I have to admit that I was a bit consumed by the recent impeachment hearings. It was almost like a drug, the need to check my phone every 5 seconds for the newest headline. Needless to say, it was an emotional rollercoaster that left me feeling angered, frustrated, saddened, and helpless.
Apparently I’m not the only one. According to the American Psychology Association 2019 Stress in America Survey; stress over election, healthcare, and mass shootings are at the top of the list of what is causing the most stress in America.
Not only is there concern about the future of our democracy, but also our careers, finances, relationships and health. These can all trigger chronic stress which left untreated can manifest into a plethora of chronic health problems like stubborn fat, pain, autoimmune, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. The challenges pile up and it’s easy to feel trapped.
Stress is making Americans physically and mentally ill. Our pains and discomforts are wake up calls, that we’ve disconnected from love and drifted into fear. However, it is in moments of despair, pain, and hopelessness that we ask for…...miracles.
In her book, A Return to Love Marianne Williamson writes, “A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.”
It may feel impossible to forgive political figures. How can we love people who lie and cheat? Why should we even bother?
“We are not victims, we are creators. If we put stress in our lives then we manifest disease. If we remove stress from our lives, we can remove disease.” - Dr. Bruce Lipton
Holding onto negative emotions marinates our physiology with toxins. This results in sickness, illness, and pain. Although the negative emotions may be directed toward others in our outer world, it is actually our inner world that suffers the most.
Yoga philosophy teaches us that Maya is the name of the veil that sits between perception and reality. We’re influenced by our families, friends, media, communities, and culture to be in the world a certain way. We form judgements like a veil over our hearts to protect ourselves. This “veil of illusion” creates a separation between our inner and outer worlds.
Spiritual Teacher Ram Dass said, "Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object."
Love is very powerful for healing, absolutely essential for our own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others .
It’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Aside from it being another “Hallmark holiday,” it is another opportunity to remember love. We have the innate ability to cultivate love from within to transform and transcend fear.
Here are 6 tools to lift you up and help you move forward during these challenging political times.
Breathe - When we’re experiencing stress there is a physiological response that usually involves shortness of breath. When this happens there is less oxygen that circulates to the mind and body. This impairs our thinking, energy and performance. Notice your breath and begin to take long deep breaths to slow down your heart rate and shift the nervous system out of fight or flight mode. Deep breathing will also drop you into the present moment and out of your head where worrisome thoughts are running wild. Continue to breathe deeply until you feel a shift to feeling more calm and centered.
Heart Opening Yoga - The heart is a very powerful resource for cultivating love. Have you ever noticed someone’s body posture when they’re afraid? They hunch forward with rounded shoulders to protect their heart. Overtime, the body may even stay in that shape and form! Yikes! Opening our heart space may feel uncomfortable at first because we feel vulnerable. The truth is that as we’re opening our heart space, we’re strengthening our core and back! Our core symbolizes our power center and our back supports us. Doing heart opening yoga is good mind body medicine to shift not only our emotional state from fear to love, but also our physical state as well.
Loving Kindness Meditation - Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron has a beautiful version of this prayer/meditation. This involved mentally sending loving kindness to ourselves, our inner circle, and our outer circles. It’s taking baby steps when we’re trying to forgive and let go. Try doing this meditation several days in a row or “as needed” to flood your physiology with love and healing.
Microdosing Cannabis - Some of us are prone to anxiety and depression. Hello, that’s me! Instead of taking prescription pills, I opted for natural plant medicine. Microdosing Cannabis may support mental health without feeling impaired or high. Learn more by reading my recent blog post on microdosing. CBD specifically is associated with lower levels of anxiety and is non-psychoactive. However, there is a lot of “snake oil” out in the CBD market which is not effective. Make sure to do your research! Speak with an industry professional (like me) who can guide you in the right direction.
Acceptance - Contrary to what many people may think, acceptance is not about complacency. We can accept the circumstances in the present moment. Then, remember that everything changes. There is a famous saying in recovery programs, “This too shall pass.” Accepting things as they are allows us to let go of the inner turmoil that binds us the misperception of our outerworld. Through acceptance we are free and liberated from the negativity trap.
Take Action Locally - What are you most passionate about when it comes to politics? Climate change? Healthcare? LGBT? Homelessness? Take action in your local community where you’ll experience the most impact. The negative feelings of frustration and anger can be catalysts for change pushing us to take action into causes we believe in. Don’t wait until the election! Do it now!
Thank you for reading! Which tool will you use? Let us know how you feel before and after!
If you’re interested in exploring how Cannabis can help you with your health and happiness, then let’s connect! Click HERE to book a free discovery session to find out if Cannabis can help you!
Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.