#TheSoulPulse was created to continue the momentum and enthusiasm generated by our annual yoga festival throughout the year. #TheSoulPulse is a new platform to keep our dedicated yogis connected to health and wellness events in the Long Beach and surrounding communities. We provide an insider’s perspective for yoga, meditation, mindfulness, Holistic health, consciousness raising products and life edifying foods! #TheSoulPulse was created to increase your already high energy vibration and make your life even more awesome. We are just a happy tribe of Urban Yogis delivering energetic bursts of vibrant, positive content all year. The annual Soul Long Beach Yoga Festival will be an amazing culmination of these year long energetic bursts!
#TheSoulPulse hosts a Virtual Meditation Sit-In
I personally recall that at the end of 2019 being very excited about the upcoming new decade. I had so many plans for 2020.
First on my list was the very first annual Soul Long Beach Yoga Festival. After the amazing success of the festival with over 300 in attendance, #TheSoulPulse was born. However, in March 2020, our world drastically changed. Not only were we confronted with a global health crisis with COVID-19, but several devastating events also took place in the African-American community that turned my world upside down. Specifically, the horrific and tragic deaths of four African Americans. Sadly, the death toll continues to rise.
On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African-American man, was fatally shot by a father and son near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia, while jogging on Holmes Road in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.
On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove while executing a “no knock” warrant. On June 10, 2020, no knock warrants were officially and legally banned. Officer Brett Hankinson was fired on June 23, 2020, however, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove are still on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African- American man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. The world watched in horror while Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck using his full body weight. At the time George Floyd was lying face down on the pavement and handcuffed. Bystanders, seeing Floyd’s desperate attempt to breathe, tried to intervene on his behalf. However, Officer Chauvin’s knee remained on George Floyd’s neck for a period of eight minutes. During these eight minutes, George Floyd repeatedly begged for his life and cried out “I can’t breathe”. Officer Tou Thao stood between the bystanders and Officer Chauvin like a human barricade and prevented bystanders from intervening. The world witnessed Officers Chauvin’s and Thao’s facial expressions as being blank, without feeling and lacking any compassion for human life.
(Since the creation of this event, yet another incident involving the killing of an African American man has taken place in Kenosha, Wisconsin. On August 23, 2020, Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old African-American man, was shot from behind seven times by a police officer. Blake had tried to intervene in a domestic dispute involving several women. When the police arrived in response to this domestic dispute, Blake was tased and scuffled briefly with officers. He was shot approximately seven times as he tried to enter his SUV, where his three young children were in the backseat. Blake is currently paralyzed from the waist down, according to the family's lawyer. )
These examples of law enforcement’s disregard for the lives of African-Americans is not uncommon and unfortunately is a trend. After these incidents, I found myself feeling powerless, insignificant and lacking control. Yet, during the protests I felt energized and hopeful that our country was moving forward in addressing the social issues of injustice, police reform and racism. However, after the protests, I found myself again feeling powerless, insignificant and my efforts not effective. How do we keep the energy going and continue to move forward to effect change?
I created a meditation “sit-in”. What is a “sit-in”? In the 1960s, during the civil rights movement, sit-ins were a means of peaceful, direct action that involved one or more participants. Participants would occupy a certain space to peacefully promote political, social and/or economic change. The participants would continue to occupy the space until their demands were met. Sit-ins were an integral part of the nonviolent strategy of civil disobedience and mass protests which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which ended racial segregation and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which eliminated racially motivated obstacles to voting. The idea of a sit-in was made popular by Martin Luther King, Jr. and before him, Mohatma Gandi.
Our meditation sit-in will emphasize three purposes (referred to as "the three R’s"):
First, to RESET. During this time of the pandemic, I have experienced feelings of being overwhelmed, frazzled and scattered. The meditation sit-in will help you calm your mind and body. It will allow you to settle your energy, to get still and feel present.
Second, to REFOCUS. It is natural that when in the middle of chaos, you lose focus. Sometimes it feels as if your mind and body going into different directions and you are moving at a frenetic pace. It is difficult, if not impossible, to effect social change if you have no direction. We can find our energy and then channel that energy in a specific and effective direction.
Lastly, RECOMMIT. Our meditation sit-in will help us to process our feelings, determine the appropriate action for us to personally take and then recommit our energy to ending this social plague of racism in our world. There are many actions you can take to fight racism with protesting being one example. The opportunities to get on the front lines of change are endless! You can write letters to government officials and Congress to change laws, you can volunteer and staff the voting polls in November, you can create a blog to promote awareness. The point is there is no act that is too small! Small actions, massive impact!
The mediation Sit-In will be a virtual event and you will be able to join us any where in the world. The sit-in will consist of a brief intention setting exercise to reset, refocus and recommit to effecting social change. We will then be guided in a breath awareness exercise to prepare the mind and body for the meditation sit.
The actual sit-in will be for approximately thirty minutes. You can join us at any time during the meditation sit-in event. Upon completion, we will offer the opportunity for participants to silently recommit to whatever their role will be in effecting social change keeping in mind no act is insignificant. The meditation sit-in will be videotaped and the link will be available on our website and social media outlets (Facebook and Instagram).
Join us on October 10th at: Register in advance for this webinar:
The event is free but we are humbly requesting participants donate to one or more of the suggested organizations:
Black Lives Matter/Long Beach Chapter: https://blmlbc.org/donate-via-venmo/
Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
Black Voters Matter: https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/donate/
Black Zen: https://www.blackzen.co/#donate
We look forward to seeing you all during this Meditation Sit-In and sharing space with you.
Check out this great video