When I woke up on Post-Election Day, November 4, 2020, I knew I needed to carry on. But how?
I REACHED FOR WISDOM. WHAT COULD I PULL UP FROM WITHIN MYSELF?
I’ve learned that I need to practice before my feet hit the floor in the morning or my mind and mood seize control of my day. I sit for anywhere from five to twenty minutes just noticing what’s going on in my body, my mind, the condition of my heart. Abdominal gurgles took me by surprise today, as they are a prime indicator of a physiology in relax-and-rest mode. I was expecting to wake up on this of all mornings, in more typical fight or flight state.
After I checked the morning headlines on my phone, I reached for wisdom again, looking for outside help this time.
After a few false starts, I decided to crowd-source my wisdom on Facebook. I count myself lucky the odds are I will find an abundance of uplift on my feed rather than urgency, smack-downs, or un-funny memes. (Depending on your feed, you might not want to try this at home.)
There were these words from a Mary Oliver poem from writer Juliet Bruce: “My work is loving the world.”
Then I found, one after another, a string of declarations from colleagues and friends of how each does their work of loving the world. Here are a few.
From death doula Beth Almerini: “working on my new hobby of transformation – creating paper from my old journals and plants from my garden, proving to myself that something beautiful can be created from just about anything.”
My big shout-out is to herbalist extraordinaire Sevensong, who taught me field botany some fourteen years ago. His post began with this statement: “Here is what happens for me no matter who wins.” He went on to share a list of what he will continue to do/be, ending with “I will carry on.”
He inspired me to take on this no-matter-what exercise for myself, and I invite you to do the same.
HERE’S MY VERSION:
Here is what happens for me no matter who wins:
I will continue to be in conscious practice as an imperfect human being.
I will continue to show up and hold space for people to be themselves.
I will continue to revel in learning with and from my students as I teach.
I will continue to investigate and harness my unconscious biases as I guide others through the inner work of race and gender.
I will continue to nourish and refine my moral compass.
I will continue to cultivate my urban lot as a home for medicinal plants, and share the bounty with pollinators, squirrels, birds, rabbits, foxes, domestic kitties, and keepers of the land.
I will continue to cultivate friendships both likely and unlikely.
I will continue to participate in communities of practice, of worship, and of action.
I will continue to wonder at the ways the universe is described and explained variously by the Hebrew letters, molecules, neuroscience, and group and institutional dynamics.
I will carry on.
These are some of the ways I “love the world” through my work. What are yours?
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