Announcing a special tele workshop on Thursday 11/17 and Saturday 11/19! Read on for details.
How do you respond to the election? I've heard terror, anger, sadness, embarrassment, resolve, humor, kindness, creativity, and courage. My friends have retreated to process and recover, and they've come forward with plans for education and activism.
I've been doing all of the above. A key moment for me was saying, "Donald Trump is going to be the president." I was nauseous. I said it again, and I felt a knot of sadness and fear in my stomach. I said it again, and let myself cry. I recognized Trump will not be my president in the way that Obama has been, as someone I can look up to, even if I disagreed at times. What's more, the country might not be safe for me and my friends like I've thought it is. And then, after facing this fear directly, I wondered, who are my leaders? Who are the people I look up to? What are the mini United States of Family, Friends, and Colleagues that we preside in? How safe am I in those? I saw many "mini-republics" that I am a part of: CUNY Applied Theatre; my coaching family; Easton Mountain; Mert and my family by blood; all of blue NYC. I am safe in all of those. In fact, I'm pretty privileged and blessed. I also recognized that my stuffed otter Babka is my personal presidential mascot :-)
From there, I had the clarity and freedom (and sense of humor) to get together with my peeps, squeeze each other, and think about the work to be done. Meaning, for me, how to win safety for people of color, gay and queer people, trans and gender non-conforming people, and immigrants and refugees; how to nourish the arts; how to have plenty of good work for people to do; how to protect the environment; and how to contribute to stable and peaceful international relations. Mert and I hosted dinners with friends, I connected with my coach buddies, Applied Theatre buddies, and Easton buddies, and I marched in Saturday's protest from Union Square.
This sense of connection and conviction gave me courage to look beyond the communities I feel safe in, toward the places and people that went for Donald. Thanks to my friend Dorcas Davis, I saw that the election "tells us what time it is": the election shows how deeply white people, and especially white, working class straight men, feel that they're being left behind by the moves the US has been making toward multiculturalism and internationalism. They resent being left behind and they expressed their resentment with their vote.
Is their resentment racist? Absolutely. So is our whole soup of a country. But what futures are available to white people who don't have the same opportunities and their fathers had? What will it take for them to see that their version of "left behind" is different than being afraid for your life? And what will it take for them to see that we're all in this together? My friend Chris McNabb pointed out that grad school was where he learned most deeply about racism in this country. What does meaningful education and outreach look like today? What candidates from the left can sing that song next election, and what bridges can people make in their lives now?
Mulling on these questions, I brought talk of the election into my teaching and into my work in Man Question, I have coached on it with my clients, I am brewing on some projects to come, and I developed an hour-long tele workshop to share with YOU!
So here's the invitation. Join me for an hour-long tele workshop on embracing the shadow, rooting into your needs and values, and developing new actions, in light of the election. Using my coaching approach, I will guide you in journaling to prompts, and you will have the chance to share with others on the call, if you like.
- Embracing the shadow means welcoming the parts of you and the world that you'd rather not acknowledge. For example, when I grappled with the election, I said "Trump is going to be president" and sat with the feelings that arose.
- Those shadowy bits hold a lot of wisdom, so we'll use what you find to clarify what you need and value. By embracing with my sadness and fear, I clarified I needed and valued safety, community, and leadership. Once I assembled those, I recognized I also wanted understanding and equity.
- I'll then ask you to extend those values into new actions you can take in the coming days, weeks, months, and four orange-tinted years. My actions are meals, marching, learning, teaching, art-making, and this tele workshop. Join me!
Registration is now closed. Contact me if you would like to learn more.