Tag Archives: unity

The Way Forward

I have been relatively quiet about the US elections over the past couple of years. I have chosen not to contribute to the vibrations of chaos this archaic system of “politics” has instigated. This morning I have no choice but to speak.

There is much despair right now, not only in the good old US of A, but globally. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is the leader of the so-called free world, apparently. This is. So we must accept and move forward from here.

What we also must accept is that we have the tendency of getting stuck in the human experience when that experience gets extreme. Like it is now. But there is a greater narrative unfolding that we cannot ignore.

The spiritual, energetic experience that exists simultaneously as these chaotic details unfold is occurring on purpose, for a reason that will be specific to every single one of us. In moments of turmoil, the energetic experience is begging us to ask ourselves, “What am I meant to learn? What am I meant to learn?” This needs to be our mantra, because to look for the meaning behind the chaos is to see beyond the literal, beyond what gets us stuck, so we can move forward.

Some of us are meant to learn that we need to speak our minds louder than we have done.

Some of us are meant to learn that we need to stand up for the rights of others who are being persecuted.

Some of us are meant to learn that if we don’t vote, our inaction will turn around and bite us in the ass.

Some of us are meant to learn that the struggle is, indeed, real, that the fight for freedom is far from over, and that entitlement is the luxury of the few and the deluded.

Some of us are meant to learn the names Gloria Steinem, Matthew Shepard, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Frederic Douglass, Harvey Milk, Ella Baker and the countless others who fought intolerance and ignorance.

Some of us are meant to de-program initial response and wait to see how things will unfold.

We are treading new waters and we don’t necessarily know how things will go. We cannot let fear motivate us into emotional response and hasty action. We must ask ourselves if we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution. We must remain in ACTION and not in RE-action.

We must be awake and alert and ready to support each other regardless of what God we may pray to, regardless of the color of our skin, regardless of gender or money or all the other bullshit details that typically keep us separate.

This is our call to attendance. The time is now, the struggle just got even more real. Be peaceful. Be loving. Accept and make wise decisions that allow you to respond to life, not react to it.

We can do this. All of us, together.

Plugging In

This week I have the honour of teaching 2 classes at the Palais des Congrès (Montreal’s main convention centre) for federal workers in the public sector from across Canada who are coming to our unusually temperate city (for this time of the year).  Getting everyone off to the best start possible as they trek through the 2-day convention is already something to look forward to, but what I’m really excited about is the theme of the event, which is connecting to community, something absolutely essential for these federal employees who deal with the public day in and day out.

The keynote speaker for this event is slated to be Dr. Samantha Nutt, the founder and executive director of War Child, an incredible organization that is dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to children in war-torn areas of the globe, and in doing so, providing the catalyst to allow people from all corners of the world to connect with each other towards this common, collaborative goal. Connecting to communities whose values and traditions differ from ours, extending a helping hand to those we’ve never met but with whom we are connected by the threads of humanity that bind us together, all by-products of the main mission to help children who find themselves surrounded by the tears or rips in humanity that war inevitably results in. A keynote speaker who bridges the distances and the differences between us and our fellow men, inspiring a group of people who are the face of our government for each and every person they interact with in the public sector. Inspiring them to connect with the communities they work in, to be so much more than the person behind the partition, on the other end of the telephone, or at the other end of the web-chat.

Connection is also an essential facet of yoga…connection to one’s self, connection to the teacher, and connection to the other practitioners with whom we are blessed to share the practice space and our energies. Without the ability to draw our attention inside through to the subtlest layers of consciousness, our ability to connect with others becomes jeopardized. That connection to the source provides the blueprint conducive to reaching out and sharing our realities with others, and being open and compassionate enough to incorporate what others are living into our realm of existence. Establishing those channels, allowing for the vital exchange of information and events, is what brings us together and reminds us that the connection we share is always present, but occasionally makes itself more apparent based on the events that shape our lives.

Whenever something happens on a global scale, we feel that connection without having to search for it. The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile are perfect examples of this. Princess Diana’s shocking death, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the 2004 tsunami in Asia…all the events that feel like tears or rips in the fabric of humanity, the vibration of our world changing in a heartbeat. Not all events, however, need to be traumatic to mark their passing on our collective journey…and despite my willingness to admit that sports are about as attractive to me as eating a bowl full of insects, I have to admit that watching the last 30 minutes of the Canada-U.S.A Olympic hockey match was a lesson in the unification of mankind for me. Initially drawn into the game by the insane media coverage, I was hooked within the first 10 seconds…I was logged onto Facebook, watching as update after update from the majority of my friends from all over the world scrolled down the index page…everyone cheering for Canada, the tension palpable, knowing everyone was on the edge of their seats (myself included, much to my surprise). The winning goal in overtime is what did it for me. Seeing the exact same exclamations of pride and congratulations exploding on the screen in front of me as horns started blaring outside in the streets, the overwhelming outpouring of love and unity, all of it left its mark on me, making me feel like I was plugged into the electrical current that was flowing straight across Canada and spilling over all around the globe. Any differences we may have had hours earlier before the game fell by the wayside as we all came together and celebrated, and it imprinted itself into my memory much in the same way the aforementioned events did. Growing up, I was surrounded by the adults in my life who remembered exactly where they were when JFK was assassinated, when Marilyn Monroe was found dead, when RFK was assassinated…and as I get older, I realize that the deaths of Diana, Michael Jackson, the horror of 9/11, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and countless other events that have changed the face of the world during my formative years have provided similar moments where time seems to have stopped for a millisecond, where the fabric of humanity is forever altered. The game tonight fell into that category, and the best part of the whole event is that there was no call for a collective outpouring of grief for a fallen icon, no wailing to the heavens for lives lost or communities shattered. Tonight’s game united more people than I could ever have imagined, and the beauty of that left me speechless (until I started typing, obviously!).

What I want to covey to everyone reading this is that the coming together that was demonstrated earlier tonight is something that needs not be relegated to the triumph of a sporting event or the tragedy of a natural disaster and the chaos that inevitably ensues. That connection exists 24/7…whether we choose to tap into it and to remind each other of its existence is up to us. Every second of every day holds the opportunity to do this, and every yoga class that we share is a reminder that we’re all in this together…uniting our breath and our intentions, consciously affiliating ourselves with each other…playing for the same team, an ever-growing swarm of awakened souls moving in the same direction, closer towards truth, light and love. We have the choice to live in the reality we want to see around us, it’s all a matter of flicking the proverbial switch we all have access to. This is the message I will bring to my classes at the convention centre this week…that connecting with each other is easier than we think, that it’s all a matter of intention and understanding that the current of connectivity is always flowing, that we have to visualize it as being something we just need to plug ourselves into. And like electricity itself, plugging in is all that’s needed…the results will be immediate and powerful, something we could easily get used to and have trouble living without…how nice would that be?