“Would you rather ride out a hurricane in a canoe or a submarine?” my instructor says in class a few weeks ago. “It’s safe to say everyone would choose a submarine, but it’s amazing how many of us actually use a canoe.”
I’m surprised how immediately pertinent this statement becomes in the wake of our Presidential election as we find ourselves twisting and turning with the upset.
It seems we currently have a canoe in a category 5 hurricane.
It seems we’ve found paddles for our canoe.
It seems we’ve found other canoes to follow to shore.
Yet, we’re still fighting monstrous tides, combating harsh winds and battling rogue waves.
We need to get out of these canoes and find a submarine.
We need to dive deep.
We need to get under the storm to see clearly, make sound decisions and take right action.
I propose we dive deep, together, to create meaningful, lasting change.
Tap into Calm.
We’ve shaken off our grief and are taking action.
We’re fired up.
We’re a force.
We’re literally on fire with our heat and anger.
Yet, I don’t want our fires to burn out.
I want to keep our embers burning, not with other more fiery news and events, but with our own strong flames.
To do this, we need to make sure we have ways to tap into our calm. We need to be able to restore and rejuvenate. We need breath and relief.
I know in our fierceness we don’t want to hear about calm. We don’t want to think about slowing down.
Yet, to get out of stormy seas and dive deep, we need to find our center, stay rooted and get our balance.
So, what gives you calm?
Walking in nature? Taking a bath? Having a cup of coffee with a friend?
Take note and make a plan to do something that brings you relief early and often.
This is an extended journey and we need to be able to keep our energy up for the long haul.
What do you feel most passionately about – civil rights, economic concerns, gender equality, environmental protection, immigration issues, federal or state policy, law and order?
There are so many potential issues to choose from, we don’t have a shortage. In fact, we’re aplenty with causes needing our time, energy and resources.
We need to choose. We need to be selective.
Luckily, there are enough of us to move forward on so many of these key issues.
Don’t spread yourself too thin.
This is going to be difficult as the news unfolds and spikes our ire. The media is dedicated to keeping our adrenaline high. The headlines and social media links are awash in attention grabbing wording to evoke our emotions. This is not helpful when trying to stay informed.
Yet, it’s critically important to stay on top of key happenings to know where to direct and redirect attention and resource.
How to stay informed with being emotionally charged?
Possible strategies may involve reading news, instead of watching it; putting time limits on exploring news; going local or international; or having a few of people summarize vital daily news for the remainder of the group.
In the short-term, there seem to be too many things to do and so many items needing our attention. This is how we’re riding the choppy waves.
To dive deep, we need to think long term. We need to widen the lens, think objectively and make sound decisive action.
What are you good at doing? What’s in your wheelhouse? What are you willing to do over the long term?
Decide and then commit.
Make a commitment to yourself and others on what, when and how you’ll help our country over these next weeks, months and years.
To make America great again, we are stronger together.