What more can 2020 throw at us? There are so many issues converging at once. I have genuine hope that we will access the strength of spirit and community to find and implement some lasting solutions. Setting the pandemic aside, the issue at the forefront of this moment is racial equality, justice and reconciliation. Abraham Maslow famously said, “ When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. I pray that this is the moment we set the hammer aside as the main tool used to nail racial inequality. Long lasting solutions will require every tool we have. I for one, have so much to learn but I know I am capable of learning if I have the right tools in my toolbox. I love Emmanuel Acho’s “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”. If you haven’t already checked it out, visit https://youtu.be/h8jUA7JBkF4
Here are two more resources that I found helpful:
Talking about race: from the National museum of African-American history and culture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdwBCXn2Wl8
Trevor Noah on George Floyd, Minneapolis protests, Ahmaud Arbery, and Amy Cooper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4amCfVbA_c
I’d love to hear of other resources that you have found helpful.
Yoga classes in America have yet to become a bastion of racial diversity. I have had only a handful of black students over the years. My eyes and heart were opened by one beautiful black student in the early 90’s who told me one day over lunch how she never entered a room without first scanning everyone in it to feel if there was any danger to her. It should not have been a shock to me, but it was at the time. I never had to experience that level of heightened alertness simply because of the color of my skin.
I’m currently reading The MindBody Code by Dr. Mario Martinez, subtitled, How to change the beliefs that limit your health, longevity and success. One of his main premises is that the cultural foundation of our beliefs has not been emphasized enough and that it is the link between cultural anthropology and psychoneuroimmunology in how our beliefs effect our health and well being. He argues that we all suffer from archetypal wounds of shame, abandonment and betrayel that are unique to our specific culture. We are seeing how a heavier burden of these wounds are inflicted on people of color in our society.
He continues to say that:
– Honor heals Shame
– Commitment heals Abandonment
– Loyalty heals Betrayal
He offers exercises, clinical studies, and evidence of positive outcomes from applying these principles. That sounds like a recipe for reconciliation to me or at least a start. It will take practice on a personal and collective level. MLK declared, “demonstration must lead to legislation for there to be reconciliation.” I’m excited about the possibilities to grow as a culture and as a democracy.
My yoga teaching schedule is on hold until further notice. The website workshop page will be updated as we evaluate our health and safety requirements moving forward.
I wish you all good health and well-being. Please take care of yourselves especially in enclosed places with groups of people. We now know that, ”it’s the air we share” that is the main culprit in the transmission of COVID-19. I just heard the heartbreaking fact that 400 healthcare workers have literally sacrificed their lives to treat the infected. We wear the mask to protect them, your families and ours. And of course to look this cool!