I try hard to make sure everyone who walks through the doors of my studio feels comfortable and welcome. I think people spend enough time being told, by themselves or others, that they are not enough. Not good enough, not smart enough, not _____ enough. So when they walk through my doors, I want them to know that they are already enough – that they already have everything that they are seeking right there, inside them. It’s a wonderful feeling that feeling you get when you belong, when you know you’re in the right place, when you respect and are respected, not for your life achievements or your political views or your personal assets, but for being human; for living, for breathing, for being on this planet at the same time, in the same place. I want to foster that. I want that feeling of belonging to ooze out of your pores when leave my class.
Like a lot of you, I have spent the last couple days on edge. I have grappled with how I feel – angry, disappointed, and yes, despairing. I’ve read a ton of articles too as I work my way through. Some of them are full of fear and rage. I get it. I get it on both sides really. As parents, we talk a lot to the kids about what’s going on, and this is where I get stuck. Walking away from the polling place on Tuesday afternoon Gabriel turned to me and said “Donald Trump can’t be president. He calls women pigs.” He didn’t get that from us. He heard it somewhere else. Maybe from our president-elect’s own mouth, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter really. What matters is that we don’t name call in our house. We don’t watch TV shows where they call each other names. If one of my kids calls the other – or someone else – a name, there are consequences. If they make fun of someone because of their differences there are consequences. If they are disrespectful there are consequences. I’m struggling with explaining to my 6 year old how doing those things catapulted a man into the highest and most respected office of this country. Maybe he wasn’t voted in because of those things, I don’t know, but he did them and he’s still where he is. No consequences. My kids see that. How do I explain that?
I may not know how to talk my way around this one with my kids, but I know what I’m going to do moving forward. I will get involved, I will make sure to be a champion of what I believe and make sure I stand up for the rights of those around me. I’ve been sitting in the sidelines all these years thinking someone else will do the work for me. No longer. If ever there was a time to stand up and use your voice to bring peace and understanding back, it is now. We are way overdue.
I am certain about something else too: that community wins. When people feel a sense of belonging, they feel loved and when they feel loved, they are capable of a myriad of wonderful things. So come out and do some yoga with us. Let’s breathe and laugh together. Let’s heal our own wounds so we can move out into the world with our yoga mat sized band-aids to help heal the bigger wounds that surround us. Let’s make space for ourselves and each other. There is no other way we’re going to get through this, whether it’s the next 4 years or the next 54, there is no other way. So let’s get to it; stand up, roll out your mat. Let’s begin the work of bringing some sanity back to this place. It starts with you and me. One breath at a time.