Safety pins are being worn throughout America as a symbol of unity and compassion for those fearful of the bigotry and hate spurred on by the 2016 election.
Source: Haragayato/Wikimedia

It feels like one of those weeks—we've experienced so many—when disaster strikes the nation and a strangeness and sadness smudges the surface of our daily routines. I hear people saying they're cycling through stages of grief. I also see bonds of friendship and unity strengthening.

My productivity is down. Three days of not knowing quite what to do next. Even if I had the energy I probably wouldn't feel like doing whatever it was I should be. Not with fervor, anyway. Because so much feels pointless and small right now. I've felt this before so I know it will subside. That's what hope is. It's that deep knowing that through our good intentions, best efforts, and plenty of patience, something better is not just possible but assured. It's the trust that good prevails.

A client canceled a session yesterday. Too dazed and depressed to discuss career goals. I wrote back with the sentiments I've clung to since waking up to a new day on Wednesday. It went something like this...

Now more than ever we must make an effort to live in the moment, stay connected to our good work, and connect with the people around us. We must not allow ourselves to get stuck ruminating on our fears for the future, as they will paralyze those of us who are on the front lines of the greater good. We are strengthened by bearing witness to the hope and courage arising from those among us who face each day with an acceptance of what is, paired with a determination to change would should not be. They have the same fears we do, but they harness those fears into action on behalf of the betterment they seek in the world. Think of that very person in your life with loving-kindness, then thank that person for their love and kindness. Recognize the hopeful among us for modeling courage, resilience, and wisdom.

We ought to forgive ourselves for moving a little slower during these difficult days of disbelief. To grieve and feel the spectrum of emotions that comes along with experiencing a shock to the system. When a muscle is shocked it spasms and goes rigid, gradually relaxes, then heals and strengthens. Listen to the body as it guides the way. When your body says it's tired and your mind says it doesn't know what to do, that's its way of telling you it might be time to not do anything at all...because it's preparing you for what to do next.

Be on the lookout for the little cues of opportunity to rise out of that numbness, that sadness, and that anger. In those moments, choose to create something beautiful, to make someone smile, to listen rather than lecture, to commit an unexpected act of kindness, to participate in a positive rebellion, to stand up for someone who needs your alliance, and to step back up to the front lines of change... where we'll continue to fight like hell to safeguard the freedoms and rights we've achieved, while fighting against the emboldened hate that has created this pervasive fear.

Suggested Reading: 25 Ways To Boost Resilience

Brad Waters, MSW works nationwide with non-traditional career seekers, freelancers, creatives, introverts, Millennials, and corporate career changers. He helps people clarify their career direction and take action on career-life transitions. Request a free consultation call at BradWatersCoaching.com

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