Aware that the current election season has added anxiety to many lives, we in Transition Venice/Mar Vista decided to hold an inner transition event to address this stress in a way that would be healing and not add to polarization. So at our monthly potluck, after the main dishes were cleared away at 8:30 pm, we invited all to participate in a one hour council circle. We framed the conversation carefully: there would be no discussion of political issues or personalities, that we were seeking to go deeper. We also asked folks to be “lean” in their responses. All who attended said they came away feeling supported and uplifted, so we offer this simple formula to all who are interested.
The first question we asked: In relation to our current political situation, I am feeling . . Each person got to fill in that sentence. (If there are a lot of folks, one word will do). We gave voice to fear, despair, frustration, grief, anger, and other difficult emotions and we each got to listen and experience how much of this emotional stew is shared, that we are not alone. The next phase was the voicing of what we saw needed to be healed, both large and small: Folks mentioned racism, misogyny, fear, poverty, the earth, as well as personal health and financial challenges. All were given voice and thrown into the center of the circle. The third phase was holding hands and sending positive energy, or blessing, towards what needed to be healed and towards the best possible outcome for the election.
If this speaks to you, please take this idea and run with it! We encourage you to facilitate a similar exercise or adapt it within your group or community to help lessen tensions and build bridges even across political divides.
By Anneke Campbell, Transition Mar Vista/Venice