Welcome back to Mindful Monday. If you read this blog then you know I am finishing up a Mindful Practitioner course. Mindfulness is simply put being in the moment right now, and feeling the whole experience. It is not meditating or escaping from a situation you are in, but rather learning to accept the experience in a non judge mental loving way, and learn to deal with these situations. It also encompasses learning about voting issues, registering to vote, etc.
What does that have to do with voting? If you are in the USA then you should know by now it is a Presidential Election year. Does voting stress you out? If yes, why? Maybe you don’t know where to vote, how to vote, if you even can vote, etc. Maybe you don’t feel like you know enough about the situations and candidates. Some people vote strictly by party or by who or what their parents or friends tell them to vote for. This method of voting is OK, but it is kind of the opposite of Mindful Voting. I personally do not like to discuss politics nor do I care for people to know how I vote. It is personal and private to me. Plus, it keeps me in a peaceful mood, lol. Sometimes, I post things on social media that people assume I vote one way or another. Most of the time it is simply just to provoke a conversation, or to save for me to read later. But, you can’t change people and their rush to judgement and labels. That is where Mindful Voting comes in for me. I want to know the facts, not people’s opinions, or who and what they are voting for. It does not sway me in any way shape or form. I vote according to what I feel is best for the whole country, not just myself and my personal self interest. Now, that does not mean my way of voting is any better than anyone else’s. If you are voting at all then you deserve a hats off.
As a woman I feel it is shameful if women don’t vote. Women fought so hard for the right to vote for women, and the same goes for African Americans and other minorities. Maybe you feel your vote doesn’t matter, or no one cares. Voting is the number one powerful tool citizens have to keep the government in check. They are very good at suppressing the vote making voters think and feel their votes really don’t matter. Don’t let that work. Vote! Even if others disagree with your vote, vote anyways! I homeschool my children and I stressed to them that as American Citizens their number one duty is to vote! My son is 20 and has been voting since age 18. I have one more to go, and I hope she will follow the same route. I do not ask them who they vote for. I don’t really care. They are the future and their votes will lead this country into the future.
How to vote mindfully?
1- Register to vote! Nothing can be accomplished if you are not registered. Call your local county Supervisor of Elections, or visit their website to see what steps need to be taken to register. Each state is different so be sure and check early enough to get registered in time.
2- Once you are registered, and have received your voter ID card, decide if you will vote in person, or by mail. With Covid many people are requesting mail in ballots. I have voted by mail every year I have voted. Again, be sure you know deadline dates from the Supervisor of Elections website, not by mailers coming in the mail. You may be surprised that politicians will do anything to win including misleading and suppressing the vote.
3- Start researching candidates and issues on the ballot. I like Ballotpedia, of course I still have to research each issue and see what I feel is best. Visit each candidates website to learn what they stand for, and how they will accomplish things.. Also look at their records from the past. Politicians make lots of promises to get elected, and that does not mean those things will happen. If you need to learn more about how the US Government works, there are plenty of free websites to learn about it. You can visit Joe Biden’s website, and Donald Trump’s website. Don’t forget about Senators, Representatives, Judges, Sheriffs etc. You can review all of that info online. Again, I use Ballotpedia.
4- Be sure to mail back your ballot by the post mark due date. Mark your calendar for election day, which is November 3 in 2020. Many states have early voting days, some on weekends, to accommodate all voters.
5- When you show up to vote in person make sure you have your ID with your legal signature on it. If you are unsure of what types of ID is allowed ask your Supervisor of Elections ahead of time. Don’t forget to bring a mask or face covering.
6- Vote and feel like the awesome Citizen you are. Then go home and wait for the results. That is part of the fun, in my opinion.
Voting doesn’t have to be stressful. Be Mindful and in the moment. Make it your own, not what others want or think, and enjoy the process.
If you would like to learn more about how Mindfulness can help you in everyday life, use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me.