I’m stepping out on a limb today to talk about the two things you should never talk about: Religion and Politics. Well, not exactly religion. I, like many of you don’t follow a particular religious dogma yet am highly spiritual. Can politics and connection to spirit really coexist? I think so. We just have to step back to have a clearer picture of what is really going on.
Politics can bring you way down and increase your stress levels making you feel anxious, alone, bullied, exhausted and out of control!
I find in my conversations with friends and clients that politics can really wreak havoc on the peace and calm in their lives. In other words, it pushes their already high stress level even higher! I see people being more testy than usual, defensive, irritable with their family and co-workers, and having a difficult time communicating with people who don’t agree with them politically. Fear takes over in your life and you forget to let love in or out. You worry about the fate of the country and wonder what is happening to our society (no matter what political side you take).
Here in America we are right in the middle of the build up to the presidential election. We are up to our necks in political ads on TV, politics non-stop if you watch the news, and it is all over social media. So, what is a spiritual person supposed to do? I’ve got three simple tips to help you regain your center and hold your peace no matter who gets elected or where you live in the world.
Step 1: Stop feeding your mind political garbage
Years ago, I found myself caught up in national politics. My mind and ego told me that I was being an informed citizen and caring about the future of my country. Yes and no. I was consuming so much news and information about the national election that it started to affect me. Subtly at first and then much more obviously. It wasn’t until I decided to take my own life reigns back that I started to notice how much I truly was affected by my political obsessions.
First of all, you have to stop feeding your mind political garbage every day. It is important to stay in the loop and be an informed citizen. However, consuming politics for hours everyday is a hazard to your health. Disconnect from your chosen poison whether it be TV, internet or social media. Lies are inherent in politics because they want to tell you what they think you want to hear so they can then control you. It’s a dirty game that is played and you don’t actually have to play it.
Put down what ever stress you are carrying that really isn’t yours. Anything stress that comes up without you choosing it, is not yours. It is other people’s awareness and beliefs. Put down the burden politicians and the media place on you, it isn’t your burden to bear. You can be a responsible citizen without carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
I hate to admit it and yet I know you know it is true. Very few politicians are in the game altruistically. They are there or stay there because they want money and power – no matter what side you are for. They divide us into groups and teams to make us believe they are working for our benefit and to keep us isolated. That way they can control us more.
I’m for humanity. I’m for helping people. I’m for unselfish love. I want you to be able to make decisions for yourself and not be controlled by some government who says they have all the answers. Politicians keep us living in a state of fear – fear of someone with different beliefs, fear that we’ll have our benefits taken away, fear that if “they” get in control life as we know it will be over.
Enough of the fear mongering. Let’s shift our focus towards loving one another. If we love one another without the influence of our egos and expecting something in return then we will help our neighbors. We will donate to good causes. We will be a part of the SOUL-ution.
When we see each other as brothers and sisters we work for each other instead of against each other. We see our commonalities and look beyond the differences.
Step 3: Stay attuned to your highest self.
This is the least obvious and the most important step – stay attuned to your Highest Self. This helps you to stop focusing on all the division and separation that politics inherently possesses. By staying in tune with your Highest Self, it short-circuits politicians power grab. If you are aligned with your Highest Self, then you see that same Self in others. You even see that same Self in people you totally disagree with!
The ego is wounded when it disagrees with someone or feels attacked. It sees itself as separate and thus it needs to protect itself which shows up as defensiveness, irritability, arrogance and even hatred.
Your Highest Self is not affected by such things because it sees the unity in all of creation. It sees that all those negative emotions and reactions don’t do any good.
You are a unique expression of the Divine, of God, who is connected to the wholeness of the Universe. And so is your political opponent!
Many of the world’s religions and spiritual practices know that the root cause of all human problems is their belief that they are separate from the Whole. What would happen if we started to look at each other differently? If we looked for the unity in humanity – in people we agree with and people we disagree with? What if we approached each other with kindness and unselfish love?
This presidential cycle I suggest staying informed without over doing it. In yogic philosophy this practice relates to one of the Yamas (ways we interact with the world): Aparigraha. Aparigraha is often translated as non-greed. Basically, we want to stop overconsuming politics and thinking your way is the right way. If you feel like you are addicted to or overindulging in politics, then you are in a way hoarding it and your opinions. Have your beliefs. And realize that they are not worth losing a friend or loved one over. Take a moment to step away from the game and breathe. Division hurts us all. Come back to harmony with your Self and love that Self in others.
The video below has some great ways to tap into your Highest Self every day. Keep it simple. Loving yourself helps you love others. Which leads to harmony between our politics and our spirituality.
The only way the world is going to get better is if each one of us focuses on getting better ourselves. When you get better (more calm, less stressed, less focused on problems that are out of your control), then it will have a ripple effect on those around you. By affecting people positively through your presence and actions, then they will begin to ripple outward and we will see the immense change we all desire in this world.
Look for ways you can be part of the SOUL-ution.
See you on the inside,