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If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us walk together.
~ Lila Watson, Australian Aborigine

Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
Death’s great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?

By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.

And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined, dirty houses-
something not known to anyone at all,
but wild in our breast for centuries.
~ Anna Akhmatova

Well, this one is a hard one to write.  From my last newsletter:  As the hidden shadow rises up we are invited to stand in our strength, clarity and fierce love for the healing of cultural wounds and the awakening of mind and heart for all beings. My prayers are that this dark moment is a profound portal for actions that protect the earth and her beings, and deepen our creative evolutionary superpowers.”

And then the election…and we are now seeing the tip of the iceberg of that previously hidden shadow rising up into our daily lives and many of us are in shock, sorrow, anger, despair and even resignation.  But…this is what we have been preparing for! 

As the collective shadow of anger, fear, frustration, divisiveness, blame and violence has more permission to be acted upon, we are being asked to transmute our own shadows.  We are being asked to take even more responsibility for our actions, to heal our wounds and to more boldly awaken and activate our courage in the face of control, fierce resistance to destructive practices/humans, and our willingness to put ourselves on the line for ALL beings and the earth. 

There will most likely be more acts of gun violence, hatred, bigotry, sexual assault, racially biased incarceration, queer and trans bashing and discrimination of many kinds.  But some revolutions take time and continued effort and….this is what we have been preparing for! 

All the work that we have done, all the rituals, all the healing, all the growing up and being awake, all the difficult conversations, all the community building, all the finding of our voices and our ability to listen well – these are the practices that we must now boldly employ and inspire.  I will keep showing up and working to bring about a world of social and economic justice.  A world of connection beyond all borders.  A world that is safe for all children.  A world where all are included and loved.  I am strong.  My adversities have made me resilient and there is much work to do.

May your work be the work that connects, educates, includes and ignites! 

This will be my last newsletter of 2016.  This week:  A Higher Ground Kirtan/Concert in Portland with Masood Ali Khan…please come and sing your despair into deep prayer and a call to action!  Also in Portland, I will be offering Voice of Change in Sianna Shermans Rasa Yoga Teacher Training and  finishing our Yearlong Priestess Training in Sacred Leadership for 2016.  I am also finishing up the latest Voice of Change Online course as well.  We have had many folks request this offering again and we WILL be hosting another in Spring 2017.  In December OTM will host our annual Yoga and Social Justice training at Pacifica University in Socal.  Also – the next Yearlong Priestess Training in Sacred Leadership (2016-2017)  has begun in the Bay Area.  We offer these every year so if you are interested for next year, let us know- we need sacred leadership now more than ever!   Finally I will be teaching in the Yogaworks Teacher Training in LA and then going on a much needed sabbatical to rejuvenate and gather my strength for what is to come. 

I hold a deep abiding love for this world, the precious planet, the animals and all the humans -even (especially?) the ones who are scared, acting out, angry, and deeply wounded with no access to healing tools or supportive communities.  My deepest wish is that we begin to understand that we are interconnected, interdependent and have the capacity to create a world of peace, justice and joy.

suz