• Dora

I feel your pain - let's talk

We need to take a breath.

Right now, we need to take a moment to mourn; we mourn the loss of black lives, and we mourn the pain of the past hundreds of years of racism.

For now, we need to sit and cry with our fellow people of color. As a white woman, it is uncomfortable. I want to empathize, I want to reach out, and I so hope that as I try to bridge the gap between my ethic Eastern European culture and you, that I don't say something that lands differently then intended.

But most likely, I will. And I think that is normal and unavoidable. We are literally from different worlds, speaking different languages – but we got to start somewhere, and the only way is to actually try to talk to one and other and risk being misunderstood. Language is not a perfect medium, but if our heart is in the right place, I hope we can overcome the limitations of our language.

So let's sit, let's breathe and feel all the sadness and use no words around that, just feel.

As I am writing this, it dawns on me that today is Spira's anniversary. Ten years ago, when I first envisioned my business, my main goal was to create a community where people can get together, share health, ideas, joys, and sorrows regardless of the:

  • Clothing on their back

  • Color of their skin

  • Letters after their name

  • Political affiliation

  • Socioeconomic background

  • Status or Sector - Military, Police or Civilian

All are welcome and encouraged to learn and celebrate each other's humanity.

Spira's moral code; love, respect, and curiosity and recognition of our unique humanity.

  • Approach everyone as a unique individual

  • Be curious about their history, background, upbringing

  • Be curious about hardships, ask questions

These are the concepts that I teach in my 200-hour mindfulness and yoga training. I take this so seriously that I mandate that students cannot share what they do for a living. For nine months, we study and practice together; we discuss significant events in our history, friendships bloom. All along, nobody knows who is; the doctor, the policemen, the teacher, the artist, or the stay at home mom. Everybody is unique; ; everybody's experience is recognized and opinion is heard with an open mind without the bias label that our society put in our mind the second that we hear someone's occupation.

Spira's mission statement:

Love, respect, and curiosity and recognition of our unique humanity.

But outside of Spira's four walls, our World needs a bit of yoga…

  • The death of George Floyd is horrendous, awful, and we need to make sure that it never happens again.

We have work to do – We need our World to follow the moral code; love, respect, and curiosity and recognition of our unique humanity.

  • Looting businesses, burning buildings where people live is awful and despicable, and we need to make sure that never happens again

We have work to do – We need our World to follow the moral code; love, respect, and curiosity and recognition of our unique humanity.

  • Know: Protestors are not the same as the criminals who looted cities

We have work to do…

  • We do not know how to talk to each other – we need to face this problem because this is the root of our struggle.

I have wanted to write about this issue for a long time – but I have waited because it is personal to me, and the one thing that I learned is; do not write while angry.

Problems need our attention; therefore we are protesting, we need to make sure we bring attention to experiences not heard otherwise:

  • Systems are made up of people, but they do take a power of their own

  • Ill systems can poison our people with bad morality

  • People are individuals, and they are responsible for their action

  • There will always be bad people even in good systems

  • Both the individual and the system needs to be investigated

  • We need to work together jointly to create a world based on our values

  • To achieve this, we need to look deeper – communicate, ask questions.

Our society; left, center, and right. Police, civilian. Black, and white, need to sit down and talk, be curious - have conversations.

What happened to George Floyd and how it was subsequently handled in that particular police district is beyond outrageous. It is disgusting and subhuman behavior that those four specific police officers exhibited—shame on them.

Yes, there is racism in this country, it is deeply embedded through history; there are folks who hate immigrants like me; there are folks who hate women; there is a shitload of bad. I have been on the receiving end of some immigrant hating slurs plenty of times. Yes – we have a whole lot of work to do. Yes, there is no equality, yes our lives and adversities are not the same.

We have work to do – We need our World to follow the moral code; love, respect, and curiosity and recognition of our unique humanity.


There is no place for brutality in a civilized society.

We will not get it done if we don't investigate deeper and don't listen to each other.

Mindful thinking has four necessary steps;

  • Recognize Emotion,

  • Investigate Emotion,

  • Allow Emotion,

  • Remember, emotions are temporary, so find a constructive and peaceful way out.

We don't do this as a society, we don't do this as institutions, we don't do this on the media.

While social media can be used as a tool for connection, information sharing, it is no platform for deep conversation:

  • It teaches people short attention span guided by images

  • If you don't like something – simply ban it from your feed

  • You don't like someone – unfriend them

  • Don't respond, don't ask questions – if you are uncomfortable just shut them out

  • Surround yourself with folks who think and love what you love, so you feel popular, and your ideas are never challenged!

Well, fantastic – thank you, social media – we just turned the whole country into high school. And oh, no, this behavior is not only on social media, and politics; it is also in our private life.

Friends no longer work through misunderstandings; people avoid anything complicated or uncomfortable. We are avoiding momentary discomfort; we avoid conversations and, as a result, create hurt harm and misery and destruction for years to come. We jump to conclusions, form groups, and hold grudges without discussion or chance for resolution.

We need to take a breath.

