The U.S. political season is upon us. We’re bombarded with political ads making, in many cases, outlandish claims against opponents and the other party. Civil discourse in our society among people with differing views has disappeared, supplanted in so many cases by vitriol and venomous contempt. It’s enough to make us ask ourselves, “Are there any true leaders among them?”
As we face existential threats to humanity and to our planet in the forms of war, climate change, the pandemic, mass migration, terror-inciting regimes, and resource inequities, instead of taking bold measures to address these crises, we’re retreating into ideological camps and pointing fingers at each other. In many recent presidential elections in so-called democratic countries, the voters have chosen autocratic leaders intent on squelching opposing views and, instead of working collaboratively on critical issues, instead of falling back on playing the blame game.
All in all, these are times in which we can understandably fall into despair. Instead, we need to double down on elevating our own traits of compassion, gratitude, and hope. We must elevate ourselves to a higher consciousness that enables us to honor the underlying humanity we share with everyone on the planet.
Let us honor our fundamental humanity
This is a tall order to fill, but if we spend time each day in mindfulness practice, it will reveal to us how to be our best selves and exude a sense of calm and clarity to others. By quieting the busyness of our mind and letting our breath connect us to our calm internal core, we surrender our ego-driven self and get in touch with a benevolent, spiritual self that allows us to reveal the sense of oneness of the world in which we’re apart.
A regular practice that brings awareness to the forefront allows us to leave behind the vitriol and shift our attitude to one of respect and unity. We can use our words kindly and wisely, elevating the civility of our discussions and honoring our fundamental humanity.
Just think what the world would become if our leaders used Mindfulness as the backdrop for how they approached their role. Such practices would provide calm in the chaos. It would raise the level of integrity and compassion among fellow leaders, opponents, and constituents alike, and allow everyone to bring their best selves to the job at hand. Mindfulness would change the discourse so that we would be more considerate and effective at problem-solving. Even if we disagreed, we’d be able to place our focus on moving cooperatively toward solutions without all the malice.
Listen to and observe leaders carefully
Until then, we must listen to our leaders carefully and decipher whether what they say is compassionate, intelligent, and mindful. Do they remind us of the need for civil discourse by how they speak? Do they elevate a collective spirit that represents integrity and civility?
Yet in the meantime, we must all take a stand to improve our current political environment. As individuals, we must do our part by overcoming our negativity and directing our focus to a promising future. By regularly practicing Mindfulness, we can open our hearts. It will enable us to transcend limited thoughts and stay in touch with the oneness that underlies our humanity.
Start each day by practicing mindfulness through focused breathing. Begin with several deep breaths to help you clear your mind and connect with your inner calm and spiritual being. When you make the effort to meditate on your breath at the start of each day, you move into your day with decreased stress, increased focus, and the ability to navigate your interactions with others with calm neutrality.
Consciously aligning each day with the supreme consciousness that breathes life into us all will allow us to shift our awareness to promoting the greater good, and begin to raise the consciousness of others upon whom we share this planet.
Ora Nadrich is the founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named among the “top 18 books on what an authentic life looks like” by PositivePsychology and “one of the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time” by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and Mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery, and mentoring new coaches. Her new book is Mindfulness and Mysticism: Connecting Present Moment Awareness with Higher States of Consciousness (IFTT Press, Nov. 11, 2021). Contact her at oranadrich.com
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