For most of my voting era, I have used a mail in ballot option. This started when I was in the military and of course far from home...for several years overseas... but I have continued using the mail in ballot option. In Florida we have the option to request a mail in ballot and I use it almost every time.

The best advantage to using the mail in ballot besides not having to actually go to the polls on election day is the extra time it affords one to study the ballot and each decision. This is particularly useful in Florida as we always have several constitutional amendments. As with anything in politics these amendments can be cleverly disguised, but really not be good for society as a whole! Therefore I take the time to read through each one carefully and do a bit of research. Determining who is behind the amendments tells much of the story and motivations but looking further into these is helpful. Basically my philosophy is "less government more freedom" so amendments to legalize I usually say "yes" but amendments to add to government regulations and oversight I tend to say "no".

One helpful resource as you study your ballot is at this website you can pull up a sample ballot based on your address and click on each item. From there you can learn more about the candidates and/or amendments. It certainly has some built in bias as with anything so you need to be a critical reader but it is conveniently organized. All towards making the most informed decision you can make on both candidates and issues.

Mail in ballots also allow me to get this done early. Now I can wash my hands of this nastiness...literally! It all reminds me of one primary tenant in stoicism- understand what you can control and what you cannot control. Mostly you control nothing outside of your body... nor even your body for that matter... it will age... ALL YOU CAN CONTROL IS YOUR REACTION.

So does anything on this ballot matter? NO All that matters is my reaction to outside events. My vote cast to the county was not important but the vote I cast inside to myself is super important! Working that inner discipline to curate what is real and not real and what is in my control and beyond my control is the best part of this exercise. As president elect of Steve Barlow I pledge to focus my efforts inward on what I can control, knowing I won't always be perfect but that I am for sure always working to be better. Every struggle presented to me in life is there to set me up for this improvement, shall I always smile and greet the arrival of these struggles knowing they are for my greater good.

Remember what is really important this election season and devote your energy toward inner work and not the manure pit of politics! I have uploaded a short vlog to accompany today's blog too so make sure to check the youtube link below. And may God bless America!

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