i worked the elections all day yesterday in harlem. i watched disenfranchised voters who suspected that, when i told them that were in the wrong polling location, it was because of a conspiracy to keep them from voting. (it was actually that two polling districts used to be in one building and one of them had moved 400 feet away.) despite the challenges, harlem voters turned up and voted in droves: my precinct had about seven times the turnout as in the last election.
it broke my heart to hear their assumptions yesterday, but it
really broke my heart walking around harlem today.
this morning i had decided that i was not getting out of bed to teach my two
early morning harlem yoga classes. i figured everyone would hibernate through the day, and i
knew i had nothing to offer in my teaching. but my conscience got
the best of me and i showed up... and students showed up.
at the end of the first class i taught, a young black woman from north carolina started sobbing, saying that she didn't know how she could live through the next four years. a couple other women and i encircled her, held her, talked with her, and cried with her.
i didn't know how to respond to voters yesterday who didn't believe me; i didn't know what to teach in yoga this morning; i didn't know how to comfort the crying student this morning. i did what i could in each instance, following heart and offering what internal gifts i could find: feeling our sameness.
in "the universe has your back," gabby talks about separation, and all the ways that we make ourselves separate. sometimes it is easy to feel sameness, like when people commiserate with you about a shared loss. but other times, the separation and judgement feels so great.
i woke up at 134 am this morning to a message from a friend in sydney: "lucky you are a dual citizen!" it read. i knew instantly what the results of the election were. and in that second, i felt separate. alone.
i instantly blamed others for the results of the election and thus they became the source of my pain. but the blaming and separation didn't comfort me, and i was left feeling that nothing could.
then i was reminded of one day last week when i was freaking out about not having enough time to run as long as i wanted to. i only had time for a shorter run and i started out feeling angry that i hadn't left enough time to run. but i decided to try to change that: i decided to wish a positive thought to each person i ran by. like "i wish you love; i wish you happiness; i wish you abundance" etc. i ended up having an amazing run and feeling great. ...i felt like each person i passed was on my team.
so today, i remembered that experiment from last week's run. when i looked at the maps of red vs blue, i wished positive thoughts for the voters who disagree with me. when i got angry or sad thinking about the results of the election, i thought of the humanness we all share. when i let go of blaming and separating myself from them, my heart softened and i could feel healing.
love. the more we respond from a place of love, the more we can all heal ourselves and our country. (so i guess the short answer is, no, i'm not moving back to sydney just yet.)