Voting is yoga.

As I drove to the polling place this morning to vote in our NJ primaries, the song Powerful, from the tv show Empire came on.  It literally made me sob. Like ugly sob.  How the hell can children continue to be slaughtered and nothing has happened?   

Folks, let's get super real here.  We have some serious problems here in this country. We are sinking fast.  Maybe my lily white privileged butt was in denial about this (there's really no maybe to this) thinking that we were headed into a world where folks of all different colors, ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds had a genuine chance here.  A world where we could celebrate our differences and yet still recognize that underneath of it all, we're just the same - a beating heart, the breath, hopes, fears, loves, joys, sorrows. 

Yet, I look around, and those currently in power now have absolutely no interest in changing in that direction.  Quite the contrary, they'll happily take their NRA checks and allow shooting after shooting to take place.  They'll happily stand by as policy that is ripping families apart is implemented.  I could go on. 

It's devastating to me.  And demoralizing to feel that the values I hold dearly and hope to pass to my son don't seem to be the values of millions in this country. What can I do?  What can I possibly do to change this?

Here’s our practice: Stop.  Take a breath.  Feel the earth underneath your feet.  Take your shoes off and really feel the ground.  Take a few slow breaths, feeling that steady, securing energy of Mother Earth holding you.  Feel that in your body.  Take a few more breaths.  Connect in with the Divine - whatever that means to you - and really embody that, feel that energy.  Hold your arms out to the Universe.  Breathe that in.  Feel where the energy of Mother Earth and the energy of the Universe meet, intertwine, and play.  It’s the heart.  Take a few breaths focusing on that heart energy.  Hope.  Feel it.  Embody it.  See a world that lives joyfully, peacefully, and in harmony with one another and with the earth. 

Now here’s the real yoga:  Take a step.  To quote one of my heroes, “Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.” Barack Obama.  I repeat: TAKE A STEP.  

One of the most simple ways we can effect change is to vote.  And if you think your vote doesn’t matter, the Virginia assembly would have flipped blue except 1 vote this year.  One.  


I see a colorful future

Where skin don’t define any human

And stars are the only thing shooting, shooting

Oooh, oooh

Mothers who bury their child

How can we sit there and hide?

Change comes when all take a stand now

Stand up

Stand up

Martin’s speech still echoes in my brain

Every shade was beautifully made

And powerful

There’s so much strength in you and me


A breath away from victory

I matter, you matter, we matter all

I matter, you matter, we matter all