No amount of meditation and green juice can get me to ignore the fact that we are not well. Our nation is suffering.
This is not my story of enlightenment. It’s my wake up call. From 9/11 to now, I have been seeking personal healing and wellness at every turn. Only to find, 15 years later, a myth of wellbeing that is making us increasingly disconnected from reality and one another.
Communities in America are struggling to survive, much less be well. From soaring poverty to a record number of incarcerations to the destruction of our planet, it is not enough to do yoga, eat healthy and drive a Prius.
And I know what you are thinking…“I don’t know where to begin,” ”It feels impossible to change the system,” “I’m doing the best I can.”
Yes. I feel that too. But to do nothing is to do harm.
Meditation alone cannot unwind the systemic injustices and bureaucratic shortcomings that have divided our nation and birthed a time of unparalleled inequality. Our momentary discomfort and feelings of hopelessness are a fraction of the suffering that many people are feeling right now.
We need to get over ourselves and get to work.
There is a very real “wellbeing gap” in this country that rewards communities with access and time and money with the privilege of being well (I know this because I am one of them). And while it is easy to turn away and stay in our “gated communities of wellness,” we must turn toward the hard to look at truth of our people and planet. We are not well unless everyone is well.
There is a movement building. CTZNWELL is mobilizing the 50+ million people engaged in lifestyles of health and sustainability to be allies and advocates for the wellbeing of all. Being well means having a living wage and access to healthy food and to create more schools, not prisons. It is about learning how to sustain the planet that sustains us. It is a fight for a democracy that ensures that all people have an equal voice. And it means using your power to lift up the issues that keep our collective nation from being well.
In a time when we are being divided by fear and hate, we need to take care of each other and take action like never before. Through shared practice and values, we can reclaim our power and take back wellbeing. Because it is not about politics, it’s about us. And it’s about time.
This election is going to define who we are as a community and as a country. We need to come together in the name of love and justice and help change the course of our society.
Author: Kerri Kelly
Editors: Emily Bartran; Catherine Monkman