These are times when I feel equally sad and frightened. The current happenings in US cities are, if anything, a truthful presentation of the condition of our society.  It fills me with deep sadness to see the desperation that in search for justice goes berserk. I find it hard not to judge and yet, and yet, there has been wrong deeds for too long. There has been corruption, indignity, exploitation for too long. In different forms, in different countries but always the same crime.  And when today people rise, they do so because to raise voices is a human right. It is only when the indignation is misplaced that we lose our dignified focus. That is when destruction happens. Not just to material things but to us as well, our ideas, our beliefs. It takes courage to protest, but it takes more courage to not go on a rampage.

But I would rather feel hopeful, even amongst all the ugliness. I want to be able to see the light in this darkness. The tools of yoga has taught me to see the possibility of change. Even now. Even when there is so much pain and helplessness around. Now is the time to take the practice of integrity and compassion that come so easily on the mat into our lives.  When the forest burns it leaves behind the ashes that aid in the growth of new trees, shrubs. The fires clear the debris of old and decaying wood, release nutrients to the soil and thus promote a healthier ecosystem. What seems contradictory is usually not as such. The harm really comes when the fire is triggered by external factors and thus burn uncontrollably. Humans have over thousands of years used controlled fires to clear the land and start new growth. Fire is a natural element and if we use it to further soil fertility it will repay. Nature is always bountiful and generous.

Even in the midst of rage and anger and frustration, I sense hope and forgiveness. I sense the wind that can drive this fire to clear the mindscape so new light and new growth may happen. We can define how we want this growth to be. Should it be a lush green of joy and happiness? Should the new expansion be one of a sea of compassion? We can choose. We always can. Be true. Hold your breath close to your body until the body reverberates with that what you want. And then release the unspoken and yet, vital wish to fill the room, the house, the earth. The possibilities are endless because we have the capability to make changes in ways that we cannot begin to comprehend. The immense awareness that is our true nature will transform our own lives and all lives that are connected to us to blossom into beings of compassion and understanding. Amidst insecurity, there is hope. Amidst tension, there is ease. Amidst rage, there is forgiveness. Amidst grief, there is love. And amidst chaos, there is silence.

Sit.
Let the wave of compassion
wash over you.
Cleaning and healing.
Hold the ones dear
close to your heart.
And those you can’t,
hold even closer.
 
Muted. Listening. Learning. Praying.
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