When we first learn about spirituality and encounter New Age ideas, one of the teachings we stumble upon is usually called the Law of Attraction. It tells us, among other things, one important principle:
"Energy flows where attention goes."
And Albert Einstein taught us that energy is what everything material is made of. Our first reaction is usually something like: "Oh! Then I should watch out what I give my attention!" But in today's world, that is much easier said than done. Everywhere we turn, there are heartbreaking stories about how much innocent people suffer in this world. With technology the pain of others is closer to us than ever. How could we possibly not pay attention to that? As sensitive people, of course we care about everyone on this planet.
So, quite understandably, sometimes we get swept away by the news, we enter discussions (did you hear what Donald Trump did now??!) and we rant along with our socially informed friends. After all, we're often expected to have an opinion about these things. Being critical and pessimistic about the future of the world is often considered a sign of intelligence and superiority, at least in my culture. And confession time: ranting or laughing about political memes can feel good for a while. But unfortunately, sometimes we get so involved in ranting, drama and social justice blogging that our positive intentions for world peace get lost. Our excuse: we can't just ignore it, we have to do something!
Of course we do! We're here to be the bringers of the light. But is paying a lot of negative attention to an issue really the same as helping? When I listen to my own truth, for me the answer is no. Of course this question might bring up a different answer for everyone, but if you're interested, I hope you will allow me to explain why I don't think whatever we're doing is working.
If you're still with me (thank you!), please think about it for a second. I'll use the previous US elections as an example. Logically speaking, we could probably say that Hilary Clinton had the biggest chance to win the elections. She was considered the most capable, she was expected to be the winner and she literally even received more votes than Donald Trump.
Then Donald Trump ended up winning and many of us were, understandably, shocked and disturbed. So was I. But when I thought of the spiritual laws of the Universe we live in, his victory was no longer so surprising. For months or even years before the actual elections, Donald Trump's words full of hate and ignorance where already circulating on the internet and reacted to with anger. People were constantly pointing out what an ignorant man he was and how much they hated him, and HE NEEDED TO BE STOPPED! This was before he realistically even stood a chance to win. I don't think any other candidate has ever been hated with such a passion.
Now please don't get me wrong, I think standing up for your values is incredibly important. When someone spouts harmful words that disrespect other human beings, we can't let that pass. The problem here: what did the Universe hear from us?
I hate Trump. I don't want Trump to win. I want any president but Trump. Look what Trump said now! Trump is such an ignorant man. We have to fight Trump with all we've got. Not Trump. Not Trump. Anyone but Trump.
That's the vibration we've been sending out to the Universe. Trump, Trump, Trump. The Universe must have thought: Wow, those humans sure love Trump! They keep on talking about him all day! If he wins the elections, they can make even more tweets about him. So it used the slightly peculiar feature of the election system to deliver more Trump to us. Now can you imagine what would have happened if we used our energy to support Hilary Clinton, instead of paying so much attention to every little thing Trump said or did?
We could have explained her standpoints to people and tell them why she would be a better president. We could have reminded people how nice it is that women have more rights than before, and how incredible it would be to have another female leader in the world. We could have spread Tweets about how precious our Earth is and how important it is to make choices that keep our planet healthy. Then the Universe would have redirected us to Hilary Clinton and she might have been governing the US now. Even if you don't believe in the Law of Attraction, can you see how that would have been so much more helpful?
So what do we do? We return to peace and connect to Spirit and our inner guidance. When we witness something that deeply hurts our souls, we look for the silence and pray for the situation. Now you might think: silly Mayte, surely you already know that prayer never helps? Or else, wouldn't we have achieved world peace already? How naive of you!
Maybe. But wait, did you try it out yet? How often do you pray for world peace? How many people, do you think, do that on a daily basis, instead of posting Trump memes?
Of course I'm not stating that when you pray for world peace once, everyone involved in conflicts will suddenly see the light and the whole world will be a peaceful paradise. But you might notice that some situations improve slightly. When you notice these improvements, you pay attention to them. And remember, energy flows where attention goes. You could also send love and light to a specific person who's having a difficult time. They might feel slightly lighter and more peaceful, if only for just a minute.
As you turn inwards, you may even be shown ways to help. It might be a small, seemingly insignificant idea. Maybe it's just to give some money to a stranger, to sign a petition, or to write a book. These small actions may seem unimportant for the larger scheme of things, and maybe they are, but that doesn't matter. Our Divine Source doesn't make mistakes. You don't know what the results will be, but your Soul does, and it will be happy with your effort to help. Because one small act of kindness could provide one person with the inspiration or opportunity to change their life.
Maybe the money you give to that stranger is just the amount they still needed to start a business that helps young people from poor backgrounds find a job. Maybe the petition you sign gives the organization that started it more power to convince the government to change their climate change policy. Maybe the book you felt guided to write changes someone's entire perspective on life so much that it prevents them from becoming a criminal later in life.
Doesn't changing the life of only one person sound so much better than ranting on and on about what makes you angry without helping anyone at all?
A small guide:
Step 1: Observe. What did you see on the news or the internet that you don't support? Though it's hard at first, maybe try doing this without judging. When you judge, you might add more negative energy to the situation. Instead, you could try to simply say something more neutral, like "this situation does not reflect my truth". If it really breaks your heart, however, I think it's best allow yourself to cry, or express your emotions in another way. That's very healthy and feels better afterwards.
Step 2: What is it that you do want? You didn't like what you observed. Why is that? What do you want? Do your best to shift all your attention to your wish. Try to feel and see it in your mind's eye, as if it has already happened. Allow yourself to smile at the thought.
Step 3: Pray for what you want. If you can, go to a quiet space to help you connect with what you believe in. Then focus on the feeling and image of your wish for the world and say something like: "Thank you, Universe, for making this happen for us". You can also write it down on a piece of paper and place it somewhere meaningful, like on your altar or in a prayer box.
Step 4: Open up to guidance. Then you can sit in a position that feels most comfortable for you. Close your eyes, or soften your gaze, and focus on your breath. Then observe whatever thoughts come up. Don't worry if it's just mind chatter, it takes some practice to tune in to your inner guidance. Besides, sometimes guidance presents itself in the form of an idea you had while on the bus or doing the dishes. If it's an idea that makes you feel happy or hopeful and it recurs to you frequently, it's probably guidance from your Soul or guides.
Step 5: Take the guided action. Try not to question it too much. Often we can't see the larger scheme of things, but Spirit can. They know where we need to go in order to serve the highest good of all. You don't need to do everything perfectly either, just making an effort is already so very valuable.
Step 6: Give yourself permission to relax and be happy! Everyone is connected, no one is separate. Therefore, if you are happy and shine from the inside out, your mood will influence the people around you. Happiness is infectious. There's also a study that Gabrielle Bernstein often refers to, called the Maharishi effect. Basically this study shows that when a group of people practices meditation for a while, the crime rates in the rest of the neighborhood drop. So simply by feeling peaceful and happy you already contribute more than you think!
Please don't worry if you forget these positive intentions once in a while. We all do. Breaking old habits takes time. But simply by doing your best to stay conscious of your thought patterns you already contribute so much more than you think. So please stay kind to yourself, no matter what!