When I was 21 I asked my mom if she would help me get into rehab.  This was in 1998.  I had been only drinking for about five months but I was a messy mess right from the start.  Every time I have ever taken a drink there has never been enough. Those first drunks (& drugs!) were no exception.

My mom had me on greyhound the day after I asked for her help.  Three days later I was completely panicked & calling her from a payphone. Please, I begged, can I just come home?  She refused & I eventually got with the program & stayed sober till 2004/2005 before relapsing again.  I stayed in this rehab (in all different locations) for 2 and a half years.  It was a faith based rehab & we never attended AA meetings.

We were with one another A LOT.  Rather-we were in each others faces all day long.  I had never been raised to see race, or to think that one racial group is more superior than another.  My grandpa made some racist remarks when I was growing up, but I didn’t understand them until I was much older.  We lived in a small rural area that was predominantly white with a small Hispanic group.  I attribute this blindness to my mother who was our sole caregiver until my step-dad entered the picture.  She never ever once said anything disparaging about another race.  Not once.

So when I entered this rehab which was a melting pot of all races, I didn’t blink.  I didn’t try to hang out with all the other white girls.  I was overly naive, I didn’t even know that was a thing.  I made friends without discrimination.  I think it helped too that we were all broken.  We had reached the end, for the time being, of our addictions.  I’m sure there was pride, but there was a whole bunch of humility too.

Not only do I think my own color blindness remarkable, but also their love for me.  I learned so much from them!  I learned about growing up in the projects.  I learned how to make different foods.  I learned their stories.  Some were rich & some were poor.  But we all needed help.

So now, as I ponder this current political climate I can’t help but scratch my head.  You are going to keep people from coming here, just goes round & round my head, and, you are going to make things even harder for the weak?   

After marching in the women’s march a couple of weeks ago I was equally baffled by the responses I saw on social media.  Anger was a common thread.  It’s amazing how polarized the two sides are, if one was to say they love chocolate peanut butter ice cream, the other is sure to insist that chocolate peanut butter ice cream was sourced from Hades.

So that was such a loopy comparison, but what I want to know in all of this is:  Are we all humans in this together?  Do we all have our own versions of what makes the United States (or shock, the whole wide world) amazing?  Can we at least say we want what the best for ourselves?  If you saw someone sick, would you try to help them?  Can we go back to those basic questions?  I also had a random brain wave the other day, the censored version is, we are all imperfect humans.  This can be applied to all of us in varying degrees.  Our imperfections seem to be on display right now.  This for some reason made me feel a little bit better & I need that little bit of better deeply.

2000 or 2001?  Snapped after one of many church functions.


& what does it mean for me to be a female?  I can say that growing into was hard.  My body, the one I relied on to climb trees became weighted down by curves too soon.  It felt wrong,  like someone had reversed gravity on me.  Periods were a wicked joke, blood baths, & being preyed upon & sexualized was the norm.  I remember so many times thinking that it was normal to be treated a certain way, like nothing more than an object, & I’m so glad I don’t believe this anymore.

It’s different now, & a big change in my mindset has come post pregnancy (not that you need to have a baby to realize this, it’s basic anatomy!  Just my personal experience).  It makes so much more sense to me why we are the way we are.  Not just baby makers, but exquisite machines with exquisite parts.  Bodies that MAKE HUMANS.  How can we ever be kept down?  How can anyone think they can keep us down, make us different, put us in corners???

For me the march was all about that.  I won’t lie either, I feel as though the current regime is oppressive, that it targets the weak, and I marched on behalf of everyone who feels vulnerable.

No matter what color your skin is, no matter what kind of parts you carry, no one will every no what goes on inside of you.  Evil comes in all colors & so does goodness.

It’s hard to blog right now because I feel like I can’t blog about the stuff I normally do.  I have to get this out.  I thought about writing this post so much more than any other post I’ve ever written.  I hate to open myself up like this, to possibly become a target.

But what the heart wants, the heart wants.  & this is what my heart wanted to say today.

Wishing/dreaming/standing up for more opportunities for all of you out there, that we can have that American dream & all together as one.


Published by Liz Brower

I've practiced yoga since 2006, I stumbled into a class at my local gym. I didn't really "get" yoga, I wanted to do all of the poses to the max, I didn't focus on breathing, and I was very competitive. A year later I quit smoking and my mom purchased a three month unlimited to a local studio. I fell in love with yoga! Plus the metaphor was strong, my lungs began to repair, I could take really deep inhales without coughing! I later began to go to a free outdoor yoga classes in downtown Long Beach, CA that was also affiliated with a donation based studio. Yoga was fun, affordable, accessible, and outside! I loved it. I started practicing at home by myself. I started meditating. Right after I found the classes at the gym stopped drinking alchohol. My sobriety and yoga have intertwined ever since. They compliment each other amazingly and I am so grateful for them both. I stopped practicing yoga after getting pregnant and being caught up with the taking care of a newborn in 2013/2014. When he was 9 months old I realized that I really wanted to redirect myself back to yoga. I also had the seed planted in my mind while driving home from Christmas break, why don't you go do a yoga teacher training?! I started practicing yoga at a local studio and began scouring the internet for a teacher training program. I found Three Sisters Yoga, a lovely program, based out of NY & PDX. I was more than motivated to teach, I started teaching some free yoga in the summer of 2015 at a local park. I continued after that with an internship at the same studio I had signed back up with at the beginning of the year. I quit my day job. I hit the pavement, scouring for yoga gigs that would hire a newbie. I found a job and began to teach! Now I am navigating the great balance of being a single mom, a yoga teacher, and doing my best to trust my higher power with my future. I love to teach and practice vinyasa, but also know what it's like to be drawn to slower types of yoga due to injury or body type. I feel a special affinity for yoga new comers and like to teach practice at all different levels. Thank you for taking time to read a little more about me and I wish all of you the best in your own individual yoga practice. ~Namaste!

2 thoughts on “OF RACE & GENDER

  1. I’m marching with you,too, at least in my heart:) You have captured some of the hurt, disbelief, anger and fear of us all. I guess no one ever said being a melting pot was easy!
    This was a wonderful post, thank you for sharing!,


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