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Letter from a Capsized Boat: Waking Up after Tuesday

I suspect I may never forget the details of this last week, seared into my memory through shock and mass anxiety. Yesterday morning on my commute, the disappointment of several passengers was palpable. Their expressions were downcast, and their bodies were quiet without the usual manic smartphoning. There’s a sense that as our world rearranged itself Tuesday night based on the number of votes, our bodies and heads are slowly rearranging themselves to catch up.

Some of us feel elated and vindicated, others crestfallen. I admit that I would place my mood somewhere between disappointment and my boat having capsized.

However you voted, imagining the next 2 to 4 years of fear and acrimony likely feels overwhelming and impossible to manage. But when I imagine it from the perspective of my heart, I know it will be painful but possible. I will feel hurt and a million other things, but I would rather keep feeling because that means I’m not hardening into a permanent conclusion. It means I haven’t bought wholesale into the objectification of “the other half” of America. Feeling our mind and body is how we stay sane, and how we don’t shut down to our feelings or the experiences of others.

If we hold fast to our sense of being wronged, or of being right, if we only defend our own opinions, we won’t see or hear or feel anything that might enlarge our view. I don’t know exactly what I will do over the next several days, but I know it won’t be obsessively checking polls and political analysis. I’m going to take a bit of a break; I can feel how returning to my familiar media sources is a bit like a stretched slinky returning to its tight coil. I will try notice when I’m rapt in some disaster scenario and return to living: to walking, teaching, feeling my heart.

I have something on my calendar this Saturday that feels perfect given the turbulence of the moment. It’s a half day retreat at IDP called, “Coming Home: Using the Body to Recognize Our Wholeness.” There will be space and quiet to digest. It’s an invitation to connect with the stillness and healthiness that we need now more than ever. I’m not advocating quietude, but I think I’ll be better off coming from a place of inspiration rather than habitual reaction. 

 

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Basic Goodness

Basic Goodness may be the only "radical" concept now left.

If we can lean into these feelings without constructing narratives and divisions, there is important and necessary work to be done on the other side.

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