Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


How Low Can We Go?

I gave up my streak yesterday. I'd had a long run of unbroken posts but yesterday I was just too tired, too miserable, and couldnk make myself do one more thing that felt like a task.

Nearly 120,000 people have died from COVID19 and police continue to kill Black people.

I keep hoping to hear Puck's giant feet clacking on the hardwood floors.


Month Three

Today marks three months without seeing friends or students, without coffee shops or eating out in any way.

I was unfriended by a toxic yoga teacher I didn't personally know for telling her that her anti-mask stance was a problem and she needed to do better to live her yoga. I'd told her I'd share a study with her today as to why masks are helpful but discovered that she's gone and with her all the notifications from her buddies piling on me.

I shared it anyway because it's important.

I'm tired of this year. I'm tired of selfish people. I'm tired of white fragility. I'm especially tired of yoga people who are doing the work of upholding injustice.

I'm tired of making myself smaller. I'm tired of speaking gently and softly. I'm tired of trying to fit in. I'm tired of thinking it's something I'm doing wrong.


Toxic Women

My peer wrote a passive-aggressive post what're she doesn't name me, but shames me. She uses language my Mother used. She lies in her framing.

I also told off people posting misinformation anchor wearing masks. Another, different white yoga teacher.

CK helped ground me past the triggering language. I've got a lot to unpack about the way white women use shame and manipulate to make themselves always look like the virtuous one.

In response to this I submitted two proposals to present at an online yoga therapy summit.


Distracting White Women

Today was a day where I felt tired all day. A nap didn't lift my energy or spirits. I've felt sad at the edges all day long.

I'm noodling over the conversation I had yesterday with my friendly peer. Part of this is anxiety, the Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is really bothered by telling someone they're using racist language.

I'm angry at all the misinformation she kept sharing. Especially correlating COVID infections rising with protestors, I called her on that too, pulling her to the facts about incubation. Her pulling out some 17% tie to a First Nations community!!

I'm thinking how I need to take care of myself when I'm confronting racism like this with peers. If it means I'm angry for a day as I integrate it all, I just need to plan for that energy shift.


Difficult Discussions

Growing up I was frequently told I made a big deal out of, well just about everything. I couldn't "take a joke". I was prone to being "too serious" and needed to "lighten up".

I eventually learned, through my Mother's training, to laugh when I didn't find a situation or joke funny. I leaned to bite back many of the questions or concerns. To hide my judgement in hopes that I'd fit in better.

She would tell you I never would back down on many topics. I'm as "stubborn as a mule" and don't respect my elders because I "always have to be right". I'm a know-it-all who thinks I'm better than everyone else.

I had a conversation with a friend tonight in which I called them on invalid information (COVID spike is due to Memorial Day ignorant behavior, not protesters) and on some racist language they used.

It was exhausting and not fun at all. I don't feel a sense of satisfaction and moral superiority, contrary to what my Mother believed. I feel sad, very sad.

I ranted about it to process, but mostly to remember things about three conversation I want to remember and write more about when I have the mental bandwidth. There was so much white fragility in the conversation. So much to unpack about what people think when you talk about a racist.

They envision a dude in a white hood or wearing a swastika or even the conferderate flag. They don't picture my Mother complaining about "lazy Mexicans" (she said "Mexican" for any Latinx person). That's a problem.


Cupcakes for Victory

I'm always behind the cool kids. It takes me ages, usually, to decide to follow a trend. Baking while sheltering on place is over of those tends. Today I made cupcakes.

They're not awesome, it wasn't a recipe I'd made several times before CK discovered she's gluten intolerant, so I can't really account for how the change of flour affected it. I'm trying another more familiar recipe later this week or next. My buttercream really did not come out well.

More students asked if I'd facilitate a discussion about the yoga of social justice. It honestly is so far out of my comfort zone, really into discomfort around correcting women my Mother's age. At the same time I recognize I'm being asked because I'm trusted.

It also is a powerful act I can take as a white woman to help educate older adults about dismantling racism. It's begging a better ally if I can be in this discomfort.


Eating and Other Irritations

Lunch defeated me today.

I felt like a failure. I made a lunch for CK, but she couldn't really eat it. Today that felt like I'd dropped the ball of the I've thing I was getting right.

I kept reminding myself, and her, that it wasn't really about the lunch. It was about the pandemic and the protests and the lack of accountability of the police and the Mayor of Portland who's on the side of Money instead of the City and the People.

I wanted to bake cupcakes, testing the gluten free version of the cupcakes I made for CK on the first of her birthdays we spent together. Instead I got so nauseous that I couldn't eat and we played a game until I felt better.

A decent day overall, but I feel exhausted and all I want to do is curl up and read all day and nap.


Freedom as a Practice

I shared a quote from Angela Davis' book Freedom is a Constant Struggle today, party of a project I started the first to highlight the voice of a Black artist, activist, etc. In some posts I'm sharing a familiar person with a less familiar quote. I'm slowly growing a list of resources as well to share with students.

I often remind students and myself there's a reason we call what we do with yoga a practice. It's what we're always doing, there's no end point, there's only the doing. It's why the first word of the Yoga Sutras is "now".

Eradicating racism, staying healthy in a COVID world, these aren't tasks we check if they list and move on. They're a practice we all need to take on, together. We must keep doing them.

It's this willingness to keep doing hard work for the good of others, indefinitely, that's they problem. How do you teach this to someone who doesn't agree that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?


Growth Opportunity

I find myself in the role of helping white Boomer women understand they cannot help but be racist sometimes. We are steeped in hundreds of years of it, living in a country built in it. Oregon itself was founded as a white paradise with laws in place prohibiting Black people from settling here.

I find it a little astonishing to be here. Teaching my Mother's peers how to be better than she was willing to be. Six years ago I'd never have imagined this.

Grateful my back isn't hurting as much today. I took a nap when I realized that I was feeling down on myself and worthless, plus unable to even concentrate on a video game!

Grocery shopping manages to be tedious still, trying to get what you want all in over go is nearly impossible. Learning to make do and be creative anchor meals now and more.



I shared a question posed by James Baldwin in 1989, "You always told me ‘It takes time.’ It’s taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brothers’ and my sisters’ time. How much time do you want for your progress?"

And people ask why the protests are angry.

My back pain has been high the past two days. I called my PT and made an appointment. There's a list of pandemic protocols to follow, not surprising at all.

My pain slowing me down didn't help with my mood. I get so frustrated by being unable to get more done. Feeling like I'm getting caught up on the house helped me with the anxiety about everything.