This is a very special month for me, not just because it's my birthday month, but because I truly embrace and love the celebration of diversity for all people. I love that as a country, we take time to reflect on our history. We've made so much progress as a nation, but we still see injustices in our world and in our own backyard.
As a young girl, I grew up in a multi-ethnic family and seeing the blending of two cultures was a very rich, yet sometimes difficult experience for me. I saw so many nuances and contrasts between the two, I always felt like an outsider. However, this is not about me. In fact, what I had to go through was much less in comparison to what my parents and grandparents experienced. This post is more of an expression of gratitude, to bring awareness, and to use my voice to talk about the significance of Black History month. This Valentine's Day, I want to reflect on the love and strength that my heritage has instilled in me, and to always follow such a path when I have children of my own.
Now more than ever, I feel that our country needs more love and kind-hardheartedness to acknowledge and embrace the changes that are needed to help heal and build a better society. As a yogi, the goal is to observe our own minds, thoughts, and bodies. And with this self-awareness, we must ask ourselves how our actions have affected others. It's time to question our own thoughts and challenge ourselves to be a little more honest and loving in what we put out into the world. Have I created change in a positive way? The true cure to ending inequality is by giving ourselves time to observe our own triggers and reactions, to dig deep into our own consciousness to make us more aware of how we treat others.
I'm not perfect, but I do value self-awareness and I work on this characteristic throughout my yoga practice. My goal is to help share what I have learned, especially as an African American. I want to bring the light and love into communities that are underrepresented or do not have access to information that can level their playing field. I want to get people thinking in more positive ways, to help heal the heart, to find their own method of self-care. So many other yogis around the world are doing the same!
Check out Brandon Copeland, Founder of #TrapYoga and #BlackGirlMagicYoga in DC! The Black Girl Magic Yoga Class was created as a response to Sandra Bland's death. I think it's amazing that he's turned a horrific event into an outlet for community healing. It's people like him who are taking control and creating something positive without harming others.
I think it's okay to be proud of our identities AND find love in our hearts to cross bridges with one another. I believe it's okay to express who you are AND to not be ashamed of your experiences. That is the premise of the Civil Rights Movement and I deeply appreciate what this part of history has done for not only me, but for many people all over the world.
Long ago, in a town in Mississippi around the 1940's, a little girl was getting on an elevator. Her best friend grabbed her and held her back. "What's the matter!?" she asked. "You can't get on yet, you have to let them ride first," her friend responded. That little girl who wanted to ride the elevator was my grandmother.
Today, I get on an elevator and oftentimes forget to think about what it took for me to be able to have such a basic right. Someone fought for my equality, for my right to have the free spirit that I do, to walk without fear. So not just this month but every day, I salute the amazing and revolutionary leaders who changed the world, who helped make America great. I thank my grandparents as well for what they have endured and I am glad that I can carry on what they have taught me.
Happy Black History Month! Love you grandpa and grandma!