Some of the biggest laughs I had this summer were at Donald Giovanni in Cornlandia. This operetta was an election-flavored spin of Mozartâ€™s Don Giovanni created by Mixed Precipitation. My hysterical reaction was in part due to the fact that the US Presidential election is so painful if I donâ€™t laugh I might cry.
A lot is at stake this November. While I would love for all of our laws and collective decisions to be based on what gives more life, we wonâ€™t get there with this election.
Fear and anger are appropriate responses to some of the hateful rhetoric that has a lot of popular support. But fear and anger donâ€™t have to be in charge. You can choose something else.
Iâ€™m not suggesting turning off the news and tuning out all the alarming things happening around us. Thatâ€™s like numbing out your nervous system so you wonâ€™t have to feel anything.
Find the love underneath the outrage.
When I read about Donald Trump my blood can boil pretty quickly. When huge letters flash â€œDanger! Danger!â€ behind my eyes, I can feel so reactive I donâ€™t even entirely know what I feel. Deep breath. Yeah, this is outrage.
When I stop to listen to the outrage I notice that it stems from love. For example, the anti-Muslim rhetoric stings because I have been touched by incredibly kind Muslim co-workers in past jobs. My love of my Muslim neighbors is wanting attention â€“ this is what the outrage is telling me.
Here is where I can make a choice. I can focus on my disgust and rage. Or I can focus on acting out of love. The intensity of my reaction is an indication that love needs to be honored â€“ given some sort of expression and movement in the world.
We need your present, engaged, creative, loving self. Now.
Especially in challenging times we each need mindfulness practices to give us the skills to detach ourselves from the grip of fear and anger. We need practices that regularly bathe our hearts in love.
One of the best ways to move through challenges is to literally move your body â€“ your mind and spirit canâ€™t stay stuck in the context of so much flow. Finding a community practice will also give you tremendous support.
You could intentionally engage with the final weeks of the election as part of your mindfulness practice. Listen to the conversation. Listen to the love within you that wants to be honored. Be open to how you may be guided to put that love into action.
Iâ€™m really curious to hear how this lands for you. Does it shift your relationship with the election? If you do find yourself moved to put your love in action in some way, Iâ€™d love for you to share your experience with this community.
Move your body and be nourished in love
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