Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

What’s Ahead? How to Strengthen Yourself for Whatever’s Next

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Many would agree we live in trying times.  An undercurrent of anxiety clouds their lives.  People wonder, “When will an upward shift occur?”

Do you have these worries too?

What Does the Future Hold?

According to some spiritual guides, there’s more love and light permeating our world in each moment that passes.

In Connect with your Angels, A Guide for Everyone, the Angels tell us –  through Jenny D’Angelo – that negative emotions and behaviors will continue to dominate our world for a while. But, don’t be discouraged, they say, because negativity doesn’t have a fighting chance on the long run.

The Hindu and Buddhist traditions believe we currently live in a dark age.   Known as the “Kali Yuga,” this  period is characterized by perpetual conflict.  Run by turbulent emotions like anger, desire, ambition, ignorance, pride and jealousy, many people are ill-intentioned and deceitful.

According to these Eastern traditions, there are four different ages that occur in cycles.  But, no one seems to know for certain whether the dark age lasts 432,000 years or 3,000.

Some speculate that the Kali Yuga will end in 2025.  They say that cataclysmic earth changes and the collapse of civilization take place during the years preceding the transition from a dark age to a better one.  Recently, scientists have confirmed a large portion of the West Antarctica ice sheet is melting, yet another environmental calamity which might give credence to this transition scenario.

In one way, these two viewpoints don’t seem so far apart.  They both predict a better time to come, but not quite yet.  On the other hand, one suggests radical destruction while the other says that light is gradually penetrating the world.

How to Gather Your Strength for Whatever Comes Next

So who do you believe – the Angels, the Buddhists, or the scientists?

I like a mix of optimism and realism myself.  I hope for and invest in the best, but I also think it makes sense to have a “Plan B.”  I don’t want to be a purveyor of fear either, just the opposite.  I believe a willingness to see things clearly can be empowering, relieve discouragement and distress, and help you take constructive action.

Strength + courage in uncertain times.

Here are 9 ways to strengthen yourself so you’re prepared for whatever comes next.  It’s also a prescription for a peaceful and meaningful life, that doesn’t depend upon the flavor of the times.

1.  Wake up!

The West Antarctica ice shelf is melting!  It’s time to wake up!

Simplify, reduce consumption, and contain your carbon footprint as best you can.  Think less about your own problems or desire for success, and instead, consider your responsibility to the health and well-being of this beautiful planet and all her inhabitants.

As Courtney Carver shares in 7 Invisible Benefits of Simplicity, the rewards of living with less can be life-changing. There are so many pluses far beyond just the physical ones.  You might be surprised how much you love living with less!

2.  Know that your true essence will never die, regardless of what the future brings.

Knowing this – truly believing this – will relieve fear and anxiety, at least to some degree.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

How can you recognize this for certain?  Perhaps, you’ll never know for sure, but here’s why I have faith.  I’ve met great teachers like the Dalai Lama who say it’s so.  When I’m in their presence, I feel the invincibility of this truth.

Certainty begins with opening your mind to this possibility and engaging in your own process of discovery.

3. Find time for quiet.

You can only get to know your inner essence and loving heart by having the courage to pause and be quiet for periods of time.  Quiet allows you to listen for the truth so you can act from wisdom rather than ego-based fears.  Quiet will nourish and balance you so you feel more equanimity in the face of whatever arises.

4.  Appreciate each moment as a gift.

Isn’t it arrogant to expect our civilization and planet will last forever?  Look at all the glorious empires that have faded away.  As brilliant as it may be, every star eventually dies.  Change is the order of the day. By reflecting on impermanence, you’ll come to appreciate each moment as a precious gift.

5.  Live now instead of projecting into the future.

Living in the moment doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to where our current actions will most likely lead.  At the same time, it doesn’t help you or anyone else to linger endlessly in anxiety, worry, or fear about the future.

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

Go outside and roam in nature.  Allow the sun to warm your shoulders.  Let the breeze carry your worries away.

6.  Shine your love and light.

You were born in this time for a reason.  It’s not just a coincidence.

Maybe you’re meant to be a beacon of love and truth even in the darkest of times.  Holding the center of love may be more important than any job or profession you could ever have.

When you see people besieged by destructive emotions and harmful behaviors, perhaps a sign of the times, send them love.  Know they are caught in a complex web of attachment and aversion, wanting happiness but going about it all the wrong ways.  Be reminded not to  go into negativity yourself.  Redouble your commitment to love.

7.  Cultivate emotional self-sufficiency.

It’s far too easy to get pulled into emotional storms when they rage all around you.

