Looking at the berries on the holly bush outside the building where I taught this morning, this cold, grey, November morning , I saw it very clearly. It was next to impossible to see those beautiful berries last week; this week, however, many of the leaves have fallen away, and those that remain are brown and shriveled. It is not a cheery process from an aesthetic viewpoint, this browning and withering. When it is done, it peels back to what is at the core, what is real, what is the essence and is beautiful.
It does NOT feel so beautiful in this post-election week in our country. Of course we had an outcome that was totally unexpected. There was going to be negative feedback no matter what given the level of divisiveness experienced during the LONG campaign. There were bound to be some icky dried up leaves floating around. I just did not expect there to be such a storm of them.
So what is there to do? We can talk to each other, dialogue, reason it out. It is really hard to do this on our best days, but given the level of fear folks are expressing, I say, keep it in the day. Calm the heck down. Breathe. Breathe-in. Breathe out. Do it again. No one has ever hyperventilated themselves into a solution, nor have they anxiety-attacked themselves into taking sensible action. So while you are breathing, meditate. Take a walk, a run, a bike ride. Pray. Listen to music. Fill your heart with what fills your heart. Look at a small child.
As a student and teacher of cultivating compassion, I believe in the innate compassion and goodness of people. The majority of them, if not all of them…
It is a choice to hold this belief and one I need to make repeatedly right now. Just like going to the gym, I know it will serve me well, creating a much-needed sense of well-being and building resilience. Chicken soup for the spirit? Perhaps….more like protein powder.
Autumn in New England will continue. The brown leaves will go on with the falling off and blowing away. And in the end, we will see the beautiful berries. It is still a beautiful world.