We can no longer stand for “a h*ter’s gonna h*te.”

In case you’ve missed it, over the last several years a young man, who goes by the title Kid President, has been doing his part to inspire us, as a single global community, to do better. This morning I watched one of his many videos and his message was clear, we can do better and we will simply by choosing better. The video reaffirmed for me the quote we sent out with our Saturday doodle this past weekend; “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and to endure what cannot be cured.” – B.K.S. Iyengar

Powerful, isn’t it? Iyengar’s statement is supremely profound in its simplicity; change the things which are in our power to change, and accept the things for which change must unfold naturally and over time. First, (of course it’s first – he put it at the beginning, didn’t he) we have a duty to correct the mistakes of the World. This does not mean that we only atone for the offenses which we have personally committed, but that because we are One we must also atone for the offenses committed by our brethren. It isn’t just about creating a safe space, that builds a path towards the set it and forget it model. Instead, we must actively work to remove h*te from our hearts and the hearts of others.

This might be the biggest problem with our World. When we let h*te go unchecked because we believe it to be a small problem which is slowly, but surely dying out then it sits like an open wound and begins to fester. It infects the parts of us we took for granted as “knowing better,” but knowing better isn’t how humanity works. We are all equally as susceptible to kindness and love as we are to meanness and h*te and it takes so little effort, a tiny nudge really, to shift from the side of light into the side of darkness. And so, we must shed light on the darkness no matter how raw are our emotions toward the dark. In fact, the more raw the emotion the more likely we are to be enticed into action and for better or worse, these last several months have done exactly that – shined the light on the worst parts of us, so that collectively we can come together and love h*te out.

image*BIG SIGH* I know what you’re thinking; I’ve even been there, “How can we, why should we use love to combat h*te!?” Because Iyengar finishes with, “…and to endure what cannot be cured.” We cannot cure the susceptibility towards h*te, it will always exist. We’ve mentioned over and over again that history and experience color perception which ultimately changes what we know to be truth. And, until we can each live in a state of pure bliss, a state outside of perception, then we have to create new histories and new experiences recoloring the perceptions for those who h*te seems to come easily. So, please join us in being kind and showing love to our neighbors, even the neighbors with whom we so fervently disagree not for your sake, not for their sake, but for our sake. Because doing so is how we make progress toward the day when h*te is eliminated from the World’s single beating heart.

Please stay strong

hulk

There is something to be said for acceptance. I am not typically one to let go so easily, in fact I am known to hold on for dear life in many situations and yet today I feel at peace. It’s a strange sensation really, I’ve been fearing a single outcome for months while simultaneously believing whole-heartedly that it would not come to pass. And, as it turns out, I was wrong. I woke-up this morning to my social media feeds proclaiming an out pour of sadness and anger at last night’s final results, and while I can sympathize with those sentiments because I honestly can’t believe that fear and hate won I also feel strongly that we need to continue to band together in love.

What’s more, we need to continue to believe in humanity… That is by far going to be the most challenging piece to all of this because it would seem that humanity let us down yesterday. But, to give into our own fears and our own disengagement with process over the devaluation of our collective oneness would be just as detrimental to our community. And first and foremost we must remain a community. There are going to be people, people who we love, marginalized as a result of this new administration so let’s stand together in love and step-up against hate. That standing together will strengthen humanity to a degree in which no one will be able to tear us down.

History shows that when humanity acquiesces to the pain which fear mongering regimes bring, that’s when we lose. So, I ask for acceptance, certainly not the acceptance of the hate because rule number one is to practice ahimsa (non-harming). Rather, I ask for the acceptance of the outcome, by evoking acceptance, another aspect of aparigraha (non-greediness), we free our hearts and minds to go on and make peace. If we can make peace with the situation as it stands we can focus our collective energy on fighting another day. Fighting for love, fighting to stand-up to the oppression that many of us believe is coming and we work strengthen our community and make new and better choices in the years to come. Let us please stand with our neighbors in love and connectedness and let’s show the world that humanity does still exist.

If you’re grateful, it will come…

Life sometime seems like there’s never enough, rather, it seems like I’m never enough. It doesn’t matter how much I have or how much is available to me, I still find a way to convince myself that I need more or that I need to be better in some way. When really, the yogic path is one of contentedness. This brings me to the last of the yamas (restraints); aparigraha (non-greediness). This yama (restraint) tells us that we should take want as a concept and shut it down without hesitation.

Want, for many of us, stems from fear; the fear that what we have is going to be taken away. The thing we want the least is for what we consider ours to be taken away from us. But, loss happens all of the time and sometimes that loss is profound or significant in some way and sometimes the loss would be barely noticed had we not placed claim to the lost item in the first place. But, we’re human and if not taking more than we need was as easy as it sounds then we wouldn’t need an ancient book and/or philosophy to tell us so.

We need the reminder because it’s easy to see something and have the expectation that it become ours. Now in-part that’s due to marketing campaigns and that’s business, it is what it is. But, in-part, wanting and subsequently taking more than we need is also just human nature. That isn’t to say that because it’s nature that we shouldn’t do whatever we’re able to draw away from the little voice that reminds us that screams out to us that “we need that,” whatever it is and move toward brahma (the divine). In fact, we should spend our lives moving away from those worldly distractions so as to practice aparigraha (non-greediness).

CowfaceAnd the best way in which to lessen our supposed need/want is to be grateful for exactly what we already have. We have the capacity to find contentment in all the things in our lives and yet we allow ourselves to ignore those awarenesses and follow impulse. And when we follow impulse we are more prone to take more than what is truly needed. The funny thing is that the, sort of, second piece to aparigraha (non-greediness) is to live abundantly and abundance will follow. Again, as we’ve mentioned in one of our discussion about asteya (non-stealing) several weeks ago now, abundance doesn’t necessarily mean wealth or fortune, it simply means to live without expectation of a particular outcome.

We should, when possible – and we fully understand that it isn’t always possible – we should pay less attention to the potential fruits of our labors in favor of focusing on the pleasure our labor brings us. This can mean any number of things, but one thing is constant, whether we love the task at hand or not, if we treat ourselves with enough respect to be grateful for the opportunity maybe we’ll appreciate the task a bit more and in doing so find that our potential rewards are in fact greater.