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There Is No Difference

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.


{ 15 comments… add one }
  • JennyV August 14, 2017, 9:53 pm

    Best thing I’ve read today. Thank you!

  • Megann August 14, 2017, 10:00 pm

    Thank YOU! For letting your voice be heard and sharing your support with others. As a person, I am numb, angered, sad, and disappointed. As a reader, I also have all those same emotions. It takes a big human to cross the line of silent ambivalence and voice their concern. Again, thank you. It doesn’t have to be about political parties, race, income, orientation, etc. we as human beings can stand up to this hateful rhetoric and snuff it out of out.

  • Melissa Klotz August 15, 2017, 12:23 am

    Beautiful perspective.

    I started reading the Untethered Soul last year, but then wedding planning got in the way. I’m excited to get back to it once I can make more time for reading.

  • Lauren Mills August 15, 2017, 12:53 am

    Thank you for not shying away from this topic ❤️
    “And may the appalling hate of others fuel you to step more deeply into your work as a warrior of love, justice and freedom in the fight against oppression and bigotry”

  • Traci | The Petite Chef August 15, 2017, 8:27 am

    Beautifully written. I love this: “Every single one of us deserves to be seen, to feel love, to be happy and to be free.”

  • Tamra August 15, 2017, 8:51 am

    Really appreciated this post! I find that most lifestyle/fitness bloggers shy away from uncomfortable wordly topics and issues. So happy to see that you just get it!

  • Tracy August 15, 2017, 10:05 am

    Jen, thank you so much for taking a stand. As a blog reader, I really appreciate that you are not shy about standing up for what is right. At a time like this, there is no room for any of us to tolerate ignorance, violence, or hatred. And silence, in this case, is a form of tolerance. I feel lucky to live in a place where people are mostly accepting of each other as human beings, but it is far from perfect. I, too, am grateful for time with my yoga community. There is something so sacred about being in a packed yoga room full of just plain people coming together in union.

  • Tara August 15, 2017, 11:56 am

    Wanted to echo the appreciation for addressing the tragic events of the weekend. I have been paying very close attention to blogs and social media accounts that I follow to see who will use their platform as a voice for good. Thank you.

  • Jerri August 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Thank you! Your positive message is just what I needed to hear today.

  • tara August 15, 2017, 1:31 pm

    what a beautiful post. i was a history major my first go around at college. im an accountant now and people think maybe my first degree was a waste of time but it was soooo not. what i learned was we are all the same we come from different places and experiences but everyone wants the same thing deep down. and the worst tragedies happen when we turn on one another. i learned tolerance, respect for others, and that the world is both big and small all at once. history in college is not like history in high school. i am beyond thankful for this piece of my education and often wonder if more people were educated we would have less problems like this. more love/tolerance. less hate/ignorance.

  • Jen August 16, 2017, 5:53 pm

    You are such a beautiful soul and breath of fresh air, Jen. I can’t tell you how many times (over the course of several years) you’ve brought me comfort and hope through your words. Thank you for taking the time to write and spread love in the world.

  • adrianna August 19, 2017, 11:00 pm

    all of this… <3!

  • Ella Johnson August 20, 2017, 12:35 am

    Thank you for your voice! I appreciate it!

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