Yesterday I was so tired I fell asleep on the cement walkway to our house. I woke up to the postal carrier tiptoeing around me to the mailslot. She did not freak out about me lying there on the ground. She said, “Oh hon. I know. Can I curl up and rest with you in the sunshine?”
That was my Delight #57. I have been tracking delights, inspired by the poet, Ross Gay. I am home now after you helped me get through another surgery and radiation. I feel great physically and the kids and Kurt are doing well. I am genuinely thrilled to be alive; I am just worn down by fires and homeschooling and COVID and presidential debates. But this moment with my postal carrier reminded me of the goodness of people. It also made me wonder, Are we letting people know how tired/sad/scared we are? Are we showing up for one another–(even willing to curl up on the cold cement (6 feet apart) with one another) through hard times?
We are all tired. Disheartened. Scared. I keep hearing, “I don’t know what I’ll do if this election doesn’t go (the way I want).” We can say yes to challenges and this crazy life, even when we feel cranky, triggered, angry, and sad. We need to choose love and choose trust that we are bigger and mightier than COVID or the presidential office. When we get attached to a certain outcome, we deny our power to make bigger changes on the ground and within ourselves.
Fear is our kryptonite. Trust and action are our antidotes. The brave we need now is to raise the vibration in our communities from fear to joy.
Invest in Joy. Do a 33-day-mind-body-spirit challenge with me. 33 days until November 4th, the day after the election. (Ok-maybe Nov. 5th or 6th by the time I get this blog out…) The goal? To remember that we are not victims, we are creators. We are far more powerful than we think. We can choose to do everything we can to heal our country (see below) AND heal ourselves by building our inner resiliency. Unless yours is already humming…When I asked Kurt what his challenge was going to be, he answered, “Get through October.” “And, how are you going to do that?” I asked. He flexed his muscles for humor and said, “Like a BOSS!” His confidence is ridiculous and…contagious.
The 33-Day-Mind-Body-Spirit Challenge Starts When You Read This.
- Do something for your spirit. Do one small thing that brings you joy each day. Joy is a possibility-expander. You are not just doing this for you, but for us. When you tap into your joy, you get out of your rut, and you inspire me to get out of mine. You raise the vibration around you. Joy puts us in touch with who we are and what we are capable of each day. And when we are connected to self, we can easily tap into inner wisdom, guidance, and strength. For me, joy includes napping in the sunshine, foraging for wild mushrooms, walking Leo the wonderdog, making a new painting for the outside of our house, and learning to tap dance. For Cole, it means putting his full weight on his not-broken-anymore foot to press in the clutch and drive. For Hazel, it means learning to breakdance. For Kurt, it’s mountains, elk, and deer. What is joy for you today?
- Do something for your mind. Choose Books over News. Your nervous system is not designed for our addictive-headline-consumption habit. There is nothing in the news that will truly help you to learn more about something. Read a book. Might I suggest (again) The Book of Delights by poet Ross Gay?
- Do something for your body. Will you do 11 minutes of arm weights and squats with me? (I just found out that muscle mass makes the body inhospitable to cancer!) And how about a warrior pose while we wait for the coffee to brew? I don’t know where to put walking…under spirit, mind, or body? It feels like all three. Get out and walk.
- Do something for your country. Adopt a voter. More than 40% of the country does not vote. Write a letter to an unlikely voter and let them know why you vote, not who you vote for. Infrequent voters who received letters voted 3.4% more than a control group. Doesn’t sound like much? Hillary Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by less than 1%. With Vote Forward, I was able to adopt 5 under-represented voters and 20 infrequent voters.
- DROP something that you resent. Drop one thing that you do out of duty, but that drives you nuts. Drop emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen, that zoom meeting that doesn’t really impact your work. Involve your kids, your sweetheart, your boss. You’ll need to have a couple of hard conversations in order to win a month of relief. Do it.
A foolproof way to stick to the challenge:
Put two jars out on your kitchen counter. Label one with a charity that you love. Put $30 in that jar. Label the other with the name of the candidate you do NOT want to win in November. Leave that jar empty.
Every time you skip one of the days of your challenge, take $5 out of your-favorite-charity jar and put it in the other candidate’s jar. You MUST donate all of the money at the end of the 33 days. This works because we are disproportionately motivated by negative consequences.
If you’re cozy in bed and don’t feel like doing the arm-weights that you promised to do, just think of this scary fact: When you donate to the other candidate’s campaign, you’ll receive that political party’s emails for life.
Ha! But what will truly motivate me to do this challenge is knowing that you might be doing it, too. It feels like you are saying “Can I curl up with you on the cold cement in the warm sunshine?”