In the category of stupid things I did this week, I just got back from the fancy sneaker store to buy running shoes because I accidentally signed up for a 10 mile race in March. With my New Year’s resolution mantra taped to my computer, “forward, kinder, older, and bolder,” I was working on the bold part.

I first decided that 5k sounded bold. It would be an awesome way to welcome in spring—until I realized 5 kilometers is just a weensy bit over three miles. I walk more than that every day, so I decided that was not bold enough. Instead, I would do a 10k, which is over 6 miles.

Yes, bold. Yes, good Dana.

So after wearily searching the internet for at least 10 minutes I noticed that many races were already filled. In a fit of desperation, I signed up for the first available race I found. Only after I paid my money and read the fine print did I discover that it was not a 10k, but a 10 miler!

That’s a tad over 16 kilometers!

Egad!! Too bold, Dana. Too bold!! (I will keep you posted.)

In the category of happy news, I am nearly finished with the rewrites of the manuscript. Go me. Please pray that the editor can understand it this time!

I sincerely hope your January is going well. No pressure. If it’s going crappy, well that’s okay too.

Today starts a new era in America, and many people have asked me where I will be on Saturday. What they really want to know is, am I going to Washington to protest our new president. I think because of my job, people have put me in the “liberal” category.

For the record, I am in the “everyone” category.

Think of me as Austria after WWII—perpetually neutral. And I’m not going to the Women’s March on Washington.  I’ll be here, doing the same things I did yesterday, and the same things I will do tomorrow.

And I will be learning how to run:)

So the push-back and strange responses I get from people is that somehow because I don’t protest, I therefore must agree with the new president’s attitude towards women.

There’s nothing I take more seriously than supporting and empowering women and men of all races and religions. The role of spiritual teacher is the career I’ve been called to, left another successful career for, and it’s what I try to live in every relationship.

Yet I am not going to protest, according to many experts, the most unqualified, misogynistic, and bigoted president in recent history.

Why not? Because a lesson I’ve learned (in the hardest way possible, I might add) is that what we resist, will persist.

What we protest, we are actually empowering. To protest someone with whom we disagree means we become a part of a narrative of their choosing, not our choosing. We become the villians of their narrative as well, and they perceive themselves martyrs.

When we disagree with an angry hateful human, there is a way to behave that doesn’t empower someone’s hate-speak and angry spirit. If we can pause long enough between our own rage-filled thoughts towards them, then compassion (knowing and understanding) will awaken in us.

Compassion answers the question of, “Why is this happening?” Compassion is the feeling of, “Ah, I understand, I see, I know what to do now.” It is peaceful and powerful.

Compassion is not what we’ve been taught—it is not sheep-like acceptance of evil.

Compassion is acceptance of our own power in the face of anger and hate.

True compassion is the divine posture towards another human that allows us to love them without empowering their anger and hatred—it is a universal energetic boundary and also a bridge that allows change and growth in the relationship. Compassion is a beautiful, peaceful and neutral.  

If you are feeling powerless and upset and you really want to end misogyny and bigotry, then you can practice compassion today.

Compassion allows mind-body access to a different state of being. It awakens when we work on our own feelings of hate, judgement, and rage.

Compassion awakens the moment we truly desire not to harm anyone anymore—and this includes the new president and all his supporters and all his opponents. This includes terrorists, this includes everyone whom you judge as being “terrible.”

When we want a peaceful joyful life, we can have it. Compassion, as its root word “compass” implies, is the only state in which we can easily navigate our lives. We are destined to seek it when we are afraid and need answers.

When we awaken the compassion within ourselves, we will understand the actions we need to take to heal ourselves and the world.

Compassion is the thing that says I see you, I love you, and I disagree with your posture of life. It’s equal parts I love you and equal parts I disagree with the choices you are making in the moment but I allow you to make them because I love you.

If this sounds hokey, then I’m guessing you haven’t experienced parenthood yet, because this is the only lesson of parenting. How can I disagree with and unconditionally love someone at the same time? The answer is, with compassion.