Choosing Discomfort, Choosing Love

Next Friday, June 24th, is the start of Give Big Month—30 days with 30 opportunities to give to keep the mission and work of Samdhana-Karana Yoga alive and thriving.  This will culminate with Yoga in the Park in Wright Park on July 23rd.  Here’s some details:

  • Yoga in the Park this year is a one-day yoga festival, with various practices for all bodies and levels throughout the day;
  • Attendance is by donation—suggested amount is $50, but no one will be turned away.
  • It’s a part of what will be the ONE TIME this year we will ask for money, if (when!) we make our fundraising goal of $25,000!
  • You can expect to get a call from us!  We’re excited to invite you into a new philosophy and practice around giving that has really energized us: one in which we simply know and trust that we have everything we need to take the next step on our unfolding journey; one in which we know and trust that each of you are good and have a great capacity to make a difference in the world; one in which we’re called to help the world to reallocate resources away from fear and towards love.

To be transparent, it has felt challenging this week to really orient my heart towards the daily rhythm of my work—event planning, tending to student needs, data transferring (keep an eye out for our new database interface that Vania has been wonder-woman-ing to set up for the past several weeks).  Sunday’s massacre of mostly queer and trans people of color at an Orlando gay nightclub has had a heavy pull towards paralysis and collapse that I recognize from my younger years as an activist—where I felt so deeply the heartache of the world without the spiritual grounding to actually hold steady and act effectively and sustainably.

I’m sensitive to the reality that my sense of vulnerability and grief is mild relative to what generations of people of color, and especially queer and trans people of color, have lived with.  I am aware that what occurred is simply the tip of the iceberg of a deeply entrenched culture of domination, where racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, misogyny, and all forms of structural violence continue to be sustained, if not by our active participation, then by our (even more dangerous) unconscious complicity.

And it’s this awareness that, thankfully, has also brought me back to a place of deep appreciation of what I do have: a vocation and a community that is already a direct response to this kind of brokenness in the world and in our institutions and in the hearts of each of us; a community engaged in a process of healing and transforming our brokenness on the inside as well as on the outside; a circle of fellow journeyers who don’t require that I segment myself, hide my struggle or discomfort, in order to show up; friends who are willing to reflect to me and us as an organization where we are out of integrity, still complicit in institutionalized oppression, and give us the chance to take responsibility (if you missed Vania’s last post about this, please read it!).  It’s just the fact of things: we have a long way to go.

So onward.  No more waiting around for someone else to create the world that you want to see your children living into.  It’s us.  It’s here.  Our Month of Giving, including our culminating celebration of Yoga in the Park, is an invitation to participate in a vital personal and planetary shift away from fear and into the pulse of love through which we all give and receive and are sustained.  It is only by love and in love and through love that we will have the willingness to face the unworkable reality of where we are as a human family; to be uncomfortably quiet and still enough to hear the voices on the margins that have been systematically erased; to be catalyzed humbly and courageously into skillful action—and begin the long journey towards healing together.  

If you’ve felt impacted by the Orlando shooting in any way—maybe it’s triggered an old trauma or loss that needs to just get moved through your body; maybe you feel awkward, like me, sitting with the (appropriate) discomfort of privilege and not knowing quite how to respond; maybe you just don’t want to be in isolation—consider, joining Vania and I next Monday night, June 20th.  From 5-5:45, practice chanting and loving-kindness meditation with me (Kate) and from 6-7:15, practice yoga co-taught by Vania and I.  This was going to be our opening Solstice Abundance Practice to kickoff the Month of Giving—but we’ve shifted the theme to practice being together in this unnerving place of grief, dissonance, and possibility together.  We’ll practice to simply name what has occurred, name what each of us are experiencing, and evoke the abundance of courage and strength and willingness needed to do the hard inner and outer work our world is crying out for us to do.

If we can be of support to you or you want to connect in any other way over this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  

With tenacious love,