I need to recover from my country’s election.
I am meditating on a blanket of fresh, sparkling snow on a riverbank in the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It is -20°C today, but the spotless, cobalt-blue sky warms me as much as the collective defensiveness and rage that sinks like turbid sediment in my veins.
This is not an article about politics. This is an article about Love (big “L”), human-ness, and how I know there is room for us all.
This article is my medicine for reconciling the sensation of collective conflict I am experiencing internally.
I come from a huge family. I’m talking 100-plus first cousins, aunts, and uncles. And five sets of grandparents and great-grandparents who had just as much a hand in raising me as my own parents. I was—and am—extremely lucky.
We have teachers, farmers, and healers. We have pipe fitters and climate activists. Immigrants and pioneers. Trauma survivors and convicts. Engineers and artists of all kinds. Teenage pregnancy, cancer, addiction, rape. Christians, Buddhists, anarchists, and atheists. Madness and genius. Caregivers—biological, adopted, step, half, and self-appointed. And, for as long as I can remember, the continual welcoming of new life into the world.
I haven’t seen it all, but there’s been a lot of contrast. A lot of polarities. A lot of heartache and compassion and healing and support. A lot of love dissolving the boundaries between us.
I look out across the sparkling snow and see the fresh fallen powder twinkling in the sun, the radiance of each flake reflected by the light above.
Their collective light warms the snowy landscape, but it’s the shine of each single flake that makes it sparkle.
What coming from a large family taught me is that our home, our community, and our collective are most powerful and harmonious when all of us are shining.
Not singing the same hymn or chanting the same mantra or sharing the same knowledge and experiences.
But when we are all learning and living our truth at our own discretion and pace. When we fly through our days on the reverent ferocity of what we love, so deeply and so sweetly it lights each of us up.
Our individual commitment to show up authentically and shine creates this collective charge—of resiliency, power, strength, and healing that supports us all. And this juicy force field of all that magic is turbocharged when we witness and appreciate that which shines in each other.
Some of my loved ones march and protest to advocate for what matters most to them.
Some leave their families for weeks on end to supply our province with energy.
Some travel the world on their art, leaving beauty wherever they step.
Some dig their hands into the earth and build the infrastructure that supports us.
What they all have in common is, when I ask them about their vocation, and how they contribute to the world, they all shine. I see their entire being expand and radiate as they express from the heart why they love what they do and how they know it matters. And the most common response?
I know my work matters because of all the people it helps.
That kind of heart-centered radiance doesn’t lie.
I love every single one of them. I love every single one of you who keep showing up as yourselves and offering the best of who you are to the world. Thank you for sharing your light, whatever that is. Thank you for looking for that light if you haven’t yet found it. Thank you for weeping on the days you feel separated from it.
Because we need your light greatly—right now and always.
To sparkle—like snowflakes in the cold to remind us of warmth.
To shine—like constellations in the night to remind us of connection.
To burn—like embers in the ashes to remind us of resiliency.
And to honor the glow when someone who shines a little differently than us shows up in full brightness.