The first public Meditate The Vote event gathered individuals from the arenas of education, media, government, and religion. It catered to folks born in America and others who chose this as their country. It attracted people interested in making a positive change, for themselves and America.
It was in the Aravali mountains of Mount Abu, India, 5,000 feet above sea level among friends from 100 countries, that the seed was planted for a movement such as this. The first question I was asked upon arrival was, "Is Donald Trump going to be the next president of the United States?" I couldn't answer them. I was also baffled that halfway across the globe, on a mountaintop full of yogis, that this was their question and focus. I returned to my room that night, pondering how significant the politics of America are to the world.
From my practice of deep inner silence, I wondered 'What can I do to engage people in a conversation that would inform, empower, and teach us?' What would deepen our personal strength, in light of a political debate focused on the strength of others? Birthed from that, was Meditate The Vote.
It has begun a conversation of building one's inner capacity to thrive, contribute, and be more for the self. To reach a place inside ourselves where we become aware that we are the ones we are waiting for! Meditate The Vote is about waking up our inner worth and power. Meditate The Vote is not about swaying a vote or supporting a candidate; it is simply about You. Each of the presidential candidates, collectively, represents the stage of consciousness of our nation. Perhaps if we truly look at what is being said, we might realize that they are offering us a signal to recognize that we are in charge of how we choose to live our lives. The struggles of our nation continue, and become increasingly so: high medical bills, employment insecurity, making sure all children receive a quality education, and ending domestic poverty. Are these items still on the table for only a leader to fix? Or is it for all of us to fix together?
The first public conversation of Meditate The Vote took place at Busboys and Poets, a chain of community-based restaurants in the Washington DC metro area, focused on inspiring positive social change. Friends and strangers alike came together and shared their thoughts using Meditate The Vote questions: Are you powerful enough to affect change? What do you value most about America? Are you worthy and if so, how does your life model that? The responses were profound. One young man, Aaron, said, "When we care about ourselves, we reveal we are worthy." A woman from a foreign country said that she did not like America, and that since she came here, it has been hard. Then, during the conversation, an educator (and only American-born at her table), Necole Jones, remarked, "I like the freedom!" The woman who said she didn't like America then turned her response around, realizing that she would rather have the freedom in America over what she left behind in her country!
Those moments are exactly what Meditate The Vote is about. It is about asking the right questions to bring us to a place of accountability and inner power. Mother Theresa once said, "Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." Meditate The Vote is becoming a people's movement whereby it calls on all citizens to not sit back and wait on the changes we want for our lives, rather to strengthen our own lives and be the change we wish to see for the country.
For those who agree, we invite you to create a brief video sharing, "I Meditate The Vote..." and tell us why. Post it on Facebook/Meditatethevote and share it on your social media. Host an event at a home, school, venue, or coffee shop and use the questions found on the website to stimulate the conversation. Follow the larger conversation on Twitter/Meditatethevote.
Together, we can create a ripple of encouragement and partnership, feeling more connected to the efforts of raising the level of consciousness, and in turn, amplify the role of citizen leadership for the nation. Trust that you are special, that you have something unique to offer, that you are amazing, brilliant, and capable. It is when we dive deeper into our being that we can expand our way of seeing situations and contributing, rather than living from fear. No price is too high to pay for owning up to your greater sense of worth.
As Aaron said, "I will be back and I will tell all my friends about this." He held up his 'Keep Calm-Meditate The Vote' sign, smiled and said, "Thank you for doing this." Meditate The Vote will officially start on May 1st, during National Meditation Month, and continue until November 8th. With every conversation, tweet, post, video, capture a picture saying, I, Meditate The Vote and keep using the Meditate The Vote questions. We will grow closer to becoming a community of citizens who step in to the solutions we are waiting for, and leave a legacy of a solution-driven generation.