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A Lifestyle Lessons for Elections

Originally published on Nov 8, 2022

Today is Election Day.

Though you probably didn’t need me to tell you that. This particular one is just as important as every other one before it, but there’s different energy around it because more people now know just how important it is.

Every two years, we get the chance to voice our preferences and make our (s)elections of who we want to represent us on the national stage. The stakes only seem higher this time because while racism, sexism, bigotry, and the like have always been woven into the thread of this nation, over the past few years more people are talking about it and taking action.

Thank goodness.

One of the byproducts of our cultural trauma coming to surface is that more light is shining on our broken places, so we are more aware of just how shattered and separated we’ve truly become.

It’s a sad but true reality that we humans still don’t know how to look, love, and live differently while inhabiting the very same planet. It’s a lesson we obviously need to learn.

While I don’t have any all-encompassing epiphanies as to how to mend those fractures immediately, hopefully you understand by now that my life’s work is dedicated to the long road of repair. If you read along last week, you know that Anne’s Anatomy is designed to help all of us better connect our little-s self with the ultimate truth: that we are all individual extensions of one big-S self.

In not-so-subtle ways, I’ve been quite clear in saying it is oppression itself that’s making us all sick and separated. All of our stress is due to discriminatory systems, even those we seemingly benefit from.

My hope is that this election reveals leaders who address this issue head on.

Regardless of what happens today though, we will all wake up in a different reality tomorrow - fingers crossed it’s a more liberated one - and being able to hold space for all this turmoil in the meantime can be quite trying.

Here are three practices that might help.

SEE: Notice your internal responses to all this external change.

Our collective situation is changing, and this will trigger lots of internal sensations for us all. And they’ll be the Big Ones, ones connected to survival and sustenance. Ones that will be connected to your parental patterns and relationships with authority. Ones that will hijack your brain the most.

Over the next few weeks, as we transition into a new electoral body, pay special attention to your own body. Where’s the tension? How’s your sleep? When do you reach for sugar?

It’s tempting, especially if you’re an activist, to take the energy of your emotion and put it out into the world just as soon as it gets triggered. But it’s much more effective if you give yourself time to digest it first. After all, the only change we ever truly make is within ourselves.

When we feel differently, we think differently. And when we think differently, we act differently. Then this inspires others to do the same.

This process requires us to stay grounded in our bodies and present in our cells. From there, we can sort out what to do.

STOP: Prevent yourself from taking on a high-information diet.

Let’s be honest. For the majority of people, our sovereignty and safety is on the ballot, so our survival mechanisms are going to go bonkers for a bit.

One of the byproducts of having triggered survival systems is that they automatically make you more alert. Your pupils dilate, your breath quickens, and your blood pressure raises. And your SEEKING system goes nuts. This is designed to help us see, feel, smell, taste, and hear better to scan for danger in our environment.

Was that a lion’s roar? Did I just feel a rumble of an earthquake? Does this berry taste weird?

This was helpful when our biggest threats were lions, tigers, bears, and poison berries. But now our greatest threat is other people. The massive alert button going off all the time isn’t always as advantageous.

You may feel tempted to glue yourself to a chair and watch the news for hours and hours on end, listening to the droning political analysis, and that will be because your SEEKING system is scanning for threat.

But ask yourself: does this really help me? Do these opinions actually help me feel more empowered and informed? Or are they just psyching me out?

Abstain from a high-information, over-stimulation diet. It’ll only pump you full of cortisol and make it tough to sleep. It’s tough to get active if you’re a burnt out activist.

START: Be intentional about your information and interactions.

Instead of going on a high-information diet, stick to a more specific information one.

Which news outlets can you can trust? Can you get your information with a 30-second internet search? Is there someone on social media who will filter through all the noise for you so you don’t have to?

Be more strategic about the information you consume, especially if your human is a little on edge right now.

It may also be very useful to have intention around your interactions. Are you trying to build a better future based on well-informed hope and optimism? Then don’t spend much time talking to people who are freaking out, frustrated, and frantic.

Your energy is contagious. And if the elections don’t land in the most liberating way, our hope and optimism are the most important resources from which we will draw new possibilities for what’s next. Getting bogged down in doomsday does nothing for anyone. Don’t expose yourself to such toxicity.

My hope is that we awaken with leaders who will move the evolutionary needle forward for a world that is more happy, healthy, wealthy, and free. But no matter what happens, I know my work in bringing enlightenment to life remains the same.

May you also continue your path toward integration, alignment, coherence, and flow. We need you to be whole if we have any hope of holistically healing together.

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