As a yoga instructor, the most important lesson I teach my clients is to inhale & exhale. As I instruct, I repeatedly tell them to…”breathe in to your pose.” “Inhale and exhale as you move and don’t hold your breath because your breath gives you life! “Your breath heals, empowers and allows you to be present.” This is one of the many reasons my heart sank watching George Floyd’s death take place on national television. A police officer placed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck resulting in his plea of…“I can’t breathe” and because he was denied the ability to inhale & exhale he died. People gasped in disbelief, as their own inhalation and exhalations would come to a pause. However, they would pause only for a moment as inhales and exhales would turn into massive protests demanding justice and equality around the globe. It is important to realize that our breath isn’t defined by being black, white, hispanic, asian or any race…our breath is crucial for our survival. Breathing is a necessity, a God given gift and no one has the right to strip anyone from what wasn’t theirs to take, especially a police officer who swore an oath to protect and serve.
Peaceful protester marched to have their voices heard; many white people were just as sickened by the death of George Floyd and joined the protest for justice and equality. They, along with many other races united to help those who have been denied the right to equally breathe for years. People ask…”what can I do?” The first thing is to commit to never looking the other way again when injustices occur. Lead with your heart, do what’s right and imagine what you would do if someone placed their knee on your child’s neck for almost 9 minutes and your child said…”I can’t breathe” who would later die on the street. Most mothers are protective and if we see a child run in to the street and a car is coming, we don’t ask what color the child is…we go and save them. That’s what breathing the same breath means…we look out for one another! We are created in the image of God, so the ability to breath is a spiritual gift. The right to inhale & exhale isn’t about black vs white, it isn’t about community vs police, it isn’t about political affiliations.. it’s about peace vs chaos, equality vs inequality, love vs hate and right vs wrong.
In the Christian faith, believers are supposed to represent the spirit of Christ but many blatantly ignore the mission of Christ who fed the hungry, healed the sick, gave hope to the hopeless and died for all. Self willed agendas over God’s will can cause a lack of empathy as some may feel that others are not supposed to be afforded the same rights of inclusion, justice and equality…which means they have most likely contributed to the systemic problems that hinder and suppress those outside of their own circle of influence. If we hold our breath because something is too uncomfortable to discuss or we worry about what “so call friends” opinions may be when the heart is moved to assist others and help heal past and presents injustices…it is pretty obvious a Christianity lesson is desperately needed! If a fire started in your community, the fire department is immediately needed to put the fire out because if they don’t the entire community is affected. However, the house in which the fire started must be put out first because the people inside could die and if that house isn’t the priority then other homes could potentially catch on fire and the air quality for all becomes polluted; which ultimately restricts the breath of the entire community. There will be times that we must become the fire department in order to help our brothers and sisters inhale & exhale, especially when others intentionally try to stop their breath.
As peaceful protest continue, the mission for justice and equality is represented by many groups who have decided that enough is enough. The multi-race & multi-generational coalition of people marching to uproot systems and people who hinder, hurt and harm is proof that there is way more good in the world than bad. Let’s continue to be positive change agents by listening to one another, working together and be our brothers & sisters keeper. We inhale and exhale in unity because the Lord commissioned us to…”Love your neighbor as yourself.” If there is an injustice to one neighbor’s life, then there’s an injustice to all. Therefore, continue the good and peaceful fight until all can inhale and exhale equally!
Until the Next Blog,
Blessings & Love!