How To Go High!
Election day is upon us. We come together as a nation and then split apart the next morning. Half of us will wake up in complete disbelief while the other half celebrates in
What happens to those who find themselves experiencing contempt, frustration, disbelief, anger, and outrage? Life all of a sudden becomes
What happens when our team loses? What happens when we believe our voice is not heard, and the principles we hold dear are not validated? The cognitive dissonance reverberates internally, resulting in feelings of frustration, disbelief, anger, and outrage. The delicate and untrained psyche is unable to tolerate the discomfort of negative emotions and cannot simply process them internally. If not managed properly emotions fester and they may manifest across a spectrum ranging from resentment all the way to physical violence and rioting. Examples include: the 1968 riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, the LA Riots in 1992, and even the 2014 World Series Riots in San Francisco, which turned violent despite the fact that the Giants won.
As human beings we have the power to rise above our initial negative and base level of thinking, and to choose an approach reflecting a higher consciousness. In other words, to “go high” and not sink into the kind of thinking that can lead to detrimental outcomes.
I have often prescribed the following experiment to many of my clients, and it is one that I personally practice daily. It involves simply closing your eyes and visualizing the “other”, be it a person, an opposing political party, a race, a religion, or anything that causes your emotions to tip to the negative end of the spectrum.
Your job is to think of them in positive terms. If you believe in God or in a higher power, pray or meditate that God take care of them (and no, not in the Mafia sense of “taking care of them”). If you are not religious or do not subscribe to spirituality, your job is to send your love and compassion, that they find happiness and peace in their lives.
I’m not saying send them love notes and hug up on them, or that you are required to honestly and truly mean it the first few times you do it. But over time, you will find that it is difficult to maintain feelings of contempt, anger, fear or a multitude of other negative attitudes, toward someone for whom you are offering such prayers or thoughts. My prescription of this visualization technique is much like what sport star Kobe Bryant did to perfect his performance on the court.
Imagine shooting the perceived enemy with arrows that have tips shaped as hearts. Visualize them in front of you and concentrate on the positive aspects, characteristics, and talents they bring to the table. Repeat these phrases, “I like you”, “I admire you”, “I respect you”, “I love you”, “I am honored to be a student of life with you!”. Spend several minutes doing this over the next few days. Pay particularly close attention to the sensations and feelings in your body. Notice them shape-shift from negative, fear based emotions (resentment, jealousy, rage, frustration, and anxiety), to love based emotions (compassion, acceptance, joy, curiosity, and love).
I believe this is what Michelle Obama meant by, “Go high”! The point of this practice is to raise your awareness, vibration, and consciousness. Choose the high road!
You have the power to shift your interactions with those that cause you anger and anxiety. While you may hold different beliefs, subscribe to opposite political philosophies, or may be cheering for different teams, you have the power to change how you feel and respond. You are the architect of your life. You are responsible for how you show up in the world.
By performing this exercise you ultimately invite a sense gratitude toward the people whom you are directing your positive thoughts, as they have become your teacher. They teach you how to master your emotions. And once you are a master of your emotions, you can master your behavior, and ultimately your own destiny.
Watch people start to gravitate towards you and treat you differently. Notice as you expand your love, rather than be controlled by your fears, that your life becomes more enriching, fulfilling, and more harmonious for you and those around you.
Choose consciousness - GO HIGH!
Originally Published on: The Huffington Post