We are collectively in the midst of a wild storm of unpredictable upheaval, destruction, and change. A lot of us are being challenged to our core by the events in the world. At times it can feel so overwhelming that it is difficult to find a sense of ground to stand on.
Many times in the past year the wild winds of the world have whipped up a lot of challenges and emotions for me. I have been grateful that I can always look to my spirituality to ground me and to guide me through the storms. I want to share some of the ways spirituality has helped me through the intensity of the pandemic and sociopolitical upheaval in the hopes that this could help you too.
-Daily spiritual practice: I have personally engaged in a practice of daily meditation and prayer, but your spiritual practice can look like anything: dancing, walking in nature, mindfully eating good food, drawing, writing, or musically playing what your soul feels that day etc. The key is to practice something that engages you with your soul and with spirit daily so that your nervous system is soothed and you have a break from the intensity of the world. The more we spiritually connect the easier it is to find our way back into nervous system regulation where we find love and peace.
-Online spiritual community: I am so grateful to be part of an online biweekly sangha. Each week my teacher gives a satsang (spiritual discourse) and a meditation which help me to come back to my Self. It brings my head and heart back into alignment when I get caught up in the various human difficulties that we all have. It is also a good way to connect to other spiritual explorers and support each other on our paths. There are many online sanghas or spiritual groups that one can join. You might have a local online spiritual group, or you can look up teachers of your particular spiritual persuasions and see if they do regular online meetings.
-Spiritual reading/contemplation: We can get so caught up in reading the news, which pumps us so full of adrenaline and excitement that we forget the deeper spiritual wisdom that brings us back to our peaceful and loving essence. Keeping a daily prayer book or some other type of book of spiritual wisdom close can remind us daily of the truth of our being and our deeper values.
-Surrender: Sometimes all we can do is surrender to the intensity of our emotions in the present moment. We have to scream, cry, sob, grieve and otherwise express how hard it is to be a human right now. Spiritual people tend to think that they shouldn't have these "negative" emotions, but it would honestly be more strange to not feel some deep, challenging emotions in these times. It is not a sign of weakness, but actually of strength when we can ride all the waves of emotions and realize that we can live through any pain. And when we allow ourselves to feel deeply we are most alive, most in touch with our souls. This is when we crack open for spirit to shine into us. Our hearts break open to love.
-Gratitude for the small things: Recognizing the small things that are going well in our lives even when the outer world looks scary. Giving thanks to the universe/to the divine/to God/higher power is a way to return to our hearts and love what is in our present moment.
-Focusing on helping others: Reaching out to others who might be lonely or have some particular need. This can take the focus off of your own worries and open your heart to others. Another idea is to donate to causes that are important to you. There is so much pain and need in the world right now. Spirituality is not just for us; I believe the more that we develop spirituality the more responsibility we have to in some way shine our healing light in the world.