Tag Archives: art

The First Month…

Y’all it has been a freaking month since I became a certified yoga instructor. August has flown by and I have been so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunities that have been presented to me. I’m working for two studios and one non profit. I have taught 15 different classes ranging from kids to various kinds of flows. I’m pretty thrilled with the idea of doing more of this. Getting to connect with people and learning from the seasoned teachers around me has been such a beautiful experience.

I am making my way to take more classes this week. That is my goal. I’m aiming for 3 classes in addition to the 4 I’m teaching and going to lift 3 days this week too. I may die from all of the physical activity, but it will be a great way to go, right? 🙂

I was looking on my Facebook memories and I saw an interesting thing that I had done 3 years ago. It was saying 3 things that I am thankful for which I picked my parents, my sisters, and my grandma. My grandma is 93 years old as of this past July 11. She amazes me so much, but the memory was talking about a card she had sent me. The card is nothing fancy, just a garden scene painted by Renoir. Inside it says “Cheers to you!” and she wrote a personal note in it. She said she couldn’t wait to see my name up in lights one day. Writing those words makes me tear up. I feel like this is that time in my life. The lights have been being installed, and now they are going to be turned on. Maybe each light will flicker on in its own time, maybe they will all shine at once, but I genuinely feel that things are pressing in that direction. I feel more fulfilled now that I may have ever felt.

As a teen I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be so many different things. I wanted to be a chef and a singer and a lazy bum. In college I wanted to teach. I wanted to be able to connect with people over a subject matter that I loved, like my teachers had done for me. I wanted to some how keep the legacy in my family to be a teacher. My aunts were great teachers (retired now). I felt it was genetically possible for me to do the same. I also always wanted to help the less fortunate.

Growing up my parents always encouraged my sister and I to give to those who had less than we did. My grandparents always, still to this day, ask us to bring donations for the food pantry at their church when we come to visit. Because of their examples my sister and I would spend gift certificates on toys for kids in the hospital. We watched as our parents donated time and money to causes that they showed us were important. That is what sent me to the Bronx to work, the drive to help others. That is what drove me to connect with Yoga Village, a local nonprofit that takes yoga to underrepresented groups. That is also what drove me to become involved in activism and politics. I don’t ever plan on running for office, but I do plan on spending the rest of my life fighting for those who have less than I do.

Not only has yoga given me confidence in myself and a whole new banquet of knowledge, but it has also given me the opportunity to connect in ways that I always longed for. Yoga is activism. It is helping others who have less. It is teaching. It is connecting to my community. It is all of the things I ever wanted in life, and just never knew it. I am beyond grateful for the experience. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that I have received in just this first month of being official. I am grateful for the continued support of my family and friends. I am grateful for all of the blessings that have been given to me this year. The growth that I have experienced as an individual. The friendships that I have made. And all of the personal confidence I have acquired.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me. I am humbled at the opportunities that I  have been given and I couldn’t imagine my life going any other way. I suppose it is time to flip the switch and see what my name looks like all lit up.

Namaste! ❤

Daily Mantra!

Why not start the day with something positive? Why not start the day with handling the things that need to be handled with a positive attitude? Besides, the universe is yours! Make it happen if you want it! Today I’m going to yoga and the gym. Lifting and a slow relaxing flow are just the polar opposites that I need! ❤

 

rumi-quotes-8

Symbolism

Earlier this evening Zack posed a question to me. He said he had been thinking about symbols of history. The cross was once a Roman symbol that was used to oppress Jewish and Christian folks to show them that they would be crucified if they defied Rome. The Star of David was used by the Nazi regime to mark and oppress the Jewish folks. Then posing the question about the confederate images that are being taken down.

I study symbolism. I approached my answer from an art historian view. Over the centuries great men (and some really shitty ones) have been made into monuments. Whether it is a statue of Robert E Lee or the Emperor Trajan, at some point the men of the past are no longer appropriate to memorialize in public. You don’t still see all the statues of people who were once in charge. Napoleon isn’t displayed all around France, he is in museums but he is no longer appropriate in public. He asked me when people decide to take these things down, and the only answer that I can come up with is when society sees a reason to take them down. Sometimes you need to melt down the metal and make bullets, other times is because the image of certain people is out grown by society. At one point in this country the symbol of Robert E Lee and other confederate soldiers were seen as commemorative. Hitler had statues of himself too, but once he was no longer acceptable, those images came down. Robert E Lee is not okay anymore. The confederate monuments across the south are not acceptable in society anymore. They will be replaced with other imagery, that one day a few hundred years from now will no longer be appropriate and will be removed again.

My ultimate argument with his original discussion is that the images he brought up, the cross and the Star of David, are symbols, not people. Yes, I realize that the people are symbols of a lot of things, but generally they don’t have the same pull as the symbols he brought up. The Star of David was already an important symbol in Jewish religion. The Cross became an important symbol because of the oppression that it caused Jesus. Had he been stoned to death, our symbolism would be much different.

Those who wish to argue with me about how statues are history, no they’re art. Art becomes out dated. At that point it goes into a museum and is no longer in the public. At that point you’ll have to pay to see it. However, if it doesn’t go into a museum, that is simply because the person that made it didn’t become popular enough to warrant a home in a museum. At that point they will probably be melted down and used for musket balls. The reenactment battlefield soldiers might need more.

Here’s the kicker. The people of America are not attached to these statues. They no longer hold any power as themselves, but only because someone threatened to take them away. That is the only reason anyone cares. Someone is taking them away, and for good reason. The country that this once was is still here. There are plenty of racist bigots running the show and keeping minorities in their place. Thankfully time is quickly ending.

Taking down a statue doesn’t mean the history didn’t happen, because it did, obviously. Not having a statue that supports the confederacy, a group who wanted to destroy America and break it apart, really isn’t that bad. Some people might associate a statue with their home town because it has been there for over a hundred years. Some folks are upset about that, but honestly, why does it matter? Your city isn’t identified simply for the existence of one statue, or a couple statues. Your city/town/etc is identified by a zip code, by groups of people, by a name. A statue does not make the city, it is simply a memory that you have associated with your city. Memories fade. Art changes. Objects and things aren’t that important. What matters is that you treat your neighbor with kindness and compassion. What matters is that you say nice things to people and behave in a manner in which you would expect your children to behave. Follow the golden rule and things will be fine. Keep fighting about insignificant bullshit and things will continue to be the ridiculous back and forth that it has been.

Take a step back and assess the situation before you begin to speak. Do some work and find out what is going on. Don’t be upset when people want to change the landscape and the conversation to something more positive and less oppressive.

I hope everyone has a great rest of your weekend. Those who are out protesting, please stay hydrated! And spread love not hate.