Peace from my treadmill

Questioning everything, I received some solace.

Pain, sadness, hurt, brokenness, frustration, grief, anger, fear, uneasiness, confusion, emptiness, exhaustion! Emotional exhaustion! These were the multiple emotions I experienced as I pounded the treadmill in this last week. Walking at a brisk pace of 4.6 miles an hour at an incline of 5, I prayed that this physical activity would quiet my mind. I had even typed “loud fast workout music” on my phone. However, the hard loud drum beats, electric guitars, clanging cymbals, and words I did not recognize did nothing. My mind was too full of painful questions.

Why, why is this happening in 2020? Why does discrimination, injustice, prejudices still prevail? Why does racism still exist? 

I felt like I had lost all faith and hope in humanity. Back in March when the lockdown started, I spoke about the new normal, my prayer. Then I saw the outpouring of care and compassion across the globe as we all realized NO ONE was spared by the virus. I looked at the unity as a silver lining in spite of our pandemic and I kept that faith.

I did not want to lose this faith, but I felt like I had no energy left. Why can’t we just be kind to each other and treat each other as human beings? Even animals don’t hurt their own or others unless they are threatened or hungry. We humans are given the freedom of choice. Why do we choose to behave this way?

This national movement of protest is a cry, a cry that has erupted because the pressures of constant micro and macro insults could not be contained any longer. It is a cry that screams, “No more! We will not tolerate prejudices, discrimination or injustice of any type anymore! Why did we have to come to this? Why does this pain still exist?”

Our Mother Earth has arms big enough, has a heart caring enough, for each one of us IF we turn to her with the care and respect every mother, every living creature deserves.

My questions kept pouring out of me as I walked on the treadmill.

What if we just listened to each other’s stories? What if we stopped questioning and just reached out to each other with a genuine heartfelt invitation to understand each other, where we grew up, what makes us laugh, what keeps us up at night? What if we just looked at each other with a smile, our hands crossed in a Namaste, and bowed our heads? Is that difficult? Is sparing a few minutes of a day to be present for another human being so difficult? What will that take? What will it take for us to connect, to feel safe, safe not just physically but emotionally and psychologically? What will it take to build this community, a community where we can Belong? Where we can belong for who we are, not the color of our skin, hair, lifestyle we choose, what we practice, what we earn, but belong because we all are spiritual beings in a human body?

I have to hold on to hope and positive thoughts. I have to continue to keep faith. I have to show my support and solidarity. What is it I share? We can always serve, and we can start by what is in our hands! 

Breathing hard I got off the treadmill and lay on my yoga mat, and typed in “Amazing Grace.” As I listened to the words, tears rolling down my cheeks, I felt a calm, a peace and an energy that was encouraging. I remembered the quote by Buddha, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened.” We have first to start with us. We have to be true to ourselves. We have to first explore, understand, and dispel any biases and prejudices from within us.

It resonated with my belief, Lift up each other and we all rise together!

Let us light the candles of love, care, justice, kindness and equality. 

Let us start with us! Let me start! 

Also this was my buddy check text message on Friday afternoon:

Sending you Happy Thoughts! Have a blessed weekend. Lift up each other and we all rise together!

“There are times when you must quiet your own voice to hear from or about those who suffer in ways that you do not.”—George Yancy

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”—Viktor Frankl

I offer  you peace.
I offer you love.
I offer you friendship.
I see your beauty.
I hear your need.
I feel your feelings.
My wisdom flows from the highest Source.
I salute that Source in you.
Let us work together. For unity and peace.

—Mohandas Gandhi

#REFLECT: What do you offer to others? What are you able to receive?