As a spiritual teacher, I spend a lot of my day helping clients move past their blocks and encouraging them to connect with their souls so they can find joy. In my own daily practice I try to be mindful of my thoughts, and strive to focus on experiencing as much joy as I can. But what should we do when life gets in the way?

This morning as I was reading the news I was shocked to see yet another high profile actor being accused of sexual misconduct. “…accused of sexual harassment against a minor” read the caption.

My heat sank. I feel like I can’t keep track of the growing list of accusations that have come out in the last year. I have openly discussed my own history of being a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and occasionally certain stories will just trigger me. Today was one of those days.

I have been working on a new blog and my mind was jumping from topic to topic after watching the news. Although my intention is to uplift and inspire people, I felt like the topics were not reflective of what was really going through my mind. Today I felt a little sad and that is okay.

These days we have so many powerful tools for transformation at our fingertips. Many of you reading this are aware of the power of positive thought, and manifesting to create one’s reality. But at the same time, we live in a world full of other people who are on their own journey. I don’t know why some people choose to make choices that would hurt another person, except that they are on their own life path with their own set of lessons to learn. Which presents the question: what do we do when it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows?

I believe it is important to recognize moments where we feel sad or down. When we give words to our frustration, sadness, or depletion we aren’t magnifying it in our life. Rather we are breathing through it and ultimately letting it go.

I am a big believer in being mindful of the dominant thoughts of our day. I started my day reading another survivor’s story, and feeling empathy as well as profound sadness. I allowed my emotions to highlight where I have felt something similar in my life. I vented to David and a few friends about how deeply I felt all of these stories. But once these feelings were expressed, how could I shift my energy from that space?

The next step for me is the most pivotal. I find the best solution is to go outside and move my body. I put on my sneakers and we went straight to the park. The season is finally changing here in Los Angeles and the cool crisp air brought a smile to my face. As we walked the path at the park, my thoughts of sadness lifted and I felt hope.

I am proud of all of the brave people who are sharing these difficult experiences. I know it’s tempting to ignore these painful stories and not read them. I was even surprised to see on Facebook someone said “why do all of these sexual allegations have to be public? It’s none of our business.”

But, it is our business. The only way we can change the world is to have knowledge of what is actually happening in the world.

You can be a spiritual being and still witness pain in the world. With this in mind, here are a couple of tips for acknowledging and working through this kind of sadness.

  • After you recognize the feelings within yourself, claim them to someone you love. Say it out loud, as in “I read this story in the news and it made me really sad because…” Express to them the feelings that are floating through you. It could be rage, sorrow, shame, regret, or anything else. This will help prevent the common occurrence of reading something upsetting in the news and then internalizing those feelings. This is probably the most important step you can take.
  • Next, change your environment. Go for a walk outside (my personal favorite), take a bath, or cuddle with your pet. If you cannot physically change your environment (if you were at work, for example), listen to some music that calms you or makes you feel happy and safe. I offer a free color clearing audio series that you can download to change your energy. Simply subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll receive it in your inbox right away.
  • Visualize color to help change your energy. You can pick any color that speaks to you, and then close your eyes while visualizing it for a moment. Two of my favorites are pink for unconditional self-love, and orange for balance and perception.
  • Carry out an act of kindness. Pay for someone’s coffee. Buy a friend some flowers. Make a donation to charity. Simply put, be the kind of person you want to see more of in this magical world of ours. This proactive choice will not only make you feel better, but it will bring a smile to the person who is the recipient of your kindness.

When we are mindful of our dominant thoughts of the day it carves our space to have awareness of things that maybe aren’t that pleasant. We can hold space for the planet and our community. We can feel a variety of emotions and then reset with all of the beautiful tools in our tool box to make the dominant thoughts be of love, light and peace.

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