Hold on

photos Michael J. Fuhrman

One of the most important things I learned when I was a student of yoga was to hold a pose well beyond the comfort zone — that is, well beyond the point at which I felt I could no longer hold it.

At some point, my body responds to this extended hold. I begin to feel things other than my discomfort. I feel subtle changes in my body — a lengthening, a loosening, a letting go. Most of all, I feel a heightened awareness. The discomfort doesn’t go away — it just shifts, recedes. As I adjust to these strengthening and healing sensations, I realize that I can do what, just moments ago, I felt I could not do.

We have been holding a difficult and challenging pose for months now — far beyond any sort of comfort zone. It would be easy, and such a relief, to give up at this point, to relax, to escape the bounds of our homes, our rigorous adherence to masks, handwashing, sanitizing — as well as our voluntary distancing from families, friends, events and activities we desperately miss.

That’s why my message, both for myself and for you, is, “Hold on.”

Now, when more than 200,000 Americans have been tragically lost to this pandemic, hold on. Stay with the masks, the handwashing, the sanitizing, the physical distancing. Hold on, despite the inexplicable refusal of many of our fellow Americans to follow these guidelines.

Now, when climate change is so starkly visible — in excessive heat, wildfires, hurricanes, flash floods — hold on. Our votes are needed to put the brakes on this devastation.

Now, when we have a decent, well-qualified man and a decent, well-qualified woman ready to lead us out of the political, social, and environmental chaos of the last four years, hold on.

Now, when we have so sadly lost a beacon of women’s rights and equal justice, hold on. The spirit and legacy of the “Notorious RBG” will be with us as we move forward — along with the spirit and legacy of those we have lost to the pandemic.

Now, when voting is already underway that can potentially change our lives, and the future of our country, hold on. Plan your vote. Follow your vote. Verify your vote. Vote as if your life depended on it. This year, in so many ways, it does.

Hold that pose — even though it seems endless, and painfully uncomfortable — for as long as it takes.

photos Michael J. Fuhrman

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