This next post began as a newsletter. I sent it out to my email list the other day. The outpouring of support that I have received from our yoga family here made me realize that I should probably share it here, publicly, as well. I’ll also add on to the letter with a few of my favorite articles, posts and resources related to #blacklivesmatter and confronting racism. Thanks for being here.
Dearest Yoga Family,
Hi. Hiiiii. Hello. How are you? What are the current stirrings in your heart?
I took the month of June away from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram (I wrote about it through the yoga lens right here if you’d like to read). It was necessary. It was useful. I will do it again next year. But that’s not why I’m writing to you now. I’m writing because right as I returned to the world of sharing, likes and comments, two more black men were murdered by the police here in the United States. Being away from social media and then coming back to it in the midst of (yet another) tragic example of injustice in the world reminded me of how important it is that we show up, tell the truth and use our voices whenever we can.
Shortly after Alton Sterling was killed, i posted a number of images, articles and thoughts on Facebook expressing the heartfelt sentiment that it is time to stop killing black people and that black lives matter. Because this matters. Because this is true. Because although I know at my core that love is real and love is your essence (and mine, and hers and his and all of ours), that harmful patterns and behaviors and attitudes still obstruct the clear vision of many people, leading to injustice, leading to racism, leading to murder. As yogis, our work is holding space for both to be true at once. We are love, yet many of us still live in fear and cause us to act in ways that hurt our fellow humans in unimaginable ways.
After I posted (and continue to post) this collection of anti-racist messages, I received a few responses from people that prompted me to write here about how being on this path does not mean that you can’t have opinions or advocate or work to change injustices you see in this world. In fact, to live authentically we will be called upon to be brave in love and to act many times throughout our lives. If you are curious about this, take a few days and read the Bhagavad Gita. Yoga is skillful action.
So now, and always, I invite you to step into this space of being yogi and activist for universal love. It involves inhabiting truth (living your dharma), speaking truth, acting with truth (integrity). Because what you do matters.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate you. I appreciate this community. I believe in us.
Take care of yourself and each other.
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”
- Am I Going to Write about Murdered Black People Forever?, by Kara Brown
- Haunted by our History, by Chani Nichols
- Why I am Teaching my Children the Importance of Self-Care, by Margaret Jacobsen
- I, Racist, by John Metta
- We Can End Police Violence in America
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh
- This is What White People Can Do to Support #Blacklivesmatter, by Sally Kohn
- 11 Things White People Can do to be Real Anti-Racist Allies, by Kali Holloway