everydaybalance

inspirational tools to create life balance in your everyday

electing yourself – november 2008

November1

Writing from under a canopy of leaves. The sun shines outside my bedroom window in a way that makes the rainy trunks of the Redwood and Oak trees seem black and their green leaves shine lime. I am safe under the blanket we received as a wedding gift, warm as the cool Autumn air sneaks through the crack in the window bringing the scent of a cornucopia of leaves and branches and all things alive. I am waking late after arriving late last night into an Autumn evening in San Francisco. The airport had been closed due to fog and plane after plane had been cancelled at Denver airport where we were to fly from.

When we were finally cleared to make our decent into the city of tiny lights, our vision went from darkness to light, the thick white beards of fog were worn along the wings of the plane then shrugged off like a child too warm in their winter coat. Staring through the tiny airplane window, my mind went from calm and clear at the sight of the golden crescent moon to edgy and hot at the totality of emptiness that came as the fog again hugged in tight. If I couldn’t see anything, how could the pilot? I knew he had monitors and buttons and charts all lit up like Christmas lights, but I sensed that in this he would also be feeling his way like one would in a dark and unfamiliar room. The uncertainty of the moment felt familiar after these past few weeks where the world around me hangs in the balance, not only personally as I fashion a new life in a new country, but also politically as my country of birth holds its breath until it chooses the next president of the United States.

This coming Tuesday, people will vote. Not everyone, but in my lifetime, I believe this will be the biggest turnout that I will have seen. Last February, I sat at home on my day off in Narrabeen, Australia. The winds were howling around our apartment near the sea. I opened an email from my father with a subject that said simply “Obama”. In the email he sent me a link to a video made independently by actors, songwriters and people of the music community without Obama’s knowledge. It was called “Yes, we can”. I opened up the YouTube link to the largest screen I could and turned it on.

This was the first time that I had seen Barack Obama speak. By the end of the video I had tears running down my face. I shared it with my husband the next morning and we were able to find a link to the entire speech that had inspired the video. We watched the speech and I felt something real and alive in my body. I felt awake at the words I was hearing and the integrity behind those words.

In my lifetime, I had never felt inspired by the political leaders that had run for president, that is until that moment. I literally sat there staring at the computer screen as my husband pressed play again. We watched the speech and the music video many times totally in awe that this poet, this man of substance and charisma was choosing for his footsteps to walk the grueling path into the American political race for president in our lifetime.

In a time in which history books will catalog as being blanketed with fear, all I can say is that I felt that at the end of the tunnel there was suddenly a spark of light. Regardless of your political affinity or country of origin, I encourage you to watch this video by clicking on the link above, not just for a moment of inspiration in these last days before the election, but as a way to inspire you towards your own goals.

Over the last year, I’ve followed the political race from Australia and now from America where we have been living. It is a unique position to know that not only are there millions of Americans holding their breath on both sides of the race, but also that countries around the world will be watching knowing of the impact that this decision will have on their own daily lives.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the gift of being able to experience a myriad of places and people. In our search to create our new home, we’ve made an effort to connect with the friends and family that we love to give us some grounding in this new country. In Hawaii, we were blessed with weeks of tropical days. We walked and talked along lush green walkways and white sand beaches. I smiled as four black wild pigs stood eating grass on the side of the Pali Highway oblivious to the cars swinging past. We met people in Oahu that sprinkled our days with smiles and ease and connection. Driving from San Diego to El Centro to visit with my extended family, we drove with my sister through the desert towards the Imperial Valley. At one point we were surrounded completely by pyramids of rocks, piles and piles of rocks creating mountains and valleys around us. The air was dry as we dipped below sea level in the dry pale shadows of this pathway through the desert. When I looked closely, tucked amongst these pale mysterious rocks, green shoots grew. I was reminded that even in the starkest of times, new things can be born.

