This is the fourth post in a series called Resilient Resistance. We need all of us to stay engaged for the long haul, so I’m sharing strategies for doing justice work without burning out or giving up. We can’t afford to lose any one of us. Want next week’s edition? Click here to subscribe.
Our culture tends to treat aesthetics as frivolous, the realm of the rich and cultured. When you’re fighting for your life, stopping to appreciate the sunset can feel out of reach. But if we forget to notice the beauty, we can quickly lose sight of what we’re fighting for.
“There's a sunrise and sunset every day. You can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”
That’s the writer Cheryl Strayed. Notice the elegance of the natural world, the humanity in another person’s eyes, the way the colors of the houses play off one another. Remembering to take even the smallest moment to seek beauty can transform you, fortify you, and bolster your commitments to undoing this system that seeks to oppress.
In New Orleans we have this one pretty easy this time of year; Carnival is truly a feast for the senses. Not only do we get to witness a plethora of gorgeousness, we are all invited to participate in making beauty. Mardi Gras Indians debut their intricate beaded and feathered suits. Seamstresses sew elaborate gowns. Ordinary citizens get out their glue guns to co-create the magic of Carnival.
Charles Eisenstein, thinker and writer sums it up this way: “In the face of the impending crisis, people often ask what they can do to protect themselves....I would like to suggest a different kind of question: ‘What is the most beautiful thing I can do?’”
What is the most beautiful thing you can do today?
What is the most beautiful way you can engage with this fight for justice?
What is the most beautiful sight you’ll see?
P.S. I’m teaching a new workshop on using yoga and herbs as tools for resistance. Click here for more info: bearteachesyoga.org/resilientresistance.
You might also like: