For the last two months I’ve been talking about self-care in turbulent times with friends and family, employees of the companies I support, and Facebook and Zoom audiences from around the world. I’ve offered strategies for working effectively from home, ways to calm anxiety, sleep hygiene tips, and how best to deal with the influx of video warnings, news stories, and medical advice that fill our inboxes day and night.
I usually finish my conversations with the following message:
You are a soul. The mind is your servant. Your primary job during this stressful time is to do what’s necessary to return to a calm, clear, and helpful state of mind.
Easier said than done, I know, but that’s what growth is all about. We take on something challenging and we work consistently and deliberately to master it.
Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to use any crisis than to practice creating a calm, unflappable state of mind. It’s the spiritual work of our time. When I’m peaceful, I make better decisions. When I feel clear and relaxed, I help others from a place of compassion rather than shared anxiety. When I sit in silence every day, I’m safer to be around.
My mind becomes friendly territory rather than a war zone.
Think about it. Who would you rather listen to in stressful times, someone who stirs the pot with fear and anxiety or someone who creates a sense of peace and safety with their calm energy?
Whether sitting with yourself or others, a calm mind will always be the most helpful companion.
This week, I watched an interview with Michael Singer, author of The Surrender Experiment and The Untethered Soul. He did a beautiful job of articulating why inner work is so important. I like Michael very much. I respect and admire a teacher who maintains a deep meditation practice over the years because their wisdom comes from the higher self rather than the ego.
While watching the interview, I took a few notes I thought I’d share with you this week. As the world starts to open up and we face a new level of uncertainty about going out in public, I thought you might find them helpful…
I may not have control over my outer life, but I have complete control over my inner life and I have a responsibility to do what’s necessary to maintain a clear, centered inner state.
Don’t make what’s happening outside more important than what’s happening inside. What’s happening outside is never more important.
The inside belongs to me. I have the right to live inside in a beautiful place. If the outside is not beautiful it doesn’t have to come in and disturb my inner world.
Don’t fight with the outside, work with it.
Fear and anxiety don’t make good decisions.
Life will always present us with difficult situations and when it does, it provides us with an opportunity to do the work of spiritual evolution.
We must be willing to face deep fear and anxiety and work with them – to relax and release them – in order to grow.
Use the pandemic well. If you’re willing to open your heart and relax every time fear and anxiety come up you’ll learn how to handle any life challenge skillfully.
The Self cannot get a virus. The Self is calm, clear, and in harmony with the Divine.
I’ve kept Michael’s wise advice in mind all week. When you understand the power of managing your inner state, you put your attention there first. You stop searching for answers in the daily news, videos about the pandemic, or in social media posts that provide opinions and mixed messages. Instead, you stay informed with the trusted sources that align with your desire for calm, clarity, and inner self-care.
If you’d like to see Michael’s interview (and I hope you do), you can find it here.