By T. Perry Bowers
This is a heavy time. We, humans, are facing things we haven’t had to face in a long time, if ever. Being locked down and separated from our fellow humans is not natural. We may not all agree whether the powers that be are doing this for our benefit or not, but that’s not germane to this blog. The question is how do we get through it?
Our cities are changing. There has been a spike in crime rates. Buildings have been burned. I don’t care if you’re at the center of the Antifa movement or you’re hardcore right-wing, it can be downright scary to walk the streets nowadays.
I keep hearing this phrase from some of the people I look up to in the spiritual or “self-help” world. They keep saying to raise your vibration. Or at the very least, try to maintain your vibration, don’t let yourself get down. Keep your head up high and trust that we will get through this and things will be better.
That’s easier said than done. It might even be a little patronizing, but I actually think it’s a good idea. If all of this chaos gets us down and takes us off of our path, “they” have won. I heard a quote the other day. A very wise man said that History has not been kind to tyranny. If you really think about it, he’s right. Think about the leaders in this world who have been tyrannical: Hitler, Stalin, Caesar, Napoleon, Ghengis Kahn. All of these leaders have been toppled eventually and a more free society has emerged from their ashes.
Again, I don’t want to get into an argument about whether what we are going through is tyrannical. You may believe that these lockdowns are completely justified. You may believe that we need to burn down buildings in order for change to occur. That’s ok with me because ultimately this will all get sorted and the tyrants will be exposed. As to who the real tyrants are, well, we shall see. That is all up for debate in my view.
This is not meant to be political, it’s meant to help frame a healthy perspective on coping. If we can truly trust that the truth will be exposed and the tyrants (no matter who you think the tyrants are) will fall, we can maintain and even raise our vibration.
What is a vibration? Maybe it’s the rate at which our spiritual body resonates. Maybe it’s about evolved thinking. I think having a high vibration is about love. Sometimes I notice myself when I am walking around in a low vibration (depressed), some part of me is judging the world. I’m thinking things like: The world isn’t fair. I should have more than I do. People don’t understand me. People are rude. People are unkind.
This kind of thinking gets me down. When I start thinking about all of the things that I do have that are awesome, I can start to pick up my vibration. It’s an old concept; it’s called appreciation. When we forget to appreciate things, we can easily get down.
I have a little exercise that I do to help me with appreciation. It may seem a little morbid, but it works for me like a charm. I have four children in the house. My daughters are thirteen, eleven, and three. My son is two. There is a lot of adolescent and childish activity. Loud voices, silly voices, thumping, banging, spilling, arguing. It can be a little chaotic. I’m not going to lie, it can get on my nerves. I can be grumpy sometimes (hard to believe I know).
Often when I catch myself in this grumpy low vibration, I imagine what I would feel like if the child that is causing the disturbance were not there (dead). I would miss that loud and silly voice with all my heart. Without that petty argument over a toy, my life would be empty. Suddenly, remembering that my children are alive and well, changes everything. I appreciate them and I can live with their childishness.
This kind of exercise may work for you, it may not. But, if it’s not quite up your alley, you can shift it a little. Think of the phrase, “it could be worse”. I used to think that phrase was trite. But, after I’ve gone through a harrowing financial downturn and many bumpy roads in personal relationships, I know what worse is. No, I never was starving (although there were a few times I spent my last dollar on a half-full grocery cart). I never have been in a war. But, I have gone through very stressful times. Although it could get very bad, right now, in my world at least, everything is still ok. It could be a lot worse.
Now, these are just exercises in appreciation. Many self-help gurus talk about writing down something (or a few things) that you appreciate every day. I have not incorporated that into my daily discipline, but I do write almost every day. Writing is my way of appreciating. It’s my way of having hope for the world. Yes, I do it partly because it is a good way to promote myself and my business. But I mostly do it because I want to reach people. I have a hard time saying “help” people, because that sounds patronizing. I just want to connect.
Writing every day is how I raise my vibration. All of my disciplines are how I raise my vibration. Aikido, Archery, Guitar, Drums. These are all ways of appreciation. They are gifts to the world. By practicing these things, I am expressing appreciation for the gifts I have been given.
The gift of a healthy body is a big one. If you are healthy right now, you have a lot to be thankful for. It could definitely be worse.
If you have a safe place to live, food in your belly, you have something to appreciate. I’m not saying that you have to be satisfied with these things, forever. I’m saying if you walk with appreciation, you have a better chance of finding the next level. And, if you never forget that it could be worse, you may be able to find the strength to take the next step forward. Maybe that’s because you have gotten to where you are now from a heavier place.
Bonus tip: Play music. I know many musicians who have found solace in these times by playing and writing more. I know some musicians who have stagnated on their creative journey. For some, it’s been hard to find the motivation to play because there aren’t any gigs for them.
For me, it’s just simply something I have to do to maintain my vibration. I think of it as a discipline, but it’s also a spiritual practice. In order to play an instrument or sing, we have to tune ourselves to the universe. We can play dissonant music, but the joy and freedom always come from the resolve back to resonance. Hopefully, musicians know what I mean there, but for others, let me try to explain.
Composers (especially in Jazz) will often write music that is purposefully dissonant (lacking harmony). But at some point in the arrangement, the piece will often resolve back to harmony. This is when it all comes together and there is a relief in the composition. The period of discomfort (dissonance) is purposeful. You may find some strange beauty in it. But it is mostly there to create tension. So when everything comes back into tune, the harmony is appreciated even more than when the song started
Music can be a metaphor for life. We are obviously in a very dissonant state right now. There is upheaval and unrest. I think the master composer (whatever or whoever that is) is helping us to see the tension in our world right now. It’s our job to bring it back into harmony. My small contribution to that end is to work on raising my vibration. Music and Appreciation are at the core of that purpose.