It is Tuesday morning, November 3, 2020.

We are watching the rise of fascism and the fall of democracy in the US. And we are watching a groundswell of activism and determination to fight back and to create and recover freedom.

The Trump Train slowed the Biden/Harris bus to 20 mph and tried to run it off the road on a Texas highway Friday. Trump tweeted a clip of it with I Love Texas. The fear of terrorist violence from Trump supporters is on everyone’s mind this month with his “stand down and stand by” and this weekend gave us a taste. Then Trump condemned the FBI for investigating.

One of the most disheartening aspects of the last four years is that millions of Americans are still prepared to vote for Trump. We grieve a deeply divided country. We grieve a loss of belief in our good will toward each other. We grieve a loss of innocence, that Americans will pull together and rise together.

Some of this innocence was naivety. The American Dream was never meant for all of us. For all the fancy words in the US constitution, “all men” created equal was in practice for white heterosexual men. George Floyd’s murder is one powerful reminder of that in 2020. We have been expanding that definition and fighting for human rights for centuries and now it seems that much of the ground we gained is eroding under our feet. We are uncertain and we are scared.

Freedom is not lost. We are more organized, determined and connected than ever before. Today as the US votes and we watch the results tonight, let’s give ourselves time to grieve the loss of our innocence. Let’s be kind with ourselves and each other.

Catastrophic thoughts and entertaining worst-case scenarios terrify our mind and body. Be mindful especially today and redirect your attention. You can simply tap lightly on your forehead, bringing your attention to the sound and sensation of the tapping. Do an orienting practice of naming out loud 5 things you can see, touch 4 textures, name 3 things you can hear, 2 favorite smells and 1 favorite taste. You can stand up and shake your body for 2 or 3 minutes. Breathe out for at least 6 seconds, saying the syllable Vooo.

These are scary times. We feel powerless and we are afraid. Down-regulating our nervous system is something we CAN do.

Grieving the Loss of Our Innocence
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