How To Find & Create Goodness For Yourself
In difficult times such as these, with concern about the safety and health of people and the planet at the forefront of our thoughts, it’s not always easy to feel the goodness in life.
At times of political, economic and environmental crisis, our urge is often to watch the news and share our fears and concerns with others. It ‘s easy to become anxious and overwhelmed about situations that feel beyond control and may have dreadful outcomes.
As a consequence, your inner being can become profoundly disturbed. When experiencing both personal challenge, such as dis-ease of the body, coupled with on-going concerns about pending
global disasters, the body-mind can suffer greatly from relentless stressful thoughts and feelings.
This way of experiencing the world can further lead to depression, stagnation, and illness.
In a chronic state of fear and concern, we cannot stand in our strength, or do our best work in the world. Ironically then, healing – ourselves, our planet, or our culture – moves farther from our grasp.
Alternatively, we can cultivate resilience. Resilience is defined by the Miriam-Webster dictionary as:
- the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress ; elasticity; and
- an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change; buoyancy.
Resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.
In my many years of working with people caught in the web of complex chronic disease, resilience has emerged as a major theme of healing. It is both what we work towards building and a great sign that the forces of health and regeneration are growing.
One of the most important – yet completely overlooked – elements of bringing stamina for life and daily well-being is immersing yourself in an atmosphere of goodness and joy.
The life-supporting message we need mirrored back from our world is this: I am happy to be alive, I am interested in the world around me, and I want to feel a place of belonging within it.
We are born with an openness to meet what life will bring. Yet the natural reaction to threatening situations (a pattern behavior which often forms in childhood) is to shut down in an effort to shield ourselves. In light of our individual destinies and challenges, as adults we need to actively cultivate this openness.
The mantra that guides building resilience through difficult times is: the world is good. No other belief will carry you over the stumbling blocks and obstacles, through the mystery of why events unfold the way they do, with a capacity to remain healthy, motivated, and joyful to be alive – in spite of the pain you may feel personally or witness in others.
Without this “overarching rainbow of trust in life” (to use the words of a Waldorf teacher who spoke of the need to create this same space for children), you may find yourself shrinking against a mountain of doom, losing your will to fight for the lives of yourself and others, or forgo the impulse to experiment, innovate, and imagine new solutions to the problems you face – both personally and globally.
The world is good – and therefore I can engage with it, explore it, wonder, stop and look, feel, question, love, find my purpose, and do good work.
In order to carry and ultimately heal our individual and collective pain and burdens, we owe ourselves this: the world is good and I am grateful and happy to be in it.
Take the time and space to receive the inherent goodness of nature, beautiful surroundings, pleasure-filled experiences and people in your life, that you may grow stronger, more capable, courageous, and enthusiastic for life.
Make it an active daily practice to seek out and magnify the good in your life.
Protect yourself from information overload.
Create a rhythmic structure to your days that nourishes you and reassures your body-mind that you can control many aspects of your daily life experience.
“Every step of progress (in developing inner stability) leads to your own success and a better world and heightens spirituality in all beings… The smallest self-improvement changes the world, for the World reflects the accumulated human effort to follow the Good within themselves.”
– from the I Ching, Book of Changes
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