#FBF two years exactly: Nov 9, 2016.
I was hiding in the yoga space at Rancho Santana in Nicaragua (where I was teaching yoga at the time) because I couldn’t believe, fathom, or face what had happened in my country. I couldn’t keep it together to teach my scheduled yoga class that morning. I couldn’t stop crying long enough to go down to the main area to get breakfast or lunch. I couldn’t breathe deeply enough to calm down or rationalize. I could however feel the hatred that had been hiding beneath the surface of the place that I called home, and the sting from even thousands of miles away was stifling.
I was praying in desperation for it to all be a big hoax, a misunderstanding, a miscount of votes. I was so fearful: I had "no control" and no idea what to do next.
I kept replaying it in my head: I had done my part... right? I had filled out my absentee ballot with all the confidence in the world that I was casting a vote for the first female president of our country.
Was she perfect? Hell no. Was she a step in the direction that I felt our country was moving towards? Uh YEAH. Was I wrong, just like millions of others who just hadn’t seen how broken and in pain so many of our fellow Americans were? Fuck YES, I was.
As I wept, alone in a foreign land, I remember snapping this photo as a reminder of how low things felt... wondering... will they get worse? How will the world look this time next year? Will we even still exist at all? (Yes, I’m dramatic and intense, but that felt like a very real thought at the time.)
And yet, here we are today... not one, but two years later. Two years that have been filled with rampant hatred, racism, senseless killings, and removal of laws that had been put into place to allow all humans on this land the same rights as their neighbors. Two years that I would be ignorant to acknowledge that, for some, have looked like years filled with HOPE and RIGHTING the "wrongs" that had been taking place in this country of ours. Two years that, for many others, have appeared to be some type of twisted movie where the audience sits in horror and asks WHY? HOW? And WHO'S NEXT? Two years that, for me personally, have been filled with a lot of pain, even more healing, and SO MUCH waking the fuck up to the injustices that even two years ago, this teary-eyed, broken-hearted version of me was completely naive to.
And today, I am humbled to be a part of a land that is, for better or worse, learning to fail... forward... and together. There is SO much work to be done, SO much darkness to be uncovered and truths to be brought to light, SO much to discuss with our neighbors to make sure everyone is heard, with compassion and understanding - no matter WHAT they have to say. Despite the sadness and trauma that seems to be everywhere, there is also a glimmer of hope that two years ago, this teary-eyed, broken-hearted version of me was also naive to.
A hope that is possible because people are waking up. (Good morning!!!)
People are doing the work, both on themselves and on our country.
People are showing up to the polls. You've seen the numbers.
And people are talking + sharing vulnerably in ways that I've never experienced before.
Perhaps it is my chosen position as a healer, and yoga instructor, that allows me to see the transformation happening in my specific community. Perhaps it is my own healing that I've taken accountability for, and journey that continues to open my eyes to those who are also walking the same, sometimes lonely road in a direction we've never gone before. And perhaps, it's way bigger than even my small span of awareness.
My meditation teacher, Tara Brach, asked the other evening for a show of hands - "Who feels like their awakening has accelerated in the past two years?" - and almost every hand of 250+ people in the DC area meet-up were raised.
Marianne Williamson, at a talk a few weeks ago, after offering a call to action for each of us to show up with compassion and courage, said "We are ALL traumatized. Using your trauma as an excuse to not show up for the world and LOVE HARD right now is a waste of energy. We must do it anyway."
So while I honor and love this teary-eyed, broken-hearted version of myself forever as a part of me, I release her. I will not give her permission to sit above the world, afraid, and unable to take action. I release her, and I am ready to show up, with my trauma in hand and in heart. I am ready to LOVE hard. To speak up. To show up when YOU need me.
Nov 9, 2018: My desperate prayer is changed from fear and "WHY?" to love and "NOW."