Yesterday I gathered a few friends together in my living room to practice the Circle Way and hold a wisdom council on the topic of the election. I am convinced that gathering together in person and not just online is critical to the healing of our spirits and the healing of our nation. I offer these questions to you in the hope that you too may want to call a circle of intentional conversation with a few friends or neighbors. The questions are:
In the aftermath of the US election …
1 – What do I fear?
2 – What gives me hope?
3 – How can I communicate peacefully with those who hold a different point of view?
4 – What can I do now, and in the months and years to come, to make a difference?
I appreciate all the ideas and the wisdom that emerged from the circle yesterday. Sometimes just sitting with the questions and knowing you’re not alone in asking, is enough.
A few key things to remember:
- Make a sacred center (a lighted candle works well).
- Use a talking piece.
- Do a check-in before the rounds of questions.
- Speak with intention and listen with attention.
- Hold confidentiality.
- Everyone tends to the well-being of the circle.
I personally resonate with the simple, elegant answer that Elizabeth Warren gave to Rachel Maddow when Rachel asked her what those of us who are despondent over the election results can do. Elizabeth asked us to 1) Volunteer for a cause of our choice and 2) Stay connected to each other.
Calling circles of intentional conversation in our neighborhoods is a great way to stay connected.
And I would add:
Know when it’s time to take action and when it’s time to retreat in order to replenish. Activism is critical now, more than ever, and so is self-care.
As part of my own self-care, I’m practicing the following “lovingkindness” meditation:
May I be well and happy. May I be blessed.
May those I love be well and happy. May they be blessed.
May those I do not know be well and happy. May they be blessed.
May my opponents be well and happy. May they be blessed.
May all beings be well and happy. May they be blessed.