This morning I awoke to emails and social media filled with anxiety, sadness, fear and panic. Undoubtedly, half the country was waking with some level of excitement. Whenever we notice fear, anxiety, etc. present, they are priceless clues that we are experiencing an inner state that needs help. Most often, we tend to see the problem or solution "out there." When we do this, we are missing the real problem and solution and also disempower ourselves from taking the action we most need. Here are 11 steps to consider this morning...and with any time we experience upset.

  1. Stay in this moment – not in the fear of tomorrow. Breath this breath. Handle today. Drive the kids to school today. Teach today’s class. Show up for others today.
  2. Be aware of the stories: we get upset not by circumstances but by our stories of the circumstances – “The world is going to implode.” “This will be awful.” “Hate will rule.” Do we know those are true? Ditch the disempowering and fear-based stories and create stories we want to live into "This is ultimately going to lead to the change I seek - albeit in an unexpected way."
  3. Accept reality: while we may be in shock, panic or disbelief, it is empowering to acknowledge reality: “Trump won. That happened. I am still alive and I am going to get on with living and creating the life I seek and the world I want.” Resistance of reality is disempowering and exhausting. Let's get on with changing the current reality to one we more seek.
  4. Stay focused on what we want (Unity? Peace? Respect? Safety? Love?) vs. what we don’t want (divisiveness, fear, closing our hearts, etc.)
  5. See the mirror: what we likely are feeling now (Fear, Hopelessness, Helplessness, Hate/Dislike, Mistrust) is exactly what the voters of Trump have said they have been feeling for many years. So perhaps this can bring an acknowledgement of a shared human experience we have with "the other side." We are all humans dealing with very tough emotions. So how might we work with these emotions in a positive and constructive way?
  6. Start within - Be what we seek: Be love, peace, respect, and trust now this moment. Do we really want the solution or our life raft “out there” in a person or government? Be what we seek in our leaders. They are a reflection of us so let’s work on being this so our next leader will emerge from these qualities we embody.
  7. See the bigger arc of life and human history: While this is a major event it is only one event in a longer, greater unfolding story.
  8. Embrace this reminder that we are not in control: while we can and should be fully engaged with helping to create positive change, this is a reminder that life happens regardless of our plans: the loss of a loved one, the unexpected diagnosis of cancer, a failed relationship - and an unexpected election. This is a painful reminder of our misguided attempt to “put all of the puzzle pieces in place” in life so that we can be _______ (happy, feeling safe, etc.)
  9. Connect to something much bigger than a politician: what is your doorway to something bigger? Is it turning off the media and getting into the woods? Meditating? Connecting with the Divine? All of those things eclipse any election or event.
  10. Take action: we don’t need to wait for the candidate or policy we desire. Take action today toward what we might most want – tolerance, helping the disenfranchised, ensuring equality, etc. Do one act of service today - it's a great tonic.
  11. Love: In the end, we know this is what it all comes down to - Love. Love what is in front of us in this moment, love our kids, love our neighbors, be love as we go through life…and eventually (when we are ready) love those who we might see as our enemies.