Train your own mind – again and again – to be present, still, and loving whatever the circumstances might be.  Take responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions, and vow never to harm another no matter what.

8.  Learn to cooperate and share.

Many visionaries predict that living in community will be of great importance in times to come, when we might not be able to get things from afar.

Get to know your neighbors and help them out.  Imagine what it would be like to depend entirely upon each other.  In my community, people almost always bring gifts of food or flowers when they visit.  This creates such a warm and kind ambiance.  Don’t wait for the world to fall apart.  Help each other now.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

This is the kind of wisdom to pass onto your children early so they can flourish, or at least sustain themselves, in the future.

9. Take practical precautions.

I don’t worry about disasters, but we all know they can happen in the blink of an eye.

For example, I lived in Santa Cruz, California, just a few miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The quake measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and lasted just 15-20 seconds, but took out a part of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and caused 6 million dollars in damage.

Fortuitously, I was in Southern California that day.   Transportation to and from Santa Cruz was blocked for almost two weeks so I couldn’t get back.  In moments like these, you realize the importance of disaster preparedness.

I wrote 10 Important Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster a few days after the nuclear blowout at Fukushima.  It will help you nail down the basics – like food and water – should an emergency occur.

Let’s Get a Hold of Ourselves

The desire for more possessions, profits, and stature cannot go on endlessly without tearing the world apart.  I believe there’s enough for everyone to live a good life if we all choose to live reasonably within the finite natural sources that give us life.

Our world could become heaven on earth or a living hell; it’s up to us.

Right now, we’re creating apocalyptic change ourselves.  It’s not falling on our head unannounced from sky.  Because everything is interdependent, our false actions will only boomerang on us.

Take these 9 steps to strengthen yourself so you’ll be able to manage whatever unfolds.  Live in integrity, but also let go, knowing the future is not in your hands alone.

P. S.  If you feel stressed, I would love for you to consider my Living with Ease, The Mindful Way to Dissolve Stress e-Course.  With the new self-study version, you can start any time.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

Image #1 Credit: Cccefalon


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  1. Funny, I was in Berkeley during that earthquake. That was quite memorable!

    I have been scaling down my things for years now, so that I have about a roomful of stuff left, plus just a little bit of kitchen business. This makes me feel much safer, in an odd sort of way. Lighter, easier to move, less draining on the environment, and more time and money to DO things rather than to buy or take care of them. I really recommend it to those who can manage it.

    I just don’t feel right taking more from the limited resources that are left than the world can spare. So I am very much in agreement with you on this one, Sandra. 🙂

    • Hi Jennifer,

      “Memorable” is a good word for that earthquake. There were so many aftershocks in the Santa Cruz area, I’m sure people remembered it for years to come.

      I love that you are receiving all these benefits from simplicity! You’ve given us such an inspiring list of positives!

      You have a beautiful sense of personal responsibility, Jennifer. I think most people don’t know, don’t really think about it, or feel it’s too impossible to cope with. Every positive step forward makes a difference.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  2. Jean Sampson

    What a timely post, Sandra! Yes, I DO believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that we ARE here to increase the light and love in the world, even those who are not apparently doing so or who seem to be doing the opposite of that. I find it all quite confusing when the different visions of what is going to happen to our world are presented! Yikes! I DO have a stash of cat litter and cat food because if I am hungry, I can call it “fasting” and understand what is happening to some degree. But the kitty looks to me and my husband for EVERYTHING and we cannot let him go without. I also think about having enough of things to share with neighbors who might not be as prepared. Our neighborhood, for the most part, is like a big family and we do look out for one-another, and, as you said, we ARE probably going to have to learn to live in community and look after one another. I have a community garden in my yard and that is a great start! But there is ALWAYS more we could do!

    • Hi Jean,

      I know what you mean about feeling confusion with the different scenarios although the scientists seem to be in agreement now about global warming. Who knows for certain what the future holds and even if we will live beyond this very day?

      It’s so sweet how you are looking ahead for your kitty. We always have a big supply of cat food around too. Our cats spend a good part of their time outside so if we had to evacuate (for a tsunami warning, for example), there’s no guarantee we would be able to find them in that moment. And, they surely would not want to be transported in a carrier! So many things to consider.

      I feel excited when I hear that you community is like a family and that you have a community garden in your yard. How wonderful is that! You’re showing us it’s possible!

