I was driving to Yogaville last week for a workshop and it is about a three hour drive south from my home outside of Washington, DC. Leaving my area I started to see the transition as very large Trump signs were in many of the yards. Most of the yards were large country estates, plantations, wineries and horse breading homes. I started wondering about those that live there and what makes them so afraid and worried; as Trumps main message is based on “Make America Great Again”. From the looks of things though, without judging, these people didn’t appear to have a worry; from what I could see they were doing quite well.
So often we forget that money alone can’t bring us peace. Once we have money we worry about loosing it. “First world problems” make us forget that it could so easily be worse and that peace and happiness has to be a choice you make. There are those in third world countries with so little who are extremely happy individuals.
Learning to pause more helps us filter our first commentary and reaction. In my case it helps to just stop, look around and see how wonderful things are. Be grateful. I don’t have to wait for someone to offer me this- I can be the one to make the world a peaceful and loving place with my actions, words and deeds.
No doubt this is difficult because of the world we live in; social media, news, radios, electronics with us each moment of the day to let us know immediately what is happening. Therefore we have to be more selective in how much we take in and how often we log “on”. For example, I often drive without the radio on or I listen to calm music. Because I can see what happens if overstimulated from sound; tension increases in my body when I’m in traffic and I find myself making very quick and silly reactions – “What a stupid idiot- can’t you see the light is green!” Oh wait…. deep breath.
Going away on retreat was amazing. If you have never done this I suggest it. Even for a sort weekend. If it isn’t something you can afford find a way even on your off time at home to find a way to get out of routine. Get around people who are “like minded” and be around loving presence to help your body, mind and spirit. It doesn’t mean we have to ignore what is happening in the world but we also have to find ways to turn off the negativity; listening only to that isn’t healthy either. In fact it isn’t balanced at all.
Sure, we wish others would learn to filter their thoughts before they spoke and said stupid things. Imagine if Trump and Billy Bush had just paused before they talked and thought about what they were saying. More importantly if they thought about why they felt they had to talk that way? Grabbing someones private parts is not cute, funny or kind. i.e. “Maybe I can stop before I speak” to see that deep down I’m seeking approval by having to hurt or put someone else down. Pause there and see another persons side and practice using the brain past the ego. As you do this more it will be quite natural. I call it brain exercise – like physical muscle exercise you have to work it out and practice.
Still I can’t control or wish that everyone was doing this; all I can control is my own action. Meditation is the way for me to practice, build and grow the development of my mind. I had a student this morning who told me at the beginning of yoga class that he doesn’t meditate. Yet after the class he was sharing with me that he liked a point I made; that we can each find a way to just stop and listen around us. That may be 2 minutes in bed or sitting in the car to pause before I go into work, or sitting outside and taking in nature. He said he has learned to take the headphones off and just take a walk around his neighborhood. I smiled and told him “that is great! BTW, that is Meditation.” So even when we react with “I don’t” or “I can’t” I can learn to hear that comment and see that I’m more than that. Put in more Maybe’s in my life instead of so much certainty.
Like I mentioned earlier though choices are what we have. I have found places when I do go on-line to read positive news articles. So where do you get the news of good activity in your life? Is there any way that you can help someone or your community? Although you disagree with someone’s politics can you hold back on name calling to see that they too are more than that? That pause to filter out our comments and reactions so we can stop thinking that we are all so different and see our similarities instead.
Just a thought.