The Talking Circle

I hardly know where to start. Yesterday the people of the United States of America had a chance to choose their next leader. Most of us had opinions, some of them very passionate, about who that should be. 

I am not American, and did not have a vote. I care because I know that a leader sets the tone and helps create the energy for the whole team, be it a school, an organization, or a country. To say I was surprised at the result would be a gross understatement. I was utterly gobsmacked and stuck in a perspective that all those people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump were simply wrong. 

And this morning I went for a walk in the dark and rainy forest of Vancouver. A forest that sits on sacred indigenous land. As I walked silently listening to the rain, I pictured a talking stick circle taking place right there among the trees. There were men and women, young and old, from different tribes, each waiting their turn to speak. With each person being given a voice as they held the designated stick and everyone else listening. Simply listening. 

And I got curious. About what really compelled people to make the choice they made. I really, truly am curious. There are things I don’t know or understand and this is an opportunity. What if we sat this way, with people from all sides of the conversation, and gave each other space to share what is important to us, what compels us to action, what we believe is needed. I asked myself what would my dog Bodhi do right now? Would he sink into despair and retreat into the shadows to sulk? No.  He would bark and express his fear and dismay. And then he would pick up a toy and come to me with love. And so it goes…

So let’s try this. Let’s give each other the time we need to process what this means for us. And give ourselves the space to be with whatever feelings come up, whichever side we are on. And then let’s ask ourselves, “What do I want my impact on this world to be?” 

Let’s take the lead and start a conversation. Let’s get curious. And be open. Let’s forget what we know, and invite other perspectives in. Let’s take a step toward rebuilding. And stay.

Let’s welcome the rain, and help the sun come out again.


with much love and grace,