Dec 31, 2018
Love is Action
Yoga Practice (off the mat) for 2019:
Often times yoga is translated to mean union or ‘we are all one’. If you believe this and want to practice this I would like to invite you to join me in a little svadyaya (self-study).
How am I showing up for my community? How am I showing up for those who are being harassed, oppressed, detained, abused, stripped of their access to basic needs? How am I showing up for those who do not have a roof over their head or enough food to eat? How am I showing up?
These are questions that I have been really sitting with over the past two years as I have felt a sense of urgency that I didn’t before the 2016 election. And I want to just name that I know that I didn’t feel that urgency because of my social location as a white, cisgender, straight, Christian, middle class, educated woman. I am located as privileged in nearly every single category. This privilege allows me to look away. To say ‘I am not political’, which is a very political statement in my humble (or not so humble opinion) as this is saying quite clearly that I are ok with the current political situation at any given moment. And as I come to terms with my own complacency (and complicity) I want to do better. I want to love better. I want to hold ALL beings tightly as we navigate this tumultuous time.
Here is my 2019 practice. I would love to invite you to join me.
- Continue to nourish myself deeply so that I CAN show up. And I have the privilege to care for myself or engage in self-care. So how dare I not?
- More compassion, less judgement. This was my 2018 mantra and it will continue through 2019. Always a work in progress. And I have noticed massive shifts.
- Love more. And Love is action. What action looks like for me may be very different for you. But act.
- Pray with your feet. March. January 19, 2018 is the Women’s March all over the country. It is sure to inspire further action. Peaceful, intersectional and so well worth the time.
- Demonstrate near spaces where important decisions are being made. Capitol buildings. The offices of your Senators and Representatives (both state and federal), City Council, etc.
- Put the numbers of your US Senators and Representative in your phone. Not sure where to find this? Here you go. Easy. Then call them when you want to share your voice. They work for us.
- If you have the means give money to organizations who are working on the front lines. What are you passionate about? Look up who is doing the work. Support them. They cannot do the work without resources.
- Pray for our leaders. That they may choose people over profits.
- Have time and skills? Volunteer. Choose a local organization and give your time. Again, what breaks your heart?
- Talk to your friends and family about what you are reading and seeing. Get curious about other perspectives. Listen. Be okay with disagreement, but try to hear each other.
- Peace. And...no justice, no peace. So I continue to stay awake. Where is there injustice and what can I do about it?
- One of the things that has been particularly on my heart for many, many years is police brutality and the racial bias in our criminal justice system. Curious to learn more? Check out The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Between the World and Me by Ta-nihisi Coates or watch the documentary 13th on Netflix.
- When we know better we do better. I will try to listen to understand. If you are a White person and this is all new there is a process, a journey. It is hard. But, it is so very important that we do this work to heal our country from the racial injustice that we were founded upon. It is not linear.
- Tell your #metoo story. This may give others the courage to share theirs, too. And it ultimately may lead to less abuse towards women and girls especially.
- Give money to organizations that are supporting those who are being murdered and harassed because they are LGBTQ, especially our trans brothers and sisters.
- Reparations. There are organizations that are set up to help us give reparations for past and present injustices. Here is just one.
- What injustice calls you to do something? Find out what you can do. The internet gives us so many tools.
- Find out the truth about why people are fleeing their homes to seek asylum here in the US. There are many books and articles. Here is one.
- Stay informed with news that is honest and is as unbiased as possible. I listen to NPR while I am driving. I try to stay away from the cable news networks as much as I can, although I really love MSNBC even though I am fully aware it leans pretty far left. I try read articles from reputable newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times. But, I get information from two sources that I trust.
- Americans of Conscience Checklist sends out weekly emails and complies all sorts of things that are happening and shares how you can get involved. It is so organized by issue/topic and makes it very ease.
- CTZN Well has a weekly email called WELLread that does a similar compilation. It was founded by Kerri Kelly, a yoga teacher and organizer whom I have known for nearly a decade.
- Gratitude Practice. Sometimes I feel a lot of guilt about my privilege. So I try to focus on gratitude. I have a daily gratitude practice. This has been so healing because guilt and shame can be paralyzing and prevent me from doing the work.
So as we all welcome 2019 how can we show up better? How can we live the principles of yoga?
Ahimsa (compassion, non-harming), Satya (honesty, truth), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (moderation in all things), Aparigraha (non-attachment), Santosha (contentment and gratitude), Saucha (cleanliness, purity), Tapas (passion, fire, discipline to practice), Svadyaya (self-study, self-reflection), Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to something bigger than me.
Join me. We are here for all of us. May we hold each other tight.
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