<< Insert inspiring quote here >>
I was having trouble finding an inspiring quote to put in the space above. Every quote I considered felt at best hollow and at worst patronising, so I have decided to leave it blank for this letter. I had a headache all weekend, the kind that comes from physical tiredness and mental worry. Big changes in one part of the world affect us all, and like the shock I felt following the Brexit result here in the UK, I am saddened by the result of the presidential election in the USA. People from all over the world have taken my courses, read my blog, receive this here letter and reach out to me every single day. I no longer see borders separating all our countries — we are all human beings doing our best to live a life that has meaning while taking care of the people that matter to us. So when votes are cast to leave Europe, build walls and seemingly give a green light to misogyny, bigotry and racism, I just can’t comprehend it.
I do know how easy it is for me to judge the actions of others while I’m sitting over here in my privileged London bubble. I made a conscious decision a few years ago to boycott the TV and newspapers in order to keep my energy levels up. Soaking in all the fear and negativity like an empathetic sponge doesn’t help me or the people I serve. In my previous incarnation as a journalist I worked at several national newspapers and can now see how poisonous that culture was to my system. However, avoiding traditional media also means I lose touch with what’s actually happening “out there” (not that the media always accurately reflects that, but you know what I mean). I live in a city that voted to stay in the European Union. I don’t live in a part of the country where leaving the EU felt like the better choice. Likewise, I have friends, peers and readers who live in the parts of the USA that voted for Hillary Clinton. I have no idea what it’s like to live in a place — physically, mentally or emotionally — where voting for Trump felt like the better choice.
If Brexit and Trump are a reflection of our world right now, and that doesn’t feel like the future you want for the little people in your life, it’s no longer enough to have “Be the change you want to see in the world” as your email sign-off — we really do have to BE it. Embody it. Live it. To teach the next generation — for they are the ones who will create the lasting change for THEIR children — how to be brave and honest, inclusive and compassionate. And I truly believe it starts with us. In my own life I’ve seen how healing the hurts from my past neutralises the hurts that were passed down from the generations behind me. My life and choices are radically different to my mother’s, whose own life is and was radically different from my grandmother’s. “The world will be saved by the western woman” so says the Dalai Lama. This is another quote that frequently floats across the internet and I think he may be on to something. I am a feminist to my core. I believe in equality for ALL and yes, I would have loved to have seen a woman elected president of the country that has a special place in my heart, but it’s very apparent that more healing needs to happen before that change will manifest. We are still living in the shadow of the past. So much has changed since my maternal grandmother was born in 1899, but it’s still such early days in our evolution as a global community. I’ve read a lot of things in the last few days questioning how and why women in particular voted for Trump over Clinton. The word “sisterhood” has come up time and time again and it hurts my heart to acknowledge that as a collective we woman are still so often our own worst enemies. Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote a while back:
“As women we were told we were second class for so long it got absorbed into our collective psyche. And now that bras have been burnt and we edge towards a society filled with equals? We’re hit again in our tenderest of places — we’re judged on how we look by the harshest critics of all: ourselves. Has there ever been a more effective way of keeping people down? We’re so busy worrying about how we look there’s no time for anything else. We could probably take over the world if we weren’t stressing about fitting into our skinny jeans.”
That last line has been swirling around my head today. How can we bring about global change when we hate our own bodies — when we hate our own selves? What would happen if we healed that wound once and for all?
Here’s what I believe: right now we are tilling the soil for the next generation of change. My mother’s generation paved the way in the 60s so that we could be here doing what we need to do to ensure our children inherit a world where equality, empathy, peace and kindness are their everyday reality. A world where people talk to each other respectfully. A world where every human being takes responsibility for their emotions and learns how to navigate the world without causing harm. Where people feel seen and heard — and look and listen in return.
Here’s what I’m doing: I’m helping to raise two kind-hearted and considerate boys in this world, one of whom is already marked out as “different” simply because he prefers “girl’s” toys to “boy’s”.
I’m committed to healing the hurts from my past so I don’t pass their legacy on to anyone else.
I’m redoubling my efforts to shine my light into the world in person and online to help others reconnect to their own light.
I pledge to continue creating tools that support others in their journey to wholeness and healing so that they can effectively till their patch of soil.
Politics is not something I would usually speak about in this letter, but it felt important to address it today. Wherever you in the world, I wish you peace and kindness, today and always xo
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” RIP Mr Cohen.
This is an excerpt from the Love Letter I sent out today — thought it should be shared here, too.