Cat From The Mat

The Remedy Within

(* This blog was written before the Jan 6, 2021 storming of the US Capitol, for which I have no words…but rest assured, they will be coming soon.  Please enjoy this contemplation for now.) 

From the left and from the right come vilification and blame, but you stay filled with compassion.  ~Rumi 

It’s a new year!  We made it through 2020, wearing a badge of courage!   Although, I feel both relief and hesitation to celebrate.  A hauntingly familiar narrative from 2005 evokes a memory from when Hurricane Katrina devastated my hometown of New Orleans.  Offering instant hope, the communal mantra of “Come January, then...” has been in the ether.  I am also reminded of how long it takes to recuperate from the shock of unprecedented events.   While we defrost our frozen collective nervous system, we also segue into continued unknown territory of what is to come. 

I am glad that this year is over.  However, I do not espouse anti-2020 sentiment.  It was an extremely clarifying year that brought many things to light. I was lucky enough to persevere with a roof over my head,  a stronger compromised immune system, and nutritious food, clean water, and healthy thoughts to digest.  I have befriended parts of myself that I didn’t have time for in my previously busy lifestyle.  Rather than pushing them away, I am curious to hear what my loneliness, sadness, and fear have to tell me.  Leaning into the pain, I am a more resilient and humbled listener than ever.   

Even though it’s officially 2021, it is another year.  The sun still rises and sets.  The flora and fauna continue on, perhaps unaware that there’s a global pandemic.  As we move forward, we are invited to choose how to be, inside and out.

Covid-19 itself has nothing against me, you, or any of us.  It is not to blame.  It’s just doing its viral thing, so it’s not personal.  What I do though take personally is the slow erosion of our infrastructure which could have prevented the unnecessary death toll in the US, not to mention the blatant caste system that persists.  

Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus MaguireOur country was created with a power-over paradigm, whereas I want to live in a power-with structure.  Yoga for me is not about a hierarchal pecking order.  It’s about a horizontal, democratic sharing of the seat of power, for the benefit for all, not just the few.  Last year was extremely honest on many levels.  I was so worn out recovering from cancer that I wasn’t paying attention.  A reflection of my privilege, I can no longer afford to do so.  The question remains:  who do we want to be in all that we do?  Our actions speak louder than words, and words do matter.

My outrage isn’t directed towards some specific source.  That would be too easy.  When I project my judgment on to things/situations/others, I am actually divulging my own inner assumptions, expectations, and disappointments.   It’s much easier to blame others for my discontent.  I can either remain a victim or take 100% responsibility for my participation.  Accountability is actually empowering.  It takes effort to build emotional maturity.  And it makes a difference.

Hindsight is 2020.  We are at a historical tipping point.  As we delve into another year of uncertainty, I encourage you to look within while keeping your eyes open.  Your choice of where you place your attention is your greatest currency.  As we systemically refocus our collective gaze towards reparations and equity, we each have the opportunity to shift our individual perceptions, one interaction at a time.    

Can this be the year to consider the needs of all, to truly manifest a democracy? In order to attempt to heal this divided and wounded home of the brave, we can empathically observe our own habitual patterns and choose accordingly.  When I bear witness to this immeasurable inner movement, I have been surprised by how revealing and fertile post-pandemic life can be.  Let’s wake up, grow up, and speak up…with gratitude, compassion, and dignity for all!


Happy, healthy, and globally healing new year!


Cat From The Mat blog

Jan 2021