10 ways to deal with undesirable outcomes
The presidential election is over and done, and in my opinion, it’s time to move on, whatever that means for you. For some of us it means getting involved in local politics; for others it may mean attending the Million Woman March in Washington D.C. the day after Trump’s inauguration; and some of us may choose to donate time or money to a local nonprofit supporting women and children. However you choose to move forward, I believe we have a valuable learning opportunity at hand. A respected teacher of mine refers to these situations as AFOG – another f*cking opportunity for growth.
Here’s our opportunity: What do we do when something happens that we don’t like and there’s not a damn thing we can do to change the result?
10 ways to deal with undesirable outcomes:
Step 1: If your head’s in the sand, pull it out. Ignorance is not bliss; it simply leads to undesirable outcomes. Educate yourself.
Step 2: Stop the whining. You’re only annoying your friends. Obsessing about what’s already happened doesn’t change anything.
Step 3: Avoid the propagation of antagonism and hate. Make art, not war. Gracefully acknowledge what happened. This is actively accepting the past we cannot change.
Step 4: Be in the moment. Focus on the present. Life goes on and we have no choice but to tackle the reality of our new normal.
Step 5: Forget fear. Worry is a waste of energy; do something. As the Buddha would advise, move forward in right speech, right action and right livelihood. See Step #3.
Step 6: Engage, while cultivating acute, yet detached awareness. Be passionate, yet remain unattached. This is hard, yet possible with a mindfulness practice. Basically, this means learning to co-exist alongside all things – good, bad and ugly – with curiosity and acceptance of uncertainty. We often hear, “It’s all good.” The concept of detachment translates this to “It all is.” See Step #7.
Step 7: Not sure how to do #5 or #6? Meditate, help someone else, pen a gratitude list, practice yoga, be outside in nature, and meditate some more. Not sure how to meditate? A simple way to start is to make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and breathe.
Step 8: Reconsider your personal values. Dig deep. Ask, “Who am I? What do I believe in? What do I stand for?”
Step 9: Smile and practice optimism. Be gentle, loving and kind. What we focus on grows.
Step 10: Lead by example. Be the change.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage the change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference