Part II: After the Fall – Step 2 of a 3-Step Plan to Thrive in the Time of Trump
Step 2: Go Deep
This is the second of three posts to suggest ways to thrive during the next administration. The first step, Go In, asks that I fearlessly examine myself and identify how I make the world a better, more vital and just place, and how I don’t. And, as much as my introverted self would like to go it alone, that doesn’t always work very well. For the long haul, I need the support of good friends and allies of all kinds (more to come about that in Step 3), as well as a deep, abiding connection with something much larger than myself. Hence, Step Two, Go Deep.
Step Two: GO DEEP. Cultivate a deep Spirituality. While much of what happens: Trump tweets, Cabinet appointments, and false narratives is out of my control, a lot isn’t. I can choose how to respond, and these days the Serenity Prayer is my best friend.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
And, if I need an even quicker fix, I conjure up an image of Frank Costanza yelling, “Serenity now, serenity now.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auNAvO4NQnY
Clearly, I can benefit from a perspective larger than the myopic mini me, which leads directly to a connection with something bigger than myself which helps cultivate my internal witness, the eternal part of me that is always at peace — no matter what. That witness can sometimes be tricky to access and stay with, since I can easily get distracted by my ego’s shenanigans. Yet, the on-going pain I feel since the election is a great motivator. I don’t want to squander the opportunity. So, I up my conscious contact with spiritual leaders and spiritual material, and rededicate myself to a host of spiritual practices. This is a unique path for each of us, and I don’t pretend to know what’s best for you. Yet, I want to share the following resources as a potential source of inspiration, comfort and joy.
Marianne Williamson, http://marianne.com/
Marianne Williamson writes and speaks about a variety of spiritual topics, often drawing on the material from “A Course in Miracles,” a “self-study spiritual thought system,” which marries psychology and spirituality and focuses on healing relationships. She speaks every Tuesday night at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, which you can watch live or at your convenience for 48 hours after the event. You have to sign up via e-mail every week, which you can do on the link above.
Chopra Center Meditation, https://chopracentermeditation.com/
Deepak Chopra and Oprah make meditating doable with a variety of 21-day offerings that run about 20 minutes each. They often offer 21-day free meditations on various topics, Gratitude, Peace, etc., which is then available for purchase at its completion.
Gladdening Light, http://gladdeninglight.org/
Gladdening Light brings spirituality and the arts together. In addition to events throughout the year, they offer an annual symposium. Last year featured Irish poet, David Whyte, (sublime), and this year, it’s Father Richard Rohr, head of the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico. The symposium takes place in late January in Winter Park, Florida, a lovely historic community anchored by Rollins College, just north of Orlando.
The Hero’s Journey Foundation, https://herosjourneyfoundation.org/
The foundation offers many experiences (some on-line) based on Joseph Campbell’s archetypal Hero’s Journey myth. Their mission statement says, “This is ultimately an inner journey, one that takes us into the vitality of the human body, into the awakening consciousness of the human mind, into the depths of the human heart, and into the infinite energies of the human spirit.” Yes, please. I have participated in numerous on-line courses, led by Michael Mervosh, a truly extraordinary human being. The courses offer meditations, readings, essays, self-reflections and communal space on Facebook, as well as bi-weekly, on-line sessions where we gather to support each other as we grapple with the human condition in all its messy manifestations.
The Shift Network, http://peaceambassadortraining.com/course/PeaceAmbassadorTraining
I stumbled across the Shift Network right after the election when they were streaming a healing and reconciliation service live from Unity Church in D.C. Now, I am in enrolled in a 12-week on-line training course focusing on Peace (link above), with the intention of going beyond just feeling peaceful, which is great in and of itself, to actually embodying peace, to be peace. Each facilitated session (audio only) features a different speaker, including Richard Miller of the Integrative Restoration Institute (I-Rest), Deborah Rozman of Heartmath, and Sister Jenna of the Brahma Kumaris, and allows time for participant reflections, questions and answers.
The bottom line for me is this: daily devotion to some combination of spiritual practices is saving my butt these days, and helps me connect to my heart-centered soulful self, which greatly increases the odds that I’ll respond like a concerned, responsible adult rather than a raving lunatic. May it be so for you too.
Reader Invitation: What spiritual practices do you find helpful? What resources support your unique journey? Where do you get stuck? Please share. I’m listening. I will generally respond to your comments within 24 hours.