Black Girl Magic

So, it's really happening! I'm getting to take my black girl magic, social justice teachings and yoga practice across the country. 

As y'all might know by now, I wrote a book about yoga and justice, Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. It came out in March of this year. I am on the road offering book readings and workshops about what it means to be a skillful and mindful social justice warrior. I couldn't be more thrilled to be on this road trip but, excitement isn't the only emotion I'm experiencing right now. I'm a black woman driving across the US, from Portland, OR to Winston Salem, NC. I bought a new phone, glittery pink pepper spray, Triple A, new health insurance, and I've sent my itinerary to four friends. I've planned the trip so that I mostly only need to drive during the day although I do have one late evening drive from St. Louis to Lousiville, KY but it shouldn't be that bad. I'm a black woman in a racist country, driving herself and her sweet pup Jasper across the country. I have taken all of the precautions I can but the deal is that I can be as safe as can be in a world which isn't safe for me and many others. 

I'm a black girl, driving across the country with her sweet pup and a car packed full of plants, blankets, a harmonium and so many clothes in a racist country with racist people and might I add completely delusional people and it's not safe. (I mean the delusion that comes from white supremacy which causes dissociation and a disconnect from reality, which could be considered a mental illness.)

My mother taught me to be brave, to take risks and to go for my dreams. She also taught me to be cautious although she never thought I was cautious enough. My mother is afraid of me making this trek across the country because she knows it's not safe for me or any black or brown person these days. She knows it's not safe for any person of color, immigrant, trans person, gay person, person with a disability, or woman. My mother has read and heard the news, she knows about the mothers who pray for their children and pray that they make it home safely. 

I'm writing today to let you know this trip is risky but to also let you know that Arjuna, (from the Bhagavad Gita which my book, Skill in Action is centered around) had to live into his dharma, the war he was being asked to fight put him at risk. When he was ready to fully live into his dharma and to fight, Krishna affirmed him by saying: “Boldness, the ability to lead, large heartedness, courage in battle, energy, stamina, and strength are the natural duties of warriors” -Bhagavad Gita

I'll be bold, large hearted, courageous, strong, manage my energy and maintain my stamina. While I do so, pray for protection for Jasper and me. Pray for smooth sailing, that my car is reliable, and that my airbnb hosts are awesome. Pray for all of the animal medicine to keep showing up for me because since yesterday I've seen a deer, three herons and I found a feather in the woods today. Pray for receptivity in the spaces I go to teach about yoga and justice. Pray for abundance and pray for magic. So much magic. 

Much love y'all.


Michelle Johnson