I hope you’re doing well today.

Now I know you heard from me just a few short days ago when I posted a little bonus blog article with suggestions about how to cope with Thanksgiving, post-election 2016.

The article (and topic!) seems to have struck a chord. Indeed, Forbes picked it up and shared some of my advice (along with input from other mental health experts) in a recent article of theirs.

So I certainly hope the bonus blog post felt helpful to you, too, and that you were able to have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with all who gathered around your holiday table no matter how you guys voted.

Now I have to confess: the election results are still on my mind (as I imagine they may be on your mind, too), and in the the past few weeks I’ve caught myself saying this one slightly obscure but beloved phrase over and over again to myself and to others as we process our varying reactions and responses to President-elect Trump:

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

This saying, as relayed by the scholar Al-Tirmidhi, is an ancient Arab phrase attributed to the prophet Mohammed who, when one day he saw a Bedouin leaving his camel without tethering it, questioned him as to why he was doing this. The Bedouin replied that he was placing his trust in Allah and had no need to tie the camel. The prophet Mohammed then replied, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.”

While I cannot remember where and when I first heard this phrase, I know loved it immediately and tucked it away in my heart as one of my most guiding life principles, calling upon it again and again like a sort of touchstone in my pocket.

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

Why do I love this phrase so much? Well, it’s not because I identity as religious. Nor do I own an actual camel. (Wouldn’t that be something to see in Berkeley, though?!)

No, I love this phrase because it’s one that I, as a heavily action-oriented person, can well and truly get behind: Do the legwork and then let go; Say a prayer but move your feet; Eyes on the stars but feet in the mud; Do your best and then leave the rest to God (or Spirit, Source, the Universe, Goddess, etc.).

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

I find this phrase to be quite empowering but also very calming.

The phrase invites me to take stock of what it is I have control over, and to take action there if needed and wanted, and then to sit back, and trust the process.

This phrase helps me navigate the tension I can sometimes experience between feeling helpless and also all-powerful over the events in my life. (Neither of which is true and both of which can make me feel very ungrounded.)

I love this phrase because it invites me to notice how I can balance both action and allowing, no matter what I’m facing.

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

I truly think this phrase could be helpful to you, too, no matter what you’re facing these days.

Balancing taking action and letting go in our lives is something we’re all often called on to do and yet many of us respond in all action and no faith, or relying too heavily on faith when it might behoove us to take a bit more action in our lives.

So I want to invite you to consider how and where this phrase could be applied to your life right now to help you better navigate the tension of acting and allowing.

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

What proverbial camels of yours need to be tied? Or where in your life do you need to stop the metaphorical tying and double knotting the ropes and just let go?

  • With processing the election results, do you need or want to get more actionable on anything this raised for you? Or is it time to step back a bit, and to let go and place your faith in the unfolding outcome in something bigger than yourself?
  • When it comes to your love relationship (or the seeking and creating of this), is there any action you need and want to take that’s in your control that would help you feel more empowered and fulfilled? Or do you need to stop gripping a particular outcome so tightly and instead relax a bit more, trusting that all will happen when it’s supposed to?
  • In your career planning and navigation, how well are you proverbially “tying your camel” or are you allowing things to happen to you more than taking action on them?
  • With your friend and family relationships, is there any action you can take to feel closer and more connected in your relationships? Or have you done all you can and is your work instead to accept and allow the unfolding of whatever comes next?
  • Does your health and well-being need more action taken? Or is your growth edge to stop controlling quite so much and to relax and unfold more?

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

I invite you to mentally scan the landscape of your life and be curious about where and how this phrase may be particularly applicable for you right now.

And, of course, often there can be anxiety associated with both taking action and also in tolerating the unknown when we let go, so please be gentle with yourself no matter what and how things are unfolding in your life right now.

There is no right or wrong way to take action or practice faith in our lives. Both are constant practices, questions we’re meant to live, not prescriptions for this article or any other.

 

“Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

 

So, as we slide into the closing of the year when the days are darkest and yet the time seems to disappear, no matter what’s going on for you — election distress, family conflict, romantic confusion, health challenges, financial strain, career uncertainty — see if you can keep this phrase like a mental touchstone in your own pocket, returning to it as often as you need to to comfort, recalibrate, and clarify.

If you would like support in doing this, I encourage you to reach out here.

I wish you and yours the very best today and all days and will look forward to posting more for you in two weeks.

Warmly, Annie

 

Medical Disclaimer

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