How to Enter the Calm Zone

Feb 17, 2016

In a world where technology allows us to stay tuned in to what is happening in the world at all times, it can be challenging to avoid a continual flow of negative media. When adversity strikes as it recently did in Connecticut, we are subjected to dozens of stories about misfortune, sorrow, injustice, and outrage. After every disaster, the drama provides the background noise to our lives for weeks.

I vividly remember the shock I felt when I first heard of certain traumatic occurrences such as the 9-11 event, the tsunami in Japan, and now the tragedy in Connecticut. When you witness news coverage of catastrophe,  the fight or flight response is triggered in your own body. You experience the anguish almost as if the event is happening to you. Your muscles tense, your stomach tightens, and your heart rate goes up. Coupled with thoughts that the situation is hopeless and you're helpless, you may experience every intense emotion under the sun, from anger and fear to grief.

Compelling research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body) shows that bad news affects your immune system. And if your resilience suffers, you not only become vulnerable to feelings of depression and anxiety, you're also more prone to disease.

Because we're human, it's natural to feel empathy and compassion for those who are genuinely suffering, and so we should. But we do have to keep a balance between being informed and staying grounded. Much of what we hear and see in the media reinforces the belief that the world is essentially a bad place, which moves us away from our personal dreams and goals, self-care and general wellbeing.

So how do you manage to stay centred in a zone of calm in the midst of external turmoil? You start by minimizing traumatic sensory input. You cultivate an inner awareness that moves you away from external sensory stimulation to a more inward experience.

The most effective way I know to train your mind to relax and be still is meditation. When you practice meditation, you don't have to clear your mind from thought (which is impossible anyway), and you don't have to aspire to any particular emotional state (meditation teaches you to embrace all emotions, even challenging ones), or twist yourself into a pretzel for hours on end (you can sit comfortably in a chair if that's what you prefer). Meditation helps you to tune into your inner being, the truth of who you really are and what is really true for you. Breath by breath, moment by moment, your mental chatter starts to quiet and you find natural harmony in being with your essential self, free from the distractions and overstimulation of the daily media blitz.

Meditation trains your mind to be stronger, and more focused and calm. As you take a step back from what is happening in the world, you're able to observe situations without a feeling of being frozen into it. A calm mind helps you to develop a new perspective and to step back into your personal power by enforcing your own wellbeing.

I believe that everyone should enter into the calm zone of meditation as often as possible. The calm zone is where you access a heightened state of awareness. It's where you rejuvenate and recover.

The reality is that you can't avoid bad news. It's impossible to be completely disconnected from the media and what is happening in our world. But answer this: Where do you put your attention? Instead of feeling powerless about the things that you don't have any control over, you may choose to go deeper into spiritual practice. The more you disengage from a media-created world, the more time you can spend on what is really valuable to you: time with your friends and family, spiritual practices, and doing what is in your power to make the world a better place. You don't have to save the world, but you can take small, concrete steps toward effecting positive change in your personal life and in your community.

If my thoughts resonate with you, I invite you to join us in the Soulwoman Sanctuary, where we're building a powerful network for change. Being in the presence of like-minded people is energising, empowering, and brings us hope. Our community is easily one of the most affirming on the planet. You are so welcome here!

Let’s create miracles together!

Reconnect with your body and soul with Soulwoman Circles.


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