How much can really happen in one year of our lives? They say that when our ancestors were cave people, the amount that a human being cognitively processed in their lifetime was equivalent to what we process in a single day in the 21st century. Yes. Since 2020 began alone, we’ve had to mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually process the destructive and illuminating impact of a pandemic on every facet of daily and global life, and an American anti-racism revolution that is confronting intersecting forms of oppression as well both here and the world over. On July 4, our nation’s own birthday, am I the only person who feels the simultaneous terror and thrill of the gestating collective new America (and world) we are poised to deliver?

If I may be more personal, there is something sublime about these dark and reckoning days for me. For the duration of my life in a black body, from the moment I was conceived in my mother’s racially traumatized womb, swimming in her adrenaline and cortisol spiked bodily fluids, my journey in this life has been directed by a singular unconscious then conscious objective: get free. From the dance classes I took as a child that helped me discharge my stiflingly painful anxiety, to my insatiable curiosity about the origin of “race” and the Black experience and undergraduate major focus, to my decision to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts to learn to clarify my voice and body as instruments of transformation, and to my exploration of the embodied contemplative practices of yoga and mindfulness as technology for healing and remembering wholeness as my birthright, I continue to collect tool after tool that will cultivate deep personal and historical understanding of my identity. I had an instinct from birth that I was born from love and meant to be liberated from the heavy yet invisible force seemingly determined to steal my joy. And now, to share this moment of “enough is enough” with the world feels redemptive. Yet I am not naive, and I know that human beings are inclined toward comfort and the familiar, particularly those who benefit from the privilege of whiteness and living in a white body. My prayer is that we keep this momentum going.

Conversations, action, protests, structural and systemic changes from dismantling corrupt police departments to re-hauling school curriculums to center anti-racist pedagogy, and the electoral primaries are rolling out and manifesting more social justice action than I’ve seen in my entire lifetime. But there is always more to do, and we can not get complacent again. Not ever, if possible. As a practicing yoga, mindfulness and health educator, I draw from these traditions, (ancient) knowledge and skills to make connections that I hope will support the forward path of this pivotal and pregnant moment. I hope you will join me in the effort to gift this world with the birth of remembering who we are as individuals and as a nation, and the golden opportunity to become who we say we mean to be.

I love you. Keep going.