I took a moment to unplug and write this morning, which is not uncommon. It felt particularly important today, though, in the wake of yesterday’s election. Social media has given us the opportunity to speak our minds with very little consequence, and many of my friends have embraced it with passion. I’ve been shocked, encouraged, and morbidly fascinated by some of things my friends and acquaintances have put forth in the past month. There is so much energy and electricity still hovering around the election, I felt it important to disengage and do a little reflection this morning. I’m ready to move past the friction of the election and move into a period of expansive gratitude. It is November, after all.
So much ugliness has bubbled forth in the past few months, on both sides of the political fence. I am not immune. I’ve had to fight the urge to lash out in response on several occasions, and I’ve realized it’s healthier for me to simply disengage. I started to block the people I know who are welling to offend their friends and family with insensitive posts and comments, the people who bring harsh emotion into their political views. In disconnecting from all of the rants and the rage, I have found myself drawn to the work of a few friends who are working to unite rather than divide. Friends who encourage everyone they know to meet the world with gratitude, positivity, and respect. And I am grateful.
First, there is Anna. The wonderful post she wrote yesterday was picked up by the Desert Sun. In it, she emphasizes her gratitude for all of the freedoms we have in this country, including our right to vote. She never once mentioned who she was voting for, but focused her attention on the weight that the act of voting carries in and of itself. We are so privileged to live in a country that offers us the right to vote. It’s a right that many people have fought for, a right that is often taken for granted. Anna’s post served as a reminder that we, as a nation, have so much to be grateful for. We are not perfect, but any of my 6th grade students could tell you that Utopias don’t really exist. Our country’s history is lined with people shouting from the margins and fighting to make things right. And I am grateful.
I can’t ignore Mary’s work, either. Mary is such a bright soul, and, in the face of all the negativity surrounding the election, she found inspiration. She has created a 30 day program that invites participants to work to change their vibration by actively meeting the world around them with more compassion, positivity, and love. Her idea, essentially, is that everyone does better when everyone does better, and she has create a space for anyone interested to join and take note of the ripples that conscientiously responding to the world around us creates. I’m going to join up, and I’ll be tracking my efforts here. And I am grateful.
Finally, I want to acknowledge Christel. I’ve known Christel since 7th grade. We were in beginning orchestra together, and, in spite of a few bumps along the way, we’ve stayed close. It’s been twenty years! Christel has played a huge role in helping me bring my yoga business online, and I’m grateful for that. But I’m also grateful for the way she conducts herself in the world. She speaks up and is willing to engage full force on any number of issues, but she also listens. She is respectful. She seeks meaningful dialog and refuses to lash out at those who disagree with her stance. Best of all, she holds others up to this standard as well. And I am grateful.
I am grateful for friends that lead by personal example. This is where I see real change in the world around me. I have so many friends who are out there, right now, doing this. Know that even if I haven’t mentioned you by name, I see you and the path you are walking through the world. And I am grateful.
I have been feeling overwhelmed with gratitude lately. There are so many little things stacking up in my life; it fills me with joy just to wake up in the morning. But, for today, I am going to limit my focus to my friends. I am grateful that I know so many wonderful, change-making people. Grateful and honored.
What are you grateful for in the wake of the election?