Some of our kids are scared, scared that Donald Trump is going to do bad things. Let's face it, lots of us are scared about that, too! And things are happening, kids and adults are saying and doing racist and bigoted things. This isn't new, although it may be increasing.
How will we respond? How will each of us rise up and respond to hateful, judgmental, intolerant speech? And what will our words and actions teach our children?
I am trying to begin by taking care of my own feelings, because if I don't take care of them they will take me over. I am feeling them, sitting with them, holding them, and allowing them to transform.
I am trying to speak up where ever and whenever I see judgmental speech. I hope we each do this, allowing ourselves to be governed not by hate and fear, but by love.
I want to think before saying something hateful to a person because of their vote (or non-vote). And I want to speak up for those who are being judged or attacked, no matter whether they voted for Hillary, Trump, Bernie, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or someone else.
I want to stand with people who are being mistreated, literally standing with and protecting them. I hope we can all do this, helping those vulnerable people in our lives and world to know that we are there for them, emotionally, and physically. We can't count on this support to come from somebody else.
I want to find connections to people who have very different beliefs than mine, talking and listening rather than living in my own separate world. I would love for all of us to do this.
I want to really know that the answers aren't outside of me, that there's no political leader or election that will save me/us. I want my own leadership to rise up from my own soul. I want to express it in each choices that I make when faced with difference or 'otherness.' And I would love for you to join me.
I want to spend time with people who inspire me on this path, not by giving me easy answers about who to blame or hold responsible, but by helping me to go deep. Suchitra Davenport, Glennon Doyle Melton and Charles Eisenstein are some of my guiding lights. Who can you count on to inspire and support you?
I want to offer direct support to those who need it, through my classes and blog and other work, and also through my willingness to show up, speak truth, and listen.
I want us all to let our kids see us do this work. I hope we will talk with them about standing with the people who need us, about being brave, about love. I hope we will be here for our kids, accepting their fears and helping them to transform the fears into love rather into blame and hate. Because they don't just listen to what we say, they learn from who we are and how we live.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.