October 25, 2017

How to Find our best Support in an Uncertain World.

What does support mean to you?

Having a steady job, financial security, owning a home, being able to provide for yourself and your family? Knowing that you can rely on your partner, or friends to stand by you? Depending on a structure for your life that is consistent and reliable?

There are other kinds of support we often take for granted—people who follow the rules of the road, electricity that turns on with the flip of a switch, weather that follows a predictable pattern, drinkable tap water, access to affordable health care, and elected officials who do their jobs to ensure that we continue to be safe in this world.

These days, many of my friends and clients feel that the support they’ve relied on is eroding. As we address concerns like how to transition into a new career, stay revitalized while growing older, or bring intimacy back into a long-term relationship, underlying most of our conversations is a bigger worry: Are we going to continue to be safe in the world?

Most of us don’t feel supported by the new administration. Rather, we feel destabilized by the crises that occur on a daily basis in the White House. There is fear that the safety we’ve taken for granted for decades is on shaky ground.

So I ask you—and myself—a difficult question: What if the external forms of support we rely on do fall apart? What if we lose affordable health care, protection of basic human rights, funding for resources to protect the planet? What if our national security is threatened? Then what?

Is there a deeper kind of support we can rely on?

I’ve learned throughout my travels in third world countries, through journeying into my own psyche, as well as through holding space for my clients to do their inner work—that true support is not external.

True support doesn’t have anything to do with a physical home, tangible job, or even a committed relationship. There is a bedrock of stability that exists within us that is so strong and solid that nothing external can ever shake it.

I’m not suggesting that we sit back, bury our heads in the sand, or do nothing about what’s going on in the world. However, I do offer this: If we allow ourselves to become consumed with anger or fear, or take sides against ‘those people,’ we drain our most precious resource—our energy—and we may burn out. When we’re exhausted, we’re no help to anyone, and life’s challenges do seem insurmountable.

It’s absolutely imperative we focus on igniting and sustaining our internal vitality, so we can be resilient like a firmly-rooted tree, and solid like a mountain. If external storms blow, or things fall apart, we can ground into ourselves and stay steady.

So, how does one cultivate this inner resiliency?

As we uncover and learn to depend on and connect with our inner being, we feel enlivened, and life flows in new and unexpected ways: resources appear, relationships deepen, our actions make a difference, everything gets a lot more fun, and miracles happen.

Here is a simple four-step process from my book, The Power of Pause: simple meditations for complicated lives. It may help when we find ourselves reacting to the latest news bulletin:

>> Wake Up: When feeing uncomfortable, overwhelmed, reactive, or out of control—pause. Your body is telling you to wake up and listen.

>> Become Aware: Ask yourself, “What am I telling myself about this situation? How is the story I’m telling making me feel and respond? Does this response feel familiar, and is this response making the situation better or worse?”

>> Shift: Breathe and consider the possibility that there is nothing to do, except be with what is arising without trying to fix it.

>> Take Action: Notice if a new response naturally arises from within you when you’re not striving to fix or change the situation.

When we rely on this internal support, we gain access to a deeper wisdom, and can take powerful action.

Author: Linda Landon
Image: Flickr
Editor: Jen Schwartz
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron

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