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Welcome to my island of sanity and serenity. I'm Sandra Pawula - writer, mindfulness teacher and advocate of ease. I help deep thinking, heart-centered people find greater ease — emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curious? Read On!

What's Ahead? How to Strengthen Yourself for Whatever's Next

Panoramic View Many would agree we live in trying times.  An undercurrent of anxiety clouds their lives.  People wonder, "When will an upward shift occur?"

Do you have these worries too?

What Does the Future Hold?

According to some spiritual guides, there’s more love and light permeating our world in each moment that passes.

In Connect with your Angels, A Guide for Everyone, the Angels tell us -  through Jenny D'Angelo - that negative emotions and behaviors will continue to dominate our world for a while. But, don’t be discouraged, they say, because negativity doesn’t have a fighting chance on the long run.

The Hindu and Buddhist traditions believe we currently live in a dark age.   Known as the “Kali Yuga,” this  period is characterized by perpetual conflict.  Run by turbulent emotions like anger, desire, ambition, ignorance, pride and jealousy, many people are ill-intentioned and deceitful.

According to these Eastern traditions, there are four different ages that occur in cycles.  But, no one seems to know for certain whether the dark age lasts 432,000 years or 3,000.

Some speculate that the Kali Yuga will end in 2025.  They say that cataclysmic earth changes and the collapse of civilization take place during the years preceding the transition from a dark age to a better one.  Recently, scientists have confirmed a large portion of the West Antarctica ice sheet is melting, yet another environmental calamity which might give credence to this transition scenario.

In one way, these two viewpoints don’t seem so far apart.  They both predict a better time to come, but not quite yet.  On the other hand, one suggests radical destruction while the other says that light is gradually penetrating the world.

How to Gather Your Strength for Whatever Comes Next

So who do you believe - the Angels, the Buddhists, or the scientists?

I like a mix of optimism and realism myself.  I hope for and invest in the best, but I also think it makes sense to have a "Plan B."  I don’t want to be a purveyor of fear either, just the opposite.  I believe a willingness to see things clearly can be empowering, relieve discouragement and distress, and help you take constructive action.

Strength + courage in uncertain times.

Here are 9 ways to strengthen yourself so you're prepared for whatever comes next.  It’s also a prescription for a peaceful and meaningful life, that doesn't depend upon the flavor of the times.

1.  Wake up!

The West Antarctica ice shelf is melting!  It's time to wake up!

Simplify, reduce consumption, and contain your carbon footprint as best you can.  Think less about your own problems or desire for success, and instead, consider your responsibility to the health and well-being of this beautiful planet and all her inhabitants.

As Courtney Carver shares in 7 Invisible Benefits of Simplicity, the rewards of living with less can be life-changing. There are so many pluses far beyond just the physical ones.  You might be surprised how much you love living with less!

2.  Know that your true essence will never die, regardless of what the future brings.

Knowing this - truly believing this - will relieve fear and anxiety, at least to some degree.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

How can you recognize this for certain?  Perhaps, you’ll never know for sure, but here’s why I have faith.  I’ve met great teachers like the Dalai Lama who say it’s so.  When I’m in their presence, I feel the invincibility of this truth.

Certainty begins with opening your mind to this possibility and engaging in your own process of discovery.

3. Find time for quiet.

You can only get to know your inner essence and loving heart by having the courage to pause and be quiet for periods of time.  Quiet allows you to listen for the truth so you can act from wisdom rather than ego-based fears.  Quiet will nourish and balance you so you feel more equanimity in the face of whatever arises.

4.  Appreciate each moment as a gift.

Isn’t it arrogant to expect our civilization and planet will last forever?  Look at all the glorious empires that have faded away.  As brilliant as it may be, every star eventually dies.  Change is the order of the day. By reflecting on impermanence, you’ll come to appreciate each moment as a precious gift.

5.  Live now instead of projecting into the future.

Living in the moment doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to where our current actions will most likely lead.  At the same time, it doesn’t help you or anyone else to linger endlessly in anxiety, worry, or fear about the future.

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” - Anne Frank

Go outside and roam in nature.  Allow the sun to warm your shoulders.  Let the breeze carry your worries away.

6.  Shine your love and light.

You were born in this time for a reason.  It’s not just a coincidence.

Maybe you're meant to be a beacon of love and truth even in the darkest of times.  Holding the center of love may be more important than any job or profession you could ever have.

When you see people besieged by destructive emotions and harmful behaviors, perhaps a sign of the times, send them love.  Know they are caught in a complex web of attachment and aversion, wanting happiness but going about it all the wrong ways.  Be reminded not to  go into negativity yourself.  Redouble your commitment to love.

7.  Cultivate emotional self-sufficiency.

It’s far too easy to get pulled into emotional storms when they rage all around you.

Train your own mind - again and again - to be present, still, and loving whatever the circumstances might be.  Take responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions, and vow never to harm another no matter what.

8.  Learn to cooperate and share.

Many visionaries predict that living in community will be of great importance in times to come, when we might not be able to get things from afar.

Get to know your neighbors and help them out.  Imagine what it would be like to depend entirely upon each other.  In my community, people almost always bring gifts of food or flowers when they visit.  This creates such a warm and kind ambiance.  Don't wait for the world to fall apart.  Help each other now.

"Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

This is the kind of wisdom to pass onto your children early so they can flourish, or at least sustain themselves, in the future.

9. Take practical precautions.

I don't worry about disasters, but we all know they can happen in the blink of an eye.

For example, I lived in Santa Cruz, California, just a few miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The quake measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and lasted just 15-20 seconds, but took out a part of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and caused 6 million dollars in damage.

Fortuitously, I was in Southern California that day.   Transportation to and from Santa Cruz was blocked for almost two weeks so I couldn't get back.  In moments like these, you realize the importance of disaster preparedness.

I wrote 10 Important Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster a few days after the nuclear blowout at Fukushima.  It will help you nail down the basics - like food and water - should an emergency occur.

Let's Get a Hold of Ourselves

The desire for more possessions, profits, and stature cannot go on endlessly without tearing the world apart.  I believe there's enough for everyone to live a good life if we all choose to live reasonably within the finite natural sources that give us life.

Our world could become heaven on earth or a living hell; it's up to us.

Right now, we’re creating apocalyptic change ourselves.  It’s not falling on our head unannounced from sky.  Because everything is interdependent, our false actions will only boomerang on us.

Take these 9 steps to strengthen yourself so you'll be able to manage whatever unfolds.  Live in integrity, but also let go, knowing the future is not in your hands alone.

P. S.  If you feel stressed, I would love for you to consider my Living with Ease, The Mindful Way to Dissolve Stress e-Course.  With the new self-study version, you can start any time.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

Image #1 Credit: Cccefalon

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