With kind regards,
10 Ways to Cope
- Ground yourself: Breathe deeply. Go to a favorite spot in nature and really be there. Meditate. Find a favorite poem, reading, religious passage that has helped you before and read it quietly.
- Allow the grief: Don’t suppress your feelings of fear, dread, anger, grief. Just allow them. But don’t wallow there; move on when you’re ready. And allow other feelings to arise, too—they may surprise you.
- Be with friends; This is a time for community. Share your feelings, your insights, your fears—and, especially, your hopes. Hug a lot.
- Take a media break Keep up with the news, but turn off the endless rehashing of painful stuff that you already know.
- Take care of the children: Yours, neighbors’, grandchildren. They will sense your fear, and the very young won’t understand it. Reassure them that they are safe.
- Reach out to anyone threatened: There are people who are especially afraid: immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, Latinos. Speak up and show solidarity.
- Don’t dismiss the Trump voters: Remember that many of his supporters voted from a place of anger and despair about many of the same things for which you feel anger and despair: all the wealth going to the already wealthy, corporations getting all the breaks while everyone else feels stiffed, political power wielded by the very rich.
- Think local: I’ll bet on Tuesday night there was something (maybe many things) on your local ballot to celebrate. Embrace them. And find the many ways in addition to electoral politics to make change in your community, your town, your state.
- Take care of yourself: Yes, eat some comfort food—but then take those walks, do those yoga stretches. The whole world needs your energy, your health, your vision. There is much to be done.
- Take the long view: Martin Luther King’s words can hold us: “The long arc of history bends toward justice.”
How Cities Can Protect People
We should start organizing to make cities powerful bastions of noncooperation, resistance, and protection. Activists and organizations can start demanding in every city that city councils and mayors issue resolutions and statements saying:
- Our city will not assist or cooperate with any raids or detentions or deportations of any immigrants. This includes assistance of local law enforcement or providing data to the federal government.
- Our city will not cooperate or assist with registration and surveillance programs of Muslims, or any attempts to make our friends, neighbors, and loved ones the enemy.
- Our city is a safe zone for all immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone fearing persecution from the Trump regime.
- Our cities reject any effort to criminalize or attack Black Lives Matter or other organizing for social justice, as Trump has suggested he might do.
This is a time to move to create compassionate communities in our world. We’ve been hearing from many of our members who are thinking seriously about starting an initiative in their city, town or village. Let us step forward to bind up what appears to be a very sorry world with our heart, hands and mind. Register your community and we will be in touch to help you take the first steps.
Compassionate Practices in Trying Circumstances
Join us for a special free Charter for Compassion video conference call on Thursday, December 8, 2016 from 9:00 – 10:30 AM PST. Register here.
Many of us around the globe feel that we are at an uncomfortable and paralyzing turning point. This video call is being offered to people who want to move through the day, the world, and these changes, with compassion and in peace.
In this call, you will have an opportunity to explore some simple writing- and nature-based practices that can support us in these trying times. What is a “practice”? How can writing or the natural world help us? What do grief, compassion, and peaceful action have in common? We will address these questions through guided activities you can use as ongoing tools for 1.) coping with grief, 2.) fostering compassion for yourself and others, and 3.) behaving more kindly, peaceably, and compassionately even in the face of challenges. At the end of the call, you will have an opportunity to ask questions about the practices or process we’ve covered. You will leave the call with tangible tools you can use any time grief, non-compassionate thoughts, or aggressive action feel like the only possible reactions to what is happening around us. We ask you to bring to the call ample writing paper and pens for this experiential, hands-on offering. You will receive the most from the call if you are able to join using your computer’s video; visual images will be part of the presentation. However, we welcome you even if you are not able to join with a video connection.
The facilitator of the call, Jennifer J. Wilhoit, owns and operates TEALarbor stories - a partner of the Charter for Compassion. She is a published author, spiritual ecologist, editor, writing mentor, hospice/bereavement volunteer, life and nature guide, and peacemaker who uses these practices daily in her professional work with clients – as well as in her personal life. Learn more here.