A Call for Mindfulness around the Election
Turn on the news, open social media, look in neighbor’s yards. Wherever you look, chances are for the next two weeks, you will be inundated with election news (and some useless or repetitive information not fit for news but proven to grab the attention of Americans). So, get fired up! Right?
Sure. Why not? It’s not surprising that discussion around Clinton or Trump would fire most people up. In fact, I can feel my heart rate jump just thinking of the two of them. While I wouldn't suggest being numb to the events of our time, I do ask that you are aware of your actions, and own your behaviors in the coming weeks. So, what better time to reflect on a wonderful quote.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Frankl aptly reminds us that response is a CHOICE…far from reaction- choose compassion, choose to be kind. You can’t deny the emotional storm that may surge during election time. After all, you have your opinions and they are grounded in your experience and your perspective of the world. You can even engage in civil discourse and discuss issues relevant to the election. That doesn’t mean you have to treat the people around you, no matter their stance, with the sort of disdain and aggravation that your emotions may lead you to believe are necessary. What you do with your emotions in the coming weeks will be more important than whether you are right or wrong. Your children, partner, friends and colleagues will remember your actions far more than your opinions.
So, take a breath, understand that your awareness of your emotional state around the election will help you regulate your responses. When you start to feel overwhelmed by it, get outside and take a walk. Above all, schedule some time to put away your phones, your ipads and turn off your tv’s each day. Lastly, this is a great time to focus on gratitude. As you rise in the morning or share a meal with your family, take the time to share with others your gratitude for them, for what they bring to your life.
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