For 15 years, I abstained from a daily intake of news. I didn’t even have a telly for most of that time. The only connection with a world beyond my own life was a magazine called ‘The Week’ – a 40 minute read which summarised all the key global news from the previous 7 days, plus a lot more – a great little publication. This, of course, meant I was always out of date when a major crises hit, or if there was a high profile death like the Princess of Wales. My ignorance provided much amusement to family and friends!
It wasn’t always like that. For the first 20 years of my professional life, I was an avid consumer of news, including the financial media as I worked in that sector. But I became disillusioned with the unrelenting menu of negativity, drama and hysteria which had become the stock in trade of journalism. This was coupled by the rise of celebrity journalists whose opinions, often based on no credentials whatsoever, claimed more column inches than the experts and who bullied and berated their interviewees on TV and radio to score points with the sole purpose (or so it seemed) of inflating their already gargantuan egos. Meanwhile, the politicians and senior figures being interviewed were opaque to the point of uselessness. The whole thing was exasperating, depressing, totally lacking in respect and integrity and I didn’t want anything to do with it.
Granted, there are always terrible things happening in the world that need publicising but there are also uplifting and inspiring stories of human courage and tenacity, as well as solutions emerging for many global issues. So I subscribed to a quarterly newspaper called Positive News (which has morphed into an authoritative magazine today) to get a fix on the good stuff and also started delving into the wonderful library of video talks on TED.com.
I have always been extremely positive about the world we live in. I grew up at a time where any number of world leaders could have put their finger on the nuclear button and started a war which, almost certainly, would have led to Armageddon and the destruction of our planet. In fact, this was prophesied by many sources including ancient ones. I didn’t believe, for a minute though, that it would happen. I always felt that despite massive evidence to the contrary, we were on a path to creating a better world. For me, the tipping point came in the late 80’s when we were teetering on the edge but a ‘wild card’ event that nobody predicted, namely the fall of the Berlin Wall, ended the Cold War and changed the fate of humanity. The ‘doomsday prophecies’ have become obsolescent.
A fundamental part of my own outlook is that ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’, so anything is possible. Conversely, if we expect the future to be based on what we do know ie. what’s happened in the past, that’s exactly what we will re-recreate. So, back to my decision to abstain from the news. Basically, I chose to withdraw from unnecessary external negativity and focus on the task in hand. Creating my own business ventures over the years was challenging to the extreme and it took everything I had – mind, body and soul. Staying balanced and mentally sharp for the duration was hard enough without the drag factor of negative media.
Finally, the tide seems to be turning – just a little! BBC Online, for instance, carries a few positive stories each day (albeit buried and difficult to find) and a global movement towards balanced news reporting (from within the media industry itself) is gathering pace.
Fast forward to the present day and I find myself interested in the news again! For one thing, the internet means it’s easier to be selective and, for another, I am not involved in the cut and thrust of business any more but living a quiet, rustic life in the sticks which enhances my balance rather than challenges it. But the main reason I am following the news is that I am looking, with excitement (it has to be said) for unexpected events that have the potential to change our world and they keep on coming, though it’s not always obvious that this is what they are!
Also, so I can offer long-distance support to those who are affected by global crises, which is something I can do from the comfort of my own home, simply by using the power of thought. There is even a term for this. Some call it ‘compassionate action’ but to me, it’s simply using focused thought to help others. Training and developing the power of thought has been an enduring theme for me over the years, which I have applied to my life in many ways and which features strongly in my podcasts.
So, how does it work and who can benefit? Family, friends or those affected by catastrophic world events such as mass shootings, mass migration, cataclysmic weather, unstable political regimes and anything or anyone else you are drawn to, can all benefit.
And the million dollar question – how do you direct your thoughts? First, sit quietly and focus on your state of balance. Let it become as full as you can until you are ‘zinging’ (new word), similar to when you are meditating but you don’t have to meditate to do this. Or, just notice when something good happens in your life and you naturally feel this way. In any event, direct your balance out into the world, wherever it’s needed (if you don’t have any specific recipients in mind) or to a person, place or issue you have chosen. For instance, you might want to help families who have suffered bereavement as a result of a catastrophe. So imagine them happy, finding solutions in their lives and resolution when they are over the worst of the trauma and ready to move on. Alternatively, you might want to help migrants fleeing a war-zone. Imagine them in a place where they feel safe and hopeful about starting a new life.
You don’t have to invent the solution to the problem, the task at hand is simply to imagine those you are focused on feeling better and more positive about life at some point in the future in a way that’s meaningful to them. By doing this, you will be helping them find balance and, hopefully, avoid getting into a downward spiral of anger and depression which will only perpetuate the problem and further damage their lives.
By the way, in case you are wondering, the reason you need to be balanced to send thought energy is that balance adds power to thought (like a ‘turbo charge’). By definition, a balanced state is one that has no negatively and thus no drag factor (I made a podcast on how to become balanced recently). How does thought travel? Just as you might be able to tune into someone you have a bond with when they are a long way away, thought powered by balance and directed by positive intention travels via some sort of ‘cosmic super-highway’ to its destination, as far as I understand it.
Maybe this was how the Berlin Wall came down? Perhaps enough people around the world focused powerful thought on a peaceful outcome to the Cold War and this threw up a ‘wild card’ event which was not predicted by anyone and was beyond imagination and experience?!
Pics: Out and about one sunny day (a distant memory now as winter descends); happy cats oblivious to the wider world!
Videos & podcasts: Since my last blog I have published a new Podcast entitled: “How to regain your balance and equilibrium when life gets out of control“. There are videos in the Vlog section of this site and on Youtube. Other podcasts can be found here and in the iTunes store (search ‘Fiona Price practical spirituality for everyday living’).
Facebook: I have recently deleted my FB page as I found it was a distraction to working on this site, which is now the main focus of my attention, hurray!
NB. If you enjoy my content, please spread the word. Thank you.