The votes for the U.S. 2020 election were cast, counted, and in some cases recounted. It has been determined Joe Biden will be our next President of the United States and Kamala Harris is our next Vice President. For many of us this is a collective sigh of relief and perhaps a hope for a return to normalcy. I think it is important to feel these feelings and take a moment to really bask and soak this all in. Take a moment to feel good. Just a moment– because, honestly, there is no going back to normal and we still have so much work to do as a nation.
If anything, 2020 has been a mirror held up for each of us individually as well as collectively. We are experiencing the consequences of the problems and inherent inequities of the system we live in. We are facing the work of dismantling long-held systems of inequality, exploitation, and oppression of people, as well as, stopping the destruction of our planet. We are facing the reality that so many hate and fear so many. While things may be uncertain and we could be in for a long fight, we need to remember this new world we’re trying to make isn’t about winning or losing. This is about healing. And it’s about all of us thriving; not just surviving.
Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Take radically good care of yourself. Be fierce about getting enough sleep (at least eight hours every night). Be revolutionary in your relaxation. Take time to just be; truly relax and restore yourself. Be unbeatable in eating well and exercising. Be uncompromising in dealing with and healing your mental health. Take this seriously because it is your solid ground for everything you do in this world. Your empty battery doesn’t help anyone. Burnout solves nothing.
Build connections with your community. In COVID safe ways, of course. Now is a really good time to tell people how much they matter to us and how much we love them. A pandemic, police brutality, climate change, unemployment- so much uncertainty requires us to be creative and show up in new ways for each other. The more connected and bonded we are to each other, the more likely we are to survive the challenges we are facing.
Be for something and do your inner work. What kind of world do you want to live in? What is your vision for the future? Take every chance you get to be antiracist, promote gender equality, support LGBTQ rights, and protect the environment. Take every chance you have to be an ambassador of this new world you want to live in.
Commit to your growth and development as a thriving and not just surviving human being. Neale Donald Walsch says we need to ask ourselves, “What is the next grandest version of the greatest vision we’ve held for ourselves?” Look, if we want fundamental change, then we have to be fundamentally different. Choose to grow and be in integrity (wholeness) with yourself. If we are all truly empowered to create lives we love with harm to none we will create such a beautiful world together. As Marianne Williamson says in her book A Return to Love, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
Experience love and joy. Especially in the darkness of this world. According to Brene Brown in her Podcast Unlocking Us: Brene on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball, not experiencing and expressing love and joy because there is so much suffering in this world doesn’t actually help anyone. If there is anything we need more of in this world, it is the experience of love. As Brene said, “Love, y’all, is the last thing we need to ration in this world.”
Finally, in her book, The Places that Scare You, Pema Chodron laid out the fundamental choice we all must make in every moment of our lives: “… we can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.”
I’ll see you out there.