One of the books I am reading is Brené Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness”. In short it is a book on Dr. Brown’s research around the importance of belonging to your true Self. As you know, I love this theme and my social worker/social justice background can’t get enough of the research. 

While reading this book there was a paragraph that feels really important right now to digest and I want to share it. For reference, this book was written in 2017.

“I get that these are uncertain and threatening times. I often feel the pull of hiding out and finding safety with a crew. But it’s not working. While we may all be gathered behind the same bunkers of political or social belief and ideology, we’re still alone in them. And even worse, we’re constantly monitoring ourselves. The looming threat of blowback should we voice an opinion or idea that challenges our bunker mates keeps us anxious. When all that binds us is what we believe rather than who we are, changing our mind or challenging the collective ideology is risky.

When a group or community doesn’t tolerate dissent and disagreement, it forgoes any experience of inextricable connection. There is no true belonging, only an unspoken treaty to hate the same people. This fuels our spiritual crisis of disconnection.”

Wow! It’s mind-blowing how this would escalate in only 3 years and yet, if you were paying attention, you probably aren’t surprised. 

I fully understand needing to set clear boundaries and possibly ending relationships or shifting your focus towards yourself, now more than ever. Know that I completely support you and would love to hear more about how you are feeling.

In addition, Yess Yoga’s mission is to be a just, third space. A space where all people, voices, and expressions are able to gather. We strive to be a community that welcomes everyone so unity, in its purest sense, can be realized. 

I know lofty, but that’s why it is a mission. A journey.

Because we want justice in our community and in the world, Yess Yoga is not a cancel culture but rather a call-in culture. Call-in culture was taught to me by my friend and fellow student of yoga, Amirah Ellison. My understanding of call-in culture is that one would call another individual or a group of people into connection. It means that education, love, and personal experience can be foundational in creating community/connection. It doesn’t mean that we have to end the conversation thinking the exact same thing. Instead, we can be listeners and speakers of personal truth. Thank you Amirah for this timeless lesson. I think about it daily.

I understand heated emotions (deeply), and believe me there were a few weeks where I couldn’t make this promise. But by grounding and connecting again, I have found that my work is to be able to listen and hold space for all perspectives. I promise to ask questions and do my best to listen to all voices. To paraphrase Dr. Brown, this way of community helps us move towards connection vs. hiding out and not being able to express our whole Self.

I feel forever grateful for all of the teachers both current and past of Yess. They continue to inspire and teach me. They are my models of call-in culture. I look up to them deeply. Thank you all.

I feel forever grateful for everyone who has practiced at Yess, whether one time or regularly. I love what you ask of Yess Yoga, for us all to show up as my highest, most authentic Self. You give me hope for our world and humanity.

To end, it is my full intention to listen, include, and give space for all of your visions and dreams, because together we are going to create systems, states, and communities centered in justice. This is the new world. And we need everyone to come along for the adventure. So I promise to be true to myself and thus able to be in space with your true self too.