Right now, we need to take a moment to mourn; we mourn the loss of black lives, and we mourn the pain of the past hundreds of years of racism.

For now, we need to sit and cry with our fellow people of color. As a white woman, it is uncomfortable. I want to empathize, I want to reach out, and I so hope that as I try to bridge the gap between my ethic Eastern European culture and you, that I don't say something that lands differently then intended.

But most likely, I will. And I think that is normal and unavoidable, we are literally from different worlds – but we got to start somewhere, and the only way is to actually try to talk to one and other and risk being misunderstood.


And yes, I am repeating myself because this is the second version of this blog. My first attempt got misunderstood. But I am glad. I learned a lot through the conversations that followed. Thank you Josiah, thank you Barbie, thank you for all of you who are willing to lean into the discomfort with me. And this is exactly my point. We got to be brave enough to say something, we got to be brave enough to make mistakes. How else do we learn that we can do better!


We need to hold space for one and other, we need to be curious about each other's background, and we need to recognize that just because we use the words differently does not mean we don't agree. We need to hold space and be curious because language is a messy communication tool.


Honestly, for me, it would have been so much easier to copy-paste the most fashionable statement from Facebook. But I don't think that would have achieved much, that is not communication.


If I want to make a true connection, I got to use my own words that are filtered through my experiences and my second language brain, and hope that you will use your own words filtered through your experiences and command of language, and if we keep doing that long enough eventually I will get to know you, and you will get to know me...


But for that we all need to hold space, pause and breathe.

So let's sit, let's breathe and feel all the sadness.

This is hard…I do have to be honest; as a person who lost loved one in the line of duty, this is pain from all around. And I am sure I am not alone. I sit, and I feel the pain of the horrendous actions that happened, and I sit and feel the pain of loss from those who die in the line of duty.

So I do, I do sit with pain all around, and I badly want to talk and reach out. But I also want to say; The logic that all Police, everywhere, are brutal savages is not the right conclusion. From my friends in the Police department, some of whom are black, some gay, some are ethnic; I hear how worried they are for the safety of demonstrators. They worry that someone is going to run a truck through the peaceful crowd; they worry that someone is going to open fire. They worry for each other as heavy objects are flying. It is not easy to be faced by thousands of people. But we don't hear their stories.

And yes, right NOW IS NOT THE TIME to hear the stories of the ones lost in the line of duty, but I do hope sometime in the future the news will cover the feelings and trepidations of many good, honest, and brave police officers, who are there serving us.

So I do, I sit with pain and anxiety all around me, and I am not sure our current conversation as a Nation is constructive; I am not sure it can lead to the intelligent conversations we need to have in order to have productive outcomes and changed systems.

The World is not as binary as our political parties would like us to believe

I do think that with technology, our local communities could sit down monthly with the LOCAL Police to have a discussion (not assuming and finger-pointing, but discussion) around local issues?

I bet regular discussions would do a lot of good.

The current way our society works hurts everyone, it makes us all struggle, and we need to hear and understand how different people are affected in order to move forward.


Right now we forms groups to walk in solidarity of the pain, to say, I feel your pain; this is good, this is healthy. But eventually, we need to stop walking and sit down to talk.


And I do worry, that the current way we dialogue as a country is not constructive. When we form groups, we support each other within the group, but we refuse to listen to the other side. Group thinking has overtaken the Nation, and it looks that belonging to a group is more important than listening and working issues out. We don't communicate! So I do worry...

Many folks are doing their best to live in a peaceful community. We so easily focus on ONLY the bad news that we forget that; there is good in the World.

Yes, we have work to do... but we must also recognize that some of the good work is already on it's way...

  • We forget that we belong to each other…

  • We forget that we need each other…

We are stronger as one when we talk when we appreciate all who are part of our society; black, white, asian, immigrant, construction worker, straight, queer, lawyer, police and yoga teacher, conservative, and liberal.

We all need each other because we all bring something wonderful and unique, and only as a whole do we make sense. We need each other to create a balanced whole.

  • We simply need to stop avoiding each other.

  • Talk to someone with a different opinion.

  • You don't know a black person? Try to get to know one.

  • You don't know someone in Police or Military? Try to reach out.

When we know each other – we don't hate each other

We have work to do – We need our World to follow the moral code; love, respect, and curiosity and recognition of our unique humanity.

Let's talk to each other – the more we talk, the more we think of each other as unique amazing humans instead of skin colors and occupations.

I hope Spira can be a place where this work of self-inquiry and listening and conversation is welcome.

I am hoping in the future, Spira can provide a platform where a healthy, constructive exchange between civilians of all races/ethnicities, and police can happen. I am dreaming of creating a space where we learn to understand and love one and other through constructive dialogue.


Peace Be With You - Dora

Spira Power Yoga

West Seattle
2332 California Avenue SW
Seattle WA, 98116
p. 206.687.7055

Email us

Spira Power Yoga

Issaquah
1135 NW Gilman Blvd Ste, F-10
Issaquah, 98027

p. 425.677.8346

Email us

(c) Spira Power Yoga 2019 All Rights Reserved

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