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Adventures in Mindfulness

Katie Estes is a freelance designer, art director, photographer and stylist. She sometimes writes too. 

The Squirrels and the Trees and President Trump

Katie Estes

Well this is upsetting. I woke up fearful, a few times, from checking the results and then having nightmares of being followed. Trump Triumphs was likely the beginning of most people's mornings, followed by what happens now? I spent the past year voluntarily oblivious to the campaigns, but truly believing that hate and fear wouldn't prevail. Now that it has, I have a choice: continue to be afraid or offset the mania. Help. Help in any way possible. Plant a tree? Sure. Volunteer? Absolutely. If you're worried about what is going to happen, start with the why and apply it to everything you do. 

Why trumps what. 

I'm grateful to have spent the past weekend at Kripalu, where I was able to spend a lot of time and give a lot of space to the why. The mountains are much more receptive to such questions. I can hurl all my worry, all my stubbornness at them and they respond with comforting silence. 

There, I watched a baby squirrel chase a momma squirrel through Swami Kripalu's leaf covered meditation garden. It was 45º and I sat for a little over a half hour. The squirrels circled over the crunching leaves, threatening at first to be a much larger animal. They darted across the stones and up a tree. The mother slowed to a stop as the baby continued some circles. Around one tree, then another, then directly towards me. He stopped abruptly three feet in front of me, and stared at me as if he wanted me too, to chase him up the tree. He moved his little squirrel paws one in front of the other, slowly inching closer and closer to me. He angled to the right and in a wide berth passed me and continued slowly up a nearby tree, his eyes on me the whole time. 

A silent conversation with a squirrel gave me more hope than the newly elected president. We may be transitioning to a leadership with a devolved perspective of the world, but I simply choose to not operate from that frequency. And encourage all to do the same!