Before you vote, take a moment and think

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Why would I ask you to do this? I believe by stopping for just a couple of minutes we can slow our hectic minds down and let a little bit of calm overtake us. And with that little bit of calmness, we can go deeper and see clearly what our true values are. Only as we connect to what is most important to us can we then let those values inform our evaluation of political issues or candidates. 

In short, it’s about mindfulness: being aware and paying attention to the present moment. Not just what’s happening in front of us, but also what’s happening inside of us. It helps us to see more clearly our emotions, our states of minds, our biases. By becoming aware of  our different mind states, we can begin to alignour head with our heart. A little touch mindfulness can increase our ability to show kindness, because we recognize how connected we are to each other. It can help remind us that we are all a part of the 100%. It can help us listen more deeply and to be open to what others say and think, and why they say and think what they do.

Being more mindful as citizens is not a cure-all for all of our country's challenges. We will still have unfairness, suffering and injustice. We will still have conflict and divergent opinions on the issues of the day. But when we approach conflict with kindness, awareness, and respect for others it can be a powerful force for real and sustained progress. It can reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for our people.

As we move toward Election Day, let’s take some moments in our day to remove ourselves from the noise and chatter that this great American ritual inevitably brings. Let us connect to our deepest human values and vote for those people we think can best implement policies that will help us connect to those principles collectively. Let us join with the 20 million other yogis who are stepping out to bring real and fundamental change to the way we vote and the way we conduct ourselves during the campaigns.

And, in the end, if your candidate loses, it’s still possible to bring calm awareness to the conflict that may likely come. And each of us can be an example of a new politics, by making sure that the conflict is directed in a way that improves our understanding of what the real solutions are, increases our ability to connect with our deep values, and moves us toward the realization that we can only address the great challenges before us  when we face them together.

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