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Life Makeover for the Year 2008

Week 45 – Rise Up: How to handle the great divide

November 10, 2008

Greetings!

This week I’ll be traveling to the “Celebrate Your Life” conference in Phoenix, AZ which is why you’re receiving this newsletter early. Next week I’ll be heading to LA for the “You Can Heal Your Life” all day event on 11/16, and then off to New York City for the same event on 11/22. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us! For more info on these events, visit here.

Have a wonderful week…

Love,
Cheryl

p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here: http://cherylrichardson.com/


Topic of the Week:

Rise Up

“Living with contradiction, holding together polarities, making room for divergence leads to vitality and enables us to see opposites not as dead ends but as a series of open doors. When we come to know ourselves as gifted and conflicted, we become more tolerant of the differences we encounter in others and can relinquish the illusion that we are the center of a harmonious universe.”
— Elizabeth J. Canham

Many years ago I heard an interview with Marva Collins, the acclaimed African American teacher who developed a methodology that turned children labeled “unteachable” into remarkable students whose test scores often doubled or tripled under the guidance of her program. During the interview Marva was asked why she felt she had been so successful. Her reply was simple, “I hold my students to the greatness I see in them and when I do, they always rise.”

This week, as I listen to the myriad of reactions about the election results, I find comfort in her words. It reminds me to hold tight to my belief in the inherent greatness of humanity, trusting that as we move through this changing time, we too shall rise.

As we deal with the aftermath of the elections, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for how to maintain greatness.

1. Allow yourself to grieve. If the election results didn’t turn out the way you hoped, give yourself as much time as you need to grieve your loss. We are so quick to encourage people to “get over” their feelings in our emotionally phobic culture. This suggestion is an insult to caring, sensitive human beings. Allowing yourself time to feel your anger, sadness, frustration, or fear is an important part of the healing process. When we attempt to shut people down, we only create defensiveness. And, our best behavior never comes from an emotionally reactive place.

2. Regardless of your political position, don’t get pulled in to the derisive conversations that only serve to pit people against each other. When I hear the sarcastic, caustic bantering on the airwaves, I often think to myself: “Gandhi or Jesus would never have communicated in this way.” You are a divine being. Hold yourself to a higher standard when speaking with others.

3. Stay in the game. Don’t become apathetic because you won, and don’t walk away because you lost. Huge numbers of people took interest in this campaign — that’s great news. Make sure your voice continues to be heard. Keep the name, phone number, website, and email address of your political representatives near your computer so you can stay active and informed. You’d be surprised at how few people ever call or email their reps. You can find out who your reps are and the issues that are being debated, by visiting: http://www.house.gov/ and http://www.senate.gov/

4. Don’t try to convince others of your position. As a wise friend once told me, “truth is different at different levels of consciousness.” It’s unrealistic to expect someone to care about the environment when they’re struggling to put food on the table, or to take a stand for peace when their basic need for safety has not been met.

Each human being is doing the best he or she can based on their level of consciousness. With this universal truth in mind, it becomes clear that the greatest contribution we make to each other (and the world) is a commitment to raise our level of consciousness by investing in our own personal development. When we do, we never have to convince anyone of anything. Instead we inspire others to rise up simply by our own example.

We are all spiritual pioneers capable of greatness, regardless of whether we live in a blue or red state. Staying connected to our innate Divinity gives us our greatest chance to survive and thrive in a complex and challenging world.

Take Action Challenge

As a global citizen committed to staying awake, I encourage you to visit the two websites above (house and senate.gov), and also the website of our new president, here.

Life Makeover For The Year 2008 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please email: cheryl@cherylrichardson.com.   Copyright 1999-2008. Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.