carry a light in dark places

Today we ask that you pay attention to the way your feelings change around different people and places.

You all know that some people and places tend to make you feel good, and other people and places tend to make you feel bad.

If you are a sensitive person, this can sometimes be quite distressing, and debilitating.  Bad feeling people and places may make you feel so very bad indeed that there is a natural tendency to withdraw, or become reclusive.  Often, sensitive people must take medication just to function in the world at all.

So what is to be done about this?

There is unfortunately no “quick  fix” or overnight solution.

The best thing is to increase your exposure to those people and places that you do notice make you feel good, calm, or peaceful.  

That is why spending time outdoors in nature is so healing.  Participating in group activities that are physically and spiritually uplifting is good.  Listening to music, or reading books, or watching films that actively create a sense of well-being — this is essential.

At the same time, as much as is practical, it is good to avoid those people, places, and stimuli that you know make you feel bad and agitated.

Of course, sometimes it simply is not possible for sensitive people to avoid the people and places that create negative feelings.  What then?

For this, one must cultivate a calm, still center.  This is a place that you carry within you that you can consciously access and touch even when you are surrounded by darkness.  It is like carrying a light in your heart, that you take with you wherever you go.

The most effective way of creating this light is through a committed meditative practice.

The more you learn to quiet the mind and feel calm when you are not being assaulted by external stimuli, the more you will be able to access a still center within even when you are out in the world.

Meditation, it should be said, requires some effort.  It is not just sitting on a pillow for ten or twenty minutes daydreaming.  Meditation is the active process of cultivating a quiet, non-thinking mind, usually by focusing the attention on the breath, or a mantra.  

There is no easy shortcut.  As with any practice, the only way to reap the benefits is to actually do it, in a committed way.

There is no question that it is challenging for sensitive people to cope in a world full of negative people, places, and stimuli.

You must carry a light within you, that you can access even in the darkest places.

Meditation will give you that light.