I have the celebration of cells in my body to help me go forward when news is difficult.
This morning I woke up to the news of a gang rape that happened to a young girl leaving a homecoming dance and a suicide (via Svasti). I know I'm not the only one that woke up to troubling news today.
I no longer use my yoga as an escape to an imaginary beautiful place that removes me from the pains in life—in essence walling me off from the world. I am integrating spiritual practice as a way to step forward in troubling times. So I don't use yoga to escape, but to connect.
I have taken notes from Seane Corn who watches the news in the morning before she practices yoga (I heard her say this at Kripalu.). Some yogis wonder why she would do this: How can you watch news before you practice when the news carries so much violence, suffering and tragedy (and isn't yoga about love and healing?)? Well, what I got from her is that that’s just the point. We are here to heal this world (if you choose that path), not to escape it.
I have the blessing of my breath when times are difficult. I am grateful for the opportunity of my life. I can use this body and mind and strength to do something that helps.
This news about the Homecoming dance gang rape deeply disturbs me. I was once 15 years old; I went to a homecoming dance. I was incredibly naïve, and might be only a little less-so now. Particularly harrowing is that some of the people involved were one-time friends, it sounds like they were drinking together. I know when I was a teen that we would go to places without adults around and drink. This is a horrible crime that happened in the shadows on school grounds.
Also, stories about suicides must be getting lost because, a few months ago, I was at a rally in support of health care reform, and one of the speakers said that there are more suicides than murders in the state of Illinois per year. I hear about murders in the news, but not suicides. Why don’t we seem to care about the cultural climate that contributes to people wanting to kill themselves? I do.
I also personally connect with this subject of suicide. For so many years I heard in my own mind: I wish I was dead. Now with me, I felt so powerless that I did not move forward or really even consider real-world plans to do something about those thoughts. Even though that’s true, I credit yoga with saving my life, because my inner world is so much healthier than it used to be and I am more empowered as a result. Even if I occasionally hear the old sadness, I don’t believe it in the same way I used to. I know that I have experienced despair, and that I am stepping forward through healing and love.
There is a silent chorus supporting me in the cells of my body.