Somehow, it happened. A man was elected as U.S. President who does not embody the values of kindness and integrity. Many people despise what he stands for. Many people are afraid. Since he was elected, there have been increases of anger and rage, name calling and threats.
Some people voted for him because they resonate with his hatred of others (which stems from self-hatred, admit it or not). Some people voted for him because they are really fed-up with many things about this country. With that, I can empathize. With the hatred, I cannot.
Hatred is a terrible waste of precious life. Let's get real.
We live on a planet with flowers that bloom open into the sun, light that dances off ocean waves, children whose laughter could erupt away all our wounds and pain, if we allowed it to.
Why waste any of this life on hatred or other forms of fear?
Each human soul is so beautiful, so worthy of love. Yes, every single soul.
Easy to say, but how do we actually live from love? It's simple; it's what we're made of. We do it one breath at a time. One thought at a time. That is the only way to do it. And yet, however simple this is, there are 100s of 1000s of books written instructing people on how. It is far from easy.
With all the horror stirred up in the U.S. right now, we are being called forth massively, to lead from love. To lead our lives from love.
Equally, we are being invited -- by ego, by fear itself, by the idea that we are separate from the divine -- to enter and embody tremendous fear. Many are accepting this invitation, over the invitation to choose love.
I'd rather die out of this body tomorrow choosing love, than live 50 more years in fear. That is the modeling my daughter is worth. And as we know, our children tend to do what we do.
So how do we respond to what's in the air right now, from a place of love?
How does this actually look, on a practical level?
Is it something any of us can do, or is it only for people who've been meditating for a decade or two?
Whether it's you, or me, or an entire country or religion, let's face it: the idea that there is one right way just doesn't work for life. It doesn't work to create a world of respect, forgiveness, compassion and diversity. It works to create a world that feels divided and increasingly upset.
Each person has a unique contribution to make. Life thrives when we respect and honor this diversity. So as I step up to express my own leadership, I am not here to say that someone else's way is wrong. I will not add power to hatred by blowing on its blaze.
With courage I will look within, for the love I am made of, to find a way to light-up love instead.
If someone wants to fly a Confederate Flag or insult women, I am quite uninterested in adding to the mountainous pain inside their soul. When I look at Donald Trump, I see a very hurt person who must have experienced horrible things in his life. I would much rather he and his companions find healing for their deeply broken hearts, so that this world receives beauty from their breath, not hate.
Genuinely, with every bone in my body, I want a world of love. Therefore my only choice is to embody love -- to live it with my thoughts, feelings and actions -- and to return to love whenever I stray.
Women play a huge role in creating a world led from love. As I wrote in a blog post the day after the election, women must lead us out of the mess we are in. It is time we step into our leadership skin, all of us, and trust the ancient wisdom of the womb.
Stay tuned. In the next 3-4 weeks I will lead an in-person workshop in Petaluma, California called WOMEN'S POST-ELECTION POW-WOW. And around the same time, an online version that is free to join.
Men will be welcome too. Women's leadership is essential to bring us into brighter times. The wisdom of the womb needs to take the mic far more often in our world. Men who respect women, who value our role, perspectives, voices and wisdom, are most welcome at the table too.
We will focus on HOW we want to BE in response to this election -- not with the reactionary, fearful part of us, but with the mindful, intelligent part of us leading.
We will honor what's happening around us.
We will honor fear, anger, confusion, despair.
We will name what we want more of.
We will pull courage from our core to live in INTEGRITY -- from our power, from the place that will bring us more of what we want, not more of what we don't want.
From there we will take action. And it will be a very simple, profoundly powerful action.
Join me! If you're not already signed up for our newsletter, sign up to be sure you know about these gatherings. The in-person gathering will be limited to 20 participants. The online call will be limited to 250.
In unity with the Love inside EACH and EVERY one of us~
Afterthoughts... December 4th, 2016
Ta-da! Nevermind! Not right now!
Do you ever have those moments when you are super motivated to do something, and then after a few days, you get this feeling of, Hmmm... I'm not so sure anymore... and you surrender and let it go?
Well, that happened with this women's workshop. I still might do it in some way, but here's the deal.
I've been leading groups of women, and sometimes men too, through transformative experiences for 20 years. I dig it, they dig it, it's good stuff. And yet--
The art at the core of my essence is calling more passionately these days than anything else I might do. It wants to be woven into my life far more intricately than ever before. And I want that too.
Just because I CAN do this kind of thing, doesn't mean I should let an ounce of me go toward something that takes away from time I could spend on my core art, which is ::: loving the world through letter writing.
I want to know and honor my art inside-and-out, 1,000%.
So for now-->
Both this online gathering and the in-person one in Petaluma are on hold. If my art guides me to bring it more centrally into the focus for these gatherings, I'll do that. But for now I'm waiting to be spacious, and listen. And it feels GOOD! (She pats herself deliciously on the back.)
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, a mother, freelance consultant and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street. This deeply personal blog and our recorded talks and workshops are devoted to one of her great passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.