Like many of you, I find the election news troubling. Every four years, we go through this. Does there always have to be so much tension and emotion in choosing a president?
The questions arise, how do we effectively deal with our anxiety and maintain balance and focus? How do we stay sane and sleep at night in the midst of this crazy time?
Perhaps these worries are only in the back of our awareness. In the foreground are other, more immediate concerns – paying bills, tension at home and work, or health concerns. Are your tired, in pain, anxious, depressed, or lonely? Too frequently, this is the drama of our lives.
Mother Teresa spoke about dis-ease
Our wishful thinking tells us that if our political candidate or party wins, things will be much better. Trouble is we’re looking for solutions in the wrong places. While yes, the president will influence our lives, his or her impact is small in contrast to the forces that are most intimate to our daily experience. Our problems lie deeper than the election. Dis-ease begins inside each one of us, not in Washington, D.C. or our state capital.
Mother Teresa spoke to the heart of our discontent and worry when she said:
“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.”
Another way of saying this is that restoring peace is an inside job. When I am stressed out, a new president is not going to bring me peace and happiness – not in any kind of lasting or meaningful way. For that, we need to transform our inner life. A key to having more joy and fulfillment in life is to bring rest and healing to our mind and nervous system.
I experienced real peace and healing for the first time when I took a meditation course and began a daily practice over 40 years ago. In every 15 to 20 minute Effortless Meditation™ experience, my chattering “monkey mind” quiets down and rests more deeply than in sleep. And guess what? When meditation is over, I’m more relaxed, focused, and joyful. I am pleased to say that with repeated practice, these benefits and countless others have continued to grow and become my daily reality.
Today, there is a calm observer inside that is not overshadowed by the turbulence reported in the evening news. For the observer, life is good. Now, no one is perfect. Sometimes my balance gets disrupted by the stress of national and world events or other life concerns. However, in large part due to repeated meditation practice, I get caught up in the chaos much less, and can easily return to the calm and well-being inside.
The need for daily quiet time with a technique like Effortless Meditation™ has never been greater than it is today. I’m reminded of this truth every time I turn on the news.
In closing, give peace a chance. Having a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives will do wonders – meditate to quiet your mind. Also eat well, move your body, get some exercise − preferably outdoors, laugh, take some deep breaths, and when possible, spend time with uplifting, happy people. Utilize daily practices such as these; make creating peace inside yourself a top priority. You will be grateful that you did.
Director, Stress Reduction Resources