The darkness often seems to overpower the light: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.
Are the seven deadly sins winning the fight?
As a writer and conscious human, I am trying to broaden my horizons beyond my little bubble of safety, to stay informed about current events. Not only do I want to be involved by adding my input, I also want to be able to offer my opinion from an educated perspective.
I have always admired those that take a passionate stand for what they believe in. Those that fight to make the world a better place from things like violence and environmental issues, the folks that voice their opinions about politics and gay marriage, the many rallying to negate animal cruelty and to put a stop to genetically modified foods. All of these people are brave and amazing to me.
So why have I avoided stepping into the front lines with all of these people whom I admire?
It scares the shit out of me, that’s why.
I am a sensitive person. When I begin to explore what is going on in the world around me, it begins to freak me out. My breathing quickens and my back starts to hurt as my shoulders begin to rise up toward my ears and my belly turns rancid. I am often horrified by what humans are capable of. I am astonished by the fact that so much goes ignored.
Some days it is all too overwhelming as I search the news sites for something to write about. As I scroll through endless articles about dying children, natural disasters, manipulative “gurus,” or toxins purposely put into our food, I begin to feel hopeless. There is so much tragedy in this world that sometimes staying informed becomes too unbearable for me.
It seems, the more aware I am, the more of an introvert I become. If I don’t hide, I get too stressed out. If I read too much, I begin to worry and fret and cry and feel helpless. I get angry too.
I feel anger toward the people responsible for such ugliness. Those so full of pride that they put themselves up on a pedestal and use this position to manipulate others. I feel angry that there are people out there that envy others to the point of thievery. I feel disgust for the gluttony of this nation that has driven so many to obesity and excessive consumerism. I am confused by a person’s ability to be so driven by lust that they harm others with their actions and forget to recognize love and devotion. I am saddened that there is so much anger and wrath in humans that they are driven to unimaginable acts of violence. I feel shame for fellow humans who live their lives with greed, taking all they can get and never taking a moment to give back to the world. I am saddened that there is enough sloth and laziness that all of these issues have not yet been remedied.
So I end up turning off the computer, switching from NPR to some soothing sounds and back away from society.
However, I know this is not the answer. This will not change anything.
“Each of us feels some aspect of the world’s suffering acutely. And we must pay attention. We must act. This little corner of the world is ours to transform. This little corner of the world is ours to save.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
So, I am beginning to take steps to find balance and sanity while remaining informed.
I am trying to find ways that I can be a little more proactive beyond being really good at recycling and eating locally and organically. (Though, if you want some tips on ways to help save the planet, check out this link.)
Some ways that I help myself refuel from too much negative media:
- Turn off the computer.
- Take a moment to hug someone that you love.
- Take a walk in nature.
- Meditation and/or yoga.
- Turn off NPR and turn on music that makes you feel happy or peaceful. (or simply be in silence)
- Remind yourself of the ways that you do contribute to the good of the planet.
- Spend some time with positive people.
- Random acts of kindness.
There are days when I feel as though the world is finally coming around. I feel hope for humanity and that we are finally evolving as one. Usually this is after some time immersed with other like minded, open minded, spiritual, conscious and mindful people.
So, instead of hiding our heads under the covers when the world seems too big and scary, we can find other people to help us have a voice. There is strength in numbers. We can start petitions, sign petitions, go to rally’s, send letters to the places we disagree with, boycott, spread the word by joining discussions in person or on social media forums, write articles; we can live mindfully and with integrity and we can start with doing all of this in our own backyards.
And when all else fails, begin with yourself. Help with a shift in consciousness by being conscious and mindful yourself.
“If instead of just being horrified, we make ourselves heard, we can help effect true change.” ~ Kate Fields Bartolotta
Nichole Gould is the founder of Barefoot Warrior Yoga in The White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a Student of life, yogini, yoga teacher, landscape gardener, single mother, organic pizza waitress and lover of all board sports, she considers herself a jack of much and a master of none. She can also be found dabbling with guitar playing, singing off key, reading from her many stacks of books or writing poetry. Feel feel to peruse her Facebook page or contact her via her website for more insight into her ever curious mind.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel