violence of war or the huge storms that are the result of the climate being out of kilter but they are all part of the same thing.
When I now catch a judgmental thought I stop and ask myself to be more loving in my thoughts. When I catch myself criticising someone I stop and send them understanding instead. When I berate myself for doing something wrong, or not doing what I promised myself I would, I stop and have compassion for my humanity. I slow down and acknowledge people more, actually look into people's eyes and see them as a reflection of my own. I am more loving to humanity because of this intention to monitor my thoughts and stop that violence within me.
This may sound small and trifling in the big picture of the world as it stands but think - what is we all did this? Conscious change comes one person at a time. If my shift in my thoughts makes one person's day better (for example I don't snap at someone who is dithering) then I have created change in the world. Multiply that by a few million and think what could change.
Now believe me I don't get this right all the time - and I still catch myself thinking, "Jessica, what were you thinking?!" But I have noticed a shift in me - slowly I am becoming more aware of my negative thoughts and judgement.
Ultimately this is for you. For what you do for yourself you do for all. You will change your life if you begin to see where you are doing what you complain about in the world. Sure it is a smaller version than a full-blown war but it is a war never the less. Stop the inner war and you start a revolution.
Illustration reproduced with kind permission of http://www.maythethoughtsbewithyou.com