Lighting Candles in Dark Times

Writer and speaker Sumbul Ali-Karamali in conversation with TNS Host Irwin Keller

Dear New School Friends:

Take care of your health — and the health of those you love. Not only is it the flu season — but stress lowers immune resistance. Many find this time of turbulence stressful. Here are ten suggestions for dealing with the tremendous stress of this time:

1. Let go of fear. Love, our friend Jerry Jampolsky wrote, is letting go of fear. Love heals. Love is the greatest healing force. Reach out to those you love.

2. Eat well, exercise, meditate, and touch the people you love. These are the four classic ways to strengthen resilience.

3. Attend to your unattended griefs. Read my friend Francis Weller on the sacred work of grief.

4. Tune out the news if it grieves you. Tune in to sounds, sights, thoughts, and experiences that nourish you.

5. Consider the suffering of others — those without food or shelter or safety. Reach out to help them. Here is one organization that can help.

6. Appreciate all the good people on the other side of the great divide in our country. Reach out to them in friendship and compassion.

7. Consider the Quakers — a quiet force in every important social movement since abolition. Their numbers are tiny. Their non-violent wisdom and dedication have changed the world.

8. “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Recognize the power of candle lighting. “My religion is kindness,” says the Dalai Lama. Practice this life-giving way of being.

9. Carl Jung taught that consciousness grows only through suffering. Our suffering creates opportunities for growth of consciousness. Look for them.

10. Give to things that matter to you — to people and places and causes that make a difference in your life. It is actually true, in the deepest sense, that it is through giving that we receive.

Thank you for being part of The New School. Thank you for including us among the causes that matter to you.

If you haven’t done so already, please donate here or send your contribution to Commonweal, PO Box 316, Bolinas, California, 94924.

With warmest best in turbulent times,