For many people – myself included – it’s been a trying few weeks since the U.S. elections.
To be fair, it’s been a trying year.
I’m honestly kind of really over 2016.
Amidst all of this, I’ve been incredibly reflective – processing, listening to my emotions, understanding my fears…. and getting really clear on the actions I want to take to make the most positive impact on my world, my communities, my family, and my own psyche.
Here is a list I shared on FB 2 days after the election that a lot of people have been talking about:
- VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME:
Instead of spending a ton of time on FB or reading article after article, or feeling angry, hurt or scared, or even simply just talking and preaching to the choir, I’ve decided a much better use of time and energy is to give it to the causes I believe in and the organizations that have proven that they know how to truly advocate and create change. There are effective, established institutions out there who know how to create change that are doing the good work and that need more woman and man power.
- PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS:
I also urge you to consider sending money or supplies to the Native American people protesting to keep water and sacred land safe at Standing Rock.
- STAND UP TO HATE CRIMES THAT ARE HAPPENING IN YOUR COMMUNITY:
If you’re an “innocent bystander”, you’re actually with the bully. Stand up and speak out and be extra kind to those being bullied.
- EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN:
Always, always, always but especially now, I’ve been having lots of conversations with Penina. Conversations about the importance of standing up to bullies instead of by-standing hate, conversations about the power of her voice, conversations about the equality of all people regardless of color, race, religion, sexual orientation or anything else, conversations about the importance of taking action, conversations about the importance of financially supporting the causes you believe in, conversations about having hope no matter what, conversations about honestly looking at the places inside of herself that discriminate, conversations about always standing up for her values and beliefs.
The next generation matters so much for so many reasons, and so do their beliefs and actions. Teach them young.
- EXAMINE YOUR SHADOW:
I believe with every fiber of my being that the hate and bigotry that is coming to the surface through this election is revealing itself so that we can collectively – Democrats and Republicans alike, Americans and the entire world – heal it on a much larger scale instead of consistently sweeping it under the rug and into the Shadows. Stay fierce in upending the voices who would hate in ugly, damaging, dangerous ways out there, but also stay fierce with those unexamined voices inside yourself. Befriend those Shadows – get to know them, harness them so that they don’t fester and hurt you or others. BE the change you want to see in the world.
- GET OUT OF YOUR BUBBLE …
I’ll be honest – there have been many times over the last weeks that I’ve longed to still be living in my liberal bubble in Brooklyn. It feels more safe & on the surface more empowering to be totally surrounded by people who believe all the things that I do. But honestly, staying in your bubble is not what’s going to create change. What’s going to create change is dialoguing, listening, and understanding.
I am positive that most (most, not all) people who voted for either candidate are good people. I believe most people do believe in and want equality and peace…but I also see how divided and angry we are at each other, how each side is simply labeling the other instead of taking the time to understand the intricacies of why they chose their candidate.
Instead of hating on others, bashing on others or judging them, let’s find ways to come together and understand each other so that we can begin cultivating political leaders who can make more than 50% of the population feel seen & heard without the dangerous racist BS to go along with it.
Let’s Listen. Listen. Listen. The best actions are created from understanding a situation holistically and coming together. Love is created through being seen and heard.
- RESPECTFULLY INVITE EVERYONE YOU KNOW – NO MATTER WHO THEY VOTED FOR – TO ASK TRUMP TO DENOUNCE THE HATE CRIMES BEING COMMITTED IN HIS NAME:
We must all come together to implore all politicians to do the right thing. End of Story.
Here is a petition that I recommend signing: https://www.splcenter.org/tell-donald-trump-reject-hate-and-bigotry-0
- BE A BEACON OF HEALING:
I am convinced that now – more than ever before – we are being called to create change through our businesses.
- DON’T LET THE CHANGES YOU WANT TO MAKE IN THE WORLD UPEND YOUR ABILITY TO SEE BEAUTY & GOOD
Yes, yes, yes – see the problems, feel the fears, speak out against the injustices, take action. And…don’t let all of this take away your ability to also see all the good in the world, all the kindness, all the beauty…don’t let this take away your ability to feel joy and feel gratitude.
Pleasure, joy, gratitude and optimism are needed to be transformational leaders and create change.
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
Allow yourself to grieve, to rage…all of the emotions. Give yourself space. Eat well. Get rest. Take care of yourself. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and we need you grounded, centered, and fully present.
Sending you much love,
p.s. – If you like this article, you may want to start following me on Facebook – I write lots of goodies every week.