One of the primary realizations I’ve made in my brief time in provincial politics is how easy it is to slip into an unhealthy lifestyle. Without careful attention to my overall fitness, personal wellbeing quickly gets lost in the background noise. There is a lot of background noise.
Winning is the focus of partisan politics. Not winning together but winning at someone else’s expense. There is an intense competitive desire to politically tear each other apart, rather than lift each other up. Constituency work can also be heavy. It’s difficult to hear stories of your fellow citizens who have fallen through the cracks and know that political calculations, not compassion, are primary factors driving of the decisions to fix or ignore the problem.
This job ages you. It’s hard on personal relationships, emotionally draining, creates a spiritual void and is mentally taxing. All of this can manifest in poor physical health and it affects how we govern. How can we expect the outcomes of our democratic institution to be healthy if we are not properly looking after the people who make the decisions?
So as I have been outlining in these morning blogs, I’ve been working to improve my outcomes in the four pillars of my personal well-being – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. So I persist in my morning walks, yoga and meditation.
Love, warmth, free of pain and full of success!
In a recent guided meditation I was asked to think about someone I love and to offer to them thoughts and feelings of love and warmth, wishing for them to be well, free of pain and suffering as well as achieving success and prosperity. Then the voice suggested I take those thoughts and feelings and apply them to someone I don’t like. Offer to them thoughts and feelings of love and warmth. Wish them to be well, free of pain and suffering and full of success and prosperity. Finally, the voice suggested I apply those same thoughts and feelings to myself. Offer myself thoughts and feelings of love and warmth. Wish myself well, freedom from pain and suffering, as well as success and prosperity.
It was a welcome suggestion to remain mindful about how we show up and what energy we put into the world. When we win, do others have to lose? How do we handle the political outrage flowing freely and super-charged by social media platforms? How are we managing? No matter what you do, our modern world can easily overwhelm. Especially if we are not looking after ourselves and each other.