I recently read an article on the mental health and anxiety issues that famous athletes and celebrities feel due to their high-pressure careers and constantly being in the public eye. Of course, high profile people are not the only ones who experience mental health and anxiety. As I speak with folks who live "ordinary lives," I get the feeling there is collective angst in the air.
During my conversations, people mention the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the extreme weather patterns resulting from climate change, and the daily pressures of life. Even if we are not directly affected by these events, we are likely to feel some of that angst because we are all interconnected on a soul level. We may alleviate some of that angst by taking action, such as doing what we can to protect the climate, and taking individual action to stay safe and healthy.
However, before we do anything in the outer world, it is vital to start with our inner experience. I was reminded of this when reading the book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. entitled Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Final Year. Predictably, the book addressed the trials, tribulations, and immense challenges that Dr. King faced as the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. It revealed surprising insights about internal personal struggles that he faced. One tidbit, in particular, grabbed my attention that is relevant to any angst we may feel in today's world.
One of Dr. King's favorite ways to disengage from the angst of the challenges he faced and the pressures of his grueling 18 hours a day schedule was to get a massage. What he liked most was the silence that he experienced, not necessarily the massage itself. According to the author, the therapist never spoke a word while doing his work since he knew that Dr. King relished the silence. It was the one period of time that he could "be" and not have to answer or respond to the world's troubles. Dr. King recognized the power in silence.
When asked if there were one thing he would do differently in his life, he responded that he would spend more time in silence and meditation. In the silence of meditation, we can come into the awareness of the expanding good of Spirit. It is in this space we discover the "dynamic still point.”
The moment we pull our attention inward is the moment we connect with actual power. When we still the calculating surface mind, something potent happens. The power of peace, love, joy, and well-being begins to take over the surface mind. All that is perfect begins to reshape our “body of affairs.”
If we wake up in the morning, raring to go, and stillness has not become a part of our day, we have merely brought our experiences of life into the now moment, spiced it up with a bit of imagination, and moved into the world as the same person. When we start our day, we must go to the dynamic still point to see the world as God sees it. We will be able to see life's challenges from a higher and more expansive point of view. From that space, the angst that the surface mind often goes through will diminish.
It behooves us to take Dr. King’s advice and make silence an integral part of our daily routine. It could very well be the antidote to the angst we sometimes go through during this adventure called “Life.”
Peace and Blessings,