The events of this past week were many things, but for spiritual people they were a call to action, the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite some time.
While many continue to feel shock and dismay at the out-picturing of so much negativity embodied in 1 candidate and platform, we must now step back and look at our part in the unfolding of these events.
“I had NO part whatsoever in this travesty,” you might say, but like it or not, you did – indeed we all did.
The good news is that we now have a clear clarion call. It is time now to respond to the outcome of this election by doing what we do best: knowing that there is only Love, that even in this culmination of negativity, Spirit resides in the midst of all: all of us and all of “them“.
“Good luck with that,” you might say and who could blame you?
If there is to be any Good that comes out of this, however; we must all be willing to be a part of the solution. And to be a part of a solution, we must get back to basics.
In other words, it’s time to channel our inner Louise Hay.
In the 1980s when the AIDS issue was in full crisis mode, Louise Hay commandeered a large following of men scared witless about the disease. She famously started her support group by telling newcomers that they were not going to play “ain’t it awful”
We would do well today to take her advice.
Moving forward we need to give our energy and attention to loving, hope-filled and peaceful events and people. We may need to unplug from the media, who are financially invested in playing “ain’t it awful” on a 24/7 cycle.
We can give our time and money to agencies and causes that promote the values we support, and we can speak and teach peace and lovingkindness in our churches, centers, communities and homes. We can become the peace we want to see in the world; we can model the behavior we desire to see in others and we can walk the talk that we can quote line and verse to others, every day in every way.
My absolute favorite business leadership gurus of all time are Barry Posner and James Kouzes. Introduced to them and their seminal work The Leadership Challenge in graduate school, I’ve been a groupie ever since. Written in 1987 (interestingly, the same year that Hay House was founded), the Leadership Challenge (book) identified Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® that emerged from Kouzes and Posner’s research on leaders.
They found that when leaders are at their personal best, they act in the following ways:
- Model the Way: Leaders clarify values by finding their voice and affirming shared values, and they set the example by aligning their actions with the shared values.
- Inspire a Shared Vision: Leaders envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities, and they enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.
- Challenge the Process: Leaders search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve, and they experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience.
- Enable Others to Act: Leaders foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships, and they strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.
- Encourage the Heart: Leaders recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence, and they celebrate values and victories by creating a spirit of community.
Moving forward from this week as I regroup along with my friends, my Center and community; I will be pondering how to Model the Way forward, away from anger and resentment and into Love. I will be working to Inspire a Shared Vision – a vision focused on knowing that there is only Love; regardless of the external appearances. I commit to Challenging the Process to improve our discourse, and to achieve small wins that we can build on to move toward bigger wins for the greater Good. I will seek always to Enable Others to Act by building up those around me, and helping others in my community to turn away from the rhetoric of division and toward a discourse of unity. I will Encourage the Heart of all who are around me, recognizing the positive contributions of others, celebrating our values of harmony and Oneness and what I know will be our victory of unity over division; peace over turmoil; love over anger and resentment.
As spiritual people, we have the power to create a reality that does not give into the darkest urges; to hold a sacred space of Truth that knows for us and for our country, that no matter what it looks like, sounds like or feels like – we are all One, and all is well. And if we give our time, our attention and energy to these, we will make a difference for all time.
I invite you to join me on this path forward.