Right now, the Women's March is happening all over the country, including one mile down the street from where I'm sitting cross-legged, candle lit, and hot chocolate-warmed. Chiara texted me earlier this afternoon to invite me to march alongside her and some new badass friends of ours. It's so important to show up, so important to be a part of it all, and all the best women I know are doing it. Now that I'm back on social media, I'm seeing it all over that as well. It's invigorating, it's so good, and I just don't feel like it. It's rainy outside, I've set aside this weekend time to be with writing-- my own and so many others-- and that felt really important. It felt more important to honor the still and quiet inside of me that needs tending, to block aside this time for my feminist spiritual writer self that needs some space to breathe and think. I'm learning that I am inherently wise, that my body is my tool for emotional intuition, and that when I stop to listen to it, whatever it's telling me, it will not steer me wrong. The problem is that it's not always convenient. Last weekend Austin and I joined 8 other new friends for a retreat in Santa Cruz, focusing on being badasses and teaching each other our own unique flavors of what that looks like. There had been talk of a dance party, but when 11 pm rolled around, and I found myself comfortably perched in a hot tub, I realized that all I really wanted to was to read my brand new New Yorker in bed and fall asleep in a cocoon of sheets and thoughts and wet hair. I didn't want to miss out on the good memories, and if our life is a story, then shouldn't we always be striving to live better stories (i.e. choosing to boogie over washing my face)? But also. We must honor ourselves.
This is what the Women's March is all about. It's about women and men all over the country making strides and taking stands for their whole personhood, in all their contradictions and messiness. It's about honoring ourselves, which is an inside job first and foremost, and then demanding that everybody else (especially our leaders) do the same.
It was important to show up today, and I didn't do that. I didn't join legions of others who made the time and space to walk shoulder to shoulder, to speak out and be seen. I feel some FOMO about this, obviously and honestly, but I also feel so proud to be showing up here, and making this march and this moment my own in the way that my truest self knew how to today.
This realization of our full personage is about so much more than being a woman and peacefully protesting bigotry and sexism. It's also about being brave enough to let more of myself and ourselves be seen, not just some layers and not just some angles, revering my truest self and getting out of my own way, believing that my truest self will recognize and honor your truest self, that that's so much of what we want most of the time. I love that this is what namaste means, that the light in me honors and recognizes the light in you. It's communication at its best, it's humanity at its best.
It reminds me that so much of what we loved about Obama was that he reflected, from beginning to end, the kind of people who we wanted to become: engaged, optimistic, agents of change, compassionate, the epitome of cool. There is something so ineffable about being called to be better, and that moment when we sense the other's sincere faith in who we are continually strikes me as one of the great honors and privileges of being human. Those moments alter lives because they change our self-spiraling narratives about ourselves, and I'm not sure there is a greater gift.
My writing voice is my most honorable and genuine expression of myself, which is why being separated from it feels like such a loss. It doesn't speak out of fear or angst, it grows from a place of stillness and wisdom, and we can't have one without the other. This act of sitting, this act of marching, this act of being still is my namaste to myself, honoring that which is most lit and most true, banishing fear and hatred and judgment. Today and always.