January 13, 2017

Five Things I’m Going to Do (And One Thing I’m Not) on Inauguration Day.

Two nights ago, Obama gave an eloquent and emotional speech that marked the end of his presidency.

January 20th, Inauguration Day, marks the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency. And what a starkly different presidency it will be.

Many are enthusiastic about a political outsider winning the highest office in the land. Yet I feel trepidation in Trump’s lack of experience and desire to learn. Some revel in his take-no-prisoners approach. I find it to be flirting with authoritarianism. Scattered about the country, men and women who have felt looked-over, ignored, and left behind trust that Trump can reverse their course. I am doubtful that the basket in which they put their eggs is in Trump’s sights anymore.

In essence, I am concerned for the future of our country.

But now is the time to choose who and how I want to be going forward. Now is the time to walk my talk and live my truth. Now, more than ever, is the time to practice mindfulness.

I plan to make Inauguration Day a special one, not a depressing one. Here are five ways I intend to do this:

1) Connect, share, compliment, assist and in any other way offer myself in service to others.

To counter the energy of a self-serving administration, I will choose empathy and connection. Given I work from home, there are days when I don’t see anyone else but my family. Not this Friday. I’m getting out of the house for the day and interacting with people. Seeing them. Making eye contact with them. Loving them. I will respond to each interaction as if I have all the time in the world. Which, of course, I do.

2) Take care of myself.

To be an activist for truth and compassion in the world over the next years will require strength, energy, vigilance, patience, and steadfastness. These attributes need a healthy body, mind and soul. Perhaps I’ll indulge in a bath infused with the essential oils of chamomile and clary sage (5 to 10 drops total, mixed first into a carrier oil like jojoba) followed by an abhyanga (an Ayurvedic massage done with warm oils) with nurturing, warming, grounding sesame oil. Maybe I’ll buy the kind of coffee table book I never buy, the one with cute quotes or positive affirmations.

3) Participate in the Silent Inauguration.

Per the website, the Silent Inauguration is, “A gathering of citizens, in silence, at the time of Donald Trump’s inauguration.” It takes place at 12:00 EST, the time at which Trump will be sworn in. In contrast to the loud, angry, knee-jerk impulses of Trump’s candidacy, I will stop what I’m doing and sit and be in silence and solidarity with potentially millions of others across the country. (If you happen to live near Nashville, Tennessee, you can attend the Silent Inauguration in person.)

4) Cook a nourishing evening meal for my family to sit down around.

Okay, this one assumes my teenagers decide to hang around on a Friday night. Even if they do not, I will make something delicious for my husband and myself. Food represents life, and by extension, good food represents a good life. Maybe I’ll make something that simmers on the stove or chills in the fridge for hours. Something that includes fresh black beans. To make them from scratch, I’ll soak the dried beans overnight (no quick-soak methods this time). On Inauguration morning, I’ll transfer the beans to a crock pot, add purified water, a bay leaf and other dried herbs and let them warm to life for six slow hours.

5) Reframe the way I view our future.

I fully admit that my ego is nervous, but when I turn inward and follow my breath back to the origin of my life force, my soul, I am reassured. For where I see devastation, my soul sees opportunity. When I despair, my soul seeks for and finds reason to hope.

While I fret, my soul remains curious and open-minded. So while my beans are simmering and my skin is fragrant and gleaming, I’ll write a letter from my soul to my ego—and take comfort in the wisdom that only my soul can provide.

But the one thing I will not do is give my attention to the Inauguration itself.

My television will not be on. The popularity of Trump and his subsequent rise have nothing to do with experience or know-how and everything to do with antics and entertainment.

I admit I was complicit in this.

I went to comedy shows that primarily made fun of Trump. I left friends early so I could get home in time to watch the circus-like debates. Like many, I had a tough time believing he could make it so far. But now that reality has set in, I’m going to stop feeding what I don’t wish to see grow.

Inauguration Day marks the beginning of a new era and I intend to be intentional about how I enter it. 


Author: Keri Mangis

Image: @elephantjournal on Instagram

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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