Don’t allow your self to become distracted by the doom scrolling or your own fearful projections of a negative future. Remember, the only power that such fearful thoughts have is the power that you give them. Don’t feed the fears. Ground and center yourself in the heart whenever you feel off balance.
Remember, too, that the great spiritual traditions tell us that the manifest world is an effect of consciousness. Our true power lies not in resisting what is, but in changing our consciousness. What are we creating when we obsess about a negative future? Can we, instead, imagine a better world and work towards it?
One of my teachers, Alberto Villoldo, the founder of The Four Winds Society, where I studied the philosophy and practices of shamanic energy medicine, teaches that we are all dreaming the world into being. If we do not dream strong, we have to “settle for the collective nightmare that is being dreamt by others.”
“When we’re unaware that we share the power to co-create reality with the universe itself, that power slips away from us, causing our dream to become a nightmare. We begin to feel we’re the victims of an unknown and frightening creation that we’re unable to influence, and events seem to control and trap us. The only way to end this dreadful reality is to awaken to the fact that it too is a dream—and then recognize our ability to write a better story, one that the universe will work with us to manifest.” (Alberto Villoldo)
To realize our collective dreams for a better future, we need inspired vision and collective action. So, be clear about what your values are, vote for visionary leaders who most closely align with them. Do what you love. It spreads light and gives hope to others. And, when you feel inspired to act, and it is within your power to do so, then do it. Sign a petition, make a phone call, make a donation, volunteer, or lend your talents by getting involved or creating something new.
Rather than offering fearful projections, another way that we might better use the subtle creative power that we possess is through prayer. Pray. Not for your candidate, cause or side, to win. The Supreme Being doesn’t need you to spell out which outcome is best. Just pray for the highest good. “Thy will be done.” (Remember, you don’t really know for sure what is best in the long run, do you?) Pray for peace and harmony. Then, let it go.
Will your doing these things alone solve all the world’s problems? Of course not, it would be naïve to think so. But, it would be a step in the right direction. Individually, we are not solely responsible for the state of the world. But we are responsible for ourselves and the energy we are offering. We can choose love and creativity over fear and reactivity. If we’re in fear, we can’t bring light to our sphere of influence, family, friends, co-workers and others that we encounter each day. But, if we can be present, find inspiration to hold a higher vision and take consistent action that benefits others, we can make a difference.
One last thing to remember, if you have read this far, is that “[c]ircumstances in the outer world have no character whatsoever of their own, either good or bad. It has only the character that we give to it by our own thinking.” (Emmet Fox) So, even if we have convinced ourselves that a certain outcome would be a disaster, we don’t really know, do we? It could be that Spirit is working in a mysterious way that we cannot see from our limited perspective. To illustrate this point, I leave you with a classic Taoist tale from Huston Smith’s book, The World’s Religions:
In the Taoist perspective even good and evil are not head-on opposites. The West has tended to dichotomize the two, but Taoists are less categorical. They buttress their reserve with the story of a farmer whose horse ran away. His neighbor commiserated, only to be told, “Who knows what’s good or bad?” It was true, for the next day the horse returned, bringing with it a drove of wild horses it had befriended. The neighbor reappeared, this time with congratulations for the windfall. He received the same response. “Who knows what is good or bad?” Again this proved true, for the next day the farmer’s son tried to mount one of the wild horses and fell, breaking his leg. More commiserations from the neighbor, which elicited the question, “Who knows what is good or bad?” And for a fourth time the farmer’s point prevailed, for the following day soldiers came by commandeering for the army, and the son was exempted because of his injury.
Note: This blog post was originally published on my website in 2016 when circumstances were similar to this current presidential election year here in the US. This year, about half of the global population will vote in major elections around the world. With a few edits, I thought it would be helpful to share this blog post again, because we really need to choose love and creativity rather than fear and reactivity now more than ever.