This week I have rather ironically been teaching my students the meaning of Yoga – which is Union. It is the path and goal of uniting our body, mind and soul. In Akhanda Yoga we unite the breath to each posture and at its deepest sense Yoga is finding that connection to your true self, to the light that rests within each of us and connects us all, British, European, Dog, Cat, Male, Female.
Today, I woke up and I was told that I am British. Today, I have been told that being British means taking power back. Today, I have been told that we British are better off alone.
I was lured in to the drama of the News this morning and began scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed which had erupted with name-calling, blaming, more calls of separatism with cries for London to seek its own independence and chatter that Scotland will seek to separate itself from the United Kingdom, again.
Separatism, exclusivity, control, ego are all factors which have led to fear and negativity building up in this country and underlying the Referendum campaign. Both sides have used fearmongering to garner support. The Media and Politicians have for years fanned the flames of prejudice which I believe has led, in some part, to the decision today for Britain to separate itself from Union. From a Union that was brought together to build bridges following the atrocities of the Second World War.
We are all responsible for this outcome today. We are responsible if we voted, we are responsible if we didn’t. We are all responsible for the decision to leave even if we voted to remain because we have failed each other. We have failed to listen and respect differing views which is part of the reason why the majority of this country has voted to be alone without ‘interference’ – and we have all cultivated that attitude over many many years. We all wish to be the King of our own Castle.
I have been a Northerner all my life and I was a honorary Londoner for 10 years. There are realities in this divide which could not be clearer from the split of the Referendum vote. London is the powerhouse of this country. It is an International trading centre and it is vital to our economy that it remains so. However, those with power and wealth in London, distracted by their importance and the fast pace of life, forgot that there are disillusioned disaffected people all across the country who have felt ignored through the failures of our political system and the skew in valuing money and financial services over all. I believe that this negativity and despondency has led to today’s narrow decision. And it is easy to blame others but this isn’t the time to let division and separatism continue. We have to stand together and make this change a positive outcome for us all.
We are responsible for our reactions however extreme the provocation. And every day is an opportunity to work on respecting others and not losing our heads. We teach our children to share. We teach our children to listen to others, to learn the difference between right and wrong and not to have a tantrum when they don’t get what they want.
I consider myself to be a citizen of the World. I was fortunate to have been born in the UK but I am no more ‘entitled’ to live here than anyone else. That was just the luck of the draw. These boundaries – EU/UK, London/rest of the UK, England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland are not real. Our ego is simply attached to the power they signify and we use them to find a sense of belonging which is missing in our lives and also sadly to justify our prejudices against those not like ‘us’.
The negativity of this decision and of the reaction to it has upset me. We are all a little lost and seeking to find happiness but blaming each other, separating ourselves and believing that we hold ‘greatness’ just because we are British is not the answer. The truth to happiness is finding peace and forgiveness in your heart first and then feeling compassion for others, all others.
Despite my political views, my sadness and my innate fear of change (stubborn Taurus) I hope that we can step forward and embrace this decision as the start of a great change – a wider and more honest change than just re-defining boundaries.
Finally, I would just like it to be known that should Donald Trump be elected then I will be seeking residence on Mars… Everyone has their limits.