Sending Lovingkindness to Those Who Need It

I've felt inundated by negative news lately. Not in my own life but in the world around us -- political strife within the US and abroad, threats of war, massive hurricanes and more. Every day that I turn on the morning news I see that more people have been killed in various ways across the state of Connecticut, and I know it's happening everywhere.

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by all of it. The 24/7 news cycle captures our eyeballs by keeping them focused on what's going bad. Even I'm doing it right now.

Enough.

Always remember: Your focus determines your reality.
— Qui-Gon Jinn

Our brains are hurting. Literally. Study after study after study show us that thoughts alone can change our brains. And we're wired to focus on negative events because in our past it helped us stay alive. Thankfully, today we don't have to worry about remembering under which tree our friend was eaten by a tiger. So instead it's financial meltdowns and mega-storms.

Last night I decided I would do my little part in breaking the negativity cycle and I'm going to keep it up for the next week at least. I led a small group of meditators through a guided lovingkindness meditation and focused for an extended time on those affected by the recent hurricanes. It was a beautiful experience and I woke up today with a revived energy.

The practice is simple: Imagine a group of people experiencing hardship -- you may or may not know them personally. And repeat to them, silently or aloud, some statements of love and well-wishes.

We used: May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be free from harm.

You can use whatever you want. Send prayers. Send positive vibes. Whatever works for you. The important thing is to focus on the love, the positivity that you're sending outward. I promise, you'll end with a smile on your face and a completely different experience from watching what's on the news.

Go forth and spread goodness!