It’s been some time since I’ve found the motivation to blog given recent world events. These events have inevitably made me feel I have little to add to current human thought patterns. What can I possibly say that would make any sense, and what topic could be meaningful in light of events that are harming our human population as a whole? I have been rendered speechless for quite some time. Acts of violence on innocent people quickly drape a dark veil of helplessness amongst us. Eventually, I had to reframe my life in terms of events I had no control over and begin living in a new way, unclouded by random terror. Slowly, I found a way.

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The first step is to return to the place within the self where one has complete control of thoughts and feelings. No one can get into this place unless they are given permission. Holocaust survivors and survivors of other catastrophic events have taught us this in their profound writings. In order to survive external events, we must live from within ourselves. This is the place where we create life as we wish it to be by changing the mind in relation to events that cannot change. It may not be easy, but it is a survival mode that empowers and carries with it a powerful sense of change. By changing thoughts we inevitably change our feelings, since these are profoundly connected. So with this one step, we begin to feel that we, at the very least, have control of our own world in some small way. Having realized this, we protect our thoughts and feelings with our life, since they are, in fact, creating our life. We firmly do not let negative events, negative people, or distorted views into our being no matter who is espousing them — the media, family, friends or foe. Their views may be true, but they cause helplessness and disempowerment and for that reason must be kept outside the realm of personal thoughts and feelings.

The next step is to keep personal energy as high as possible. This means being vigilant about thought streams to the best of one’s ability. The minute we catch a thought stream such as having a fictitious argument or playing out scenarios of negativity, these are stopped in their tracks. These again are fuel for a fire that eventually burns the host more than anyone else. Alternatively, thoughts are held steadfastly on subjects that uplift the emotions. Holding firmly to thoughts that shift the body into feeling well ultimately serves the host with good health in the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions. This is extremely beneficial; however, how can this possibly help others?

Humans are social creatures going about their lives interacting with others and often, unknowingly to them, causing a domino effect. The domino effect is such that negative thoughts and feelings ultimately spread to others like a contagious disease. When we scowl at the grocery teller she feels this deeply and eventually begins scowling at everyone who comes through the line. Everyone leave the grocery line feeling a little bit negative and carry this to their family, friends, or workplace. Similarly, if we use driving in traffic as a way to vent our anger at others by cursing and gesturing profanity we spread this like a disease to others. On the other hand, if we keep our personal energy as high as possible and only react in a positive way, this too gets absorbed by others. Politeness, kind words, and simple positive gestures begin to spread to communities in like measure. We are fooling ourselves if we think each and every one of us has no effect. Every positive word and every positive gesture moves through the world through the domino effect because each human being is a cell in the body of all life.

We can then ask ourselves, what part are we adding to the body of all of humanity? When one of us turns away from gossip, the level of negativity drops. When one of us stops talking about negative events we cannot control, we stop the vicious cycle of creating a wave of something that can get out of control. When we begin smiling at others, a positive feeling is created. When we say please and thank you, we subtlety change the environment around us. When we stop profanity and opt to say something nice, it overwhelmingly affects the people around us. So we cannot underestimate the power we have on the world in general. Everything we think, say, and do moves like a wave through others, communities, and the world.

So in the end, personal empowerment is what uplifts the self and then slowly uplifts others. We spread out personal energy through the domino effect and protect it with our lives. Like many who have survived catastrophic events before us, we continue to contribute to the goodness of life with our goodness. Slowly our own motivation to live a happy life returns. Slowly we begin to feel empowered in our own little world; and slowly we become aware of the fact that we are making a difference in the grand scheme of all things. What we each add to the grand energetic system of collective life will ultimately determine the direction in which life will continue to progress. We take responsibility for our part and only then can we change the world. One thought at a time, one small action at a time.

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