These Were a Few of This Week's Headlines:
From CNN: "Travel Ban Fundamentally Changes US History."
From The Drudge Report:"Tensions Simmer Below the Surface"
From The Huffington Post: "America on the Brink"
And let's not even get started about the Facebook updates that range from cynical, to scared, to flat out angry....
As I wrote last week, we all have a fundamental need for certainty, to know that we can avoid pain and experience pleasure. Yet, with so many shifts in the political landscape both at home and abroad, it's clear we live in uncertain times.
The 24-hour news cycle was made to exploit this by only presenting the negative stories from around the world. There is the old adage in the news industry "When it bleeds, it leads." Negativity and fear seem to sell better, which is why any semblance of an inspiring story is buried at the end of a newscast, after 28 minutes of murder, war, fear, and impending doom.
While I firmly believe there has never been a more important time for us to rise up, stay informed, and actively participate in our Democracy, I also know one thing to be true about living a fulfilled life.
Fulfillment happens when we connect to ourselves and something bigger than us.
I don't know if I've ever seen a time when Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are making their voices heard and fighting for something bigger than themselves like we are seeing right now. However, I would encourage you to go back and look at the first part of the equation.
Are you forgetting to connect with yourself in the process?
Because while we want to always be aware of the world around us, we cannot allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by it. Thus, protecting your own energy is vital during these times of unrest.
Just as we must set boundaries with the job and people that might deplete us, the same holds true for technology, news headlines and social media. I recommend my clients turn off all electronic devices an hour before bed. Studies show that the last thoughts we think about linger in our subconscious for as long as 4 hours after we fall asleep. You might have even experienced this when you doze off on the couch and start dreaming about the TV show that's still playing in the background.
So if the final thoughts you have before bed are fear and stress based, that's what your mind will think about as you sleep and that's the energy you will wake up with the next morning. It becomes very easy to become eaten alive with outrage and to ultimately lose your own power.
Marianne Williamson points out there is a psychological meaning to the biblical passage about how "on the seventh day, he rested." She says every week, we must find a day to exit the chaos, take a deep breath and inwardly regroup.
I invite you all to join me a 24-hour news cleanse this week. Shut off CNN and Fox News, put down the newspaper, and take a 24-hour break from social media. Instead, spend some time in meditation, work on a new project you've been putting off, or spend a day in nature. Whatever will help you renew your spirit.
After your break, you can re-enter the world as the amazing leader and non-violent change agent you are. You will notice you feel much better acting from a place of peace than a place of stress and outrage.
Comment below and let me know what you will do to renew your spirit during your 24-hour sabbatical.