Spoiler Alert: If you're attending the class I am teaching for the Reunite America Challenge this Friday a lot of these ideas will come up again. Think of this as the extended preview ;)
Earlier this month I had the privilege and opportunity to again assist the amazing Coby Kozlowski, my friend and teacher, for her program Quarter Life Calling: Creating an Extraordinary Life In Your 20s. A week later was the inauguration. Since the election I have been thinking, worrying, fuming, figuring out for myself, what happens now? What can I do now in such a tumultuous political time that honors my beliefs and who I am? A lot of what I've come up with thus far stems from what I've picked up and integrated into my life from the teachings of the wonderful Coby in her Quarter Life Calling program and beyond. So thank you, Coby, for being an inspiration and helping me find my own way.
Being completely upfront, there is a lot that changes on a day to day, moment to moment basis regarding these issues. Like my yoga practice, my thoughts and feelings are in a state of flux, the river always moving, the conclusions I came to yesterday shifting ever so slightly (or somethings more drastically) today. These are things I have spent a good amount of time pondering since November and still I'm figuring it out as information changes, emotions change, etc. So here we go. I have stopped reading a lot of the news because honestly it's just too upsetting and it's a sense of self preservation to have that distance. Looking at the small amount of news I do see, I find myself depleted, at a loss, and all out upset. How do we move forward? What can I do to be the change I wish to see in the world? How can I continue to make a difference?
The day after the election, a great day of mourning for many, a friend reached out to me saying she couldn't look at her three year old daughter without crying, worrying about what the immediate future would hold for her. My advice to her is what I keep telling myself daily: Think local. Think small. Think about the little shifts you can make in your world to make that a better place. Work to create the perfect little beautiful world around you first - take care of yourself, take care of your girls, love them and teach them, love your son and raise him to be an amazing man, be good to your animals, grow your organic garden. Start there. We can each start building our own perfect little worlds and begin to make the change there that we want to see in the rest of the world. We will then start to create little polkadots of perfect worlds - each with their own flavor and uniqueness - and then we can start to stitch those together. Baby steps.
One of the billion dollar questions for me is What does it mean/How does it look to be united, to be in this together, in such a tumultuous time when people are so divided, polarized, marginalized, when there is such disconnect? How do we come together or how can we begin to work together when there is so much anger, confusion, fear, and when people just don't seem to be listening to one another?
In yoga we learn and practice finding our own balance and center. We can begin with a tiny shift in our own body, thereby effecting our life, rippling out to those near and dear, and out communities. We start with finding and igniting love of self, connection to that witness within, the guidance within that is compassionate and nonjudgemental and from there the ripple effect begins. We can face and heal anger, confusion, fear, disconnect with love and connection - connecting with our own center first so that we can then more skillfully be with those around us.
From connecting to our inner wisdom and the highest version of ourselves, we can get clear on the ways we are being called forth. We are in this together. What is the world we want to build together? Working separately and on such extremes doesn't seem to be working so how can we do it differently?
Can we move past blame? Go bigger. This is not a time to point fingers at whoever you think is the cause of the problem. Blaming others will not change the dynamic splitting us apart. Can you have the courage to look inside and ask yourself, "What do I want to do about it? What's the change I want to make in the world?" And can you be committed to the change you wish to be and make? It doesn't mean it's going to be easy. Coming together, bridging what seem like huge divides with very different agendas is not necessarily easy but can you think of the bigger picture of taking the steps to create your perfect little world, polkadots of little perfect worlds. Is it possible to look beyond what has led to the division and polarization - in no way am I saying it doesn't matter, or that it's not important - but can we look further to build something together? Because we're in this together.
None of this is a step by step or really brings a conclusion because it is in its own state of flux. It's part of my starting point. Part of my polkadot of building my perfect little world.
Love, Courage, and Cupcakes,