The freedom to choose
I’ve been thinking about the repercussions this election will have on our lives. At the beginning I felt overwhelmed. As time passed I began to see how and where to begin.
As citizens of this country, we have a right to rebel against causes we do not believe in, and the most peaceful and effective way we can do that is by leading a life that’s based on our morals. I invite you to take a moment and ask yourself the following: Who am I?
What are my core beliefs? How can I go about my life in alignment with these beliefs?
When we begin to live in this way, we serve as examples to others, and it catalyzes a chain reaction. I’d like to share some of the things I will personally be putting into effect. My hope is that this inspires you to look at yourself and see what you firmly believe in, and get off your seat and start something. Share it with others and keep the momentum going.
I am choosing to withhold my participation from careless consumerism. When we don’t allow ourselves to become fixated on the acquisition of commodities, we are rebelling against the system. Now more than ever, it’s important to take a step back and learn about what we are buying into. By doing a little research on ourselves and our habits, we can identify exactly what we are supporting, and choose to go a different route.
Our everyday choices have the power to move us through this dark time. When you refuse a plastic bag or disposable container, you’re making a statement. When you don't buy a piece of clothing from a store that violates human, labor, or environmental rights, you’re making a statement. The things we do most automatically will be the things that pose a challenge to us, but if we want to change things we have to give up a “comfortable” way of living.
Going against the current is uncomfortable. Having a daily practice is uncomfortable. The smallest decisions can make a difference if done consistently. Just like Ashtanga Yoga, you repeat the same thing daily. Sometimes your mind and body resist, but if you keep doing it day in and day out, eventually you will see the benefits it gives back to you. It’s a process. It requires attention, willpower, continuity, devotion, patience, and study.
I invite you to look at your life and take note:
Where and how do I spend my money?
Where do I deposit or save my money?
What companies do I employ or utilize?
What apps do I download and use?
Where do I engage in recreational activities?
What establishments do I frequent?
What brands do I wear, and what are their labor and environmental practices?
Make lists and create new routes. If you are truly called to make a change, this is how it begins. This is how we preserve our freedom, and the freedom and well-being of generations to come.
Below you’ll find a list of sites I’ve been referring to regularly. I also recommend you check in with your local community center (co-op, yoga studio, library). Many of these places will begin offering educational programs, information, and opportunities to put your feelings into concrete action.
The Story of Stuff Project
Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Friends of the Earth
Natural Resource Defense Council
Showing Up for Racial Justice
The Center for Reproductive Rights
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. If you have questions or would like to talk about any of these issues further, please feel free to reach out. Conversation and community will be the two most crucial pillars of transformation in this next phase of our personal and social evolution.