Marching with others (literally and figuratively) reminds us that we’re part of a bigger community and that our individual voice matters. Some people march because they want to be surrounded by the energy of others who share their feelings. Some are angry or frustrated and want their voices to be heard. Some march for those who came before them or for their sons and daughters and future generations. Whatever your reasons, remember that marching can be exciting and unsettling all at once.
To help you stay centered, below is a short meditation to listen to before or after. It was created by Stefanie Goldstein, mom, psychologist, mindfulness teacher and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Living in LA.
1) Find a comfortable position, and take a few long slow deep breaths.
2) Allow your belly to fill completely with every inhale and and deflate completely with every exhale. Bring your awareness to this breath, to this body, to this moment. And now let your breath find its natural rhythm. I invite you to connect to your heart. You can even place a hand or two on your heart if that feels right.
3) Sense into the hands on the body, feeling the heartbeat and connecting to the endless love that is inside of you. And from this heartfelt place, connect now to your truest intention asking yourself: Why do I march?
Allow whatever answers are there to come forward. Some may come from a place of anger, hurt, fear—that’s okay. Let those feelings arise. Welcome them into a loving, safe embrace. Some answers may be fueled by a sense of love, empowerment, connection. Let those come forward, too. Whatever your reasons, see if you can allow yourself to rest in this deep place of knowing.
4) As feelings arise in this moment, see if you can hold yourself with tenderness and compassion. And if possible expand that out to include everyone who marches with you now, those who chose not to march, and those who have come before us: our grandmothers and grandfathers, our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and those that will come after us…our sons and our daughters. Holding all of these people with love and compassion, knowing that we’re all in this together.
5) Come back to the breath once again, breathing in and breathing out. Know that you can return to this grounded place whenever you want or need to. Know that the actions you are taking are from your heart. Know that you and all those that you march with can be like a mountain—strong, steady, grounded.
There’s so much that we don’t have control over, but what we do have control over is how we show up, how in each moment of our lives, we decide to be. We decide whether we’re coming from a place of fear or faith, from a place of hate or love, from a place of kindness or confusion, from a place of disconnection or a place of connection.
6) As we bring this meditation to a close, I invite you to take a few moments to think about how you can bring this experience with you. Not only as you go into the march but as each day passes things will happen that you won’t like that will affect your life potentially in negative ways. There may be trying and difficult times ahead. And there’s so much that we don’t have control over, but what we do have control over is how we show up, how in each moment of our lives, we decide to be. We decide whether we’re coming from a place of fear or faith, from a place of hate or love, from a place of kindness or confusion, from a place of disconnection or a place of connection. And so know that what ever lies ahead, you have this choice you have this power within you. This great profound power you get to choose how you are in the world.