Friends, family, and fellow human beings,
This election has been heart wrenching for me. Wednesday morning NYC felt like a morgue. Despair, solemnity, and disbelief hung over the city like a heavy raincloud. The trains were quieter, people didn’t honk their horns nearly as much, and no one fought over petty things like how much space there was or wasn’t on the subway cars. I took the train from a very Dominican portion of Washington Heights, and I looked at people differently. Everyone did. No one was an individual. We all were the same and the collective feeling of pain and love united us as a city.
Sometimes when I ride on the subway, keeping my eyes open and looking at everyone is a distraction and way to escape whatever flavor of pain I’m feeling, so I’ll close my eyes and focus on my breath and allow myself not only to feel that flavor of pain in order to move beyond it, but also to practice love in a place where very few people do. In a place where you can easily get angry about someone getting too much into your space or a performer entering the train, disrupting your peace and asking for money. I mean, how dare they?!?
Wednesday morning I closed my eyes on the train on my way to work because seeing everyone was too much for my heart to bear. I closed my eyes and my heart ached even more, so it just made my tears flow faster. I didn’t know what to do or how to respond, so I did what was on my schedule. I had a call with my life coach and I was supposed to lead a call for fellow coaching colleagues to support each other in signing on clients and growing our businesses, but everything suddenly seemed irrelevant, hopeless, and why should I bother with trying to sign on clients when the world seems so fucked.
On my call with my coach, we both didn’t know if we were able to do it, so we cried together and that raw connection was magical. I thank her dearly for creating that with me. It opened the space for me to cut all the bullshit and talk about what really matters, which is people. All people. So I made a commitment to be raw, vulnerable love with everyone. From that moment on, I’ve had so many breakthroughs, which I’ll share with you below.
Coaching and Gyrotonic: For a long time, I’ve been wondering if by pursuing Life Coaching and Gyrotonic as a business I’ve been playing tiddlywinks. I ask myself if what I’m doing truly makes a difference or does it put a bandage on a wound rather than heal it. Am I being self-indulgent while there are bigger and more important things out there to be doing?
What I’ve come to realize is that without coaching, all I would be feeling right now is rage and I’d be blaming people for allowing this to happen. Because of this work, I’m able to feel the pain and despair, and not be crippled by it. Because of coaching, I can choose love at a time when it feels the hardest to. And I know that who I am and what I do is healing to this world. I had clients who couldn’t get out of bed Wednesday morning and skipped meetings that were scheduled that day, but they came to work with me because they experience my work as Gyrotonic Instructor and Life Coach as a place of full acceptance and reflection, which allows them to heal.
- Vulnerability: I think this goes without saying, but I’m so committed to all people and to loving all people and to fighting for what I believe in that I’m no longer afraid to talk with people about sensitive things. I feel like I have no secrets any more.
- New York City: I understand how incredibly magical this place is. Nowhere else have I been exposed to such an incredible amount of diversity or the experience of unity of so many people. When shit hits the fan here, people really do come together and their hearts beat as one. I feel privileged to be able to share that experience with everyone that makes up this city, and to be able to relay that experience to people in small town Pennsylvania where I grew up.
- My partner: My partner is an American citizen born here, but of Korean parents, and my heart aches for him. I feel lucky to have been born with white skin, so I don’t have to go through the hatred he is going through, and I’m so grateful that he’s in my life. He provides a window into the depth of the reality of the state of this country that I wouldn’t be able to understand without him. He doesn’t feel safe in any part of this country other than NYC, and even that is questionable for him. He’s so sad that right now all of his dreams seem impossible because they involve going to parts of this country where he feels like his life would be in danger. Instead of being able to be a human being, he feels he can only protect and fight for his life. My breakthrough in our relationship is that we’ve had so many real conversations the past few days. There’s no more playing around, no more driving our relationship from an insatiable need to be liked or loved. I now understand what it’s like to be fully committed.
- Commitment and presence: This has already been shared in everything above. I truly understand what it means to be fully committed—to my partner, to coaching, to gyrotonic, to people, and to being the one to make a difference.
- 100% Responsibility and Integration: This is the biggest breakthrough for me. When I first saw #NotMyPresident, I was like Fuck yeah, this son of a bitch isn’t my president, but there was something really off putting about all of the democrats who started to blame 3rd party voters and Gary Johnson and those who on Facebook were saying if you voted for Trump or protest voted or whatever the fuck you did to make this happen you can unfriend me now. It’s the same shit Trump supporters have done and to me there’s nothing okay about it. A day later, it hit me. We as Americans allowed this to happen, and I am one of them. I’m an American who allowed hate to get this pointed, and even though I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, I am part of the reason he will become our President in January. Looking at this through the lens of 100% responsibility, I see how I fueled the hate. I come from rural Pennsylvania where it’s a sea of Trump signs in front of people’s lawns. I grew up there, and whenever I go back a part of me looks down of them. How can you think this?!?! You’re a bunch of fucking ignorant assholes, and I’m glad I left because this is the most messed up backwards place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a place I treasure. love the connection to nature and the ease of life that I feel when I’m home, and they are really great people as individuals. But my idea of small town, PA as a collective is not a good one. I’ve completely dismissed them and their rights as human beings, and I sincerely apologize for it.
My dad is a Trump supporter. He put 2 Trumps signs in front of my parents’ house. They were there when my partner and I drove home one night. We stopped the car, pulled them out, and seriously considered burning them but didn’t because they were plastic and we cared too much about the environmental impact and because we knew he would just go out and get more. We never spoke about it with my dad. We dismissed his pain and hurt because it wasn’t ‘legitimate enough’ or ‘bad enough’ or ‘desperate enough.’ There are people who are hurting worse, so why does anything you say matter? And I can see how this played out on a much larger stage, and how I was part of the reason that was possible. So as much as I hate to admit, I am part of the reason there is such a divide in this nation that is spreading to the rest of the world. My failure to understand the depth and range of which it means to be human is part of the reason so many human beings are hurting.
My final thoughts are by facing the reality of what I’ve done to contribute to this, I’m able to move forward and continue to be a warrior of love. That doesn’t mean I’ll be a doormat and give people hugs and tell everyone that it’s okay and everything’s going to be alright. I will continue to fight for what I believe in and be the one who connects the humanity of all people. I won’t dismiss other’s pain, but instead listen with an open mind and open heart. (This is the part that feels too political and therefore inappropriate to share because I ‘shouldn’t start too many fights.’ I should keep it clean and elevated and offer the bits of wisdom I’ve gained to share with you so that you can gain bits of wisdom in moving forward. And I understand that I’m assuming most of you feel the same way I do, but I realize that you may not. Right now, though, it feels too real and too urgent and too untrue to hold back my true thoughts and feelings and commitments going forward.)
And I do also want to use the space as a call forth for you in your life. What breakthroughs have you had this past week? What are you committed to going forward? In what ways are you responsible for creating the hate and division that is prevalent in our country and the world? This is something I’m scared to ask for fear of it landing as blame when that is not my intention at all. My intention is to start some honest reflection in service of moving forward.
Thank you all for providing my with the opportunities to continue to grow in strength and in love. For that I am truly grateful.