Collective Wellness: Devotions for These Times


The roof of my mouth is sore.

My nostrils and eyes both burn and there is a slight ache in my throat.

The wildfires that continue to burn in Canada have impacted the air quality as far west as Colorado and Montana.

Air quality in the Midwest and Mid Atlantic states is expected to be at toxic levels for weeks to come.

It is so hard for me not to full out be in an existential crisis over the planet as climate crises after climate crisis implode closer and closer to home.



A word we hear often.

What does it mean to you?

I have spent a great amount of  time focusing on understanding what I need to do to be well.

The intensity of menopause which occurred (of course!) during the Trump years and the pandemic almost took me down. I had to chose everyday not to shave my head and run through the streets naked with a megaphone burning shit.

It took a stack of journals, therapy, life coaching, books, prayers where I wrestled with God,  many, many conversations and likely over thousands of hours of yoga and meditation to arrive at prioritizing my wellness with clarity. It took discipline, support, honesty and devotion to form this into non-negotiable practices that are integrated into my busy life.

And lest you think I deftly skipped by this word DEVOTION, let me assure you otherwise.

Devotion is a key word here.

To me, this is the equation. DEVOTION = DISCIPLINE + LOVE + MOTIVATION.

 Many of us stop here.

It is understandable as this is all consuming and at least in the USA, we are socialized to be hyper focused on the individual, rather than the collective good.

So, what does this mean to you? How does this extend to the folx in your household? Is it hard or easy to extend here? A bit of both?

What about extending beyond persons without whom we have a personal relationship with? Our wisdom traditions lay out paths, provide teachings and practices that invite us to widen our circumference of caring and belonging.


Our Saturday and Tuesday Yoga Sanghas practice collective care in beautiful and tender ways. We have cultivated this space weekly where folx can show up with celebrations/challenges and anything in between. Sometimes that care looks like witnessing and holding compassionate space for suffering, Other times it is practicing mudita-sympathetic joy for the accomplishments/milestones/celebrations of another Being. We practice this collective wellness doing life together.


As climate change becomes more intense and legislature and policies that diminish the full participation on society of LBGTQI folx, Black Folx, Women, BIPOC and more is enacted, can we be moved towards DEVOTION and creativity in the way we respond to these challenges?

DEVOTION to the planet. One way I (we- my husband and I) do that is to garden and tend to the earth, not only for the harvest of food, but in planting pollinators through various flowering shrubs, lots of grasses and milkweed.

DEVOTION to seeing the humanity in all Beings. It is one of the hardest practices for me, and I am not always successful, to accept others, even though they may be causing harm. This acceptance does not mean complacency, silence, or even the allowing of that harm, but it means that I see that this  person is also experiencing a form of human suffering. No one wins really in the oppression game. When this theory, actually works in practice, it takes form as no one taking up room in my mind/heart with their dirty feet. It allows me to see clearly who operates from fear and reactivity (and observe when I myself do this) and who is seeking to build connection, even through anger and grief.

May we remain true to our higher values of compassion, connection.

None of us are well until all of us are well.

None of us are free until all of us are free.

May we all be devoted to our collective wellness and freedom.

“Let us live happily, without hate amongst those who hate. Let us dwell unhating amidst hateful men.” The Buddha

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. 2 Timothy 1:7



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