Since Saturday, I've noticed an interesting trend in conversation and on social media.
Within minutes of the presidential election being called, I saw the same sentiment repeated over and over on my news feed: "I feel like I just breathed out for the first time in four years".
Talking with family and friends elicited similar sentiments. Most people seemed surprised that they weren't aware of what they were carrying until the moment it left.
There are a couple lessons to take from this: our feelings live in our bodies as physical tension, and when we carry it around for a certain amount of time we go numb to it.
Now everyone who reads this may not have the same politics, but I'm sure there is something you are carrying around that is keeping you from exhaling--even if what you might currently be predominantly feeling right now is relief. The way the coronavirus is surging and the lack of effective federal intervention has been covered up by the election cycle but will be in the forefront of our minds within days and there is the possibility of political unrest in the coming weeks and we are all carrying that together. There are people who because of their race have lived their whole lives the way you felt for the past four years.
Don't go blind to it. Don't go numb to it. Don't live without processing it. Use it as a spur to action. Use it as a window into empathy. Use it as a prompt to take care of yourself. Don't wait until circumstances change to remember to breathe out, though a full exhale might not be possible.
We are never fully free of what we carry, but we have to let it move through the best we can to see clearly and to function as we must in order to heal the world
You need the exhale to make the inhale happen.
Thoughts on what is going on in the work and the world right now. Many posts to come.