My beautiful friend Laraine Herring gave me permission to share part of her recent email, which made me feel I could take a deep breath for the first time in a long while:
There is a lot going on now. This has all been coming for a very long time. It’s the election, sure, but it’s the economic collapse — which has been on a collision course for years. It’s the environment. It’s too many people. Too much consumption. It’s the helplessness of realizing our economy has been built only on consumption, and if we try to live responsibly & simply, our economic system as we know it cannot survive. These are necessary collapses. America is coming undone and that’s going to put everyone on edge. I have had so many students (young ones too) extremely ill — strokes, cancers, etc) this semester — very odd — a visceral, body response perhaps to what is happening in the world? The suffering that has been hidden is coming into the light — the inequities of the way we’ve been living is pushing up from inside the earth and forcing us to look at what we’ve done to each other & to our planet. This has been coming a very long time. I don’t know if that makes me more confident that Barack will be elected because we so desperately need a leader to take us to the next level of collective consciousness, or if it makes me more confident that McCain will be elected because we are still not yet ready to release the things that are keeping us in this cycle. All I can tell you is that whatever happens, the key for working through it is taking care of yourself — not in a selfish way, but in a very profound spiritual way. It is a time for shedding and releasing. A time for going deep within ourselves & see how we have contributed to this unsustainability & to see what we can do — and it begins within. Getting simpler, living simpler, noticing small beauties, and above all else, doing the work we were put here to do without regard for outcome.Wise words, indeed.
I really believe that alignment through these upcoming trials is going to come through walking an authentic path moment to moment. If you let yourself go too far in the future, it will be too easy to spin out of control. It’s a very edgy time. It’s very scary when belief systems fall away. That’s what’s happening. People’s beliefs on marriage, love, race, etc — they’re imploding pretty much all at once. Charles Johnson has an interesting piece in this month’s Shambhala Sun on an Obama presidency & the illusion of race in America. Even the belief in the American economy. Dead. And it’s OK — things fall apart so they can be put back together. Nationally, we’re seeing that we had no control over things to begin with — another illusion shattered. It’s scary. Keep letting go. Stand naked & shimmering in your beautiful self. That’s where you’ll find freedom (& all of us will). Keep yourself healthy. Maintain a practice of some kind. And, to paraphrase the Tao, when a house falls on your head, be yourself.
I have been trying to look through a lens of love instead of a lens of fear, to open, not contract, my heart, but it's not always easy when so many things in my life feel uncertain. I love this picture of my son looking through a heart-shaped tube. Arin turned 18 on Sunday; I have an adult kid--how crazy is that?! I am so proud of him--he really is someone who lives life fully, who makes the most out of every single moment; he's smart and funny and strong and kind and just an all around wonderful person. And he gets to vote next month, which makes me so excited--another yes for Obama! In the meanwhile, I keep reminding myself to both let go and cherish, let go and cherish, and try to be myself even when a house lands squarely on my head.