Post-Election Mindfulness

Like all life, yesterday’s elections, first and foremost, just are. Each individual race happened as it did. This person won, that person lost. And the broad scale results are what they are.

I am with the results as one is with the rain and the sunshine, with babies being born and loved ones dying. As something much bigger than me, much bigger than any politician, much bigger than any one group.

As a Democratic voter, I am happy about some things, unhappy about others. As a friend and family member of Republican voters, I am happy for them for some things, unhappy for them about others. As an American, I am happy about some results, unhappy about other results. As a person, I have this and that emotion, this joy and that anxiety.

Being mindful doesn’t mean I am any less a Democrat than one who is excited or unhappy. Or any less committed to liberal causes. It just means I am mindful. I am aware of my emotions. I am aware of others’ emotions. I try to see both with a caring and yet dispassionate glance.

Being overcome by emotion suggests one’s life is determined by those outside events. One feels empowered because that happened over there. One feels disempowered because this happened over there. In both, over there sets the tone. And the voice within says: “Of course, over there sets the tone. You are only a very small part, with very little power on your own. Unlike those big, powerful people who have power, who are on TV winning or losing, and with whom you have to align yourself.”

Mindfulness suggests something else. Yes, I am less famous than those on TV winning and losing. Yes, I have less power in many ways. But no, they don’t matter more than me. Not in the big picture.  If I can step out of my monkey mind and am just aware of it, I am doing the most work I can do right now, right here. And it is the most work any person can do, no matter how famous, rich, smart, good looking or powerful. If they do what they do without mindfulness, it is one big step forward, two big steps back. But if I do even a little bit with mindfulness, it is only one very little step forward, but without going backward.

Politics is a part of human life. An important part. But not the main part or the most essential. Life is for growing as a human being. I focus on that and fit politics into that, and not the other way around. It is the best way to help others in the long run. To help without selfishly taking in the process.

Mindfulness. Prayer. Contemplation. When these are the center of one’s life, they center all else one does. And gives those actions a glow of inner strength which radiates outward.

Act with a glow. Without fear or seeking spikes of pleasure. Act with awareness. Be awareness. It is the best you can be and the most good you can do. Let the glow reflect through your politics, rather than letting the politics limit your glow.

Be big. Very big. Be the biggest big awareness you can be.