It’s officially the second half of the year. 2020 has been a wild ride so far. Images of the constant harassment and murder of Black people by the police is deeply painful and exhausting. I haven’t watched the video of Elijah McClain yet. I want to bear witness, but first I must find a corner of my heart that isn’t already shattered. I feel like a turtle peeking out of my shell to see if this world is safe to re-enter. Racist cops and an invisible predator seem to lurk in the shadows and around every corner. From the ashes, and because of the fire, I gave birth to my first memoir and have a title for my second. I’ve walked through many fires in my life and assessed rolling hills of ashes in their wake.
When I was about twelve years old, I visited Canada with my family. Toronto struck me as beautiful and surprisingly clean to my Brooklyn-weary eyes. I asked my father if they had crime there. He told me there was crime everywhere. It was disappointing news. I had already been a victim of assault, and I was hoping to find a place where I could feel safe. In that moment, I came to understand that in this world of beauty and pain, we have to take the good with the bad.
It’s into this world of profound majesty and brutal injustice that I release my most precious creation of all, my daughter. Parenting has as much to do with protecting and teaching as it does with letting go. My sweet Kayla is in Florida for the next couple of weeks on vacation with another family. I know Florida is fast becoming the coronavirus epicenter. I know she’ll be riding motorcycles. I know I’m more than six hours away. A part of me wishes I had told her to stay home in her room where I know she’s safer. I wish I could lock her in a tower like Rapunzel. Another part of me wants her to pick wildflowers, take long walks, feel the wind on her neck and the motion in her belly as she lets loose on a motorcycle, fall in love, survive heartache and dance with complete abandon. I want her to LIVE! Wildly, abundantly and joyfully.
Safe is a four-letter word. First because it’s not real. Trayvon Martin should have been safe going to the corner store to get Skittles. Ahmaud Arbery should have been safe going for a jog in his neighborhood. Brianna Taylor should have been safe sleeping in her bed. Tamir Rice should have been safe playing in the park. Sandra Bland should have been safe driving in her car. We can’t let the quest for the illusion of safety keep us from living. We can take precautions: wash our hands, wear a mask, wear a helmet, etc. But we can’t give up or give in. We can’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed. One of my former fitness center clients permanently injured herself falling off her living room sofa. Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina both died in a bathtub. With all the money in the world, while in their own homes or hotel rooms, they couldn’t guarantee their own safety because none of us can.
This week, with everything happening in the world right now, I encourage you to LIVE! Make calculated decisions, Google statistics, take precautions and step boldly into the future of your dreams. And remember, S.A.F.E. is a four-letter word.
I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The image is from yoga class on Saturday. It was in a beautiful outdoor space. Stellar-poweryoga.com offers outdoor yoga every other Saturday, virtual classes and in-studio hot yoga. So many yoga studios have closed, including the one where I did my yoga teacher certification. I’m so grateful to still have my home studio available to me. My virtual book launch for my memoir is on Friday. Click the link to register.