“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama
It is easy to look around the world and see a multitude of issues that need “fixing.” War is a constant in so many places across the globe. Substance abuse is at an all-time high. People seem to be increasingly angry and emotionally reactive. Violence in the form of school shootings, domestic violence, child abuse and criminal activity has become such a routine occurrence in this country that there is increasing desensitization to this horror.
Our culture has tried a myriad of initiatives to address these societal ills with little or no success. There are peace marches but war continues. There is “just say ‘no’ to drugs” but thirty years later, more people than ever are addicted to street drugs and pharmaceuticals. With only 4 percent of the world’s population, the United States houses 22 percent of the world’s prisoners while rates of recidivism continue to climb generation to generation. As a result, it is easy to fall into the belief that there is nothing any one person can do.
When your focus is on the perceived lack of a solution, you unintentionally feed feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, hopelessness and even anger. Of course, as you become more fearful, by definition the world becomes more fearful. Because human beings are wired for connection, it is the individual emotional state that each one of us holds that creates the collective in the world. As a result, when our focus is on fear, our individual fear grows and the result is what is seen in the world today.
In our society, when there is a threat, it is common to look for a hero to come to the rescue. When you do not know the power that lives within you to consciously create in this world, it is easy to think that the answer lies outside of you. Either someone or some other group needs to change or someone or some other group needs to “fix” the situation. The truth is that you are the only hero who can save yourself and elevate our world to a higher state. The hero lies within you.
Although it sounds like a cliché, it is the ultimate truth that only love can conquer fear. The day that you shift your internal state from fear to love is the day that the world changes. From the dawn of time, in this dualistic existence, there has always been a battle between love and fear. The question is whether you will play an intentional role in our collective creation on this planet. Will you have the courage to go within, feel fully the fear that is present, allow it to dissipate and intentionally cultivate yourself to be a vehicle for peace, love and compassion in this world or will you stay stuck in anxiety, fear and anger? Only you can change your internal state and therefore, only you can change the world by turning inward.
As an exercise this month, set an alarm to remind you to take a minute once an hour to check into the emotional state that is present. Are you in a love or fear-based state? Focus on your center point, two inches below the belly button and an inch back towards the spine and breathe from this place. Inhale through the nose thinking, I am, pause, hold the breath, and then as you exhale fully, think, unconditional love, pause, and hold the breath again. Continue for several rounds of this four-sided breath until you feel a sense of peace and love flow through you. When that internal state is anchored within and you focus on becoming an embodiment of the presence of love, the world is transformed by your influence hour-by-hour. The only way to spread love is for each one of us to commit to this practice. It is what the world needs now, more than ever
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