"If Not Now, When?” --Rabbi Hillel
"These are the times that tries men’s souls." –Thomas Paine, 12/23/1776 

And, so it would seem, we are there again. If you have any area of life which you hold sacred, you can be sure that it is being pummeled in the world today.

Our choices are either to get caught up in the rage, anger, and alienation of “them vs us,” or to step back with deep breath, finding that link to our own spirit within and then, from this space of conscious connection, ask how we are to be in the world.
When we remember to reach inward (to the kingdom there), our choices are then directed from our higher purpose...not from the storm which rages outside of us.

And, this reaching inward is not to be a one-time-only move, but rather an on-going daily, moment-to-moment pattern by which we are setting our life’s course.

We can no longer add to the chaos of this world, but are being called upon to put all those classes, books and inspirational lectures to work. Wherever one conscious being holds a space of peace, it is radiated outward into the area in which they dwell–-in which they walk. 

Most beings live their lives caught up in the daily input of minds formed by tv, news, and the resulting conversations based on fear and anger. Fear can paralyze us and anger can stir us to inappropriate words and actions. Neither emotion puts us in touch with what the problem truly is, or how we can contribute to its positive change.

We are told this is a planet of “free will.” And often we scoff at that notion, feeling the effects of decisions we are not in alignment with. The key here is to remember: free will begins in our own minds. Free will starts by us choosing the quality of thoughts we will allow to inhabit our minds--our beings.

Negative thinking can pull us into downward spirals, where we physically and mentally have no desire to act. The work is catching our thoughts before they begin either to be pulled downward or to rage out of control.

The world is a reflection of us who inhabit it. If there is to be change, it needs to begin within us. We cannot go forward to do the work of the world, without first finding peace within ourselves––finding it and holding it throughout our days.

If you would try this idea of Thought Changing, here is a suggestion. First, choose three positive memories, which stir feelings in you of: a job well done, a sense of satisfaction, peace, joy, gratitude–-any or all of those feelings will work. Look at each of the three memories and think about them for a moment, fleshing them out to their fullest. Then, remember they are available to you to call forth, anytime you need to take yourself out of chaos or depression. 

The next time you catch yourself in an angry or depressing thought, claim your Free Will. Call upon one of these memories and inhabit it for a moment. Take three slow, deep breaths to clear your head, heart and body and then begin again––from a more peaceful space.

             Blessings,  Joann Turner