Spiritual Workout for politics and current events is an invitation to cultivate conscious politics. There are certainly many ways to define, interpret, and practice conscious politics and the jury is still out for me as to whether or not I am joining a conversation or starting one. (If you have any perspectives of this, bring ‘em.)
Many people in spiritual communities, quote unquote, draw lines of distinction between our spirituality and our politics, by which I mean they don’t ever want to see the two mixed. There’s nothing wrong with not being interested in politics, but I do believe there is something incongruous between being a conscious, spiritual type of person and insisting on keeping spirituality and politics separate. As far as I know, the conscious community believes in the concept of non-duality, no separation, everything connected. I sure do. That’s why the insistence on separating politics and spirituality or consciousness has never felt quite right, but that’s just me and enough about philosophy.
I get anxious and angry and depressed when I pay attention to the news.
The Spiritual Workout approach to politics and current events is just like the Spiritual Workout approach to everything else: down-to-earth and hyper-practical. We put on our lens of the 15 concepts with which we work and see what’s what. Some examples:
I very much want to see poverty disappear in America, but I have a belief that there will always be poor among us.
I get anxious and angry and depressed paying attention to the news.
I tell my supporters that the intention of my campaign for reelection to public office is improving the lives of my constituents; in reality, my intention is to hold political power for myself and my interests.
Our non-profit organization was created 25 years ago to alleviate homelessness in our city, but today we boast more homeless people on our streets than ever before.
In the first example, beliefs sure matter. There’s simply no way for us humans to ever create something we want if we don’t believe it’s possible. Choices abound so we can choose to change what we want or we can change our belief about what’s possible. (It’s called a workout for a reason.)
Intentions are huge in our personal lives and huge in our political lives, particularly when it comes to campaigns, policies, and legislation. You might agree that today’s politics is rife with all manner of unclear, unarticulated, and dishonest intentions. What to do about this? Stay tuned.
The gist of what we do when it comes, generally speaking, to addressing stress and all its permutations is, first and foremost, not “manage” it. Whether our anxieties and fears and/or sadness and depression are triggered by the news or other stimulus, we learn that, fundamentally, those conditions relate to what we’re believing about what we’re seeing and we go from there.
At a minimum, the last example also has to do with intentions. Ostensibly, the organization is in business to put itself out of business. But there they still are, raising money, paying employees, managing volunteers and not achieving their stated intention. This dynamic simply would not exist in a conscious environment.
Most people I talk to about this go immediately to this place: Well, Steven, you don’t have to convince me of anything, but look around at everyone else — there’s no way they’re going to come along. For a multitude of reasons, that’s just fine. Really! I’ll leave you by asking you to consider this: instead of endeavoring to get everyone on board before making any conscious politics moves, let’s first and foremost get it right within ourselves. Then, like imaginal cells that populate the chrysalis and transform a caterpillar into a butterfly, we will bring our consciousness to bear on the political landscape in whatever ways we do, organically and with genuine enthusiasm. At some point, the transformation will occur. It can’t not. We are all connected.