Currently, as I sit at my desk writing, half of America and many parts of the world are in an uproar — millions of mini life-storms happening all around me. For the Democrats, they’re pissed about the huge change the new administration has already enacted (it’s now only a few short days since President Trump took office). For the Republicans, they are rejoicing about the long-awaited changing of the guard. For me, an independent, I am, as ever, watchful, hopeful, and in-between.
I have lost friends because they think that prayer (which I do for our world situation, constantly) is a waste of time. I envision powerful energy surrounding the President, guiding him, assisting him. I do not revel. I am a spiritual activist, not a political revolutionary. Yet my liberal friends shout at me, “Your stupid blog doesn’t reach enough people! Get folks to call their congressman/woman! We have to impeach Trump!”
Yet — I don’t agree. I feel what is happening–is perfect in its imperfections.
This is one of my favorite yogic sutras: I am perfect, you are perfect, if the perfect is taken from from the perfect … only the perfect remains.
These times are filled with imperfections that, if looked at spiritually, are perfect.
Today I watch the current political turmoil as a decade ago, I watched the turmoil within each of my yoga girls’ minds and hearts, these angry and violent girls to whom I taught yogic breath, poses and meditation for years, while they were imprisoned in a full-security juvenile lockup in central Florida, the subject of my current literary project. The girls in my story are learning how to make a positive situation out of a most unpleasant one. Their already adverse situation worsens when one day — a killer hurricane’s eye heads right for their Fort Knox of a facility. The theme of this book is how to stay in the calm within our own Being, for each of us, even when in the worst adversity imaginable.
I saw these girls (12-18) choose to suffer with what is the same way as I see so many suffering from the current political climate, those whose candidate (Hilary) lost, I’m referring to. When I taught the girls awaiting 2004’s Hurricane Charley’s eye, I often had to remind myself that the reason I was there, sharing my passion with them of positive-thinking,supported by strengthening the body-temple within through yoga and meditative techniques, I had the same passion then as I do now, as I reflect about the ripples of anger, outrage, and rebellion I’m witnessing all around me today, in 2017.
My worldview is the same then as it is now. I see the world as One, all its people are One, and whatever happens to us is the inevitable result of all our many choices (past-present-future) all adding up to what’s happening here and now, today: including the shocking results of November’s upset election. Each of us live our life-situation as the result of all our own choices. Our choices create our present moment, the Now.
If you are one who’s disgruntled over Trump’s win, I hope you are brave enough, open enough to read on, my friend. Because I hug your ache, but want you to know something very important. Of course deep inside you know this already, I’m just here reminding you today.
For my tortured girls in juvie lockup, my role was to help them realize that their suffering, in prison, was the end result of their own choices. With a shift in their thinking, which I taught them how to do with the very first breath we took, deeply, with awareness , they learned they had the power within to alter their view of themselves. They learned to no longer think of themselves as victims. In time, with practice, they actually learned to accept their life in prison, as what is — and came to enjoy themselves while they were there. This change within them, a change in attitude, which is the same as a change in consciousness, took hard work on the girls’ part. It took them showing up in class, number 1. Then it took willingness to change. They kept coming back. They learned to see things formerly thought unacceptable — as what is. They accepted they were in prison, and they admitted they were the ones who put themselves in prison, from the choices they’d made in the past. My yoga girls opened their minds, and their previously closed hearts, to the possibility that every previous choice of theirs had led them here, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, to their being imprisoned there in Bowling Green Youth Academy.
Today as I write this, I’m thinking how our current world — right outside my window, beyond my beautiful garden and flourishing plants — is the result of America’s choices, one after the next, one act, or lack of action, after the next, year by year, month by month. And here we are — with a president that everyone, including himself, was astonished to see win against the potential first-woman-president.
I approach this current unrest in our society’s situation with the same wonder, curiosity, and trust that my decades of yogic training have given me. To me — and I’m not saying this is anyone else’s viewpoint because most of my friends are on the warpath right now, so I only share my deepest thoughts with my beloved consort, Carter, and now you, my reader — I truly believe our shocking new president is the best thing the world can experience right now!
That’s right! I said it! I made a truly political statement, a first for Lord Flea Sings!
Why do I think this administration is the best for our world right now?
Because—it is. It’s happening. The choices have been made. The election is over.
Somehow or other, the Republican candidate managed to do what no one ever thought possible. To win. And these things don’t happen by accident. What is — is because the universe, the collective unconscious, the way of Nature, whatever one calls it — has indeed occurred. There is no doubt, it’s real. Hardly anyone, certainly not the press, predicted such an upset happening. And now all of America and most of the world is being forced to experience the reality of President Trump’s new administration. But — it is. It is a reality. It is legal. It is part of our reality. What is, is.
So if you are one who’s terribly upset, I feel sorry for you. Because your life is going to be sheer hell for the next, say, four years, maybe even eight.
Is that what you really choose? To be miserable over a political upset?
I for one am interested in watching, from my comfortable, calm spiritual center within, from this Big Heart every single person is part of, and see what happens next.
I’m not going to waste time being mad. Shocked. Flabbergasted. Marching. Dissing. Joining the outrage. I certainly was shocked, but of a good sort, a “watching a miracle” kind of way on the evening of the election when the results were announced. Because to me, when something happens that upsets so very many people, I see it as a miraculous opportunity to have a mass transformation occur. Being upset, being shook up, is the best thing for people to have, if they haven’t yet found the comfort and calm of their powerful inner selves. Their spiritual side.
