The gift of the shutdown
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on October 22, 2013. Posted with permission.
There have been 17 government shutdowns since 1977. This latest is estimated to have cost the US economy $24 billion.
I’m grateful for the Shutdown Yoga Class.
Never has it been clearer that our national representatives care so little about our neighbors’ daily lives and survival. How else can they furlough thousands of workers who have bills to pay and mouths to feed?
This yoga-off-the-mat is exposing the fraud of duality. The lie is that there are two sides in this game: Republicans and Democrats. Stalemate means no one is budging, and the dualities go on: Obama vs. Boehner, Tea Partiers vs. Moderates and American Citizenry vs. Government.
When government ceases to work on the people’s behalf, angry populaces worldwide have offered retaliatory examples up to and including “Off with Their Heads.”
The problem in America is that you’d have to off your own head, too, and mine.
In yoga, svadhyaya is self-study, and all of our relationships mirror the self. Our reactions to these shutdowns reveal who we really are.
Yoga teaches us that energetically we are one. In non-yogic terms, the government and the people are one because we elected them. We vote for reflections of who we think we are: self-absorbed and rightfully so, righteous and uncompromising. Just add a white tank top and semi-automatic, and this movie is rolling.
No one has invited the voters to pass the time with a game of solitaire, and mind control is the stuff of movies. I know when I point the finger of blame at anyone, there are three more fingers pointing right back at me.
I’m angry because my elected officials are detached from simplicity. If a person needs health care, education, housing, and healthy food to survive, these are rights, not privileges. I’m angry that they have forgotten their integrity and instead function to serve the ends of wealth. I’m angry that our elected leaders are so detached from their own humanity that they can hurt others in the name of ideology. I’m angry that people are complaining, blaming and sitting in the same 17-shutdown sewer, and no one gets it yet.
Oops. Hello, mirror. I’ve complained enough.
If we know ourselves, we know that we and our representatives are one. As we reprogram ourselves with meditation, asana and self-study, we can retrain our representatives by changing the discourse we have with not only them but with others, including ourselves.
Elected officials just jump in front of parades already in progress and claim leadership. Since they are grown from the soil we till, let us cultivate our gardens mindfully.