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Courage | (noun) : the ability to withstand fear

Within this month, alone, I have witnessed more people take a stand against injustice than I have probably witnessed my entire life and I think this is truly remarkable! A year ago, I could have never seen any of this coming when systemic racism came up during a book club meeting to discuss Why I'm no Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. For me, traumas were brought back to the surface as this book reminded me of the many injustices that I tolerate on a daily basis as a black woman. To my surprise, however, I experienced a huge culture shock when I realized that the majority of my peers [all white] were not familiar with African-American history to even fathom the racial injustice that still exists within our world today. Now, it is nearly impossible for anyone to "unsee" how this country has been systematically organized to continuously keep African-American people in oppression.


So, what do we do now? Today marks the 27th day of protests within the metro-Detroit area, which I believe is a great way to continue being heard and to demand change, but I also believe that now is the time for more action. Having the courage to take action, I believe, is another essential key to resilience. It is certainly easier said than done and can be pretty scary. In fact, there are two driving forces that are essentially the root of all of our actions. One is fear. The other is love. Even in the face of fear, if we can also focus our awareness on the unlimited amount of love within each and every one of us, courage begins to grow. With a balance of both fear and love magical things happen which we are currently witnessing as more and more people create ways to manifest change.


As you may already be aware by now, I have decided to use mindful practices such as yoga as a platform to create change both internally and externally through offering community yoga on Saturday mornings. Over the past couple of weeks, I've shared the philosophy behind ahimsa [non-violence], the first yama [or principle] of exploring the practice of yoga. Within this philosophy, courage was brought up as a way of practicing non-violence and the reality of how courage demands us to be our best self, which is in a state of balance. Balance comes from heeding the guidance of our inner voice. What else, other than love, can that wise inner voice within each and every one of us be?


I wrote a poem back in 2012 [recently edited] that serves as a reminder to continue to strive to be my best self. When you read it, read it out loud. After you read it, believe it and let it be a guiding tool for you to also strive to be your best self.



I M U R [ I am, You Are]


I am love

From the dirt of this Earth

To my ancestors that have come to pass

Along to my grandmother

To the very blood that runs through my veins.


I am love.


My heart beats love

Pumping it throughout my entire body

From the tips of my toes

To the very strand of my hairs

Down to my split ends.


I am love.


I am beautiful

Not because I am

But because I do

Love me

Love you.


I am love.


Not for loving me

But because I am love.

I am love's creation

And in it's own image

My purpose is love.


I am love.


For my brothers

And my sisters

Of all humanity

Because they are just like me

LOVE.


-Truth


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