Have you ever wondered how our minds get spun into places we didn’t intend to go and we feel stuck there? It could be an outside influence like the news or an internal influence like worry. In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali talks about these mental sufferings, the klesas, which have been with us since the beginning of time. There are five main afflictions, but today I am going to focus on the one we might be feeling right now, fear, abinivesah.

The death and destruction of the Ukrainian people, their homelands and families elicit our own fear of death and the samskaras around it. Does this trigger our own abhinivesah? Does it paralyze us or can we show compassion and empathy while still maintaining our life and keeping our own klesas at bay.

I have heard of so many positive stories of people who have made a difference in the Ukraine. For instance, driving people to family and safety outside of the country, setting up food tents and feeding people and providing medical supplies and health care to serve those in need. I am part of a travel group that has personal contacts in Poland that are helping Ukrainians find refuge for as long as necessary.

By hearing these other acts of compassion and care we can change our perspective, focus on something positive and make some small steps ourselves. This will help us navigate our own feelings, reframe the fear we may be feeling and help to change our perspective and focus on the positive.