As the world absorbs the shock of the 2016 Presidential election results, we're left wondering, what's next? When faced with fear and division, we look to spiritual and inspirational leaders for guidance and unity. These 10 yogis logged on to Instagram today to offer some comfort and wisdom about finding acceptance, seeking peace, working together, and always acting from love.
Plus, feel the love of the yoga community with fellow yogis and a few of these inspirational teachers at Yoga Journal LIVE Florida this weekend or San Francisco in January.
"I get it. You're pissed, scared, sad and confused. I know. Woke up this morning with my head in my hands, my body shocked and sick. So here was the inner dialogue that I heard loud and clear in my head (make sure you read it with a thick Jersey accent)..."Go ahead. Take your time. Cry it out. Then get the fuck out of bed, fluff up your hair, and get the fuck to work!! You want to know if yoga really works? This is the time you'll find out, and you're going to need every tool you have not to meet fear with fear and hate with hate. So, I have a big question for you. It's a question I've heard you ask countless people for countless years. Can you love now? Can you?? Well, you had better, because that is what the world needs right now. It doesn't need you frozen. It doesn't need you defeated. It doesn't need you passive. It needs you engaged! It needs you kind! It needs you present! So take that breath, get the fuck out of bed, do whatever you have to do to process this shit and be that love!!!!" (Yes, I know, my inner voice is kind of intense, but it gets me moving!). You see, in the big scheme of things my life won't really change all that much, but there are a lot of people, including my friends of color, immigrants, the disabled, LBGTQ, Muslims, and many others who for them this "win" means life and death. This "victory" supports the very racism, sexism, genderism, misogyny, etc that has oppressed them for too long. For them, they wake up this morning facing an uncertain future, fear of violence and unimaginable confusion and pain. Nope. Not okay. So we have work to do to right this ship. The people have spoken and I will respect that. That is democracy. But I will challenge the status quo. I will continue to put my progressive values forward. I will participate in creating change. This is a time to engage, to act, to be heard!! We need to heal as a community, that's for sure. We need to face the fear and hopelessness we are feeling. Let's do that. Then let's come together and work even harder to continue to do the practical and spiritual work that we need to do to create a free, fair, safe, loving and peace filled world for ALL!!! #canyoulovenow #wegotthis"
"My real fear. The power of ignorance and hatred—and not by the obvious. Don't let your anger and disbelief create more hatred. Yes, we must act, but not from hatred. We are being called, each and everyone one of us to do our personal work—to dig deeper—so we can do the real work needed out there.
It is easy to see 'his' and 'their' shadow—and how horrible 'they are,' but there is no other choice but to look at our own—we must change the course we are headed, and we must do it together. It is not up to 'them' to do this work for us.
LOVE is desperately crying out for us to show up—to participate. It is EASY to run away, but to stay calm in the storm, to spread peace when it is needed most it is time to learn how to turn our confusion, hurt, and heaviness into wisdom.
We are being called—long before this morning we have been called, but most of us finally heard the loud knocking. You are being called. Look inside—heal your wounds, so you can be a true agent of strength, truth, and radical change. I believe in us.. Now is not the time to lose hope, but rather come together #weareinthistogether."
"I was asked late last night to say something positive. Anything. To find some kind of silver lining. After sobbing through @vanjones68's most eloquent commentary, I turned off the TV and went to bed. I woke up to the expected news and took a deep breath. Ashi jumped up into bed as she always does. She delivered her signature squeaks and plethora of kisses as she always does. The light outside looked the same, my bed felt the same, yet I felt different. Many of us feel a heaviness, a sadness. I'm certainly not feeling on top of my inspiration game, but the thoughts that come to me now:
May we unite. May we transform our pain into compassion. May we be a bridge where there is division. May we remember that love is love and today is a new day. Now is a time to unite; not to separate more than we already have. We cannot let our disbelief create more fear or hatred. Hope is not lost. We cannot and will not let it be lost. And if a wall is built against humanity, we will rip that shit down."
"This is a call to acceptance and a call to action. We must accept what we cannot change and we must rise up now more than ever. We must be kinder, more compassionate, and call on our faith to guide us. Be courageous and spread love. #spiritjunkie"
"We are a nation divided and this wake up call is an invitation to ask ourselves how hard we're willing to work and what lengths we will go to to heal the schisms between us. This is a call to ask ourselves if what we're thinking, saying and doing is of benefit to all, not just ourselves, the like-minded or the privileged. This is an appeal to pop our heads and hearts out of our respective bubbles and look at how myopia and bypassing have hurt us. This call is an opportunity to amplify, speak up, listen and learn. Above all, this is a call to recognize that we are responsible for ourselves and for each other. When we see someone in need of support, someone being hurt, discriminated against, rejected, denied, whose dignity or person is being assaulted in any way, WE NEED TO RESPOND. We need to release any fantasy that "someone else" will take care of it. It's you. It's me. It's us. That's it.
Don't deny your feelings right now. Find a safe space to really feel and then look at those feelings as pure energy. Our emotions give pure energy a "flavor". After you taste each one fully, feel the power beneath the flavor and see what you're capable of. It's massive, isn't it? Now, can you take that energy and shift it into action? This was a chance to see it's magnitude, and now you know.
This transmutation of emotional energy must happen—if we meet fear with fear or hate with hate, we'll further deepen the divide. It is an enormous effort to live "Namaste"—that which is Divine in me sees, recognizes and honors that which is Divine in you. Not just in other people of like mind and lifestyle and political party but ALL. Today, I rise to this challenge for the benefit of all beings and our great Mother Earth.
Do not opt out, your voice and actions are needed now more than ever. Apathy is the real enemy. Let's do this."
