Shortly after the election, I saw someone post, “If you’re feeling despair, you’re not doing enough.” That stuck with me, and I’ve focused on just getting in action. I’ve joined a local climate change advocacy group and have taken on leadership roles in organizing events and lobbying our state legislature. Without fail, I leave every meeting feeling more hopeful and balanced. A big part of it is just knowing that I am not alone, that there are good-hearted and committed people who are moving forward. A good friend of mine who started an organization would always start his meetings by saying, “Thank you for showing up.” I have tried to carry this simple encouragement with me. Just showing up gets me out of my head, into the world, into conversation with others, and is undoubtedly more productive than spinning in the morass of fear and inaction. Bottom line: it’s easier with other people!
-Taylor, Davis CA
In our small town, we have taken a different approach. Many of my neighbors are strong Trump supporters and see the state of the world very differently than I do. Rather than accept the gap between us and assume we know how the others feel, we gather in the local library and really listen to each other. There are rules of engagement: listen respectfully, avoid interruptions, everyone gets a chance to speak, no “teaching” (which means that “facts” are stored away for use elsewhere). Instead, feelings and fears are shared. Last time we discussed immigration. Next will be climate change. The motion forward? Understanding and feeling empathy may seem like a small step, but it starts to build a bridge.
-Katharine, Essex NY
I cannot afford to get too upset about things like this administration. I take small steps and keep active in a couple of political group actions. Also, I take drawing classes and go to the gym and exercise at home and I try to keep an eye on my nutrition.
-Margaret New York, NY
At work we talk to each other. Not long conversations but little snippets here and there as we go about our daily duties. We are finding those who are of the same mind and those who are not. Some of my coworkers do not agree with me…I still like them, talk to them and consider what they have to say. We are all in this together and I don’t feel quite so alone when we talk. I still get agitated but I’m not isolated. This website helps me a lot.
Unable to find healing spaces centered on the trauma of non-black people of color and black folks, my friend and I were struggling to start our healing process post-inauguration and post-election. Then, we realized we could manifest the energy we wanted to create into our own healing. We organized a potluck for our friends and utilized the “Finding Steady Ground” reminders to center our conversation and action on self-care and healing. All the attendees loved it and it provided the framework for a fruitful discussion and sense of collective healing.
-Harleen Ann Arbor, MI