On Sunday, September 18th, we went to Chattanooga for a training walk. Bo and ‘Linnae’ came with me from Nashville so we had to leave around 4:30 in the morning. This was after we spent a long night out at a friend’s birthday party, so we were all especially tired.
The day was gorgeous and Bodhi came with us. There was a nice group of women and we enjoyed bagels and cream cheese and coffee from an over-priced hotel café, but it was worth it.
We walked about 9 miles and we met a woman named Cortnie from Dunlap, Tennessee. She enjoyed walking with us and coming to Chattanooga because it can feel isolating in her community without many other progressive friends. We also met a woman named Rosemary who is a mental health professional and worked in social work in a women’s prison before Roe v. Wade was enacted. She talked about how traumatized women were during that time and that was why she was walking with us. Another woman was in the Chattanooga Health Advocacy Team. She talked about how she had gone to Auroville in India which is one of the oldest intentional community/ashrams still operating. All in all it was pretty interesting to get everyone’s perspective.
I was asked a question that I often get asked which is “how do you stay positive during all of this turmoil happening politically in our country”. I am generally hardwired to be happy, but the real answer is about accepting the reality of our circumstances so we can prepare to be more strategic about what needs to happen next. There is a skill to accepting reality, while also working to change it. Rosemary, who is also a Buddhist, talked about how our suffering is related to how much we cling and fight our current conditions. The universe rewards those who understand our current reality and punishes those who don’t. Part of this walk is to more closely connect with those on the ground, so we can work together towards freedom for all.