Politics and elections, being so intimately connected to all aspects of human existence, are fraught with visibility landmines.
Particularly when the political discussions you end up having are with people who already trigger you, say your family, for example.
So this week you might find it useful to have a few tools up your sleeve.
Here are a few of our favourites at the School of Visibility:
An old yogic favourite that you can use if/when the votes aren’t going your way, when a person in your vicinity starts sprouting a political opinion that you wildly disagree with or find deeply offensive, or when you’re being called upon to express an opinion and just need a minute to centre yourself and collect your thoughts.
2. Yoga nidra
Another old yogic favourite (thank you to the generous yogis and yoginis of India for bringing your extraordinary wisdom to the West 🙏). Clearly 2020 has been an exhausting year for many and to end it with an election would be tough at the best of times. To end it in an environment where one of the candidates is arguably the most controversial figure in the political history of the US takes things to a whole new level.
So you might feel like you need to lie down for a bit.
When you do, rather than tossing and turning and practising very convincing political debate in your head, I recommend using the time to release any resistance you’re storing in your body. Here’s a yoga nidra practice to help with that.
3. Releasing anger and rage
It’s entirely possible that anger and grief might raise their heads this week. If so, a while back we put together an entire series on Women and Rage.
You might wish to review the whole series or you might just want to jump forward to a useful practice here which is all about meeting rage and moving it through your body.
4. Listening and witnessing
When in a potentially fraught conversation, here’s a useful phrase to remember; I hear you. Listening is a highly underutilised skill in this world and desperately needed at this time in human history.
So before jumping into a highly charged conversation about why some people are right and others wrong, remember that the act of deep listening will reveal more, and offer more – to both speaker and listener – than almost any other form of communication.
Plus, you know what the ego does when it realises it has been heard? It stops fighting. It takes a breath. And most importantly of all, it opens itself up to listening. Which means there’s a potential for some middle ground to be uncovered. And in that middle ground lies connection, the potential for creative expression, and the capacity to create new worlds.
Politics is about the way we choose to live with one another. When we take the time to develop our capacity to engage in a thoughtful and purposeful way, basing our conversations in deep listening and a willingness to find points of connection, who knows what might unfold from there.
I’d love to find out.