your vote is your voice
posted: October 31, 2013
Leading up to a very important election in North Carolina is a gathering that will extend beyond yoga and music. We Are All Connected will serve as a platform to bring the community together in one space to be present on their mats, and also present in their choice to vote on local election day.
Two lululemon ambassadors—Carrington from our North Hills store and Michelle from our Southpoint store—will be leading a 75-minute yoga and meditation to the beats of DJ Derek Beres, which will conclude with a full concert from MC Yogi. We asked Carrington and Michelle to tell us, in their words, why it’s so important to get out and cast your vote—whether you’re in North Carolina or anywhere else in the world.
She Says, She Says
While attending the Where We Go From Here conference on sustainability and connectedness at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York last month, I met individuals from all walks of life and all areas of the US. Without fail, when I told them I was from North Carolina, their response was overwhelmingly and alarmingly the same: “Oh.”
Not, “What a beautiful place” or “I have family there,” just a single word, “Oh,” followed by a minimum three-minute discussion on the state of North Carolina’s voting laws, which usually included an eye roll, a heavy sigh and the occasional “WTF?”
At that conference former President Bill Clinton gave the keynote speech during which he addressed some of North Carolina’s controversial new voting laws. He emphasized the importance of not letting these mid-term elections slip by without public participation, and asked us to take ownership for whom we vote into office.
The bottom line was: if we let these new laws dictate or influence our participation and engagement, then we have only ourselves to blame. We can, as a collective, find fault with the state of our government, but we need to ask who put them in the place they are in? The answer is that we did. And we must own that.
The only way to make the difference is to get out and vote, and to remind our friends, families and communities to not only vote, but to do the research on the people who are running. We need to look at our lives and ask ourselves, are that candidate’s values and policies in alignment with how I live my life and the community in which I live? Does what s/he stand for inclusivity, sustainability and connectivity?
In yoga that is the premise of our practice and purpose—in a word, connection. Our relationships reflect that. Our paths reflect that. Shouldn’t our government reflect that? My vote is yes.
I think it’s important for folks to mobilize around this election because in 2014 we will need all the people who can vote to get out and vote.
Having a local election on the heels of all that has been happening in the state legislature this year will should ignite some fire and energy around the importance of politics not only state level but also for local municipalities.
The increased organization—grassroots and beyond—around this year’s pending election has brought people from all backgrounds together. I’m inspired that LGBTQ folks, people of different faiths, poor people, rich people and people of different racial identities can come together and use their voices to state what needs to happen to make the changes they wish to see.
Often people don’t pay attention or understand how policies will impact them, but this year there have been significant changes to North Carolina’s educational system, social service system, health care, women’s health and environmental conservation.
North Carolina is about to see some big changes and regardless where you stand on the issues it is important to vote—and to encourage others to vote, not just in this election but in subsequent elections.
We need to come together, to reconnect to humanity and to build relationships. Policy makers need to be connected, intentional and in tune because when we aren’t those things, as humans we can be careless and uncaring.
I believe when we begin to see each other as living beings—humans—again and when we see our own humanity is when change will happen.