A few days ago, I was talking with someone, and mentioned the adjustments required for our orchid growing due to the increased seasonal variability that we are experiencing here in California, likely due to global warming. To my surprise, she immediately responded how overwhelming she found this observation; that is, the pervasiveness of planetary problems and future prospects of climate change.
I responded that there was no benefit to being overwhelmed. It doesn’t accomplish anything for anyone. That was a startling point.
But, then, how do you approach intensity of awareness, and the strong feelings that can arise with deep recognition of disturbance?
In this particular conversation, I suggested that she shift into doing something consciously constructive, that would actually have a positive vibrational and physical result. My ideas included exercise, making raw vegetable juice, or meditating. A half hour invested into an activity like these will produce much more benefit than the same time spent “being overwhelmed” in contemplation. Or, alternatively, reading websites, social media posts, or other offerings from similarly upset people. Being angry, distressed, or frustrated en masse is even less helpful. For yourself, and the vibrational well-being of the planetary system.
Later, I considered the implications of my own advice. There’s a fine line between engaging in constructive action or simply doing habitual (“healthy”) activities to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Likewise, there’s nuance to whether you are embracing reflective, empowered Stillness or just becoming energetically, emotionally, spiritually, or physically stagnated by the “big picture” that you are perceiving.
How do you tell the difference?
The most straightforward answer is to 1) look at your patterns, and 2) look at your results.
First, patterns. If you approach something difficult and uncomfortable with the same type of response most of the time, then you are probably being reactive and would benefit from expanding your emotional, psychological, energetic, and physical toolbox. By considering, and using, a variety of responses, you will feel more free, empowered, and, likely, be able to sustain evolution and elevation in yourself (and the world around you).
That leads to the second consideration: what are the (actual) results of how you approach the difficult, overwhelming, or unpleasant realizations, reflections, and situations that you encounter? Does anyone truly benefit from what you do or say in response? That’s a really good core question to ask. It will cut through a lot of stories, rationalizations, theories, and beliefs about yourself and your life.
In the process of answering that question, you might have to (re)define “benefit.” Benefit is a matter of perspective. Unhealthy, distorted, or inaccurate thoughts can justify short-term or false benefits. On a personal or grand scale.
This latter observations leads me to point out that my recommendations are not scale dependent. In the title of this short reflection, I use the phrase “troubled world,” to evoke the perceived state of our evolving planetary system. The “world” in question might be your office, family, planet, or galaxy. As you consider situations more deeply, the essence of events are very similar across many superficially different times and places. In this process of examination, and deeper insight, you will become more attuned to “how” than “what” in your actions, thoughts, and responses.