I have deleted all social media apps from my phone. And all news apps. And turned off the breaking news alert. And the disaster alert. I’m officially going old school, at least from my constantly present mobile device. I’m in the early stages of contemplation on how else I can dial down other areas.
When Gandhi was 37 years old he stoped reading newspapers or consuming any news as he believed the state of the world affairs caused him more confusion and inner unrest than could serve him. He also made a commitment to spend an entire day each week in total silence, abstaining from speaking in any way. He believed this made him a better listener and that the weekly meditation day gave him “a foundation from which to act”.
I’ve found my state of agitation from outside influences recently bordering on unacceptable. I’ve simply worked too hard to have the inner peace I’ve gotten and I want to protect it. When I see our world as so divided, it doesn’t serve me, I already know our situation and I know my responsibility within it, how I want to show up and serve. I’m sure of my job. And yet, I get stuck all the time. In emotion, swirl, drama, anger, or even overly inspired, overly optimistic. It goes both ways.
I recently found myself so agitated by a bunch of things I began leaning into my tools; better food, slowing down, workout, writing, meditation, reading… and I waited. I kept thinking, how long will this take? I know how this goes… living in a way that makes me feel good doesn’t happen the second I start doing the right things. I have to stick with it, be repetitive about my actions. Only then do the results come, the inner sturdiness, the resilient happiness and calm. I have to keep at it, be held accountable. Chop wood, carry water.
When people ask what we should do about our political climate and the state of the world and how we’re all treating each other, I know for sure, it starts within. What we do on the outside is never sustainable until we have what we need on the inside.
Gandhi wrote an autobiography: “The story of my experiments with the truth”
A few of his teachings include:
– To place ourselves in service to others, setting aside our own opinions, judgments and needs, including the need for recognition, influence, prestige, etc
– To treat each person with utmost respect, recognizing that God is within each and every human being.
– To practice nonviolence in our thoughts, words and actions.
– To focus on our inner, spiritual development, including practices such as mindfulness and meditation.
– To be the change. To not ask of others that which we are not willing to do ourselves