Gratitude practice has become a more common option for people who want to explore the impact of choosing a specific quality, essence, or energy as a focus of attention. Some gratitude practices invite you to take time each evening to write a list of three to five things for which you were grateful that day. Some practices invite you to start out the day with a gratitude list. Whatever the specifics of the practice, it serves to invite you to resonate with a particular quality, a particular “frequency” of reality—in this case, gratitude.
Because I was taught about collective consciousness as a child, I also become aware of the fact that any quality with which I resonate is amplified by the ways in which our collective human consciousness might be holding that quality in that moment. For me, this makes it even more important to track where I resonate, as personal distress and upset can be powerfully magnified as it resonates with larger, collective distress and upset. In the same way, qualities such as gratitude and compassion may also be amplified by how these frequencies are experienced within a collective context.
One of the hazards of resonating with collective distress is that we run the risk of becoming overwhelmed which then can move into shut-down or collapse. If there is something we really care about doing, changing, creating, or blocking, a collapse response takes away our ability to act. Instead, if we can resonate with qualities that support positive action, we will be able to use our energies to move in directions that have constructive meaning to us.
For this week’s experiment, which is a familiar theme in these experiments in conscious living, I invite you to continue to notice with what qualities, feelings, thoughts, and actions you resonate with in any given moment. Then, notice the quality of your internal experience and see if you are nourished and supported by the frequency with which you’ve connected. Also, consider what it’s like to be aware that countless people are feeling the same thing right now and their experience amplifies your own. I often sit with a sense of compassion and wonder about all the people, all around the planet, who also feel compassion in that moment. If I’m crying about something, I tend to bring into my awareness all the people, all around the planet, who are also crying, recognizing that we feel these things together. If I find myself angry, irritated, or afraid, I become aware that my feelings are magnified by all the people all around the planet who are also angry, irritated, or afraid. The gift of being aware is that we then have a choice: do I want to “dial in” a different frequency or do I want to continue to resonate where I am right now?
As you play with this week’s experiment, please remember that there are no right answers about how best to do this. Each experiment is an invitation that supports being more aware of how you have such a powerful role in creating the quality of inner life you live moment to moment. Even though we can’t control what comes to us from the outside, it can be very helpful to recognize that awareness offers us support in generating the most supportive inner experience possible in any given situation. Whenever I think of how powerful our choices are, I imagine Viktor Frankl during a “death march”, doing his best to stay alive by imagining himself in the future, speaking to an audience about his Holocaust experiences. He created the internal support he needed in order to survive, and we, too, have a constant opportunity to engage our version of this kind of choice.