Twice a week, I co-host a political podcast with a Republican. I’m a Democrat. This means that twice a week I sit down and engage in political debate with someone who feels very differently than I do on a great many issues.
We start each show the same.
“No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.”
Willingly volunteering for political confrontation is most people’s worst nightmares. It’s certainly my mother’s worst nightmare but I do it willingly because I believe we desperately need more civil discourse in the world. I believe that if we can’t discuss – even debate – the things we feel most passionately about then we are destined to fall for the siren song of rightness ringing in our own ears.
I've tried meditation on and off for years. I've practiced yoga for over a decade so I was familiar with the physical and psychological benefits of mindfulness but always struggled to make it an everyday part of my routine.
Recently, I posted on Facebook that I was trying to stop yelling at my kids. There wasn't one rock bottom moment but there were enough bad days that I woke up one morning and thought, "I'm not going to yell at my kids today." Then, the next day I made the decision and the next and the next. Some days are harder than others but none was harder than that first day.