We stayed in the town of El Centro where my grandparents live and walked new streets where on the lawns political signs greeted each other shoulder to shoulder supporting political measures and candidates that sung the opposite song to the bumper stickers and signs of Hawaii and San Francisco. Driving along the highway towards Arizona, our mouths swung into smiles at the sight of a cactus standing tall along the road. Rounding the bend we found not only one, but a forest of Cacti littering the hillsides like comical characters cheering up the desert and the divide that was deepening between political parties.

Flying to Colorado we landed into the high altitude that hugs the towns outside the Rocky Mountains. We made our home with dear friends in Fort Collins where the leaves on the trees shone brighter than Christmas lights allowing you to feel as if your are walking through a magnificant painting. We sat at a cafe on the corner of this small town American street and felt cool air kissing our cheeks. All around us, like snow, fell giant crinkly yellow leaves like letters from the sky. The conversations in the booths behind and around us supported all sides of the political debate as we ate and drank our way across these states.

As the messages on the lawns and bookstore displays and the t-shirts sang on, I felt myself relax and bristle and worry and wink. I went from feeling safe to feeling scared. And in that fear I felt my body shift towards tightness and to scarcity and to planning and the worst. And then something would catch my eye. It might be the new words of a child or the beauty of the moment while biking near the long white bodies and bright yellow leaves of the Aspen trees. And thankfully in that moment I would see that everything was exactly as it should be. I would feel back into the present moment away from the papers and the bathroom graffiti and the tall square signs. And I would remember that under all of our hopes and all of our dreams, we are the same. We breathe and love and yearn and cry. We long for our dear ones to be safe and for the opportunity to follow our dreams. We want the sand of the beaches to stay white and the Redwood trees to continue to grow so tall. We want the mysteries of the desert to awe our children and the forests of Cacti to surprise and delight. We want the air to be clean and the seasons to paint us into a live watercolour of trees.

So on Tuesday when I cast my vote, I’ll take off my armor and my judgment and my fear and it will just be me feeling inspired back on that February day. And this November I ask you to do the same. Take time out for your everyday balance amongst the emails and the papers and the conversation and the signs. Get on your bike or read to your child or take the time to sit still and reconnect to the fact that every moment is new. Let go of who has won or who has lost and feel back into what you can do to find that inspiration that isn’t worth losing at any cost.

In this month where we elect a leader we think can do the job, take the time to elect yourself and write down what is your cause. Each day this November in your calender in ink, write down one small way you can help to shape what it is that you think we need to move forward towards a vision of future and safety and peace. Then take what you’ve written and share it over the year. Imagine that instead of looking upward and outward and elsewhere with fear, you can look into that mirror and see the candidate that you know you can count on and cheer. Act on your passion, and inspiration and watch what will appear.

This is a monthly inspiration piece brought to you by author Christina Adler at ‘everyday balance’. If you would like to share your experience with these tools or subscribe to this inspiration piece each month, please send your name and email address to chrisadler@everydaybalance.net or visit this website in the first week of each month. For information regarding life coaching appointments in person, by telephone or online, send an email to the above address with your name and phone number or visit the contacts section of this website. Photo by Peter Moore of a table at the Democratic Voter Registration outside the Sausalito Art Fair.

posted under 2008 life balance

folded mountains of the ko’olau range

November1

you loom so old
above this humid town
your wrinkled skin
folded along the center of this island

such a deep emerald
like that of
dinosaur and avocado skin
your plateau

peaks and valleys
shout of mystery
like the woman
confident

in a room full of people
relaxed in the corner chair
content in the presence
of her own silence

and in that silence I want to
shake out
the blanket of your
skin

just to feel the
heaviness
in the texture
of that green

you must rain
from the inside out
to be
that lush

have you swallowed
the storms that swirl around you whole
or are you an envelope of life
inspiring others to be as beautiful

copyright – Christina Adler – 13 September 2008 – Kailua, Oahu, USA

posted under 2008 poetry