Lightworkers in the Era of Trump 1: A Call to Wisdom
Like a lot of lightworkers — those who consider themselves “spiritual,” heart-centered, committed to illuminating the shadow in themselves and the world — I was in shock on election night last year. But it turns out that we elected the exact president that lightworkers need to transform the world.
I had been a Bernie fan, and a moderate Clinton supporter. I loved the idea of a woman running the White House, and she had one of the best presidential candidate resumes ever. But part of me knew that a Clinton win would perpetuate the gridlock, entrench the anger and polarization and further divide and stagnate a fractured country. That didn’t stop me from crying throughout the night as the returns rolled in. After emptying the grief, I realized that the path to more light in our country wasn’t in ignoring, denying or suppressing the shadow as so many of us, including me, had done. We celebrated the expanding civil rights while accepting the status quo of racial tension and the growing income gap between the rich and the poor — and between the comfy coasts and middle America.
The shadow isn’t innately bad or evil, it’s the parts of our individual and collective psyches that we don’t want to look at — those deep, pervasive patterns that we’ll do almost anything to avoid seeing. Because once you are aware of them, you have to make a choice to perpetuate or transform. Perpetuation feels safer in the moment but it moves you deeper into shadow and further divides you from yourself. Transformation requires you to get deep and real and vulnerable as you examine what is emotionally painful to acknowledge, which scared the toes off the psyche — both the personal and the collective.
So it turns out that DJT is the president that lightworkers asked for, because the path to bringing shadow into light quickly is through chaos — through our personal chaos and through the chaos in the world.
I’m an energy-work junkie. I Love the transformation of clearing out the stagnant gunk and feeling the free-flow of energy where there was once a gummy, frustrating block. Years of this kind of inner transformation work has taught me that I will cling blindly to a pattern until it becomes so frustrating that I’m willing to cut off my hand to shift it. Like the years I spend believing that I needed to follow society’s rules for success in order to be an acceptable person — even if I didn’t actually succeed. And side note, I was very good at not succeeding by using those rules because traditional “success” in our culture is not attained by a bald chick with no desire to work 80 hours a week to make someone else rich.
Patterns, especially blind patterns like the success rules written deep within me, are a pernicious status quo. They are so deep that on a personal level they dictate your experience of the world, and on a societal level they mold our collective consensus into our collective status quo.
Societies, psyches and even the physical body like status quo because change requires so much energy and effort. So mostly we stay the same until we’re forced to change.
The gift of having a Disrupter-in-Chief is that we are in a perpetual state of chaos. With every tweet, every rally, every cabinet shake-up and dust-up with world leaders, he upends the status quo and brings to the surface the stagnant and even harmful patterns we have lived with for so long we considered them reality.
Chaos can be exhausting, for sure. But there’s a trick to cruising chaos that can make this much easier, and as a lightworker you already know how to do it.
If you’ve ever done energy work or belief transformation of any sort, then you’ve experienced the mixed blessing of inner chaos. It’s that wide-open space of possibility that can feel unsettling because of the sudden the jumble of frenetic energy where there was once an old, fixed, unhelpful, but comforting in its familiarity, pattern. The magic of chaos is that you can finally see the pattern, it loses its hold over you, and you are free to choose a new pattern.
The challenge of this chaos is that life brings you a bunch of possibilities to choose from and it is deceptively easy to choose a shiny new reiteration of the pattern you thought you released. Like the girlfriend who gets so excited about the next new guy, but ends up living out the same relationship pattern again and again. Or for me, choosing a different model of success felt more aligned with the life I wanted but triggered the same frantic energy of achievement, just with a smaller paycheck.
There are two basic choices you can make when it comes to the possibilities life brings you, you can react and go deeper into the pattern or a similar pattern that seems like a transformation (but isn’t), or you can go deeper and act from harmony and wisdom.
As lightworkers, the unspoken consensus is to choose harmony and wisdom. We crave the calm of wisdom and harmony and the peace it brings to our bodies and the world.
But I’ve noticed, and maybe you have, that a lot of lightworkers respond to today’s chaos with anger and fear, vitriolic social media posts and unfriending people who disagree with them. Basically, they responded to the chaos by choosing to react and strengthen a pattern of anger and fear.
