Inauguration Day. Move in, not out.
When Curtis and I found out that Donald Trump was running for President, we laughed.
The laughing continued as we busied ourselves with the Bernie Sanders campaign, calling people, answering questions, making sure they knew their precinct locations and would be at the caucus. Attending events, I even took my dad to see Bernie speak when he came to town, and connecting with people who wanted progressive change as badly as we do.
The laughing continued for months, until we started listening to a lot of what was coming out of his mouth. Even then, it was alarming, but we didn't believe that he'd stand a chance. We had faith in our fellow citizens and government, that they wouldn't allow this kind of hate-filled, blame driven campaign to continue. I started to see many friends and family, reporting via Facebook, that they'd flee the country if this man was elected President. I admit, we talked about the possibility of doing that too, retreating; enveloped in righteous feelings of indignation. But inside, I knew that fleeing wasn't the solution, and that if this did come to fruition, we'd need to be here, dig deep and rise stronger than ever.
From mid-April til the end of June we were rock climbing in Europe, coming home and hurrying to check new interviews, articles, polls, primary results, we were getting worried.
Fast-forward to November 8, 2016.
I spent the day shooting a campaign for the Green Valley Ranch Casino. As I pulled out of the parking lot, the car in the outside lane swerved up onto the curb, thinking that I was turning into their lane. They accelerated and followed me so closely behind, flashing their brights, and honking incessantly. We pulled up to the red light and I rolled my window down, 'Hey! I'm so sorry, I don't know what happened back there.'
The man jumps out of his car. and sticks his head in my window, screaming at me 'Do you know what you did?! Do you know what you did!?'.
At this point, I realize that he could easily reach inside of my car, and grab me. His wife is pleading for him to get back in his car, and I see two young children in the backseat.
'No, actually, I don't. I'm sorry if I scared you, I had my blinker on and was turning.'
He was convinced that I was attempting to turn into the outside lane without a blinker, which I assured him wasn't the truth. At which point, he begin screaming about how I wanted to kill him, his family, and his children. My heart was beating heavily, and I was doing my best to remain calm and continue breathing. The light turned green, and I left the man in the middle of the lane, getting away from him as quickly as I could. Shaken, and rattled, things started clicking as to why that man was so charged.
I started thinking... Was that Middle-Eastern family anxious for the results tonight?
The rest of my drive home, I imagined what it must feel like being the subject of blame for this Presidential Candidate's campaign. My mind wandered to all the articles of Muslim women being assaulted purely because a hijab represents a different set of religious set of beliefs. It represents difference of opinion, which somehow has become a great threat. My anxiety was triggered on that drive home, as I started really considering what a Trump presidency might look like.
When I got home, the electoral college votes were still rolling in. And although all I wanted to do was retreat to my bedroom, collapse into meditation, go to sleep, and wake up to the answer, Curtis was reporting to me every 5 minutes what the updated numbers were.
I knew I needed guidance, asked C to put his phone down for a bit, and reached for my Conscious Spirit Oracle Deck.
As I was shuffling, I told Curtis the guidance I was seeking, 'How do I accept and find peace, if the results aren't in our favor? And where do we move from there?'
The cards that I drew couldn't have served as a better or more clear offering.
From there I started thinking, maybe all this is supposed to happen, maybe it'll serve a greater purpose. And I do think we're seeing proof of this every day. More and more people are getting involved, even if views are opposing, people are caring more about the steps our country is making, which is great.
This is where the title of this post shows itself. By getting in tuned with myself, aligning myself daily, body, mind, and spirit, showing up in my own life to discomforts and things I need to work through in order to liberate myself and offer the gifts I feel called to share.
We can't scurry when darkness threatens. Especially working as a service provider, or helper to others. Maybe taking a day or two to weep, and grieve is good, being with our sadness and disappointment (I still haven't fully recovered!).
I envision letting those tears fuel and inspire action within me. They embolden me to bring up things that can be uncomfortable, like this, to other people and engage in real and honest conversation. No judgement, no intolerance just sharing opinions and viewpoints. Abandoning our most basic beliefs and values in order to flee feels more like surrender and acceptance than courage. That being said, I don't think it's helpful or a step forward to meet people who have opposing views with hatred, or intolerance.
The only way we'll create healthy, and lasting change is by seeing each other. If we allow ourselves to step outside our boxes of comfort, listen to each other, and try to understand and respect one another, I believe we'll have a chance.
This is where I'm able to utilize yoga as a tool that serves me. I've learned to harness the ability to drop how I identify with myself and am able to show up and serve others, of all walks of life. Without attaching my own baggage.. Then I realized... 'Wow. Baggage is heavy. It constricts my movement, and makes me feel rigid and anxious. Maybe I can drop this for now.'. And then I realize that I enjoy living much more without it. When we have too many beliefs swarming around in our head, it's harder to live a life filled with joy, to go with the flow.. I realized that a lot of my beliefs resembled chains. And was so grateful to have freed myself.