Over the last two days, I made a mistake.
While I tend to read only headlines to remain in the know and not be unaware of the world outside, that is usually as far as I go. But yesterday I read a couple of articles, then another this morning — and I am feeling down because of it.
What the hell happened to us? When did we get to this awful place? How did we end up with such a blatant criminal as President? How come all the checks and balances meant to remove him have failed? Does anyone from his party care that he has no interest in preserving the democracy he is sworn to protect?
Oh, and that’s just the beginning. How are so many people under his sway? Why does he have the ravenous followers he does? How can they not see his lies? Why do they think he cares about them in the slightest?
I find myself sitting in a low place. I feel down — which is a combination of hopelessness, fear, rage, and disbelief. Probably doesn’t help that it’s overcast currently.
It’s important to be aware of what is happening in the world. But I cannot allow that to dominate my life. If I do — there will be nothing I can do to create a positive impact.
Pause, reflect, release, reset
Knowing this is where I am at — and how I got here — I have a choice.
I can allow this to interfere with my day. If I continue to allow it to the forefront of my thoughts the hopelessness it produces is on me.
Or — I can pause, reflect, release, and then reset.
How does that even work?
Okay, I took in the data. Yes, I know this is really bad — and some of the potential outcomes from it are scary. But I know that fretting about it and analyzing it to death will just make me feel worse.
Pause. Can I do anything about this right now? No.
Reflect. Is there anything at all I can do? Apart from writing blogs asking people to think for themselves, supporting campaigns I believe in, and VOTING in November — I can’t do anything else.
Release. Holding onto this is just making me feel down. I need to release it. I took a shower and am pausing. Close my eyes, take some deep breaths. Slow my heart. Calm myself. Let go.
Holding onto this just upsets me. So why bother?
Don’t forget, remain mindful — but release the negativity.
Reset. Don’t go back and reanalyze any of this. Stay mindful, keep aware — but focus instead on the here-and-now. This is the only place I can currently have an impact.
Applying practical mindfulness for altering mood
I reiterate this a lot. Mindfulness — often overblown by self-help gurus and some psychologists — opens you to yourself. It is, here and now, in this very moment, awareness of you.
In-depth, that awareness is your headspace, your psyche, your overall mindset. It is the person you are inside your head, the one who sees from your eyes, hears with your ears, smells with your nose, feels what you touch, tastes the air around you. But it goes beyond that — it is how you process, comprehend and understand. It’s what you believe about life, the Universe, and everything.
It is easier to address practical mindfulness on the surface. That amounts to thoughts, feelings, actions, and intent.
Often, we react to outside stimuli. The choices we make are in reaction to things that occur. Some are huge — but most just are.
Moods are comprised of thought and feeling. Mindfulness, which puts you in touch with both, opens you to control over this. You can choose the mood you are in.
It takes focus and effort, intent, and action. But when you are conscious of thought and feeling, here and now, in the present, you can gain control.
Recognizing that I am feeling down today, I can choose to find thoughts and feelings — as well as take actions — to address this. As such, I can go on feeling down and let it fester — or find alternatives to release and change it.
This does take time. But it’s on me to alter my focus, work with it, and take the necessary action for it.
Anyone and everyone is similarly empowered
I share what I share for numerous reasons.
· I know I am not the only one dealing with such moods.
· Sharing shows that these are points worth talking about.
· Mindfulness applies to everyone everywhere.
· We are not powerless.
· Hope is a good thing.
· I can learn from my mistakes
· Being accountable for mistakes and errors is not a bad thing.
· You can learn from my mistakes.
One of the reasons ours is a fear-based society is the designs of those in power. Fear causes a reaction. Reaction keeps you distracted from things.
The last thing many of those “in power” want is for us conscious and aware. That’s why they create misinformation, distractions, and a false “us” versus “them” narrative. It allows control of the collective consciousness.
When you apply practical mindfulness to the world around you, it makes you conscious. That consciousness is awareness of yourself. When you are aware of yourself and whatever situations you are in, you can interact with the outside world better.
Hence, rather than always reacting to a crisis, you are mindful of them and making choices based on that. You are empowered to decide to react, and how.
People misunderstand the use of terrorism. I’ve heard more than one person wonder why they aren’t striking at us in our weakened, uncertain state. That’s easy. Because it serves no point.
Unpopular opinion: the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11/01 scored a victory. Why? Because we fundamentally changed how we operate as a nation, on multiple levels, in reaction.
A lot of what the current government is doing is a subtle form of terrorism. That’s because terrified people will ask “how high?” when you tell them to jump.
Mindfulness changes the question to “is this something I should be terrified of?” That’s empowerment.
My mood is mine to control
Knowing that I am feeling down today — and recognizing the why — allows me to proceed.
Let it remain and hold onto it? Pause, reflect, release, and then reset? Do nothing and just see what happens?
All are valid choices. The decision for which to go with belongs to me and me alone.
There is, to be fair, something to be said for taking a day off from the world. Sometimes you just cannot release feeling down. Everybody experiences this.
I need to forgive myself for feeling this mood. It happens, I am only human. How it impacts me and what I do — or not — is on me.
My mood is mine to control. I get to choose what that means for me. Yes, I know how to go about pulling myself out of this. But I alone can decide to do that.
I know why I’m feeling down today. And I should be wiser about my choices going forward with that awareness. But in this present moment, I get to choose to continue feeling down — or work on changing that mood.
Thank you for reading! I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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