So everyone’s got their plan for voting, right? You know when you’re going to vote, or where, for whom, or when you’ll drop off your ballot if you’ve already completed it. You may even know already if your ballot has been received – or not received yet. (Happy to say my ballot has been received!) It’s so important now more than ever to cast your vote. Your vote matters!
It’s also more important than ever to create your After-Vote Care plan – how are you going to take care of yourself on November 4, 5th, 6th, and beyond – regardless of what happens? There’s a high likelihood that we may not have a definitive answer on election night. There’s also a high likelihood that there will be distress that arises for people NO MATTER WHAT THE DECISION IS, within a few days of election day. And oh yeah, we are still in the middle of a pandemic that has devastated our country, our beloved elders, and especially People of Color.
After Election Day, you may feel like celebrating, dancing in the street. Or you may feel like mourning, and heavy with deep blues. You may want to rage, or rejoice. You may be surprised or horrified by some new thing that has occurrred. You may have a reaction or worries about something new that has come up that you didn’t anticipate. In any case, you’ll most likely have some challenging feelings, and it’s important to have a plan for that as well.
How are you going to make room for whatever you feel? How will you have compassion for yourself and others? What are you going to do or think or experience, so you can stay steady and connected with yourself? What space, time, place will you give yourself for breathing, connecting, resting, moving, keeping an open heart?
(Hint: some answers for how to take care of yourself Post- Election can be found in those questions!)
I invite you to give yourself time for pausing. Before you kick into some kind of action, take a chunk of time to stop and reflect on what’s going on internally, because of what’s going on externally. Just breathing (without newsfeed or social media); noticing your body and how it’s feeling. Notice what your thoughts are or the story you’re attaching to the information you’ve gotten. Notice what feelings are flooding, or coming and going, or trickling in. And notice where in your body you feel those feels. That’s what it means to be embodied.
Go for a walk; or do yoga or some other gentle activity. Get outdoors if you can. Witness a sunrise or sunset, or a series of waves, or the light changing throughout the day. Consider what you might feel gratitude about; have some quiet time; listen to a wise or loving or humorous. podcast; talk; connect with friends and family and see how they’re doing; let the tears and sadness come if they show up. Acknowledge the heart break you might feel in relation to yours or other peoples’ suffering. Plant or give some flowers; write a letter; go for a long drive or bike ride or hike.
Welcome all of your feelings to come as they are, and be with them a bit. Don’t rush them off. Do something generous. Drum. Dance. Chant. Try to understand the pain of someone different from you. Brainstorm 100 kind things you can do for yourself or for your community. Donate. Take some long deep breaths with a longer exhale than inhale; cook some good food; do nothing.. Journal; restore in the Vipassana pose, do art.
Make deep intentions for yourself – maybe something you’d like to try, learn, or do. Maybe just have the intention for what you want to have most access to during this unprecedented time (courage, kindness, patience, love, protest, holy rage, hope, balance, compassion), so you can show up as your best self.
Also remember that having gratitude helps to build your resilience. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything, make sure to pause and consider things that you feel much appreciation for, even if things don’t work out the way that you’re hoping.
No matter what you do or plan for your Post-Election Care Plan, do it with kindness and compassion.
For some good Post-Election Care, check out my AWESOME VIRTUAL MASSAGE BODY SCAN … for the soothing words to help deeply connect with your body right now, and for the beautiful nature slideshow, guaranteed to soothe your soul.
Sign up for some Intention setting, community connection, loving-kindness meditation by Jack Kornfield and friends, on Election Day, for some peace, calm and making time for stillness during the chaos.
Also, Susan Piver is offering a Loving Kindness Meditation for America on November 4:
Check out the Greater Good Science Center’s Happiness Calendar for daily activities in November to restore your faith in humanity.
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illnesses (800)950-6264 has a 24-hour helpline available for folks.
I find myself saying this a lot lately:
May all beings be safe and free from danger
May all beings be happy
May all beings be healthy
May all beings live with joy and ease of heart ❤️
May we dedicate this practice to the benefit of all beings everywhere.
May your Post-Election Care time include much time for meaningful rest, deep pauses, connection to yourself and others. If you or some you care about is having difficulty reconciling what all this means and finding some clear path through, please contact me for a therapy appointment.
Take good care.