"Good Mourning. I woke up hoping it was a dream, wishing I didn't just witness what was blatantly splattered in front of our eyes last night. But I did. We did. And I'm mourning. I've done a lot of that this year and this is all I can come up with right now.
I refuse to believe that hate and ignorance won. They may have yelled and screamed and made their astonishingly well-developed presence known. They may have won an election. But they cannot win, actually win, unless we give in and give up our hope and love. We cannot let hate and ignorance strip us of our dignity, our self-love, our love for diversity, our love for our fellow humans, our love for country, our love for this planet, our love for justice, our love for decency, our love for kindness, our love for hard work and education and health, our love for love.
I refuse to believe that hate won. Refuse with me. Fight with me. Love with me. We will win.
"If you are looking for a political post today, you won't find it here. After writing and rewriting this post, my husband reminded me that my job is to shine light not to stir up division. His words rang in my ears as I focused on what my purpose truly is.
Santosa, one of the Niyamas in the 8 limb path of yoga, is to find contentment with what we have. To be at peace within and content with one's lifestyle. To find contentment even while experiencing life’s difficulties for life becomes a process of growth through all kinds of circumstances. We should accept that there is a purpose for everything. Yoga calls it karma. We cultivate contentment 'to accept what happens'. It means being happy with what we have rather than being unhappy with what we don't have.
Today, for some, this practice is essential to understanding just who they are and who they are supposed to become. For me, it will be the foundation I stand on today. #santosa"
"I'm sitting in my garden, crying. Absolutely devastated. I went to bed early last night, fully expecting love to trump hate in this election. I woke up finding out it didn't. So now I'm sitting here with a big lump in my throat, watching the sunrise, holding my belly. Praying for our future.
It is important that you know this: Misogyny did not win last night. Sexism did not win last night. Racism did not win last night. Hatred did not win last night. What happened is: fear won. Briefly. A whole lot of people voted out of fear yesterday. Fear of not being safe. Fear of not being able to care for their families. Fear of the unknown. Deep down, not a single person voted out of hatred. People don't vote to harm others; they are far too self-concerned for that. People vote for what they believe genuinely lies in their best interest. And right now there is enough fear out there to spur an entire switch of politics and power. Fear won. Hate did NOT. Why is this important? Because it's our job now to help humanity turn fear into love. It's up to us. Now is not the time to lash out at Trump supporters, at third party voters, at the media or at whoever you blame for this election. Now is not the time to complain, or panic, or escape.
Now is the time to love.
It is up to us now to love even harder than we ever have before. To find in our hearts what we wish had been reflected in the voting booths yesterday and to reflect it out into the world. To not despair, but to believe. Hate has trumped love - but only for a moment. This is not the end. It's a beginning. This moment is an integral part of the grand masterpiece that is this tapestry of life. It feels like a loss, but it's not permanent. Just a sharp unexpected turn on our path toward oneness.
We will do better now. We will love harder now. We will fight with a stronger purpose now. The sun is rising and it's a new day. So forgive. Acknowledge the fear that lies beneath it all and forgive.
But first... We yoga. Get on your mats and cry it out. Release. Punch something. Shake it off. Then: back to love.
No matter where you are or how you voted, you have never been less alone. #election2016"
"Tonight we lost four years of fighting climate change. And we’re already out of time. Trump has promised to build a wall that would cost billions, that experts and local ranchers alike say isn’t possible and won’t work, anyways. He’s promised to undo the agreement with Iran to cease their nuclear program. He’s promised to tear apart Obamacare, and with it end coverage for 20 million folks. He’ll seek revenge against everyone who’s ever slighted him. In an era of fake news vs. real facts, he’s promised to loosen laws protecting journalists from lawsuits by powerful monied interests like his donor Peter Thiel, an expert in that arena. Trump and his supporters are no fan of equal rights. Enjoy that < 5% unemployment, ’cause now it’s back to trickle-down economics. His penchant for wars on twitter will now extend to his role as commander-in-chief—he could make Bush’s Iraq war, with death and economic devastation and terrorism in its wake, look like nothing.
I’m a writer, and I like paragraph breaks, but I’m just getting going through his basic to-do list.
Tonight, we voted to bend the arc of history backward. If we were a little nation, it’d be our loss. But this is the world’s loss. Fascists and dictators everywhere are, tonight, heartened. We could have had Hillary. We just had Michelle as first lady. Instead we’ll have Donald, and Melania—who modeled nude, illegally in the US, and plagiarized her speech from our beloved do-goodering fun first lady. Ironic doesn’t cover it.
The only silver lining: in the wake of any great tragedy, it is impossible, as it would have been, to take a liberal platform and competent leadership for granted. It is now on you, and me, to do more than we wanted to do.
So cry. Dream nightmarish dreams. Meditate. Breathe deep. Then—get up and get out there and work and play to create a kind world. Let’s Make America Better and Better, Again.
The only silver lining: millions of decent Americans will wake up tomorrow inspired to do more good than we would have been, otherwise. For we are now living in the shadow of a bad man.
Thanks, Obama. I’ll miss you. You were the President of a lifetime. ~ @waylonlewis"
"Let's keep the love and lose the fear. Let's stay close to community and hold what's dear to us and then expand our vision. Let's remember we are capable of calling the highest love in, and let's please focus on the water. Let's make our work about leaving our Earth safe for our sons and daughters. Let's come together and talk about forever, far into the future. Let's join our hands and just simply be there for each other today. Okay? Tomorrow's @teach.yoga email includes a free audio meditation from me entitled Meditation for Presence. Be sure to subscribe; I'll prepare and send 7am ET tomorrow."