In addition to living with the stresses of our own lives and those of our loved ones, there is another stress generator that we’re dealing with. Having access to all of our electronic devices and a 24/7 news cycle, confronts us with a constant onslaught of news both real and fake invading every aspect of our waking hours. And unless you seek it out, very little of it is positive or life-affirming. This unrelenting input makes it extremely difficult to participate in life without absorbing the emotional pain that surrounds us. Especially now that we’re aware of the depth of suffering being experienced on our planet. This is not just affecting the living. My dead friends, guides and advisors are also being deeply affected by what we and the planet are going through.
Here is what they are saying:
Every single human being is born with a purpose.
If you allow your problems to weigh you down, you can’t live your purpose.
If you allow your loved ones’ problems to weigh you down, you can’t live your purpose.
If you allow the problems of the world to weigh you down, you can’t live your purpose.
If you’re not living your purpose, you can’t help yourself or anyone else.
This doesn’t mean to block all input and try to turn off your emotions. It means to not let your emotions overwhelm you. The most effective way to help yourself, your loved ones and the world is with self-care. When you take care of yourself first, you can build up your physical, emotional and spiritual strength so that you can recognize incoming energy and not absorb it.
Although at times it may not feel like it, at the very core of our being is a center of calm and peacefulness. When we live from this core we are able to think, speak and act from our open-hearted connection to our soul, from infinite knowledge and infinite love. When we are firmly anchored in the light of our core, we can face whatever the outer world throws at us, recognize it, deal with it and still maintain our physical, spiritual and mental health.
Self-care means different things to different people. It may mean meditating, getting a massage, gardening, running, fishing or none of the above. My self-care involves three things: daily meditation, writing and occasionally baking. Just thinking of creating a new recipe makes me smile. Look at your life and think about what helps you find your center. What helps you let go of the outside world and connect with that place of peace, light and love within yourself? Just as you build a muscle memory by practicing every day, the best way to stay connected to your core is to practice every day. I don’t bake every day, but I can spend a few minutes reading a recipe and that brings me joy.
Then what? What do you do when you find the way back to your core? You keep practicing every day. The more that you practice connecting, the easier it will be for you to maintain that feeling of peace throughout your day. The easier it will be to maintain your own physical, mental and spiritual integrity, no matter what you are experiencing. The easier it will become for you to think, speak and act with compassion in your corner of the world. That is your expression of soul growth: to be able to act with kindness and compassion no matter what is happening. You may be called to be a doctor, an electrician, a teacher or any other occupation. But no matter what your calling, your life’s purpose is to follow your calling while maintaining the connection to your core, to your soul.
Self-care will help you maintain your own equilibrium but how does it help the world? When your thoughts, words and actions come from your core, you’re creating boundaries. You’re developing the strength to see the forces confronting you and not let them in. With boundaries you’re able to live and act from the best part of yourself. With this strength you can be of service to yourself, your loved ones and the world in the way that best suits you.
In the words of a master:
“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh