things to remember on 4 nov 2020

this piece was written with one audience in mind: me. if it is helpful for you, i love that. take what's helpful, leave the rest.

have your feelings or they will have you

have your feelings or they will have you.

if you don’t know what you are feeling, move slower. if slower is enough slow enough, pause. be still for as long as it takes to find your way to clarity. bonus points if you can be still with someone(s). virtual and physical options are both excellent here. your emotions are not side-line to what is happening; they are an integral part of what is happening. the same is true for other people (whether or not they are aware of it).

some reminders for working with specific feelings that might be relevant today:




notice if you are spiraling

(emotional) spiraling can looks all sorts of ways. know thy self (ht andy s). as a reminder, spiraling may look like:

if you are spiraling, slow down. there are likely feelings that are having you. have your feelings (see above).

other things to remember

ideally, feel your feelings before moving to action. when you do otherwise, you are acting on only partial information.

wherever you find yourself unprepared, find and follow the leadership of people who have been preparing. some people have been preparing for this day for days, weeks, or months. others have been preparing for days like today for centuries. finding either or both is good.

everything that gets big starts small. join/do small things before joining/doing big things. small things today might include: eating, drinking water (aiming for the clear pee), checking in on a finite number of people who you can actually provide care for and celebrating when that number of check-ins has been achieved, meditating, cancelling meetings (meetings for today and the rest of the week).

mourn everything.

get to a body of natural water if possible. the charles river is less than 15 minutes away. brave the cold. it’ll be worth it.

remember that there is life beyond this election. “stress is a tactic of the ruling class to breakdown our bodies and movements.”

remember that there are both healthy and unhealthy reasons and methods of dissociation. do what you need to do; just be aware of what you’re doing and why. it will make later course correction easier.

write down any and every thought that you might want to come back to later. do not rely on your memory today.

remember that every thought you have does not need to be acted on.

trust your people. they are dope.

some of your ancestors danced even while literally enslaved. dance today. it is a survival tactic.

you are worthy of pleasure and joy, even on hard days. these you must give to yourself because the systems you live in are not designed to give it to you (or at least not without nasty strings).

remember that you can hold something without squeezing it as hard as possible. it doesn’t take a death-grip to hold onto something without dropping it (ht gibrán).

a hand that is permanently open or permanently closed is still stuck. keep it moving. life is movement. death is the end of movement.

remember that if you are moving from trauma, that is what you will spread. move from groundedness or be still. neither is better and both are necessary. read this one again if you notice that doubt arising.

quotes and inspiration for today

“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” — maya angelou, quoting vivian baxter jackson (her mom)

“Every crisis, actual or impending, needs to be viewed as an opportunity to bring about profound changes in our society. Going beyond protest organizing, visionary organizing begins by creating images and stories of the future that help us imagine and create alternatives to the existing system.” — grace lee boggs, the next american revolution

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” — ursula k. leguin

A horse suddenly came galloping quickly down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go. Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse replied, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” — learned from thich nhat hanh

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer. — a zen story

on endings and beginnings

every end contains at least one new beginning. take time to honor everything that is ending today and remember to move towards possibility. tomorrow will not be today or yesterday.

11:13a ET update here

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