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Guest Column

How to talk about the election 

By Dr. Vidya Reddy

Hello, and welcome to the post-election corner. 

You are the best evidence that love is real. That love heals. That love is revolutionary. This is why you are difficult to find. Not everyone is interested in truth.

This column is dedicated to how to talk about the election; I hope it helps and serves you. Needless to say, it has been long, stressful, filled with hope and terrifying fear…and it is finally coming to an end. 

In the spirit of robust helpfulness, I feel compelled to share with you the thought exercises I’ve learned over the past few months. If you would like more information, techniques, and meditation based on Life Lessons, please refer to my podcast: https://naturally-happy.com/podcast/

But it’s just like anything challenging or disturbing or uncomfortable. You must be willing. And I hope for all our sakes you use your voice. You will surprise yourself how powerful you are in moments you don’t want to speak but you still do. You can always choose when you want to go there or have the desire to avoid there. 

How to talk about the election:

--with Grace

--with Curiosity

--with Openness

--with Compassion

--with Breath

Everyone has an opinion that shapes their reality. Shapes their assumptions. Shapes the stories that confirm what they already believe to be true. But what if we practiced speaking to listen? Practiced connecting to love? Practiced wondering to learn? There is always a way if you look for other ways.

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Dr. Vidya Reddy

How to talk about the election: with grace.

With grace. No one is perfect or has all the answers or says the right things all the time. No matter what – give the benefit of doubt and ask what they meant by that when they said that – request more examples or data or a resource they got it from. 

Try not to get personal and keep it on the issues. That is hard to do when it is the easiest to attack. It is what always tends to happen. To avoid and get mean. Don’t forget to give yourself grace. To know your limits. Give yourself permission to express yourself in public and in private. Whatever you do or however you show up. Remember grace.

How to talk about the election: with curiosity.

With curiosity. Avoid confirmation bias. Don’t just listen and watch and look for what you agree with. Research all sides even if you know you are biased towards one. But not all people will take the time to search or wonder or gather facts. They will go with what they think they know. 

So, ask why? Even say the phrase “I am curious…about” to help distance yourself from being emotionally tied to the question or the assertion or situation. Let that curiosity land on them to figure out rather than you hold onto all that emotional labor. With curiosity you may uncover something new.

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Breathe

How to talk about the election: with openness.

With openness. You get to choose how you show up and enter a conversation, but you don’t get to always choose if what someone says (or potentially says) is triggering. So, if you are willing to sit across or be in close proximity to someone with a different opinion try to clear your mind. 

Remind yourself that they are human too. Control any stereotypes or projections or ideas about them. Listen with loving kindness. Trust they are trying to get their point across in a space they normally aren’t in. Just because you are open doesn’t mean you can’t control what lands on you.

How to talk about the election: with compassion.

With compassion. Care. Simple care. Think about others. Think about the impact of real lives. What happens around us isn’t a game. People are hurt but don’t know how to express it. Don’t know where to turn or who they are safe to share it. 

Empathize with humanness. With your own nature. To recognize when you are being hard on yourself. Hand on others. Relax all those judgements you have. Listen as intently as you can. Repeat what you are hearing and feeling. Keep your awareness as close to you as close to them as possible, so you can be present. Fully present.

How to talk about the election: with breath.

With breath. You hear something that hurts. Breathe. When you see something that denies. Breathe. When you feel yourself getting defensive, breathe.

Your breath is what you can control. And in those moments of tension, take a breath. To try to calm down and begin again. Close your eyes and pay attention to the sounds of you. The heart in you. The stiffness, the holding, the ache in you. Do this before during and after. Seek clarity by returning to your breath to be more, clear. To not lose what you want to say or want to feel. Breath is your tool to turn to. It will tell you what to do. 

Grateful my words found you 

In Peace, Love and Gratitude 

‘Til next time

Dr.Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC

www.Naturally-Happy.com

 

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