Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why This Election May Be Challenging For Us

Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing is a field. I'll meet you there. 

As Hilary Clinton delivered her gracious concession speech, I found myself wanting to see a little emotion. She's strong, so so strong. The shots of young women in the audience expressing their sadness spoke volumes about the impact of this election. Maybe there's something here. What is the essence of our cultural response? Here's a little light from my morning meditation.

We evolve through the feminine aspect of our emotions. (This is an over simplification and  my viewpoint. For a more detailed analysis see this link.) When we feel our feelings, really feel them, they remind us that we are alive. Strong feelings can be challenging and enlivening. When we connect with our feelings we are, in a sense, connecting with our deeper essence. So these feelings of fear, disconnection, dislike, anger, desperation are reminders that we are alive. Likewise, the feelings of elation, love, connection and happiness similarly remind us that we are alive. 

We are alive in bodies in space and time. Each soul incarnates in a body to fulfill some destiny. Our soul provides the blueprint for that destiny. When we are in touch with our soul we can connect with our destiny. That is why we should not be disengaged with these feelings that come up around this election. They are feelings that can serve to remind us that we are souls living a human life. Perhaps the feelings we are feeling are pointing us in the direction of our destiny.

These external events (like this election) are always clues to our personal spiritual journeys. What we perceive externally is a reflection of what we are dealing with internally. Here’s an idea. Sit with yourself quietly and just follow your breath. Follow it into the nose through the body and then follow it as you exhale through the nose. Take some long slow deep breaths and just notice the body calming down. Be still. Try this for a minute or so.

Now, let your breathing relax and come back to normal.  Keep the eyes closed and let your awareness be on the experience inside your body. Don’t confuse the experience of your body with your thoughts. Let the thoughts be separate. Simply feel what you feel.  Can you notice the subtle energy that runs through the being you call you? It can be very quiet at first so be patient with yourself if you don't really feel anything. Keep at it. Over time and with practice the you - the true you - will begin to shine through and your experience will be more available with less effort.

So what does all this “soul stuff” have to do with feeling the feelings after this election? Well, I believe that this is our personal and collective opportunity to evolve toward love. We can use this reminder that things are still “off” in our world. We’re still judgmental and biased and flawed.

We are still human. But we are also divine. We still have this more feminine aspect of our emotional selves yet to evolve. Maybe that is what needs to happen before a female president can be elected. Just a thought. 

To evolve toward love we need to acknowledge these feelings of fear, anger and disconnection. We need to recognize them as a call to our deeper wisdom, the wisdom that resides in our souls. Our souls are not related to our skin color or our sex. They are our unique blueprint, designed by God, to live on this planet at this particular time in his/herstory, in a body, where we are meant to feel the feelings. 


P.S. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please seek guidance from a professional. Know you are not alone, many seem to be feeling the intensity at this time. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Letting Go - With Gratitude.

November 1st is here and what a month looms ahead! We’ve all had it up to our eyeballs with the election. Finally next week it will be over and we must repair the damage done. There has been damage to our collective psyches. We have been unkind to one another. I have seen it. You have seen it too, I am sure. We are so much better than this. We all just want to live our lives, to love and be loved, to be happy and healthy. We need each other. We can’t let this take us down. We won’t. 

Personally, this has also been a season of loss. My father-in-law passed away and our family came together to celebrate his life in such a beautiful way. He was a great guy and we are all so grateful for his life and love. I have noticed a lot of people have experienced similar losses this Fall. It has been a time of grief and transition. Maybe you have noticed that as the leaves fell from the trees it was just time to let certain things go. Makes sense, but darn, it can it be hard.

In the last days of October I have been brooding a bit about how to move gracefully through this time of transition. Yes I brood. I can brood hard. 
I was brooding so much I was annoying myself so I knew it was time to get moving through it. This morning I woke with the answer - Gratitude.

It seems so simple. I know about gratitude. I have a chapter about it in Back to HappyGratitude works to soften the hardest of hearts and the deepest of pain. A daily gratitude practice is just the prescription for this brooding heart.

I awoke this morning with this knowing. This will be a month-long deep study of gratitude. It’s time to get things moving, to create a shift. I know how to do this. We can all do this!

Here’s my prescription. Let’s call it P-cubed:

1. Prayer is first. Everyday I will find a prayer of gratitude. Maybe I will find it in the psalms as today (Psalm 65). Maybe I will find it in poetry.
Maybe I will write it myself. 
2. Practice is next. I will find time every day to meditate (stillness) and practice yoga (movement). I will list five things everyday that I am grateful for and really take time to appreciate each thing listed.

3. And finally, Prevention. To prevent the negativity from creeping back in I will call in the heavy artillery. I will use essential oils. I will get a massage every now and then and practice radical self care. I will exercise daily and eat lots of good fall fruits and vegetables. I will prepare soups for myself and my family. Lastly, I will give back by sharing this gratitude study with my yoga students in class all month long.

And finally, a bonus p, the podcast, Happy Healthy You! I am so excited to share the podcasts this month. First, we have a guest who reminds us to let go of our culture’s dictates about how we are to age. "They" say that midlife is a time of loss and we must accept it. Who are “they” to tell us how we should age anyway? Lets let it go ladies, shall we? Dr. Robi Ludwig has a whole new take on midlife and beyond and it looks really great to me. I am anxious to read her new book Your Best Age is NowNext, we have an inspiring guest, Jeff Griffin who is a wheelchair athlete, a Guinness Book of World Records holder, with a story that will blow you away. Although paralyzed, he sets the bar really high for himself and never loses hope. I guarantee he has a gratitude practice.

So that’s the plan. Will you join me? I invite you to grab a journal and jot down your blessings everyday, practice prayer, yoga and a little meditation. Be kind to yourself first and then spread that kindness around. Lord knows we need it now more than ever. We can get through this transition time. We can and we will - together.

Namaste and Love,