Author of Breasts Don't Lie

Posts tagged ‘intolerance’

Trumpatized – Canada Is Not The Answer

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I have been finding snatches of time in the day to cry since the election. A friend called it being Trumpatized. A great term combining Trump and traumatized, the cause of the trauma and the condition it is triggering. My reaction, disbelief and grief and anger over the election, has to find little crevasses in the day. Last Wednesday, I cried through Kathleen’s yoga class. I am pretty sure I was not alone. I cry between sessions and in sessions with some of my clients as they tell how they have been triggered back to memories of traumatic events from their past.

Right or wrong, whether you voted for him or not, Trump has reawakened many people’s past memories, snakes of violence jerked out of hibernation., and caused people to wonder about the moral development of the country. I can’t answer these questions.

I can give you some ideas for comfort through this time –

  • Get enough sleep – not too much and not too little. Your neurotransmitter level will thank you.
  • Eat warm and easy-to-digest foods – carbohydrates are helpful, soups, stews, chilis, tea.
  • Stay away from too much caffeine – it will further agitate you.
  • Keep your alcohol level to a minimum – flashbacks and memories seep in when guards are down and alcohol lowers the brain’s guardrails.
  • Be active – it will help you keep things in balance, regulate your nervous system, and get you out of your house (where I am likely to brood …)
  • Dress warm – it will calm your body so it doesn’t feel under siege.
  • Respect other people’s property – march and protest but this is not a time to riot nor recreate Kristallnacht.
  • Cry, find places and people who can accept your response.
  • If you can’t get out of bed or still feel numb, see a therapist. It’s okay to get some help.
  • Try not to re-Trumpatize yourself with on-going news shows and articles.
  • Turn off your blue screens one hour before bedtime to give your brain a chance to settle down. This decreases the frequency of nightmares and allows for more restful sleep.

(Holiday meals are not the time to bring up your differences. Everyone has someone dear to them who voted in a way opposite to you. Don’t spoil this time.)

Here’s the kicker – you need to do something. As I see it, we have three options –

  • Do nothing – that will keep you at war with yourself – only so many ostriches tolerated in this world.
  • Work to promote your beliefs – join a group, start a group, volunteer for a group.
  • Accept the results with grace – promote coming together with as calm a presence as you can.

You can do one or some combination of the three. But do something – the first option leads to feeling impotent which leads to violence against yourself and others. (Oh, and please don’t move to Canada.)

The choice is yours.

 

“Lululemon-Wearing Yoga … “

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A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on a bar stool drinking a lovely cheap Chardonnay waiting for my friends to arrive.

The three of us had survived yoga teacher training together. Getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 to make a 7am three-hour yoga class one hated Sunday each month. Yogis emoting all over the place. Wishing I could squeeze out some tears when everyone else was snot and tear-covered. The therapist in me wanted to say, “Boundaries, everyone, boundaries.” But I mentally strangled myself to withhold the words.

Almost five years later, I have taught many yoga classes including a number that have choked me up. Yes, I cried, without the drama of teeth gnashing, wiping away the tears unashamedly in front of the class. I have watched and cared for class participants as they have cried. But it seemed natural and organic and spontaneous. Our tears came from struggle and victory and community.

During my second glass of wine, my friends showed up to sit on either side of me. We caught up on the goings-on in our lives. One friend was enjoying, for the most part, being a mother. The other friend was living on the west coast, creating a new life. I was trying to get back into life after four or five foot surgeries and one arm surgical reconstruction. Each of us was wrestling with how to fit a yoga practice into our daily lives. Lives that were crazy full and a tad disjointed and to some degree fulfilling.

We began talking about going back to our old studio. Each of us had some misgivings about returning. My friend on the other coast had a distance problem, east coast-west coast. I had the issue of being un-bendy and less than fit creating the real, already done that, terror of falling over, taking out people on either side of and in front/back of my mat. My other friend was pondering if she could cram yoga into a full family and work reality.

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Finally my fertile friend said, “Damn Lululemon-wearing yoga bitches.” She was descriptive, wry, and accurate.

Well, we died laughing.

“Bat shit crazy,” I said.

We laughed so much I thought we would fall off our bar stools.

“Crazy,” said my other friend. I’m not sure if the remark’s target was the yoginis or us.

Yoga has developed a culture of elitism. We have forgotten some basic concepts. So here are my thoughts about the distressingly hilarious world of “Lululemon-wearing yoga bitches” –

  • Yoga developed a long ass time ago. Its aim was to keep 14 and 15 year old boys, living in dormitories, out of trouble. We can only pretend to be 14 for so long in our practice before we hurt ourselves
  • Yoga is a method to enhance your life – live yoga off the mat by developing a life
  • Yoga has nothing to do with Kombucha tea gulping, gluten-free bondage, or juice fasting self-abnegation. Yoga has to do with living with the purity and thoughtfulness that aligns with your body and soul
  • Yoga is not all about the poses – the poses are methods to experience yourself
  • Yoga is not about what you wear to class – keep your fucking eyes on your own mat
  • It’s fine if you cry in class and it’s fine if you don’t – who are you to judge the tears or non-tears of others? REALLY

So get a glass of your favorite beverage then think about using yoga to enhance your life, moving yourself out of the “Lululemon-wearing Yoga Bitches” category.

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