“Humankind will always be engaged in struggle, because struggle is in fact the highest form of human creativity.” ~ Jimmy and Grace Lee Boggs, Revolution and Evolution in the 20th Century
2016, by all measures, was a year of upheaval, loss, and profound challenges. Especially since the recent election, I am determined to enter 2017 with renewed vigor. I don't have time to lapse into despair, or to squander energy in rage, or to numb myself with infinite distractions. I am determined to stay woke, to take self-care to another level, to throw all of my weight into the sacred struggles of our time, and indeed, to engage in struggle as “the highest form of human creativity.”
Between capitulation to the status quo and incessant protest, lies a third way: building the life and the society we long to live in. This is the most fulfilling form of resistance I can imagine. Outside the repressions of a counter-revolutionary government and institutions, we create with our friends and loved ones, another more compassionate, balanced, sustainable, and joyful path.
Perhaps you believe, as I do, that on some deep inner level, we each chose to be on the planet at this time, and even to be in these (not so) United States in the 21st century. If this is true, these are the times you’ve been preparing yourself for. Welcome!
What does the sacred struggle look like for you in 2017? For me, I’m determined to:
- Develop more quiet time: morning pranayama, evenings with candlelight instead of electricity, and reduced use of electronics.
- Heal my injuries and illnesses: to prioritize and spend the time and energy and money to heal the physical and emotional conditions that result in illness and injury.
- Recognize when I need help, ask for it, and use it, whether it’s emotional support, health care, medicine, time, food, advice, information, and more.
- Share my resources freely: firstly give credit and referrals to my friends, colleagues, and mentors, especially those who’ve been underappreciated due to systems of oppression; offer any experience and appropriate skills (and not take it personally if declined); show up and support individuals, groups, and organizations; speak up as needed (and be quiet as needed).
- Speak truth to power and pressure our leaders, governments, and institutions to meet the needs of the people: I put my legislators on speed dial, will write letters and emails ad infinitum, organize, and join movements.
I hope these actions will manifest on numerous levels, from developing Iyengar Yoga Detroit Collective as a healing justice gathering place, to forming an all-abilities housing cooperative, to expanding my yoga teaching to be even more inclusive, and protecting the rights and resources of the people.
This is just the beginning. I look forward to hearing how you will exercise struggle as creativity and righteous justice in 2017.