  3. Wow, Sandra! Your topics, especially this one is remarcably well described and helpful. You really dare to write about almost everything in life. It’s so cool! Greetings from Forsvik near the Gota Canal in Sweden, the most calm and peaceful place on earth. Disasters feel far away…

    • Your words made me smile, Anki. You’re right, I do dare to take on some unusual topics. I know life is a mix of everything. And, I know people worry about the future. I wanted to say something that might be able to help people who have this concern. I’m happy you are in the most calm and peaceful place on this earth. It makes me want to see exactly what it’s like! I hope your small paradise continues unruffled.

  4. Hi Sandra,
    No times can be darker because there are always Angels and visionaries around us. For every ignorant who doesn’t care for his environment, there is a sane person, making some efforts to save Mother earth from degradation, for every moment of arrogance, there is the realization that everything is transitory. There is no doubt that Nature is a great healer, only if we are sensitive enough to go back to it.

    I agree with the thought that the true essence of humanity can never die. Whatever the future, man possesses an incredible energy and resilience to withstand all kinds of challenges. The wars and disasters bear a testimony to this fact.

    Lets hope for peaceful co-existence, despite all the conflicts around the globe. Thanks for highlighting the concerns.

    • HI Balroop,

      That’s true, it depends on our perception, doesn’t it! I agree, let’s work for peaceful co-existence each in our own unique way. Thanks for sharing your perspectives on this thought-provoking topic.

  5. It’s interesting to think about this and not just consider the practical stuff like stockpiling food but also to have the right mind set. In survival situations the people who survive are those who believe they can and never give up. Others just cave in.

    I love how you say “Train your own mind – again and again – to be present, still, and loving whatever the circumstances might be.” It does need to be done daily in my experience! I just had a weekend in the city and definitely needed some solitude after that. So much stimulation gets the monkey mind chattering away. Now it needs to be calmed down again.

    • Dear Annabel,

      I very much like your point that the people who survive are those who believe they can and never give up. Our attitude may not be the only factor, but it’s definitely a huge element when we deal with adversity.

      Yes, mind training is an ongoing endeavor, isn’t it! But, in time, I think the new habit takes shape and our mind becomes different. I’m impressed by how dedicated you are!

  6. Hey Sandra,
    For me the only way I can be strong in the future is to strengthen myself or anchor myself in the present moment.

    Our world could become heaven on earth or a living hell; it’s up to us.
    I totally agree with this. Each moment I slip into the pain of the past or fear of the future I self-create my hell.

    Hugs. oo

    • I’m so with you, Tess. Being in the moment is key. And, in each moment we create our experience. Externals happen, but how we relate to them is up to us. Thanks for helping us cut through to the essence.

  7. Hi Sandra,

    I think nearly every tradition has us living in some “dark” period. I think we all have to buy into the belief that we’re in a dark period. I don’t. It’s kind of like buying into a “bad economy.” I don’t have a magic eight ball nor do I have great future predicting skills, but I do know that I can predict my future by creating it today. Karma…reap what you sow…cause and effect…that’s all in play.

    The earth has her own cycles, too, on a much larger scale than I can wrap my head around. I’ve lived in natural disaster zones – Santa Barbara and San Rafael when I was little. Earthquakes and fires are what I remember most. I also lived in Hurricane Alley…at least with a hurricane, you have plenty of notice to either shelter in place or get out of dodge (I’ve done both.) I’ve also lived in New Mexico, which was once an inland sea, followed by a volcanic waste land, and now a (geologically) peaceful high desert.

    I also recently watched a very interesting program on the black plague…how a virus nearly wiped out the human race. How it spread, how quickly it appeared and realtively speaking, how quickly it disappeared.

    We live in a delicate balance. Even the earth orbits in a delicate balance around the sun…


    • I so agree, Peggy, that we create our future by our actions today. I think we can see reality as it is – our world is rife with greed, over-consumption, and violence – without buying into it or letting it get us down.

      I appreciate your conclusion – that we live in a delicate balance. It’s beautiful to read about the changes New Mexico has gone through for example. There is so much live and change occurring around us in every moment.

      I think we definitely agree the one thing we can control is our thoughts, words and actions! That might take a bit of training, but is definitely without the realm of our control

      I loved hearing your perspective.

  8. Hi Sandra–

    I so love your writing! So many things popped into my head as I read. More humble, less grandiose, more nurturing, less “what’s-in-it-for-me.

    To thine own self be true–and–the power of this moment is enough.

    Thanks for the gift of you!

    • Thank you, Beth! Those are marvelous qualities to embody, step-by-step. And, I’m all for this precious moment, too.

