To the Editor:
This election has put many of us on the fast track to waking up. I don’t just mean waking up to the needs and struggles of the “other half” of our country. I mean a Waking Up to our own need to grow. We want to grow as people. We know we must if we are to find ways to survive and solve the seemingly unsurmountable and intractable crises all around us.
I’ve been shaken. I feel a sick lump of terror that kind of comes and goes. I have worked on calming and caring for myself. Yoga, meditation every morning, hikes in the woods, fresh air, enjoying beauty, playing with cats, and taking a time out from the news. I look around and see I am not alone. There was a candelight vigil in Great Barrington this past Saturday; my sangha has seen record attendance at our sittings since the election; and there are upcoming gatherings, such as the Women of Spirit in the Berkshires’ community conversation this week. These events are a way of taking refuge, of reminding ourselves of the love that’s available to us in community. Daily I am enriched by email offerings of comforting and wise reflections. Diving into creativity and mindfulness, people are composing songs, writing prose and poetry. Taking refuge.
To me the inner work of caring for fear, anger and confusion is mandatory, not only for well-being, but for clearing the mind so that understanding and wisdom can emerge. From this space, we will know better how to proceed, to do the work that needs doing.
Sharon Coleman is a psychologist, coach and mindfulness practitioner who lives in Great Barrington.