Beyond November

If we are going to make changes to our current political system, we need to be as personally involved as possible, regardless of who the President may be. I’m not here to tell you how to vote. That’s your business. We’ve been inspired and challenged to start a political revolution. Even if you disagree with Bernie Sanders’ politics, one thing is true: if change is going to happen, it’s not going to be because of him or any other candidate. It will be done by us or it won’t get done at all.

We need to look beyond November and have plans in place for what changes we wish to make, and how to rally support for them. One thing this election is doing is rallying people to start running for office in order to get more progressives in more political offices, which means more votes for more progressive policies. Every time a progressive gets elected, it makes it easier for the next one to get elected. This means running for city and state councils, school boards, senate, congress, district representatives, and every other office there is. It starts from there.

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As we support progressives, we must also support progressive policies. Bring attention to them, get them on ballots, and vote for them. Keep pushing and pushing and make change happen.

We won’t win every time. We’re used to rarely winning at all. But progressive issues are now finally mainstream. We will meet lots of resistance from the powers that be. We will sometimes lose. But winning is going to get easier. We are reaching a critical mass of people, and the people are fired up!

This is not a quick fix. It’s not an immediate overthrow. There’s no such thing.

This is when we plant seeds. Harvest comes later. In between, is work. We’ve got a lot to do.

I’ve found that when we care about something more than we care about ourselves, then we can do amazing things. Let’s do them together!

Where We Start

Don’t worry yet about figuring out what you’re going to do with your life. First, you need to get your house in order. You need to clear out all that which hinders and distracts you and brings you down. You need to rebuild yourself in your own image.

The very first step is to simply stop and breathe. Every day. When you wake up, take five minutes and just breathe. Any thoughts pop up, return to your breath. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. Don’t think about your past or future or even what you’ll do today. Just focus on breathing in and out.

Do this again before you go to bed. If you can, do it at lunch. Take breathing breaks. It helps you focus and relax and helps prevent overwhelm.

Go through a list of the people you interact with in your life, whether it’s in person or online. Figure out who supports and uplifts you, and who drains and hinders you. Extricate yourself as much as possible from the people that use your energy without giving back. The ones who waste your time or who are constantly negative. Get them out of your life, if possible.

You’re not an asshole for doing this. Your sanity is worth it. Focus on the people who are generally positive and supportive. Communicate more often with them. Hang out with them. If you don’t have many, or any, find some.

Simplify and declutter your life in every way, not just with people. Sell or donate everything you haven’t touched in the last year. If you don’t use it, you don’t need it.

Simplify your finances. Get frugal. Sell what you don’t need. Find less expensive alternatives to what you do need. Get rid of cable tv. Buy things in bulk. Repair things rather than replacing them. Get a cheaper place to live. Consult with someone on how to get out of debt.

Take your health seriously. Stop all the sugar, starches and white carbs. Focus on lots of green produce, a little meat, and some beans or lentils. Try the slow carb diet. Walk often. If you drink a lot of caffeine and/or alcohol, find a way to quit. If you get high every day, slow it down to the weekends. Detox your body and your mind will become clearer and happier.

Get enough sleep. This is imperative. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more irritable, everything is more difficult, and you have less energy. You just don’t do as well in every way. Sleep is crucial.

Basically, identify all that in your life which is hindering you, bringing you down, and makes you unhappy. Find ways to remove them or replace them with something better. Even if you came up with the best idea ever, how are you going to execute it if you’re bogged down by everything else?

Also, forgive yourself and others. Whatever has been done, whatever you have done, forgive. If you carry all that baggage from the past, you’ll have no room left for the gifts of the future. Drop that stuff.

Find out what you enjoy and do more of it. Cultivate your creativity. Pick up old hobbies or find new ones. Spend time having fun. There’s nothing wrong with that. Isn’t life to be enjoyed? If not, what’s the point?

When you’ve cleared out your mind, your body, and your emotions, you can finally start to focus on where to go from there. If you try to figure it out beforehand, you’ll be too distracted and overwhelmed to pursue anything anyway, so get your life in order first. It may take time. So be it. You can’t rush awesome!

The beginning…

This is the first day of the rest of my life!

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