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I spent a bit of time this past week watching the news. I usually don't regularly watch the news anymore, as it doesn't always feel good to me. In fact, I'd say most of the time, it doesn't feel good: the stories of robberies, muggings, fires, and murders seem to escalate from one story to the next. Each negative "story" creates a bit of tension in my stomach, and often gives me a heavy heart. I take those reactions quite seriously as I know that energy is not good for me.

Granted, the news occasionally throws in a lighter story that might even inspire or make me giggle, but it's often sandwiched within the 30 minutes of making even the sports' news dramatic: with gossip, speculation, highlights of brawls and so on. And we all know how the weather report can bring us "news" of heavy storms, droughts, devastation and a long list of other possible scenarios. Yet I personally find  getting out in nature as one of the most peaceful, conscious-raising and spiritual experiences.

But "the news" doesn't usually choose the opportunity it has to enlighten us, make us feel good, to cast the day's stories in a positive light and to make a difference in world at the same time. Granted, it's not their job to make us happy, as we each must make that choice ourselves. So we have a choice in whether we watch the news or not, how we choose to feel about what we watch and how we choose to react to all this negative and "alarming" vibes that are often communicated.

So this past week or so, I watched our U.S. politicians talk a lot about money, our debt ceiling issue and I saw: fighting, pushing against, accusations, pointing fingers, anger, pride, failed communication, rigidity, fear, and anxiety, to name a few things. (There were more!) It left me with a feeling of disgust and frustration. But it also reminded me that this was my opportunity to shift how I was reacting to it all and intend a world a whole lot better. After all, I know how the law of attraction works!

The world is not coming to an end as a result of all of this.  We are all still here. That's a good thing. This is an opportunity to learn from this experience. Rather than worry about the U.S.'s new, lower credit rating and what that means, casting blame at how we got there, repeating stories of whose fault it is and creating a fear and panic about where we're going, this is an opportunity for us to unite toward solutions that feel better. We can do that by finding things to appreciate in this situation right now.

Is there anything to appreciate in all of this? Sure there is! For those who didn't vote the last election and to those who did, this is your opportunity to either continue to support your favorite candidate or choose someone else who is more aligned to the issues that are important to you. This is an opportunity to appreciate our democracy in so many ways: the freedom of the press, the fact that different opinions can be voiced at all publicly, and the freedom of a "checks-and-balances" system that is required before laws are passed. It's an opportunity to appreciate our relationships (and especially when we witness such contrast as in the extreme 'combative' behavior by our elected officials)! This is an opportunity to cherish our present moments with each and every person who is near and dear to our hearts. There are endless ways to appreciate in all of this extreme contrast.

I don't claim to have the answers to what you choose to appreciate or how to get to a place that feels better than this. I only know that I don't want to get "sucked in" to the drama of what feels like endless debates in politics and on the news. So I'm turning the channel again! Besides, I can't escape "the news." I hear it from people around me, when I sign onto the internet, from Facebook and Twitter notifications and I don't live in a cave! But I do choose not to internalize all of this: this is an opportunity for me to know what I really want for me, my life, my community, my country and my world.

So I'm recognizing the opportunity in this to set some "feel better" intentions on this topic: intentions of peace, harmony, prosperity, wellness, love, fairness, cooperation, hope and most of all--CHOICES. We all have a choice in this. The politicians have a choice in how they behave, interact, communicate and vote. This is our opportunity to make a different choice than the ones made leading up to this past week. I wonder if our leaders will seize this moment and see that they can start anew?  I will intend that they do!