Remember last April (2014) when more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria. The whole world was horrified and enraged. And rightly so. Everyone and their mother, include the First Lady Michelle Obama posted pictures of themselves with signs saying “Bring Back Our Girls”. We were all horrified for quite a while, until the next tragic world event happened and demanded our attention and compassion.
Just this past April (2015), during Autism Awareness Month, Governor Rauner of Illinois shut down all funding, immediately, for The Autism Program of Illinois. People were horrified and enraged, and rightly so. So, the people organized and let their voice be heard! This week the Governor reinstated funding for TAP through June 30, the end of this fiscal year. This is GREAT news and to be celebrated for sure!
When I first heard that news I was happy and relieved for TAP and also thought to myself “hm. This takes a little oooomph out of the TAP Your Power Yogathon I’m planning for Saturday….”. See, we were going to rally together “to save TAP”. But, now TAP is saved and this yogathon is a little after the fact. Well. Huh. So… now what?
Now is when our endurance and resilience matter most of all, I think. The Autism Program needs our support as much as ever. They continue to be in a vulnerable position; completely dependent on the funding of a state in desperate need of funds, hoping to cut expenses where it can. Now is the time that we all need to keep showing up, support, and pay attention.
Don’t check out. Just because the crisis moment is passed, we are still needed.
This could apply to the countless crisis’ that have been happening as of late. The water crisis in California. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Riots in Baltimore. Just making that list causes me to think – I can only care about so many things before I crumble into a puddle of heartache & disappointment – I have to check out.
It’s times like this that going to a yoga class seems like The Most Frivolous And Privileged Thing To Do Ever. Don’t believe that crazy talk. NOW is when your consistent practice is not optional. Now is when you do your practice (walking, yoga, swimming, meditation, etc.), whether you feel like it or not, so that you can keep showing up, pay attention; Do Not Check Out.
I wonder what would happen if along with the National Guard a huge team of yoga instructors, massage therapists, and meditation teachers set out for crisis situations to offer their services for those involved and all those who have come to help, including the National Guard. I wonder what shifts might happen for all those people in Baltimore, who have been holding their breath & sitting on the edge of their seat for the last week, if they could actually relax, move, and breathe in a yoga class. Check out the amazing work of the Holistic Life Foundation in Baltimore.
So, to make a long post a little shorter – YOU ARE STILL NEEDED TO SUPPORT THE AUTISM PROGRAM of Illinois. Support TAP and and tap into your own strength, resilience, and endurance by sharing this yoga practice with all of us, tomorrow.
Donation only yoga class to support The Autism Program – UIUC. 9 – 10:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, Champaign (corner of University & State, across Westside Park). Bring your own mat if you have one or borrow one from me!
Keep showing up. It makes a difference that you’re here.
Peace on your head,