Thursday, November 10, 2016

On Politics, Polarity, and Peace

"Think what a better world it would be if we all-the-world-over had cookies and milk every day at about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. ... And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together." 
- Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Yesterday, as headlines blared, my kindergarten music class spontaneously transformed into a gang of doppelgangers. There was punching, pushing, and wrestling, growling, shrieking, cowering, and crying. Quickly, I attempted to address each incident in a teacherly manner, but as soon as I focused on one, another erupted. It was chaos. 

Then a still voice inside me said, “Do what you always do to end class and they will follow. You cannot reason with them, you cannot argue with them, you will gain nothing by joining their frenzied stupor. You must simply, calmly, stay centered and guide them in their closing bow.” 

It worked. The unruly children put down the mats; their mouths and bodies joined mine: (“I see and I hear, I touch and I feel, I am a part of this world and this world is a part of me. The energy in me rises and I make music. This song was for you.” - arms gesturing to include the entire universe) and it was as if that weird and stressful couple of moments had never happened.

Photo by Leigh Hilbert

I know many of us are reeling - grieving, angry, concerned.  Our global path to creating a just and sustainable future has just met a major obstacle. The future is unknown, which can be terrifying.

Photo by Leigh Hilbert

We can't change what has happened, but we have the power to choose how we respond to this moment. Now more than ever we need to courageously and lovingly address the issues that matter. We are being challenged to wake up and see the big picture, and to breathe as much of our being as possible into each word and every action. As I learned yesterday from a group of kindergartners, reaction got me nowhere. But by holding my centerinviting balance, and opening my heart, peace was made possible. Energy matters, perhaps more than words.

Photo by Leigh Hilbert
So how do we balance our energy? For me, simple things like these can make a world of difference:

- getting enough exercise and sleep
- eating unprocessed whole food
- spending time in nature
- limiting my exposure to EMF and digital distraction 
- tuning into and addressing my emotions
- giving thanks
- making time to breathe and connect 
- doing things I love and spending time with people I love each day

The mind is powerful, but it perceives and shapes reality based on our own filters. Risk to see beyond judgement, the divisive, the proverbial “us and them.” Dare to speak your truth and share what you know about the harms that endanger all of us, as well as your deep desire for a caring and healthy world. Stay grounded in your essence as you listen to rhetoric of any kind. 
Photo by Leigh Hilbert
Some will now have license to express opinions that were previously "politically incorrect." This does not make them morally correct. Listen fully to views that differ from your own and seek common ground, higher ground, even if you are riled or hurt by what you hear, even when some may be too wounded or bound to join you there. 

Celebrate beauty. Plant something. Keep loving. Be radically creative and compassionately outrageous as you honour and affirm life and earth.  

We have reached the tipping point. The Halloween of humanity. That place where the dark and scary subconscious rears its ugly head and it appears the world is full of ghouls and monsters. Yet, if we still ourselves, we can sense how just like on All Hallows, the ancestors are near. They guide us from beyond with wisdom and compassion, reminding us that Light and Love are all there truly is.

Breathe. Believe. Drink in the moon and the stars. Have faith.
Photo by Leigh Hilbert

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