Dear President Obama and all Americans,
Congratulations, President Obama, on your re-election. It’s been a long haul getting to this election day. In recent weeks, all the polls have told us that the numbers would be very close, and indeed they were.
We are a divided nation. There are many things that all of us want going forward – health, happiness, prosperity, freedom, and security, and we all have different ideas about how to get there. If basic needs are not met for all members of a society, the society cannot flourish. It is very unlikely that any single approach, Democratic or Republican, Libertarian or Green, Tea Party or Occupy Movement, has the magic formula. In fact, there is no magic formula.
Conditions everywhere are changing rapidly, so that we have no playbook to guide us in today’s world. We can only discover and learn as we go along. It’s a new world. And tomorrow, some things will be new again, and next week, and next year. We must build a system equipped to ride the waves of change and to indeed make the most of these rapidly evolving times. I know, President Obama, that you understand this.
President Obama, you must be exhausted. Yours is the ultimate 24/7/365 job. The pressure never stops, and we depend on you for so much. However, the greatest gift you could give to yourself and to our country would be to take a week away by yourself and sit in the silence of your heart. Gently but firmly, let all of your advisers and policy makers know that they are not welcome to join you, and that, in fact, they are absolutely not to disturb you. Take nothing with you to study, no books to read, no speeches to write, no budget to draft – just you, your heart, and the silence. Journaling is permitted.
This retreat is your time to listen to your heart and listen to the greater potential waiting to unfold for our country. This is your time to step beyond what you want and all of the things that the American people are demanding, and even more so, beyond what those who gave you a lot of money want. This is your time to tap into a greater potential wanting to unfold – a greater potential that will truly serve all people for the long term.
This retreat is your time to let the essence of America show you who and what it could be 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now – long after you and most of us have left this earth. It’s your time to get a firmer grasp on what your role is in that bigger picture of carrying the world forward toward a world that works for all. It’s your time to step beyond all of the political pressures and discover what, deep in your heart, you know are the next steps we need to take in service of a better world. I fully acknowledge that there are not simple answers and that there are no quick fixes. Yet simple questions will often break open the complex issues.
Give yourself this gift of silent retreat. And then, throughout your presidency, continue to give yourself this gift on a regular basis. Maybe you can’t disappear for a week, but you can for a day, and on a regular basis. The world will not stop if you get quiet and listen to your heart. In fact, the world might start to follow you.
And to the American people – Mr. Obama may or may not have been your choice as our next president. However, I also invite you to step beyond your personal desires and beliefs and put your focus on a greater potential for our country and for the world. None of us – not President Obama or Mitt Romney or anyone else – has all of the answers for today’s complex and rapidly changing world. In fact, the way forward toward a world that works for all has probably not yet been discovered. In order to discover that path, we will all need to let go of what we think we know already. There is a greater potential waiting for us just beyond what we think we know.
So to all Americans, I also invite you to take time in the silence, to rest in your heart, to transcend political and religious beliefs, and to find your way into a place of understanding that, on some level, we, and the earth we live on and all of its creatures, are connected. Not until we ourselves have transcended our own limiting beliefs and attachment to our own desires can we expect our leaders to be able to that. What can you shift inside of you in order to help shift the mass consciousness into a place that could support our leaders to make choices in service of a greater good?
I once heard someone say, “Every few months, everyone needs to have a ‘Do Not Kid Yourself’ Day.” I love that! The more entrenched we all are in our own perspectives, attitudes, beliefs, and approaches to life, the more we end up kidding ourselves that what we believe is THE truth.
Imagine if four times a year we had a National Day of Silence. Imagine if four times a year there was a day set aside for reflection – a day to take time for ourselves, to dream, to take stock of where we are and where we want to go – time to touch our hearts and be with whatever is there – time to truly be honest with ourselves. How might we be a different country? What kind of leader might we be for the world?
And so, President Obama and all Americans, may we not dwell on what has been, but instead focus on where we are and a long-term vision of where we could be if we truly realized our greatest potential. May we know ourselves, individually and collectively, as part of a much greater whole. May we consider the consequences of our choices and decisions on all of creation. And may we take our next steps towards being a great nation among great nations.
Alan Seale, Director
The Center for Transformational Presence
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