Take a deep breath . . .
No matter how you tended to voted, this presidential election most likely invoked some spike in emotions and possibly a chance to practice running through your repertoire of your favorite 4-letter words.
Yesterday, before the election results came in, I happened to be listening to a record made by some of my favorite jazz artists, Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana. The title track, Taming The Dragon, is a musical dream sequence narrated by Brad Mehldau where he explains a dream of his in which he's riding shotgun next to a character mash-up of Joe Walsh and Dennis Hopper, driving down the PCH.
In the dream, some dude driving a sports car cuts them off in traffic and the Brad Mehldau character in the dream gets all bent outta shape and asks his driver if he's going to go and start some $h!t with that guy. Instead of getting bent, the driver just looks straight forward and explains to the Brad Mehldau character that whatever actions you send out into the world have consequences, that includes words too. The driver doesn't get mad. He just keeps driving.
Brad Mehldau analyzes his own dream as he wakes up and surmises that all the characters in the dream are parts of himself and muses that while at first the driver character seemed like a party guy and a rebel, he was but only in an extremely noble way--rebelliously NOT reacting to the situation. The driver represented the part of himself who didn't have to get bent by events.
Brad continues with the notion that, and this is the important part at least for me, the pissed-off part of himself was like a dragon and with the dragon you're not supposed to conquer it, but rather tame it so that you can learn to use its immense power to tap your more noble self into the drivers seat.
For the last month or so I've been testy and irritable more than I (or my wife) appreciate(s). I'm sure my testiness is a combination of many things including the myriad emotions resulting from the loss of my sister to a motorcycle accident a few months ago, moving both my home as well as yoga studio home a couple of times, this insane presidential election, and maybe more. I don't really identify as grumpy or ill-tempered but "there is" grumpiness. It had come for a visit and that's just what was.
So, I decided to cleanse. I cleaned up my diet. I'm getting more sleep. As part of that, I'm even more selective about what music I listen to and what books I read (Brad Mehldau is most certainly still in my rotation). All forms of consumption were shifted to what would serve my best Self.
Then, listening to this track helped me to become aware of the profound idea that my dragon is whatever energy I'm feeling as the result of all the aforementioned events in my life. Instead of trying to kill the dragon or just put him to sleep so I can get on with being what I think of as a nice guy, I get to learn to somehow harness that energy and allow it act like a battery that will fuel me to drive toward those things I care about.
One week into my cleanse and I feel much, much better. I feel lighter in body, mind, and heart. Seneca says that my countenance is clearer and I'm much more pleasant to be around. Yet, I'm choosing to keep the energy that arose from my previous angst, especially that of the election, to drive me forward creatively toward those ideas and projects that move me. It would be a waste to let this die.
This recent angsty energy has fueled some really creative ideas including some great yoga projects, retreats, and classes. One of those ideas was a meditation that might help you to also transform the energy from anxt to action toward whatever realms you care about.
As a teaser, get ready for not one but TWO international retreats next year to Mexico and Spain, a Yoga Nidra class starting at our new 21st and 21st location starting NEXT WEDNESDAY 6-7 pm, and my Yoga Nidra: Sourcing Your True Power online course starting next year. Plus, I've got two or three other amazing opportunities that are hatching in my brain that are too new to even articulate.
This election has made me think very hard about some issues I really care about. It took parading these issues through the rhetoric of this election for me to understand how important they are to me. It's caused me to use the energy of my dragon to resolve to go out and get active with those issues instead of just complaining about them.
This dragon has some damn good ideas!
One of the ideas I came up with was a meditation I'd love for you to try it. It's a meditation where you get to lie down, get relaxed, feel centered and grounded, then go on a mental journey deep into your belief center and tap into your current feelings about the election while remembering those issues, values, and principles that move you. Then the meditation directs you to use that energy as fuel, like a battery to insert yourself proactively into the world.
Whatever your emotions after the election, use that feeling as your dragon that you may learn to tame and whose mojo you can source to drive you forward toward those issues you care about, be it social justice, integrity, economic or political principles, or whatever.
Don't just post another snarky comment on social media. Get off your duff and use that energy to get involved in something you care about. Do it today while that energy is raging. Volunteer, educate yourself (or others), donate, contribute, build, and create. Do it.
Respond rather than react to those incendiary emotions.
Tame the dragon.
Hear the track I was listening to