November is election month. In November the sky gets darker, the air colder and nature is preparing to rest for the winter. Nature transitions within and prepares for the journey of hibernation and the long process of fertilization of the soil that allows for the explosion of life in the spring. November is a month when our bodies are begging us to start to slow down. November is also the month that activates our individual and collective subconscious. It is the subconscious that informs many of our decisions. In November, coincidentally during election month, our subconscious is lit up more than ever. This is a risk and an opportunity. Our choices determine whether it is the former or the latter.
In November most of us continue in the same pace of the summer and fall pretending nothing has changed in our environment. In our busyness we have become deaf to the gentle but obvious calls of nature to slow down. The price for our numbness is a weakened immune system, colds, and flus that stop us for a few days until we start running again. The best we can come up with is a flu shot – another jolt to our immune system- recreational and medical drugs, alcohol, shopping for the Holidays, or any other excuse to perpetually run. We inspire each other to run because if we are slowing down we think something must be wrong with us and our businesses. We want to keep each other afloat. We are like sheep running wherever the dog is chasing us. The dog is our mind which we find beautifully reflected in the values systems of our political, educational and economic mind-monarchies.
Grammatically, sheep is spelled the same in the singular and plural. No coincidence: no matter whether there is one sheep or 6 Billion sheep, sheep influence each other and do whatever the dog says. When one sheep has heard the command of the dog, the whole herd moves without even listening. This is a succinct description of what happens for the most part during election month: the great moving of the herds.
We hear a slogan, an ad, the word of a family member, a friend, an employer, co-worker, an endorsement of a political group or organization, the voice of big or small business, the word of the non-business group, the word of the red, blues, the rainbows. Our heads are so full and our dog so overstimulated by the many voices other than our own that all we can do is keep running looking for the dog’s order: with that mindset we go to the poll or stick the ballot in the mail without ever slowing down, without ever listening to the wisdom in our bodies, without ever listening to the rhythms of nature, thus without ever uncovering our own voice of wisdom.
Some of us would never admit that we are sheep following other people’s voices, some of us proud themselves of being a good sheep, what both have in common is that both participate in the sheep and dog game believing that this what a responsible citizen does. It is by slowing down that we can grasp that election month is an opportunity to serve a system that has merely reached child level responsibility. It is by slowing down that we can grasp that we are participating in a dog-sheep illusionary reality. Of course there is great comfort in being a sheep: it is fluffy, warm and padded from discomfort. But as we all know this comfort is temporary. Soon enough we can all recognize the trembling shaved sheep in us eternally seeking security. This is where the eternal “war on terror” comes from after all.
The great gift of election month is to slow down and find “in-sight” to shed light on our collective subconscious and identify the archetypal patterns that keep us locked in a long open cage with a chasing dog biting its tail. Rather than running like a sheep on the surface, election month is an opportunity to dive like a colorful bird into the caves of our most dysfunctional collective decisions and sit STILL with the collective monsters and inner monsters our mind has tangibly created.
The shadow land is fertile soil for spring. Our collective subconscious is fertile soil that leads to conscious collective choices. However, this is terrifying ground for most of us. We are trained to fear, avoid and reject the collective shadow and we have become masters at numbing ourselves from feeling it in our bodies. Some of us pretend in our waking sleep that during election month we are making a difference, some of us have stopped engaging in a disassociation attempt still aimed at not feeling, some of us participate in the awareness of its futility and in the hope for some happy change. In short, we all share a NO to what IS which keeps us stuck where we are.
Let’s embrace that the shadow land is an integral part of our collective human experience. Let’s master the courage to feel in our bodies the rage, grief and terror of the shadow land such as the many child pornography rings involving many “normal” people in high and low ranking positions and the countless less extreme creations of our twisted minds. Without feeling and embracing our shadow land we ironically continue to feed the monsters and let them inform our decisions. There is no shortcut even though we are stubbornly looking for it. The good news is that the shadow land is fertile. It leads to the land of stillness, the land of peace, the dark womb of possibilities, it leads to the collective heart. Here we find what makes us tick as a collective, here we create the dream. To experience the American dream we have to slow down, put the dog on a leash and have the courage to feel our monsters during the fertile election month of November. When the dog is on the leash, the herd disintegrates and the path to our collective heart opens. Then, we can embody our own unique voice and realize that we are already living in peace.
A “fun” practice: find something or somebody that triggers us in our personal life and in the current system, then genuinely include it in our Thanksgiving list.