Wednesday, October 6, 2010

True Peace of Heart Continued

Adele,

This entry really touched me especially today, because I find myself in a similar scenario. I have slowly disconnected myself from most major news sources as well. Partly, because I have a sensitive soul and tend to dwell on these problems. I find that they way they are presented in the news, especially commercial news, tends to be counter-productive. We are presented with a horrifying issue, supposedly wrapped in objectivity, but really just devoid of any hints of how we can help or transform it. I'm disillusioned with the news in general, although I think that public radio definitely is still the best source. I hear of "peace media" and "action journalism" sites, which will have an "action item" for audiences at the end of despairing news, and I think that's a good step. That's why I like change.org.

Also, I realized that certain issues tend to tap into my "pain body" (Eckhart Tolle term) more than others, specifically women's and girls' rights, and that I was wasting energy being overwhelmed by and ruminating on all the unconsciousness and human-inflicted pain in the world. I've embraced what Tolle recommends in terms of living a balanced life as an activist, which is:
  • live in the present
  • accept all situations exactly as they are without judging them or labeling them - also don't try to deny them mentally (and cause yourself suffering)
  • take care not to establish a mental position that pits you against the "other" (the people or systems who are in your eyes propagating the suffering). This division will only serve to make yourself as an isolated campaigner with nothing in common with the other people, which is untrue.
  • don't try to fight "darkness" - but bring in your own presence, gifts, and light to make a positive contribution to or spread awareness about these issues...when you see an opportunity
  • if you don't see an opportunity at a given moment, accept your decision fully without guilt and continue to live your own life peacefully
It's amazing how helpful these points have been for me. They've actually reinforced that I need to limit my news intake, which is many times designed to be emotionally manipulative (I've also read this tip in a few motivational and creativity books as well).

Would love to keep discussing!

Have a good week,

Michelle

Thank you, Michelle, for allowing me share your poignant thoughts in this space. I would love to hear how others have managed to balance staying informed with getting into a spiral of negativity.

2 comments:

Q said...

thanks, enjoyed reading your blog. i am into a simple life too. and i was at eckhard tolle's talk, it was great. keep it up
Q

Lauren Oliver said...

Adele- have you heard of the magazine Ode? My roommate Heather introduced me to it in Boston, and I've recently gotten to steal a few issues of my Dad's gifted subscription. It's both informing and inspiring; its slogan of sorts is "For intelligent optimists." Anyway, check it out if you're interested in some newsy but not usual negative media!