WOW | Life Inspiration
Light In Dark Times
The news these days is bleak. Every morning there are reports of another bombing, terrorist attack or disaster. Stories of unrest, intolerance, bigotry, and political or economic strife are becoming the norm, it seems, everywhere. Even places once thought of as stable and safe are equally, if not more, in danger of attack and disruption. Brussels, Orlando, Istanbul… while the battles in the less-heard-of-places continue to ravage communities, families and lives, as the rest of us turn our heads away, out of indifference, ignorance or overwhelm. South Sudan, Libya, Bagdad, Syria…
Out of the violence rises a rhetoric of fear and hatred; a language of “us” versus “them”. Them, the refugees. Them, the immigrants. Them, the gay, lesbian, transgender. Them, the other ethnic group. Them, the “other” (fill in the blank).
And in the chaos of this all – in the overwhelm of dark times, loss and uncertainty– it is easy to fall prey to the discourse; it is easier to maybe believe that we would be safer behind walls, barricaded within our own ethnic group or region, that we would be safer if we didn’t have foreigners among us, safer if people would not speak, wear or walk their true colours.
Easier perhaps than to choose truth, forgiveness and tolerance. Easier, but not better. Easier, but not, truly, safer.
You see, fear breeds more fear. Violence breeds more violence. And these two -violence and fear – tango like voracious lovers that cannot get enough of each other. Mesmerised and mesmerising. Deluded and deluding.
Our calling, though, is to see beyond these delusions. We were not born onto this earthly plane to give in to fear and hatred. Nor were we put here to play small, nor pretend to be something we are not. Rather we were called upon to merge Soul with bodily form; to be alive; to explore; and to love.
Remember who you are; remember who put you here; remember the sacredness of all that is, including yourself, your brothers and sisters and all that is manifest.
In these times of turmoil I urge and request you to consider practicing the following….
When times are difficult, when things do not work out as we hoped or planned for, it is easy to complain. Everywhere – in conversation, in the news, and throughout the media – I hear of complaints and blame. The focus is on what is wrong with the world, how many have suffered or died. The search is always for a situation, government or person to blame. We spend so much time talking about what is not working and about who is doing what wrong, that we lose sight of all that is right, all that is working, and all of the goodness that is happening around us.
Know what is not working, but focus on what is. Give so much of your attention and support to that which is good and uplifting that you will have no more time to feed that which is destructive or negative.
Stop fighting against things; start fighting for what you love.
Choose your point of focus
One of the gifts of being human is having an intellect, an intuition and an awareness that can all work together. Learn to choose what you think about and how you think; learn to nurture your mind and heart with all that is positive. Choose that which uplifts you and others.
How will you recognise what is good? you might wonder. That which uplifts and supports us makes us feel alive, excited, inspired and at ease. Notice when you feel these and seek out those people and situations that bring more of it.
Show up and shine
You do not have to be a super star, nor talented, nor rich, nor educated, nor crazy beautiful to shine. Please, just be you. Stop hiding. Stop thinking you are not enough.
When you recognise your own gifts and embrace them, you make them an offering to all of us. Your job is to find your treasures and show up with them in full presence.
When each one of us does this, we become an incredible force.
Perform small acts of calm and kindness
It is the simplest acts of kindness that change the world, one at a time.
Smile at a stranger, help someone in need; find the stillness of your heart, be a soft place for someone to fall even just for a moment.
Never give up
Despair and suffering will surely visit you. But let them not take up a permanent seat at your table. There will be moments when you think you can endure nothing more any longer. Weep. Scream. Ask for help. Take a time out. Rest. Pray. Lean on others. And then pick up the pieces of your heart, breathe, put on your big girl panties and stand up. Life will embrace you. I promise.
Find your tribe
When there is darkness all around, look. Look for those who are ready to show up and shine. Find your fellow souls, those that sing to the same tune and dance to the same beat. They are out there. You just have to look around, and show yourself as you really are. Above all, know that you are not alone. Ever.
So, my fellow beloveds, I call on us all to gather our strength, collect our courage, and cash in on our faith. Do not fall prey to the words and deeds that divide us. Do not lose hope. Fear, anger and despair might visit you; but let them not set up home in your heart. Be who you are. Show us your soul. Shine, so we can know that you too, are here with us, lighting the way.
LISA GAUTSCHI (Yogatara) is a Yoga Therapist and Spiritual Psychologist, and the Director of Isha Institute, Jhamsikhel – a centre for holistic learning and conscious living.