THE BLOG

The Trajectory of Tragedy

07/24/2012 11:53 am ET | Updated Sep 23, 2012

Bullets may be shot and landslides may pour forth, but one thing I know for sure: Finding our way through crisis and navigating the trajectory of tragedy is easier when connecting to our feelings and connecting to community.

This entire week will be remembered nationally and for me, personally, as a turning point in awareness. Here in my hometown, a respected member of the community awoke one morning to discover that her ex-husband and two beautiful daughters were victims of a massive landslide in British Columbia and were buried alive. Only one week later, the nation awoke to the tragic news of the Aurora, Colo. theater shootings.

Order has become disorder, and shakeups such as these compel us to examine our beliefs and ideas, many of which are already founded in fear. It is ingrained within us to focus on the struggle and the hardships, forgoing the opportunity to cultivate the gifts that come with crisis. What we focus on expands, so the more attention we put on feeling overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, and angry, the more we will feel these emotions.

Throughout our lives we've been influenced by society's perceptions and persuasions; we've been conditioned to respond negatively. Additionally, the political fervor that has been heating up for weeks complicates matters, distorts our focus and distracts us from truth. And the underlying religiosity issue looms, just like a plate tectonic shift, ready to erupt at a moment's notice. At times like these, it is important to rise above the pre-conditioned ideology so we can connect with our deeper, more heartfelt, loving and connected world view.

Yes, there is suffering and loss; we feel anger, sadness and uncertainty along with compassion, connection and cooperation. An unprecedented outpouring of help, support and assistance to my community member, Lynn Migdal, has turned this time of tragedy into a time of opportunity. We changed the trajectory and catalyzed hundreds of people to join forces to create media awareness, utilize social media to create fund-raising efforts and an active campaign to drive business to Migdal's Chiropractic and Wellness Center. The great coming together is the end result and also a great new beginning. Can you see that?

Situations like these bring to the surface what has been bubbling in the depths of our subconscious. We can use this time to see the true stuff we're made of -- and activate the grit of our souls.

I propose a great tool is to consciously choose where to put our attention, allowing ourselves first to feel into our feelings of pain and fear and then after the depths of our true emotions are acknowledged and felt we can rise, renewed in our faith, hope and unity. Let this become a time that helps us learn about the choices we make the media we consume and the actions we take.

What the people in all the areas impacted by the Aurora misfortune need more than anything today is a sense of hope and a sense of faith. Maybe one day peace will come as they too discover that we are a nation who cares. We can bring them these gifts in many ways, as my community has done for our friend. Perhaps, at a metaphysical level, this is our purpose, to use the marvelous tools of creation that we have all been given: "Thought, Word, and Deed."

Think good thoughts, use visualizations, meditation and whatever other practices you're aware of that will allow for miracles to occur, and then help spread the word and let everyone know... goodness always prevails.

For more by Liz Sterling, M.A., click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.