  9. Definitely thought provoking Sandra, which I love. It’s always seemed to me that I either live in love or fear and both don’t co-exist in this one moment. And I find living in love with all that entails feels so much better. It’s a great magnet for loving things to appear in my world.

    I’m perfectly imperfect at it, and that’s ok too. 🙂

    • Elle,

      That’s a beautifully simple yet powerful way to be in this world. Often, we need that simplicity to cut through all the concepts. I’m all for living in love!

  10. Sandra-
    This is one of the best articles that I’ve read in a long time on this subject. You have a unique voice that I am drawn to – as you said, a mix of optimism and realism – always prepared for a Plan B. I love some of your suggestions – my fave- knowing that your true essence will never die. Even spiritually oriented folk may think that they know it but don’t let it sink into their souls (I know I’m often guilty of it). I am spending a protracted period of time (spending 8 weeks in Philly) with my Dad on his 90th – I sit and chat with him everyday and am appreciating every moment- reminding myself that his soul and essence will always be with him long after his body has dropped. Am so glad that I took the time today to read your article. With gratitude- Fran

    • Thank you for your kind words about my writing, Fran. They mean a lot to me!

      This is just so true, it takes a lot of walking the path to truly let it in that we’re spiritual beings taking up residence in this body for just a relatively short time.

      I’m so happy you can be with your,Dad now! That’s so special and many people don’t take the time to do this. But I know it helped me so much to heal my relationship with my father. 90 is big!

  11. So Timely Sandra, love your 9 ways to strengthen, 3,4,5,6 and 8 resonate for me this morning as I address some emotional issues i have stuffed away.

    I know living in the moment and taking action that will joyfully pull me forward is my way to shine my light and create ripples of love and change.

    Thanks for you magical writing
    Suzie xx

    • Thank you, Susie! You’re such a great inspiration, the way you keep transforming internally and moving forward externally all the while shining colorfully like a rainbow!

  12. Hi Sandra,

    Well written. Thank you! I liked numbers four and five best. You’re right — enjoy the gift that is the present. I try to be so mindful of this, especially with two young girls. I try to soak up as much as I can of these years because I know they’ll be just a memory down the road. Which brings me to five, which means that I don’t try to think about the fact that in the future it will just be a memory — I just try to soak up the goodness of the present. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Victor. Each moment is a precious time when you have children, isn’t it ! I think you’ve chosen a wise path and you’re children will benefit too from you ability to be present with them. How wonderful!

  13. Sandra, a great list to live more simply and be more connected, not only for the future but for now. I try to do very little future thinking (maybe to my detriment) and have realized over the years that I can’t control the future. I can only focus on the now. and really only on the present moment. So, that’s what I do. Enjoying more quiet time now, going more within now and being more mindful in the present moment.

    What people forget to do as they live their lives and run the rat race is ask themselves what they want in the first place. They buy stuff and spend their time working to fund those things. I wish we could do it backwards – “what kind of life and lifestyle do I want?” Then work and live to meet those requirements.

    • Hi Vishnu,

      Maybe I’m prejudice, but I think it’s good not to indulge in too much future thinking! I agree, in many ways we can’t control the future. We can only control our thoughts, words, and actions right now. Of course, that influences the future, but it’s only one part of it. I’m glad you’re finding the present moment a perfect place to be.

      Yes, It’s true, isn’t it! So much of our adult behavior stems from conditioning, we’re on automatic not thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing. But, hopefully, we’ll all gradually wake up and begin crafting lives of goodness for ourselves and others.

  14. Hello Sandra,

    I really, really like the way you turn those different perspectives into guidelines that feel universal, sound, inspiring – and humanly possible 🙂 . I especially resonate with #4. The way it brings eternity and the now together in our awareness is wonderful and true, to me.

    That and also the belief/conviction/sense/knowing that whatever happens happens within a greater consciousness. And that from that perspective the bad times and the hard times are as meaningful and as welcome as the good times and easy times. Even when we’re not able to grasp that meaning yet, or perhaps never.

    But then again, when we’re present in a moment that meaning somehow permeates the moment and it permeates us. Even if we don’t understand it intellectually, even if we cannot explain it, we can feel it, sometimes.

    Thank you!


    • There’s so much wisdom in what you’ve said, Halina. The cycle of life involves both smooth and challenging times as you suggest. While I wouldn’t intentionally want anyone to suffering, it’s true that so much learning comes from working with challenges.

      I appreciate how you understand that there’s a non-conceptual reality behind all this! Everything changes when we connect with that true essence. Thanks for stopping by and sharing you meaningful insights.

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