So far 2017 has been, well, intense.This year has been marked by massive change, turmoil, and a lot (and I mean a lot) of conflict. Just opening up your internet browser can send a dose of cortisol through your veins—and everything seems uncertain.
It’s easy to get caught up caring about so many issues that we expend all of our energy in a scattered whirlwind of emotion. If you can relate to this chicken-with-your-head-cut-off feeling—trust me—you’re not alone. So what can you do about it? Is it even possible to slow the heck down?
There’s an African proverb that says, “When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” I think we can all agree that 2017 has a LOT of wind. And it’s absolutely imperative that we carve out time to restore our minds and energy levels. It’s easy to imagine someone sitting cross-legged and eyes closed—with the world raging around them—and see them as passive or uninvolved, but meditation is about creating solidarity and strength in your internal environment so that you can really show up in a world that needs you. It’s not about staying detached; it’s about building resilience so you can put yourself out there without fear or the risk of damaging your own energy and psyche. The deeper our roots, the more we can stand up for the things we believe in, fully present, with our game face on.
Because the reality is, at the end of a very long day (we’ve been having a few of those lately), we are responsible for the way we think and feel. When we put our heads on the pillow and the thoughts roll in, we are ultimately in control of whether they are those of worry, hope, anger, or empathy.
So what can meditation provide us in 2017? Empowerment, boundaries, and a place we can escape to that is always peaceful and quiet—which for some of us means more now than ever before. It allows us to be OK with planting our feet firmly in mid-air and accepting the reality that we don’t know what’s coming next—but that when it shows up, we’ll be ready.