Yogic philosophy teaches us that we are all one, that unity, the yoke of consciousness encompasses us all into one living embrace. Swami Kripalu, from the brilliance of his heart declared, “The whole world is one family”. Surely the national political scene continues to defy this basic universal truth with a mean-spiritedness and hateful intensity that seems to increase daily.
My personal response to the primary campaigns that have been plaguing us has not been effective: I either dive headlong into news and terrify myself; or I live within a self-imposed media blackout, feeling negatively and naively uninformed. Finding a sane level of information gathering has eluded me. I am easily triggered, even more easily frightened by the daily turn of political events. What frightens and saddens me the most is the separation I feel from people with different views, even and especially people within my party. The intensity of separation feels hot and fiery and irreparable. I hope I am wrong since I imagine the manic fracas will only magnify over time.
How do we respond to that which is hateful, without becoming the hate?
How do we live as mindful, conscious beings during this time of side-show politics, when image and farce dominate, when issues and real experience appear to be meaningless?
How do we live in integrity, gather information, and keep showing up with passionate non-attachment? Here are a few ideas I’ve been exploring.
Suggestions for Surviving this Campaign Season:
- Continue to rely on personal practice for baseline sanity! What connects you to yourself? What quiets your mind? How do you unplug? DO IT. Remember it doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be hard. But it does need to be consistent. It is essential that you feed yourself the deliciousness of this self-soothing renewal.
- Monitor your intake of data. Find the edge of keeping informed while protecting your personal sanity. What might that balance be? Imagine that this balance might be fluid and changeable. See what works; notice what doesn’t. Give yourself full permission to explore.
- Fun is mandatory. You must. What can you do that brings you smiles and laughs? Do it. Do it weekly. Write yourself into your own schedule for a Fun Date. With yourself. I dare you. A ten minute weekly Fun Date—what might this look like?
- Let yourself practice authentically connecting with one person daily. With words or in silence, notice the commonality and rest within that. Let that sanctity of connection effortlessly captivate you. Your partner, unbeknownst to them, can be the person in the checkout line; it can be a beloved. Relax into the covenant of connection that is available; imagine you can breathe together. This is the truth of our human condition. This is the living practice of Namaste—acknowledging the light in one another. No walls need to be built here!
Dear friends, what else can you imagine doing? Feedback, please, is so welcomed. How can we find our way through such weird and wacky a time?