Sometimes I find it so hard to understand the downright hate and extreme lack of connection that exists between some humans in this world.
I forget that my work environment and community is sadly, somewhat of an anomaly. One of the things that I love so much about the practice of yoga is how it has the ability to bring so many people with such diverse backgrounds and lifestyles together to share something that creates such a positive impact on this world.
I have co-workers of all sexual orientations, varying religious beliefs and different races. When my students roll out their mats, they’re practicing alongside people from all walks of life. On the outside it appears that some of these people have nothing in common. Their day-to-day lives and lifestyle choices couldn’t be more different. But despite how different their lives might seem, we all come to realize that it’s what we’re seeking on the inside that brings us together. Love…peace…understanding…acceptance…of ourselves, of others and of how we show up in the world.
The practice makes you realize that you’re not separate from others. It becomes a celebration of connection to yourself and others. You realize that there is this whole community of likeminded people who have your back no matter what color your skin is, what your preferred means of spirituality is, what job you choose or who you choose to love.
I found acceptance on my mat that I had never experienced in my life before. It started within me and then I started seeking a greater understanding of the world around me. I read the book The Untethered Soul last year and one of the biggest takeaways for me was that absolutely no human life is more important than another.
Here is an intense, but hard-hitting excerpt from the book.
“It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death. No person or situation could ever teach you as much as death has to teach you. While someone could tell you that you are not your body, death shows you. While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them all away in a second. While people can teach you that men and women of all races are equal and that there is no difference between the rich and the poor, death instantly makes us all the same.”
And then, I was listening to The Book of Joy on Friday morning when I was walking the girls and The Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu spoke about all of us being equally as important in this world and that much of our pain and suffering comes from thinking we are better or separate from others. And then Charlottesville happened and I was quickly brought back into the reality of how much lack of connection and hate exists in this world.
So it’s our responsibility to continue working to set an example that there’s another way. Don’t give up. Keep loving everyone and treating everyone with respect and love. Every single one of us deserves to be seen, to feel love, to be happy and to be free.
And that’s what I have to say tonight.