Less fear, more love: reflections on the UK’s EU referendum

Less fear more love{Politics alert!}

Today I’m feeling sad, disappointed, worried and, yes, scared.

The tone of the debate in the UK’s EU Referendum is nasty. It’s ugly. Both sides are scare-mongering.

Those with the highest profile on the leave side (the Brexiteers) are encouraging fear and hatred and scape-goating of immigrants – of fellow human beings who’s only “crime” is to have been born outside the UK.

It seems hatred, scape-goating and small-minded nationalism is on the rise across the UK. History shows us what that can lead to.

And yesterday a principled and hard-working MP was murdered – we are yet to know if there is any connection between this deeply shocking and heinous act and the tone and content of the campaign, but it occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood where deep fears and hatred are being stoked by those who are in positions of power and influence (and frankly, should know better).

If Britain votes to leave the EU next Thursday it will seem like a vindication of this fear- and hate-filled campaign.

What next? Build a wall around England and not let anybody in who doesn’t fit the picture of what shadowy figures deem to be “English”? Chuck out the hard-working
foreign nationals who pay their taxes and do jobs many UK citizen won’t do or can’t do because they don’t have the skills? Send “home” those who are likely to be beaten, unfairly imprisoned or killed if they return to their country of origin? (Oh, we’re already doing that.)

Today Britain feels an intolerant place.

Too many people appear to have been persuaded that migrants are to blame for the problems in their communities, rather than the politics of austerity, and big-business who seem to view taxes as optional (and governments who allow them to get away with it), who feel they have no moral obligation to care for their employees and are not held to account for the effects of their actions on communities and the environment.

It’s all to easy to feel powerless.

But what has this to do with yoga?

Everything.

Because whether you realize it or not, each of us who is on the path of yoga is a peace worker; a light worker.

Whether you go to class once in a while, whether you show up to your mat every day or whether, like me, it’s your calling to teach and share yoga’s messages, we are working to spread peace and acceptance and compassion in our lives and in our communities.

And our actions affect those around us.

The decisions we make and actions we take, and – perhaps more importantly – the energy behind them, will ripple throughout our lives and into the lives of others.

When we act from fear, fear in the world is amplified.
When we act from love and compassion we increase those energies in the world.

So surely it’s better to try to ensure that the ripples from your words and deeds and thoughts emanate from a place which is positive rather than negative?

antidote to fear is loveTake time to sit with your heart and realize that we are all connected – whatever country we are “from” – we are all citizens of this planet. We all inhabit this tiny lump of rock in an incomprehensibly vast universe.

Don’t think of “them” and “us” for we are all “us”.

When choosing how to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum I ask you simply to consider this: is your choice influenced by fear or love?

I’m not telling you how to vote. I’m just asking that you take a moment and consider from what place your decision is coming from.

Choose to throw a pebble in the waters of life – a pebble which has the words ‘calm’, ‘love’, or ‘compassion’ written on it – and create ripples which have a positive
effect on yourself and the world.

And let’s use this power to spread some peace, love and compassion through the UK.

An invitation: Meditate for Peace, Love and Compassion on 22 June

Choose live, light, peace and compassionMy fellow Dru-Yogini Lucyoga has organised a virtual event on Wednesday 22 June 8-9pm inviting you to meditate for peace, love and compassion: a mass meditation to
focus on peace, love and compassion for all people in the UK.

Simply join in by meditating between 8 and 9pm on Wednesday 22nd June to send out a lovely wave of light to the UK.

Take as much, or as little, time as you can spare to focus on peace and harmony in this beautiful place, on the eve of the EU Referendum.

And even if you’ve never meditated before, just sit quietly and think some peaceful thoughts. Breathe. Send some calm out into this world.

***

We are not powerless. Hatred and fear will not win. Those of us who choose the path of love, peace and compassion have a responsibility, a duty, to spread this in the
world in whatever way we can.

Fear is contraction. Love is expansive.

Expand your love – you have enough for everyone.

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