Mindfulness invites us to approach difficulty, & not to be afraid of feeling the associated emotions it brings up in us.  This week has undoubtedly been difficult for all of us.  I don’t consume the news broadcasts on TV or radio but there is enough discussion & coverage on social media of the devastation to understand & know that the world is really hurting right now.  To let this week pass without acknowledgment of this would feel misaligned to my work as a mindfulness teacher. 

Feelings arising for me include helplessness, anger, fear, disgust and utter broken-heartedness, which I’m sure are common to most.  There is an immediate impulse to want to take action (i.e. a reaction) but I remind myself that reactions arising out of variations of fear based feelings will only breed more fear, anger and resentment.  Fear feeds on fear.  The fire of anger is fuelled by more anger & the flames can spread like wild fire.

So what do I do?  I regulate myself back to a place of calm and steadiness.  I notice how these heavy & overwhelming feelings manifest in the body such as heart beating faster, contraction, heat in the chest, tightness and nauseousness on hearing what’s happening.  I create space around these sensations by breathing into them, deep breaths with a longer exhale to bring the nervous system out of fight, flight or freeze response and back to calm.  Much like attending to your own oxygen mask on a plane first before assisting others.

From this place of grounding and steadiness, I can choose what to do next & although it may not feel like much, or enough given the scale of the issues, at the very least, I haven’t added any more negative energy, anger or fear into the world around me.  I can ensure that my interactions with people & the piece of the world within my control, is not marred with the hostility that recent events have stirred in me.  The importance of being able to cultivate inner calm & peace has never been greater.