Chaos is a gift because it is the creative, self-organizing bridge between a status quo that has been disrupted and the next status quo. How we use this gift will determine what comes next.
You can’t create a new status quo of greater light, wisdom, harmony, etc. by choosing to re-pattern anger and fear as a reaction to chaos. It may feel righteous, but you’re wasting time if you’re playing the head game of “resist” because you are still choosing reaction, which in the body translates to fear, anger and stress. This selects by default a new status quo based in fear, anger and stress. More stress in society and more stress in your body.
Is that what you want to create?
The shorthand of knowing how to respond to the chaos is do go toward what brings your body into a deeper peace, calm, harmony and connection, and away from what juices your nervous system with fear, anger and stress. Our minds are masters at justifying pretty much anything that we want, but the wisdom of your body, your deep knowing, will guide you through the unknowns of chaos if you let it.
The gift of this chaos is that it lets you choose in each and every moment, with each and every response, the life you want to live and the world you want to create.
It can be tricky. Each time I thought was choosing a success strategy that was more aligned with me, I ended up singing a different verse of the same old song. After years of choosing I finally got that the possibility I was being offered was never about the success. It was about proving that I was an acceptable person because I was willing to burn myself out trying to achieve success. It was the need to prove my worth. The choice I made each time I let go of one failed strategy was to choose what looked like a new strategy — and I could always justify the novelty and validity of it to myself and others in a very believable way. But in the wide-open chaos that freed me from the failed strategy, I always chose a new way of trying to prove my value, not the path that soothed body & soul.
After years of this, I am finally doing a much better of choosing wisdom because I am listening to the deep soul wisdom that comes through the body. When it comes to the success strategy I’m still sorting that out. Another thing about discerning between wisdom and reaction is that reaction can mask itself as calm because it brings an element of certainty — but it’s a false certainty based locking down the chaos and clinging to old shadow patterns. Truth is, the psyche doesn’t care if you’re happy. It likes certainty even if that certainty is that your life sucks.
Think about it, if your psyche was really interested in making your life great, wouldn’t you have more of what you want?
Wisdom is revealed moment to moment, so there is an inherent unknown. The psyche and nervous system don’t like that uncertainty, and so cling to the known. But the soul and the deep wisdom of the body relish the freedom of all possibility and of being free to select the next beautiful possibility life brings.
Chaos can feel like a struggle — especially the tumultuous chaos that we’re in now, where so much in your life and in the world demands that you stand up and declare your choice. Our current chaos yanks to the surface all the things that you don’t want to look at, all the hard choices you don’t want to make. As a lightworker, consistently choosing wisdom will help create the life and the world you want. Wisdom invites you to lean into the chaos and feel your way forward. The beautiful part is that when you choose wisdom for yourself, you also choose it for the world.
I struggle with chaos, too. When I struggle, I write. It helps me process and make sense of things and helps me hear my own wisdom.
There was so much craziness with this post-election chaos that I started writing Lightworkers in the Era of Trump as a book. When I started, the working title of the book was Lightworkers in the Era of Trump: Shit or Get Off the Pot.
The title was directed at me.
The title was a constant challenge to mindfully choose what was I willing to do and who I was willing to be in the world. Not just in the sparkly unicorn energy world where of course we are all working for greater harmony and cooperation and a fairer, more sustainable future — but in the messiness and chaos of the physical world. It also reminds me that creating a kinder, fairer, more sustainable world requires not just meditation and inner work, but courage and action.
As I talked with people about this book, they either got excited or smile politely and stopped responding to my emails. Either way it touched a nerve, which is always a sign that something is worth exploring. As I got deeper into it, I discovered just how slippery chaos is, how chameleon-like its ability to conceal itself. So, I decided this was better suited to an ongoing conversation.
It may just be a conversation with myself, to lean in to the chaos and find ways to choose harmony, light and wisdom even when it is confusing on the surface. But because it touched so many nerves, I wanted to put it out in the world and invite others into the conversation, to find out what you are struggling with, what’s working for you and what’s not.
Let me know. I’m interested. Really. It’s only together that we can bring our collective shadow into light and use this chaos to shift from the status quo of a world wired to reaction to new status quo of a world better wired to wisdom.
Read part 2 and beyond (and other posts & articles) here.