Well, an argument can certainly be made for that. From confusion regarding candidates in a presidential race, to uncertainty over the validity of global warming, from aggressive actions on the world stage, to intense divisions in ideology and between races, that argument can surely be offered. Many people feel alienated from lifelong friendships and even family, and there is a pervasive sense of anxiety felt around the globe.
You may not agree in characterizing today’s world as insane but you or close ones likely have experienced a sense of uneasiness about the state of things, and perhaps even about your state of mind. Things seem upside down, and security is hard to feel.
So the question is, are there ways to return to calmness and reason when you live in this era?
The Dalai Lama says there are four steps to take: 1) Repeat positive, calming mantras; 2) Meditate regularly; 3) Live in the present; and 4) Get into nature. I love all four tips so much that I posted them on my Facebook page.
But I have another trick or suggestion that you might want to use. I call it pulling back the camera, or zooming out. Think of yourself as participating in a drama – the movie of your life. How often do you see the Big Picture? Or, are you struggling with day-to-day immediate issues and perceiving primarily the people and the situations closest to you without that vista? How often do you universalize your experience, or see it against a global background?
If you were watching the movie of your life, you might be in a room with your character and some others. Or perhaps the Cosmic Director zooms out and shows you getting into your car and driving down streets or boulevards or thruways. In rare cases, the camera lifts up from the earth and gives a bird’s eye perspective. You might be a dot, or a little larger. I’ve even seen a true cosmic perspective where the viewpoint pulled away so widely that the Earth, the Sun, the Solar System all receded into the galactic whole.
Well, we don’t need to do this in order to save our sanity, but while acting in our day-to-day movie, and being aware of our confusion or agitation, we can open up our mind so that we see a truly big picture. Maybe we start to see and fathom what this situation that we’re in today means against our greater life path. Maybe we see ourselves as one of a community of people who follow a purpose or adhere to a belief. Maybe we see our daily problems against a greater chronological backdrop.
When this is the case, we can make better sense of things.
We can see that the person who is irritating us at the moment is a teacher to us, maybe not in the most benign way but certainly in a powerful way. We may see that the situation we’re embroiled in is a wisdom-producing experience that will stick with us throughout the rest of our lives. We may see that our participation in our individual, particular movie script, is part of history that is taking place around us at the moment.
The point is, when you can pull the camera back and see the whole more from the Director’s chair than from the actor’s, the result is a changed perspective, a perspective that gives a sense of understanding, and perhaps even empowerment.
If your job is to be sane when the world feels insane, then that is your task now, and you can do it well despite the challenges of the moment.
Judi Thomases is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire online magazine.
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