Communication is our superpower.
It is always healthy and kind to empathize and share understanding, particularly when decision-makers resort to false fear and hatemongering. The moment honesty, open-heartedness, and other cherished values are threatened or compromised, in the loving spirit of civil rights leader John Lewis, you may have to get into necessary trouble. You are needed to help assure universal safety and well-being, as only you can.
More than 30 years in the business of communication, and also in the practice of yoga and natural healing, have taught me how mercilessly our biased minds and unprocessed emotions deceive us. It is our intuitive bodies that tell the objective truth about the illuminating radiance I have seen connect all there is.
As a previously single divorcée, I enjoyed a silent yoga flow class in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Seamlessly, I moved through poses in the flirtatious hope I’d impress my fellow yogi and casual date. Our moving meditation left me as lightly buoyant as if I had landed cross-legged on a gently grounded cloud.
On my drive home along inky black rural backstreets, it felt oddly natural to see a vibrantly subtle radiance link lush woodlands with streetlamps and mailboxes from the haloed ground in between. Had I doubted what author and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn describes as humanity’s “interbeing,” I never could again.
With faithful gratitude, I remembered the timeless wisdom of the 13th-century Islamic mystic poet Rumi: “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
I have since happily married my non-yogi kindred spirit Michael Evans, and continue to enjoy illuminating inside-out communications. As I grow older, I’ve learned to enhance my health and productivity by dedicating 15 to 30 minutes a day to meditative reflection on the unifying truth of oneness and love on what is.
The global time-out imposed by the coronavirus pandemic opened a window for the world to be healthfully attentive and responsive.
It provided our nonessential workers with a pause from being too preoccupied with often conflicting obligations and digital distractions to empathize with themselves, let alone anyone else. Today’s interrelated catastrophes are a wake-up call. As William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “to thine own self be true (or honest and do the right thing), and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
In a 1985 Bill Moyers interview on PBS, mythologist and author Joseph Campbell called the greatest human transgression “the sin of inadvertence, of not being alert, not quite awake.” Campbell has been renowned for inspiring us all to “follow our bliss” and “enjoy that refreshment and life within us all the time.”
Our coronavirus pandemic has since heightened global awareness about the interdependence of all interconnected beings and the environment that sustains us.
Yet here in the United States, funding for nationwide coronavirus testing, life-saving medical equipment and supplies, and truthful healthcare reporting have been obstructed for political purposes. Many of us continue to safeguard one another by social distancing and remaining largely in lockdown. In global news, we enviously learned that nationally tested New Zealanders were able to safely return to their workplaces and shops, restaurants and sporting events, and sizable social gatherings in early June.
Since March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has responsibly conveyed the seriousness of COVID-19. With admirable humility and mom jokes, she encouraged New Zealanders to protect (rather than futilely fight) one another. It took Ardern and her united team of 5 million little more than two months to contain and also eradicate COVID-19 for more than 100 days!
When new coronavirus cases foreseeably emerged in early August, prepared New Zealanders resumed their phased lockdowns with transparent testing and contact tracing to safely and effectively contain and eradicate COVID-19 again.
According to Google, as of this writing, New Zealanders have suffered a total of 25 COVID-19 deaths with 1,861 confirmed COVID-19 illnesses, from which 1,799 have recovered. This stands in cruel and accountable contrast to the United States’ 211,000 deaths and 7.53 million ill-nesses, and no reliable data on recoveries. Yet murderously, given the disproportionate number of coronavirus deaths in our communities of color, today’s administration still has no plan for containment and eradication!
Simultaneous with related racism and climate catastrophes, it is essential to learn from Ardern’s lifesaving communications and boundaries.
Ardern’s nonviolent politics of kindness is serving as a real-life master class in breakthrough leadership communications. It is equally essential to learn from investigative journalists and authors Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Their 1974 reporting of their “best obtainable version of the truth” related to the Watergate scandal led to the resignation of, then President Richard Nixon for his impeachable abuse of power and exposed obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress.
As poet and author Maya Angelou had advised, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Similarly, follow the lies as well as the money, but don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the falsehoods.
Be or advance leaders who, like Ardern, are honest, capable, and attentively responsive.
Visit the nonprofit and bipartisan website headcount.org, to make sure you are registered to vote. Verify your polling place during our pandemic. Then be sure to vote!
As John Lewis noted, “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have.”
How are your communications creating universally shared bliss and love in your organization, community, and home?
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