More and more I’m telling people out right and very directly to stop reading the newspaper and to stop watching the news.
It’s brought up some laughter along with some interesting conversations and questions like, “So how do I stay informed without getting affected with what’s going on?” or “I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and pretend nothing bad is happening – I care about the world!”
Point taken and I get it. We DO care and we DO want to create positive change with what’s happening in our world.
There are two directions I’m going to take this, one, my personal practices and habits, and two, what reading the paper does to us and how to stay informed with the Truth – the actual facts.
First, what I do. I don’t read the paper – when I do, I feel anxious. Anxious from reading about the murders, the attacks, the “bad” stuff that’s going on. It sends my brain into a state of fear.
Same with reading or listening to the news. I see a particular headline and feel enraged.
I cry for the planet, for women’s rights, for social justice and what’s happening. I’m sensitive like that, so it’s important I’m careful about what I allow into my brain.
When I wanted to heal my body, it was of paramount importance that I not expose myself to fear inducing news. I’ll share why in a bit.
I like to read what’s actually happening in the world and I’ll also share the websites you can go to find true facts toward the end of the article.
Becoming enraged does not help my happiness, but it does get me to take action. The key is to not dwell on it and let it become my (or your) focus.
So here’s my practice. Every day, I say a loving kindness prayer for Donald T. I pray that he is peaceful, that he’s happy, and that he awakens and is free.
Imagine if Donald feels happy and peaceful, and has a spiritual awakening? That he sees through the illusion of greed and hatred he experiences? (We can all experience greed and hatred, he’s not alone in this)
Imagine the ripple effect this could have in the world in a positive way? I told a friend of mine and his reply was, “Well, I think it’s more likely he’s hit by lightning.”
I beg to differ. If thousands of people imagine this for him every day, it could actually happen – it’s quantum physics. I ask that you consider it.
Use those that you have a difficult time with as a channel for opening your heart. As Krishna Das (a teacher in the Hindu tradition) does, put a picture of them on your alter next to the Buddha, or Mother Mary and say a loving kindness prayer. When our hearts are closed to one, they cannot fully open to all.
Okay, let’s get to the actual affects of following the “news” and what it does to us. Our brains are hardwired to look for the “bad” news or the problems.
It’s a survival mechanism through evolution as human beings. It’s what the papers and news channels rely on in feeding the primitive parts of our brains.
They know we’ll get sucked into it.
That’s why they highlight the negative – because it’s what get’s our attention.
When we are exposed to this, adrenaline, cortisol and norepeniphrine are released into the body causing stress – and the brain can actually become addicted to this “rush.”
That’s why it’s important to stop all fear inducing habits when you want to heal or if you want to feel at peace.
So how do we find out what’s going on in the world without living in a state of fear?
There are several reputable websites that actually analyze the facts over long periods of time, on how the world is doing and how humanity is progressing.
The sites analyze factual data on trends in human rights, education, poverty, violence, hunger.
And here’s something you won’t read about in the paper: the human race currently is in the BEST state it has EVER been in the history of humanity, on almost every indicator (with the exception of the environment).
For example, did you know that this is the first time, EVER, that there have been NO WARS in the entire Western Hemisphere? That’s HALF of the planet.
And we have had peace since August 2016. That’s something to be thankful for!
Here are the websites so you can check out the facts for yourself:
www.ourworldindata.org (from economist Max Roser)
www.humanprogress.org (data compiled from the World Bank, United Nations, Eurostat, and others)
Part of being conscious and present is being a wise consumer of information and media “junk food.”
Not only can we cut down on our intake, but we can fact-check the imbalance of negative information with the equally or more relevant facts on what’s going well in the world.
Yes, this is a time when activism is more needed than ever.
And as we use our passion into making needed changes in the world, we can do so with hearts and minds that are thankful to be living in the most prosperous, peaceful, educated, progressive time in human history.
Now is the time
Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God?
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
with veracity and love.
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
That this is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Categories: Conflict & Forgiveness, Health & Happiness, Heart Centered Living, Meditation & Mindfulness, Stress & Anxiety