We often begin a new year with resolutions to change ourselves, our circumstances or our situation… and that’s okay… but we have just come out of a year where survival is something to be celebrated… so I want you to be kind to yourselves this January.

As we continue to navigate a world unknown to us… it’s okay to take things minute by minute… hour by hour… day by day… The future remains uncertain but what we always have is hope… even if sometimes it’s just the tiniest glow…

I want to share a poem from Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” which, whenever I read the words fill me with hope and wonder that I will be able to rise from anything that happens…

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

This poem gives me goose bumps and the will to keep going, even when I don’t feel strong. I’ll be using it in my Yoga Nidra in class this January, to inspire hope in you too.

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