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Illegitimi Non Carborundum

The Conversation: Illegitimi non carborundum

Linguistically and vernacularly, this translated into the phrase, “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Sounds like some pretty fancy Latin, right? Something you’d hear in college circullum. Well, it’s not. I heard it on an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s the episode where Offred is laying on the closet floor and sees this phase carved in a hidden corner. It’s the catalyst that inspires her to pick herself up and begin to fight back.

Whether you’ve seen the show or not, it’s still poignant to us all. Why? Because I know that your life isn’t any different than mine. Last week I felt like I was lying hopelessly on the closet floor. At every turn taking a whipping, a punch to the stomach, or a knife in the heart. I’m a regular human being, just like you (no matter how well we try make it look fabulous on Instagram). If I’ve felt this way, you’ve felt this way.

What put me on to the closet floor was my thought process that the whips, punches, and stabs were victim wounds from other people. Then, as always, the yoga light went off. I was at the affect of other people. This is where I fuck it up all the time.

While the wounds are real, and they do involve other people--they’re not *victim* wounds. They’re self-inflicted. Why? Because only I control how deeply the knife and whip penetrate my way of being and how hard the blow is to my spirit.

Perhaps you don’t have a horribly delayed, over budget construction project. Or an obnoxious real estate person, or ex-employees passive aggressively slamming you at every turn, or more irons than you can fit in a fire. Maybe it’s the start of school, the end of a relationship, the unknown of retirement, or 100 million other pieces of bullshit we all deal with. Hear me clearly: You are in control of how quickly the wound takes to heal and perhaps you get so good at it that it never breaks the skin at all.

This is not something you hear in yoga often. Get off your ass and fight back! Fight with with the most sophisticated weapons in the world. Kindness, dignity, compassion, understanding, indifference, and hope. And no matter how much it may appear to hurt...

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Go in grace,


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