I have found lately that it is helpful for me to have a mantra. Mantras have been used for centuries in Hindu and Buddhist meditation practice. Mantras are words or phrases that we repeat to ourselves to maintain focus. In the Western world, we’ve taken on the practice of reciting mantras as a positive psychology tool. The mantra that has been running through my head lately is, “I am resilient.” The song linked above by Rising Appalachia is probably how this particular mantra found its way into my head.
“I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table
Again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen”
With all that is happening in the world, I find that I have to continually come back to practices that help me remember, “I am resilient.” The practice of “showing up at the table” is one that I come back to again and again. For me this means showing up at the table of seeking collective liberation – organizing with others who are both like me and also very different from me.
Last week, I was in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Faith in Action National Faith Forum #FaithForum2020 representing Vermont Interfaith Action. This may seem like an unlikely place for a gathering of progressive, interfaith clergy and leaders, however, hidden behind the slot machines and blackjack tables are the workers – many people of color – who keep this place running and organize together for worker rights and dignity. Nevada, of course, is also profoundly impacted by the climate crisis and environmental challenges. It turns out it is an important site for developing a national, faith-based People’s Platform and mobilizing across faith communities in this critical election year.
Being in Las Vegas felt like showing up at the table (not the blackjack table!). On the first night, we ratified the People’s Platform and joined in saying together Our Proclamation.
These are some of the lines:
We the People of Faith in Action are prepared to fight for the dignity and well-being of every person and every family. We are ready to fight for the soul of our democracy, the soul of our faith traditions, the soul of our nation, and the soul of our world.
We will not rest until every person is able to enjoy the fullness of life in this nation, and around the world.
An awful lot of work – conversations across state lines, racial lines, religious lines – went into crafting the People’s Platform and Proclamation. This work is hard, and it keeps me going.
I hope that you will also find those ways to affirm that YOU are resilient and to show up at the table again and again.