Tomorrow, the day a human-size Cheeto takes to the Oval Office, I will be doing none of the things a concerned/enraged/pick-your-modifier citizen should be doing.
I will not be writing a letter to my senator. I will not be marching for anything. I will not be gnashing my teeth over the state of the world.
Instead, I will drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and down the coast to Half Moon Bay, where I will get a haircut, a massage, and gaze at the ocean. The way we do in California. I will have dinner with magical friends. I will take care of myself.
To do my work for this country and for this planet, I have to take care of myself. I can’t show up in the world from a place of fear or anger or pain because if I do, that’s what I'll spread.
Enough fear, anger and pain has already been spackled on until we’ve built ourselves a robust cement cage - and wonder why we feel trapped.
We’re not trapped. We have voices and intelligent curiosity and our own gifts to share, gifts that will shift the world in the direction we long to see.
But we have to take care of ourselves so that we can unleash those gifts, that light and that love, in the world.
So rather than steep myself in outrage (not that I ever object to a little well-placed anger and I fully accept that it may crash my little Self Nurture Party tomorrow) I'll be nourishing myself, and hopefully losing some of these goddamn persistent knots in my shoulders.
There are no shoulds here. Yes, you want to show up for the world in the way you most believe in. But there’s no one right way to do it.
For those of you who are marchers and impassioned letter writers, I salute you. For those of you who build movements and change the world for the better with your whirling energy, I bow in your direction.
For those of you who are easily overwhelmed, who know that marching would drain your reserves and somehow never get to the “write letter to congressman” box on your to-do list, fist bump. I'm with you.
Here's something we can do instead: Participate in www.First100Ways.com. 100 small actions that can be done in 100 seconds over the first 100 days the President is in office. After saying for months that I wish someone with my values who understands political action would just tell me what to do already in a way that wouldn't fry my cortex, I was over-joyed when this landed in my inbox.
(Meaning, I'm pretty sure I invented this. The same way I invented the iPod and iTunes. By grumbling about how I had to wait until morning for Tower Records to open up so I could buy a whole CD to get the one song I wanted. By saying, "I really should be able to magically get this one song right now." LO AND BEHOLD.)
Know that whatever you do, it’s enough. Know that showing up for yourself and your family and your community is enough. The last thing we need to do right now is beat ourselves up for any perceived failing or lack. Because that’s the energy that helped get us into this tangle. If all you do is help yourself feel better, raise your own energy, you will raise the energy of the world. I promise. From that place, you can take action that will have massive impact, whatever it is.
I love you, fellow Americans, fellow humans on this planet. You are enough and you do enough.
And if you are marching, make sure you bring mittens and a snack.