Sometimes I do flip off the Prius driver

10 Aug

I can fight. I’ve worked for the city of Chicago and the city of San Francisco. I do community organizing. I have a chip on my shoulder about privilege. So I can fight, and I do fight. But for some reason I had a bird in my ear. In my yoga class at Flying Yoga in Oakland, yesterday during bow pose, my teacher just sorta whispered “what would happen if you didn’t fight?” After being a little bit, “oh yeah, easy for you to say, you can bend your spine in half miss dancer lady.” I thought, “ok, Gretchen, what if I don’t fight.” And I breathed, and my chest expanded across my shoulder blades. My legs pressed back against my hands, I ascended (and I didn’t cry).

This morning, as I was trying to print out documents at 7:50 am when I had to leave at 8:00 am. I remembered that the driver was not installed on my computer. It was a freaking mess, I was so close to yelling at my partner. I thought, what would happen if I don’t fight? Answer: no crying and I left at 8:03. Walking into Pete’s for a much needed cup of coffee, with 10 minutes to spare before my first meeting, I saw a line snaking outside the back of the store. No fight, really? Ugh. Left with 4 minutes to spare, no gnawing in belly and arrived at my meeting on time.

No fighting for me has it’s roots in the idea of ahimsa, or to do no harm. It is the place that yoga starts. And it is really really hard. Who doesn’t want to flip off the road-rager cutting across three lanes of traffic on the bridge, or the snotty retail clerk that insinuates that you are fat, tacky, and poor (no, really, happened) in the first five minutes that your in the store? How can I practice ahimsa with my constant conditioning to combat lack of access and unbalanced power dynamics? To start small and with the things that I can control, like whether on not I fall apart when my computer is on the fritz or I can’t find my keys. To decide in the moment if I can make my day better, or better for the people around me.

Of course, sometimes, no, I do flip of the Prius driver with the co-exist bumper sticker, that can tell by my haircut that I am from the mid-west. I mean really, how can you tell, do I really drive that slow? And, you NEED to tell me?

Wait sister, we are in this together, thanks for letting me know that I screwed up your day, I am sorry but thanks for the opportunity to remember that I don’t have to throw it back at you. Thank you and have a great day (today, I actually meant it.)

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2 Responses to “Sometimes I do flip off the Prius driver”

  1. Megan August 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I really needed this right now.

  2. Lisa Abbott August 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Love this post Dia.

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