I’ll be honest– I had a hard time writing you a coherent missive today. I wrote three false starts to this Friday letter.
My mind is a jumble of things: outrage, hope, disgust, the hyper-focus of a super-nerd-fact-finder trying to track down credible sources for a story.
My friend Wendy calls this #ournationalnightmare, and it certainly has all the hallmarks of a nightmare: cartoonishly outlandish things happening juxtaposed with utter horror juxtaposed with ordinary bits of life just carrying on.
But it’s not a nightmare. It’s real. And we need to stay awake. (Or “woke.”) This is hard, because when our bodies start to flood with fear and fury and outrage, we actually lose some of our ability to use the most sophisticated parts of our neocortex. Instead, we feel like we’re swimming in intense emotions. Things might even feel a little hazy.
Let’s all take a deep breath. Find our feet. Breathe into our bellies. We do this not so that we can check out or waft into a cozy cocoon– no, we do it so that we can face with open eyes and clear minds what is ahead of us.
These are not ordinary times, my loves. There is a tendency in the spiritual community to insulate ourselves from the petty concerns of the physical world and concentrate on things like vibration, energy, inner peace, and consciousness.
Here’s what I think. We do need to find peace within ourselves. We need to find ways to create it when we can’t find it. But that’s only half of our responsibility. Out of our peace, we need to take actual physical action out in the world.
Caveat: if you are such a world-class meditator that you can shift the particles of existence so as to help birth a new and SANE government out of the current madness, by all means, GET ON YOUR CUSHION.
But most of us are more useful when we use all of us– our words, our hands, our feet, and our voices.
These are not ordinary times. History is repeating itself, and now is the time to pay attention. There is an unprecedented onslaught on our government systems right now, and we are on the brink of descending into fascism. I know that sounds dramatic. I know it’s scary. I know it seems like surely somehow it will all work itself out. I know you’re sick to death of ugliness. I know that it all feels too big and confusing to navigate. I know you believe that love will win in the end. Me too.
I’m not telling you to panic. Just the opposite. I’m telling you, dearhearts; now is the time to show up calmer and stronger and clearer than ever before.
I try to listen to both sides of every argument. I try to hear for the true narrative underneath the frenzied and discombobulated media reports, balancing left sources with right ones and supplementing with observations coming from outside the USA. What is happening in our government right now is madness. It’s never been more important for us to stay sane.
I believe that the biggest thing poised to derail the kindred spirits right now– the very folk who fight hardest for the most vulnerable among us– is burnout and compassion fatigue. You can only maintain a fever pitch of outrage for so long before it fries you to a crisp.
We need to stay woke– but we need to deliberately nourish ourselves so that we can stay woke for the long haul. That means more sleep. That means picking one reliable place to get your news and not clicking on clickbait that’ll take you down a psychedelic rabbit hole of doom and paranoia. That means balancing your engagement with deep rest. That means fueling up with beauty so that you can breathe loving fire out in the world. That means choosing one place where you know you can make a difference and focusing on meaningful action there rather than splattering yourself all over the place.
That’s why I keep saying “Marathon, don’t sprint.” It’s why I’m running The Bliss Conspiracy for free this year. (We’re on day 3– you can still join us!) And it’s why– drumroll– I’m brewing up a free interview series to help you figure out how YOU can make a difference. Because that isn’t going to look the same for every single person. You can make calls, you can donate, you can stay informed– but there might be other things that only YOU can do. The best use of your energies is going to be different if you’re a 22-year-old single woman than if you’re a 41-year-old mother of newborn twins. Your influence and power will be different if you work in the corporate world than if you work in the nonprofit one. One is not better; we need ALL of it. We need all of us to be our most WOKE selves right now.
So here is what I need to know from you: what questions do you have? What are you wondering about? And in particular, what are you wondering about that you are too embarrassed to ask out loud??? I’m lining up interviews with some amazing people but I want to know what would help you the most– so hit reply and tell me. Because we’re all in this together, and I believe in us.