Stillness in the Midst of Chaos
I am very excited about my guest on Empowerment Radio, Leah Pearlman. She is the founder of Dharma Comics, a popular web series and author of the new book, DRAWN TOGETHER: A Dharma Comics Collection on the Curious Journey Through Life and Love. But more about my wonderful guest in a moment.
So how are you doing? The results are in, the election is over, but for lot of people the nightmare just began. The uncertainty of what the new president could to do to our country, our rights, our environment and our freedom, makes many feel anxious, powerless and demoralized. Since not everyone can or wants to move to Canada or elsewhere, what can we do to not get stuck and paralyzed by our fears and the “what if” scenarios our mind is conjuring up, but instead find a sense of calmness and serenity within?
The first step is to recognize that fear and anxiety, although they are designed to warn and protect us, will create the opposite effect, when they become chronic. On a subconscious level, these emotions function like filters, which lead to a distorted perception on the reality around us. They can make a person we are afraid of appear much bigger and more powerful, than he or she really is. These subconscious filters can make us overlook the aspects of our lives that are positive and good right now, and focus only on the things that confirm that doomsday is imminent. As we continue to focus on that what we are sacred of, whether it is real or imagined, we are giving more and more of our power to that potential treat. Eventually we feel so small and overwhelmed, that all we are capable of doing is to hide out and pray that the threat will pass.
Obviously we aren’t safer or more apt to deal with the challenges that lie ahead of us, when we drain our power, cloud our minds or lose our beliefs in ourselves and the goodness in the world. At the same time, we shouldn’t ignore or suppress our worries and anxieties, since these emotions are so powerful, because they need our attention. Yet, how much of our attention and time during the last 6 months was attached to the news, discussions with friends and the politician themselves? All this external focus has pulled our minds in many different directions and stretched our energy thin. So in order to be able to address our concerns and fears from a more calm, clear and confident perspective, we need to detach for a little while from these outside distractions and shift our awareness back inward and re-center yourself.
Here is a simple process that can help you to find peace and stillness within, so that you can more easily tap into your innate wisdom, creativity and resilience.
Sit or lie down, place your hands on your heart, let your eyes fall close and simply breathe long and deep into the center of your being. With every breath you can mentally recite an affirmation, such as “I am peace, I am light, I am love,” or “I have the strength, courage and wisdom to deal with anything life brings me.”
After a few minutes you can start taking your mind on a beautiful inner vacation – may be to a sandy beach, a meadow in the mountains or any other place that you associate with calmness and serenity. Imagine with all your senses how good it feels to have your feet sink into the wet sand or touch the soft grass; to smell the salty breeze or earthy ground; to listen to the sound of the wind or the gentle rustling of the trees surrounding you. Completely Immerse yourself in the beauty and peacefulness of your inner journey, and notice that all your tension and stress is just easing away from you. You can watch the waves rolling onto the beach and then retreating back into the sea, and contemplate on the fact that life is in constant flow, an endless rhythm of receiving and releasing – just like your breath. Or you may want to lean against a tall tree on your meadow, letting its timeless steadiness ground you again. For your mind spending time in such a healing place inside, isn’t only a reprieve from all the negativity and uncertainty it has been focusing on, it is also a reminder that no matter what the circumstances are, you can always choose to find peace and strength from within.
Then tap into your inner resources and create a greater sense of resilience by listening to the guided meditation “Overcome Oversensitivity.”
Feeling more centered and grounded, your mind will find it much easier to gain hope and inspirations from others, who may have gone through similar challenges. Personally, I believe that we need to remind ourselves that we the people are “employing” our politicians. And that we can influence our government and create the change we want to see not only during election time, but by raising our voices and making our presence felt peacefully. The peaceful revolution in Leipzig, which ultimately resulted in the collapse of communist Germany, is a great example of the power of the people.
Fitting to the times we are going through, I am thrilled about my guest on this week’s Empowerment Radio Show, who has a vast amount of personal experience on how to pass through times of change and uncertainty.
As a co-creator of Facebook’s “Like” button, Leah Pearlman didn’t initially find her life Likeable. She was unhealthily driven by work, so much so that she couldn’t find time to visit her dad who was dying of cancer. Realizing her priorities were out of sync, she drew a comic strip to share something heavy in a way that felt light and liberating. She posted it to Facebook (obviously) and found others who connected with her drawings and witty insights, so she continued to draw and share them as “Dharma Comics.”
Leah took a bold leap, leaving Facebook to draw full time as a way to work through her grief and explore her life from an honest place. As a result, Dharma Comics is rapidly growing with an online audience of more than 60,000 followers. Fans of Leah’s comics include Arianna Huffington, Eckhart Tolle, Gisele Bundchen, and Brene Brown. She is interesting, articulate, and passionate about inspiring others to stay true to themselves.
Join Leah Pearlman and me for the Empowerment Radio Show or you can view here on youtube.