I'm with You.
First, it is important for you to know that any of my classes, any of the offerings, anything that I do is 100% open to everyone. I work on a sliding scale to allow for accessibility to as many people as possible. It is my hope that every class is a safe space for people. Women, people of color, LGBTQ, everyone: you are all welcome and always will be.
Yesterday was a hard day for many of us. Prior to the announcement of our new president-elect, I didn't realize just what emotional impact this could have on me. The words "heart shock" were used by one of my teachers, as I cried on an acupuncture table after having already cried through most of the day. I think deep down, I didn't believe it could be real. I didn't want to believe that this many people could honestly decide that the rights and respect of myself and others mattered so little to them.
For many of us, the trauma of the election runs deep. It awakens the ghosts of past traumatic experiences. On Monday, I likened my level of anxiety to what I felt in Boston after the bombings. In fact, prior to Tuesday, I thought about bombs a lot. My subconscious level of fear was so great that the last time I was this afraid and uncertain became very vivid. I don't doubt that there are many people who have their own traumas coming back to them. It can make processing the election exceptionally difficult.
Casting my ballot on Tuesday, I thought of my nieces and nephew. I thought of the world I hoped we were creating for them. I want them to know and see that they can do anything. I want my nieces to see that women may still face a lot of inequality, but that our country doesn't think so little of us that they would put a man accused of sexual assault in the White House. I was right to think of these young people in my life, but I was wrong about what half of the country thinks about them. To them, I say: I'm sorry. I will continue to fight for the country and world that you deserve, that we all deserve.
To that end, I have to turn to two important things in the coming days: practice and compassion. They can both be hard in the face of what has happened, to the unsteadiness so many of us are feeling.
I implore you to find the practice that will help you through. Can't sit? Okay. Walk. Can't walk? Okay. Yoga. Can't yoga? Okay. There is something. There is something that can help you remember the vastness that is both inside and outside of you, the calm in the storms. It's in there. Maybe you feel the winds and rain more than you feel the center, but it is there. Breathe. Process as you need to.
Admittedly, I am having a hard time with the second item on that list. I know people who voted for Trump. I work with people who voted for Trump. They walk down the street and I wonder: "Did you do this? Was it you?" I try to hold the space for that to be the truth and for my anger and grief to also be part of that truth. The reason the space has to exist is so that the compassion can live there. Hate does not solve anything. Matching hate or disrespect or abuse with more of the same brings us all down. It's not easy to find compassion these days, but we must. It does not excuse this affront to decency, but if we are all interconnected (which I believe we are), we must make that space. Any ounce of compassion you can muster is greater than any ounce of hate that you encounter. It might not feel that way, but I know it to be true.
To close, I think it's important to say: You don't have to be okay today. You don't have to be okay tomorrow. I am beside you. I am here. I am in this with you. I was with you before I was ever with her or anyone else. I have always been with you. I have always wanted the best for us both, the respect, the rights, the equality. You matter. We are in this together and we can make it through. Together.
If you find yourself wanting to talk, wanting help with practice, needing support, I have set up the ability for you to schedule free mini-sessions here. In the coming days and weeks, I will also be taking to Periscope in the hopes of having some helpful sessions. I'll try to announce ahead.
Remember: You are important. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. If you need help doing that, please reach out to those you know can help.