Sure, I felt the powerful surge of shock, sure. I felt the fear, apprehension, too. At first, I admit it, I was floored. What would happen to our world? Our environment? My rights as a woman? My LBGTQ friends? And then I grasped that … this is what is. And I made a vow to myself, right then, just as I do with any situation that seems unreasonable, scary, unknown, just as I shared with the girls I taught in lockup: when I accept what is. My vow is:
I am in the flow of life. I am not resisting the flow.
Being in the flow of life takes trust. And courage. And … letting go.
In yoga we get to discriminate. Sometimes “taking no action” (other than prayer and meditation) is the best form of action to take. Hmmmm, now there’s a koan!
When we let go, we truly let Good Orderly Direction into our lives.
Who are we to say that God, who is everything, made a mistake by letting Trump win? Not me! If you say that, well, I can’t agree, sorry. I think I’ll go with the way Divine Order went on this one, thank you very much.
The things that are scariest are what we don’t know.
When we remain in the center of our consciousness, our inner power, nothing can harm us. Who are we to say that the Divine Order of the Universe messed up? Lots of people are shouting what happened in the election is unfair, illegal, inappropriate, outrageous. But — it is reality. It happened.
The energy of existence, the creative force of Nature (Om) is in charge. Of all of us, not just with the charging force of a deadly hurricane’s about to descend on those who live at the smallest spot on a central Florida rural map. The energy of existence is also the directing force of what caused the hugely upsetting shift of this new administration. Unfortunately it’s not one that’s being heralded as noble by many, but instilling fear, condemned by some, slurred by angry shouts of marching protests loudly proclaiming its illegitimacy-its un-godly, un-seemly, un-constitutional, blah blah.
Instead of being closed to what is, as I taught my yoga girls — because they suffered so from bad choices in their young and tender lives — be open to everything!
“Even being in jail,” I told them as we stood, preparing to begin our sun salutes. “Being in jail may seem unacceptable to you, but now that you’re yoga girls you’re beginning to see that even what appears to be the worse thing you would ever choose for your life, may just be exactly what your life needed.”
I saw their brows furrow, their eyes pleading “Wha??”
“It’s true,” I say. “You’re here. You know deep in your heart that you deserve to be here. You did everything yourself to get you here, step-by-step, choice-by-choice. So — now that you’re here, don’t waste another moment being pissed about it.” I take a deep breath and decide to go all the way with my explanation as I begin to stretch my body.
“Now that you’re here, take a tally of your life, and see that you can choose to benefit from this time here, in lockup, without the freedoms you’re used to. Use these months, or years in some cases …”
I take another deep breath … and continue …
“… and accept your being here, locked up for now, as a gift. A gift you don’t want, but possibly a gift that may change your life. Clearly see that you’re here by your own choices, some of them pretty bad ones. You can use this time,” I say to my girls in State juvie prison, “to still your mind, like we do with our breath, and the poses, and our final savasana meditation. Right this second you can make a decision to change your life and you’ll never be in prison ever again.
“Not behind bars, and never in your life when you’re free from prison. You don’t ever have to feel imprisoned by anyone or anything, ever again, in your own life situation. You can choose, right here and right now, and remind yourself whenever you feel low, or a victim, or want to blame someone else for your funk, depression or rage — that you can choose to make your life a prayer.”
“What you mean by that, Miss?” one of the girls barks, completely taken aback.
“I mean that each moment of life is precious. And every choice you make … adds up. You may not notice how things add up, but they do. The people you hang with, the thoughts you think, how you spend your time. Even the food you eat. Everything adds up. Whatever choice you make ends up with you enjoying your life, or you hating your life — or worse, not caring either way.
“It’s up to each of us to decide how our lives are going to be, our own self. No jail, no government, nothing! can make your life happy if you don’t make it happy yourself.”
The girls were quiet as we all stood, their breaths stilled, their minds chewing on what I just said. I take a deep breath, and they mimic me as I lift my arms up to our imaginary sky where I’ve taught my girls to envision an imaginary sun as we do our salutes. I whisper as we move,
“How powerful — to know that your life,” I now bend my knees and bring my arms down to the floor, and say, “is your own to design.”
We hang bent over, in rag doll, letting our bodies release from all the tension our spines carry around as they support us all day, everyday.
As we hang from our folded waists, everyone in class accustomed to this period, here, of unwinding our spines for a few breaths, I add,
“Life is about just showing up. Our job, as an awakened, aware person — is to dance, and laugh, and enjoy the ride. Lighten up! Let go of control. Let spirit dance in your veins. Let the giggling goddess and god within lead the dance we do with the light of being.”
“Let’s take a deep breath in and, with tight abs, bring ourselves to standing in mountain pose. Nice. That’s good.”
The girls and I stand taking in deep, noisy breaths, just as I’ve taught them. Before we begin our official surya namaskars, after this little warmup, I say to the silent, open-hearted yoga students before me, standing silently around me in a circle, so eager to change their up-till-now miserable lives.
“I chose the path of awareness, nothing else makes me happy. I substituted all my old bad, negative addictions for the good new positive addiction of loving myself. Spirit filled my life. Yoga taught me how — by letting my own body be the teacher within.”