Well, here we are...
It's been a pretty crazy election year. I was genuinely shocked last night to see the results come in.
I have tried to not get that caught up in the election this past year but I have followed it and have wanted to stay informed. I did not think Donald Trump would win at all. I thought it would be close. I thought it was a huge wake up call for all of us. I thought there is no way that he has a chance to win, though. I thought the candidacy started as a joke. It was a train wreck. It was outrageous. Then there was a point where it stopped being funny and it made me sad.
So, now what? What do we do now?
Well, it happened. Yes. This has happened. Yes. Donald Trump was elected to be the next President of the United States of America.
I was thinking this morning about the yoga article I recently wrote about how It always gets messier before it gets clean. Is this what we're experiencing now? Is this our moment in the fire? Is this the cleaning of our dirty pot? Is Donald Trump, with his views and his beliefs, his bigotry and his racism, his immaturity, his ego, his misogyny, his arrogance, the stuff that is coming to the surface, the stuff that was always there?
Well, let's acknowledge something. There are some huge changes going on in our country and in our world. There has been a lot of positive things that have happened in the last fifty years. There's also a lot of people who are being left behind.
Washington has been broken for a long time. We have to be honest. I think Hillary Clinton would have been so much better than Donald Trump as our next President but Hillary Clinton was going to be more of the same. And for a lot of people things aren't working right now. Would she have been able to work with a Republican congress? Would we see more of the same gridlock in Washington for another 4 yrs? Would anything get done that needed to get done?
I want to believe that this election was a referendum on our established government and on our institutions of government and the failure of our leadership in Washington as much as it was the selection of our new President and leader based on his ideas and his beliefs -- but let's be totally honest, we have racism in this country too, we have outdated views on immigration, we are scared of change, and of people who don't look like we do, and people who don't speak the same language, and people who practice different religions than we do, and we have narrow minded and small minded ideas and we are not informed and not engaged.
We need to wake up! We all need to wake up.
We have to take responsibility for the state that the country is in that allowed a person like Donald Trump to become elected. If things were going well for the majority of Americans then Donald Trump never would have been able to win the election last night and certainly couldn't have run on the platform that he ran on. If we were practicing more kindness and compassion then we would have shunned Donald Trump at the first comment he made that didn't align with our values and we would have let him know that even though we want change in our system and in Washington, we don't want this change to look like that.
I want to believe that people who voted for Donald Trump saw in Hillary Clinton the same old thing that wasn't working for them. I want to believe that people voted for Donald Trump because they are scared and angry and are desperate for change and are fed up with a system that isn't acknowledging them, isn't listening to them and because they are feeling left out and left behind. I can understand this and I see where these people are coming from. I want to encourage these people to understand how easy it is to blame the "other" when we are feeling uncomfortable, scared, angry and desperate and to know that we are all feeling this and it takes courage to sit with these feelings and not lash out at other people.
It would be so easy to just judge this outcome and those who voted for Trump. It doesn't solve anything, though. It doesn't help us move towards a solution.
How do we deal with ignorance? We shine a light on it. How do we re-integrate a part of ourselves that has become disconnected? We look at it, acknowledge it, breathe into it, learn to love this part of ourselves again.
Can you find compassion for someone who doesn't see the world the way you do? Can you love someone who is ignorant and needs guidance and love? Can you reach out to someone and try to understand the pain they are feeling, even if it's not your pain?
This isn't just something we do on our mats. Take your yoga off the mat and into the world. If you hate the people who supported Trump, doesn't that make you someone who hates a group of people too? And your justification is that you hate them because they hate other groups of people? Doesn't that make them just like you and you just like them? Do you see the irony here?
You stand on your yoga mat in a challenging pose. It gets intense. You feel things coming to the surface; judgment, criticism, anger, hatred. What do you do? You stand your ground. You breathe into what you are feeling. You observe, without reacting. You look at these things coming up for you. You look at your judgment, your criticism, your anger, your hatred. You breathe into it. It's painful. It's hard. It's uncomfortable. It hurts. And as you sit with it, and something amazing happens. As you look at it and acknowledge it, something amazing happens. As you breathe into it, something amazing happens. It goes away. You're able to let these things go. You're able to let go. Your judgment, your criticism, your anger, your hatred, they all disappear.
The way we move forward is through acceptance, through acknowledging reality, right here and right now. Accept yourself right here and right now.
The way we move forward as a country is through acceptance, through acknowledging reality, right here and right now.
We elected Donald Trump to be our President.
Before we can make change and grow, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and acknowledge where we are at right now. This is where we are today. This is the country we live in. This is happening. Accept it. Breathe into it. Do you feel uncomfortable? Are you scared? Are you angry? Are you thinking about doing something drastic? If you were crushed by the result of this election than maybe you are.
Compassion and love are needed more than ever right now. Hate is not defeated by hate. Hate is defeated by love. Darkness is overcome when we shine light on that darkness
I'm grateful more than ever right now to have my yoga practice and the perspective of the teachings. Be the change. Teach love and kindness and compassion. Live your yoga practice.