Donald Trump and The Placebo Effect

I had a dream on Wednesday morning.

I could have sworn it was real. I wish it was.

Everything was blue in color. I checked my phone and the New York Times had announced that Hillary Clinton won the election.

I wasn’t enthused, but I was relieved.

Then I woke up. Nothing was blue. It was pitch black.

Usually, when the dogs hear me get up, they cry to go outside.

They didn’t cry on Wednesday. Everything was silent. I knew what had happened.

Donald Trump is like a sugar pill. It seems and feels like something’s happening, but really there’s nothing there. It’s a sham.

Except a lot of us aren’t aware of it. It somehow feels like a cure.

But it won’t last. And the people who really need the help are the ones that are going to suffer the most.

It’s a shame because no one really deserves to suffer. Navigating life is hard enough.

But what can we do? That’s the question we must ask ourselves for the next 4 years. What can we do?

By we, I mean you and me and everyone. Rather than depend on some establishment to fix our lives, what can we do to begin to repair ourselves and each other?

Trump isn’t going to do it. Hillary wouldn’t have been able to do it either.

Good presidents put band-aids on bullet holes. Bad presidents pick at scabs before the skin gets a chance to heal.

It’s a lose-lose situation when we look for something outside of ourselves to heal our pain.

We’re all walking around with broken hearts. Our cars are nice, our homes are beautiful, but our hearts are shattered.

We’re angry and sad and everyone else is the problem. The “others” are the issue.

But I’m not so sure that that’s true. Yes, Trump is bound to screw some things up and ignorantly inspire more ignorance, but we don’t have to succumb to it.

He’s a disconnected old fart, we shouldn’t expect much. This is more disappointing than surprising.

So can we use this as an opportunity to face reality head on, rather than run, hide, complain and ignore?

Can we use this as inspiration to stand strong and stand together with open minds and loving wisdom?

It’s okay to be pissed off or upset for a while, the world is a little jacked up right now. But it’s not a bad place. Don’t let this dissuade you from being you.

Once the sugar high wears off, we can’t just go back to our regularly scheduled program.

We have to continue to smile at our neighbors. We have to continue to comfort our friends. We have to continue to act with kind intentions.

Because I’d really love to see the love grow.

The sun always shines again. No cloud lasts forever.

Be sweet and pass it on. Maybe then we’ll bridge the gap and realize that nothing was between us in the first place.

It was all an illusion.

Making Compassionate Choices

Life is confusing. We’re given a lot choices.

We think it’s our job to decide what’s right or wrong, what’s good or bad, what’s best or better. And of course, no one should dare choose differently.

If you’re not with me, you’re against me. Isn’t that what they say?

It’s easy to turn decision making into an “I” or “me” story. Which makes things personal and creates ways for us to separate ourselves from others.

But that’s all the ego. And deep down inside, we see the holes in our own theories. That’s why we hold them so tightly. We don’t want to create space between ourselves and our stories because if we did, their irrational nature would be too easy to see.

Life without the drama seems boring. I mean, what else would we do? Live together in harmony?

If we put in the effort to really understand others, it can help us see the truth. And seeing the truth can encourage us to feel compassionate toward others, the same way we wish others would feel compassionate towards us.

It’s within our reach. We just have to let go of our need to be right.

When we exclude people due to their opinions, it’s simply a misunderstanding. We’re just not seeing what they’re seeing. It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about understanding different point of views.

We have to open up to our wishes, the wishes of others and to the fact that those wishes may conflict with one another.

That way, we shut out nothing and no one. We’re able to find a way to work with all of it.

Partial compassion is embracing only the things we like. Complete compassion is embracing every peak and valley in our lives. That includes our relationships with others.

Be understanding of the way people think, feel and act. They’re no different than you, they’re just looking at the picture from a different place in the room.

We have more in common than we think.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Last weekend I was in New York and while I was there, I visited the 9/11 memorial. As I walked up to where the buildings once stood, my chest started to feel heavy. I could feel the pain in the air.

I looked at all the names engraved in stone and I couldn’t help but see the paradox. Young children playing, enjoying ice cream, brand new to life, in the same spot where so many people lost their lives sooner than necessary.

Life and death. Young and old. Today, tomorrow and yesterday. Right in front of us.

I wonder why we have such a hard time treating each other well, as if all this is going to last forever.

And I wonder why we get stuck in our ways, as if tomorrow isn’t a new day.

I’m not sure if we’re really paying attention. Because if we were, we’d probably treat ourselves, each other and our planet a little differently.

I just want you to ask yourself one thing before you take action “Would I want this for the world?”.

Live your life like the bird that leads the flock. Not flying too high or low, never steering the group into danger. Hoping to get there safely and together, the same way you left.

Love starts with you. No ones going to make the change for us. No matter how well they sell us their big idea or plan. It’s unrealistic.

No massive change will ever happen if we don’t make the little changes within our own lives to get the ball rolling.

Start right where you’re sitting.

Theres just as much happiness, as there is doom and gloom, which one do you prefer? I hope happiness.

If so, cultivate it and share it. We all need something to smile about.

Spreading Dark Clouds

We share the negativity and think we’re spreading the word. Do we do it for attention? Do we want the world to know that we’re frustrated? Or maybe we just don’t know how to handle it. We see the problems as big and our impact as small. But what if we changed our approach and questioned our motives before we hit post? Take a moment to think of the receiver. How will they benefit from this? Will it cause them to approach their day with a negative view? How does it feel when you see and read all of the hate and fear? Would you vote to carry on the cycle or declare that it ends here? You can only change what’s in your control.

Accept the world as it is. From acceptance, we can really make a difference. We have to be compassionate for others because we’re all living here together. Acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like anything. It means that we put down our resistance and see the situation for what it really is. When we see a situation for what it really is, we can better understand it and better understand how to approach it

Be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want less hatred, less fear, less anger, then learn to work with those things within yourself. From there, enter the world with a new perspective and watch the impact it has on those around you.

Nothing will ever change if we continue to do all things the same.

A Simple Way To Develop Compassion

Compassion is connection. It’s building a foundation of care within yourself and for yourself that you can extend to others.

A simple way to begin developing compassion is to think back to a time that you experienced the feeling of being loved, cared for, appreciated or encouraged. Close your eyes and allow those feelings come back to you. As they well up within you, recognize them. Say “this is caring”, “this is love”, “this is encouragement”. Use them to start building yourself a foundation of compassion. Take a few minutes each day and allow this to become one of your regular practices.

The more you practice the more aware you will become and the more often you will be able to recognize compassion in your present moment experience. As you develop the capacity to care for yourself, within yourself, it will become easier to care for others.

We’ve all have a seed of compassion thats been planted within us. Even if we’ve grown up or gone through a life that seemed to be full of hatred, anger and tension. As a child before we could care for ourselves, someone had to care for us. If you have trouble bringing to mind moments in your life where you felt loved, imagine the amount of care that must have been given to you as an infant. For you to survive and grow you were protected, your were fed and you were kept warm. We all have potential to build compassion within ourselves, we just have to water the seed.

Do yourself a favor and take 3 minutes right now (just 3 minutes) and close your eyes to practice this exercise. Starting today, make a promise to see yourself in a compassionate way.