What if instead of celebrating our independence we celebrated our interdependence- all the ways in which we came together, collaborated, leaned into each other and became stronger and steadier as a community to create the world we want to live in, not the one we don’t?

Interdependence is the dependence between cooperative autonomous parties. It is the intangible congealant that makes a group stronger together. The willingness to participate and not only offer help when possible but also accept responsibility in keeping things running, truly sharing the weight. It also sounds a lot like the founding philosophy of a democracy, doesn’t it?

“What prepares men for totalitarian denomination is the fact that loneliness, once a borderline experience usually suffered in certain marginal social conditions like old age, has become an everyday experience of the ever growing masses of our century.”

~Hannah Arendt

Independence is freedom from dependence or exemption from reliance- almost the opposite. We love our independence. ‘Murca!!!  We’ve leaned so heavily into it, grown so independent, that we don’t have or want to have much to do with each other anymore- a clear departure from our deepest nature, that which makes us whole.

Kids pulled from their families is a crime against humanity. This government continues to cross unimaginable lines.

Right as I was hitting the dark pit of despair about all this, I listened to ‘On Being’ with Krista Tippett. I’ve mentioned it before on the blog. It’s amazing. They reran an episode from last year discussing the work of 20th century philosopher Hannah Arendt.

Listening, I suddenly saw it. It became so clear. It’s right there in front of our eyes. The key. What’s missing. The clear thread that can be traced through many of the evils haunting us right now.

Loneliness.

Loneliness is toxic beyond belief. It shows up again and again and again… in the news and studies regarding: suicide, mass shooting, cults, abuse, fanatics, extreme groups, and sexual predators. It even shows up in this new world where families get separated by force.

Loneliness is the key feature leading to people who follow a dictator. It’s the promise of belonging to something after all, isn’t it? Ultimately, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, no one wants to be alone and everyone wants to belong somewhere and be able to call a place home and people family. Isolation and loneliness crack the whole matrix of society leading to fear and distrust which are at the root of hate.

Understanding this, seeing it, while feeling completely heartbroken myself not only over our current shameful government, but also Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade’s untimely death, gave me a sliver of hope-

Community/Sangha

is the most subversive thing we can be a part of right now. Connecting with people, even if we don’t agree with them is in fact a small revolution. The word revolution comes from the French revolvere which means to ‘roll back’. So it truly is like we are undoing or going retro to times when people knew their neighbors and were interdependent.

Gatherings are always against the law in totalitarian governments. Why? Because they are feared. There is strength in numbers and connecting and belonging lead to wellness, harmony, understanding and love- they turn me upside down and make it we. And they are also the very thing that can topple a government. They’re the antidote.

We come to our mat to strengthen our deepest sense of self, call it our essential self or jiva atma. Knowing ourselves and loving ourselves on a deep level is revolutionary and corrodes loneliness. Think about it. If you actually liked yourself, really liked yourself, even loved yourself- you would never be lonely again. Ever. As long as you lived. You still have to show up and do the work, of course. And it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy, but it’s a start.

Get centered in yourself. It’s not wrong unless taken to the narcissistic extreme to root yourself and make sure you have a steady base to start from. And hopefully, we become more confident, more open and easy with other people and our combined differences. From that individual seed on our mats we have the ability to build a community- a sangha.

If reaching beyond you is hard, treat it like a practice. It will get better. A great way to connect with someone is to tell them a story. Or even better, some part of your story. This kind of sharing spreads an infectious intimacy and creates a sense of belonging. Our humanness is the clearest connector we have to each other. Or ask them questions about their story. Practice seeing and being seen.

This seems doable to me. Right? We can resist by our caring actions. That’s something I can do. Right now. Reach out, touch, talk, listen, look at people. Put down my phone. Continue to connect with people I may not know that well and with the people I do. Grassroots like. It may not seem like much. But it’s a peaceful warrior weapon of love we all have access to all the time. And they fear it. Because it is magnificent. And it’s been known to tear down heinous governments and change the course of history. There is hope. We are the hope. For this, I can do. This, you can do. This, we can do. Together. Alone/together. Interdependent. Let our love be greater than our fear. Always.

 

***By the way, I have posted that episode of ‘On Being’ in my Trump Survival Guide along with an amazing stand-up routine by Hannah Gadsby which moved me in a way I had never been moved before. Check them out.

 

***To subscribe to that Dharma Blog or Podcast CLICK HERE****

Happenings:

 

A Vira Practice 

a new hourlong class is on Vimeo that works with mudra and energy work to build up our sense of self and our clarity. Much needed during this time.

Teachers Practice
This Friday July 6 12:45-2:45 
Prema Yoga, Brooklyn

It’s for all teachers and consistent practitioners who want to delve deeper in a lovely sangha.

July Upstate Weekend Getaway
with Caroline and myself!
July 20-22 in East Chatham

We’ve rented an beautiful mansion with a pond and a creek on the property and will be practicing in the barn. C will be cooking, I will be doing what I do. You know. It’s going to be epic. Check it out!

***SPECIAL SHOUT OUT:

Jeff Crocket, whom you may have heard in the podcast and who is one of my very favorite teachers and people is a breath and embodiment master and will be in town July 13-15. This is a rare chance to get to study with him. His work is hard to describe but it is truly profound. If you want something refreshing that will definitely move you deeper into your embodied self, check him out. The Friday night offering is to wet your whistle if you’re curious.
www.breathembodiment.com

Bridging Body, Mind and Spirit; Uncovering the Wisdom of the Koshas
5 day Training in Tokyo, Japan
At Yuka New York
August 31-Sept 4.

If you are in Japan or have friends there, check it out.

Arm Balances
Yogaworks Brooklyn Heights, NY
Saturday Sept. 15 from 1:30-3:30

Arm balances have more to do with balance and alignment than strength. Much like any building or piece of architecture, if you stack the bones up properly and create a good foundation, the rest will follow.

Arm Balances
Yogaworks Back Bay, Boston
Saturday Sept. 21 11-1

Arm balances have more to do with balance and alignment than strength. Much like any building or piece of architecture, if you stack the bones up properly and create a good foundation, the rest will follow.

The Art of Hands On Assists
Yogaworks Back Bay, Boston
Saturday Sept. 21, 2-4

Touch is an art and can be very healing. Each person is unique and sparks a different conversation. In this workshop we will distill poses to educate our eyes to follow the lines of energy in the body and sharpen our instincts. Recruiting our creativity, sense of wonder and respect for each other will bring us deeper into the conversation of compassionate and clean touch. Thus unleashing the alchemy of healing for both parties.

Kirtan
JP Centre Yoga, Boston
Saturday, Sept 21 7:30-9:30pm

A sweet sweet mantra practice along with stories. Stay tuned for the link!

Yoga And Mantra Unplugged
Yogaworks, Cambridge, MA
Sunday Sept 22 12-2pm

This is hybrid between a led class and self-practice. Miles will lead the sequence in small doses, which you will then have a chance to practice on your own time with your own flare- making them slower or faster/ harder or easier/or finding different gems along the way. As you practice, Miles and Caroline will create a music soundscape for you to move with.

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All this plus archives of my blogs, the podcast along with new online classes and workshops and other resources on my website:
www.milesyoga.com