“You are never too small to make a difference.” ~ Greta Thunberg
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The history of humanity is filled with people having power over, domination, use (which becomes abuse when it is more extreme) and judging, controlling, and renouncing others. We are on the precipice of new ways to be together, realizing more and more, as yoga philosophy and energy theory would propose, that we are fundamentally One and deeply interconnected. When we truly take on and live from this perspective, respect, acceptance, and honor of all beings (human, animal, and plant) and stewardship of our planet are natural outgrowths. All beings (animals, women, non-binary individuals, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ people) wish to live as themselves without fear of subjugation, domination, discrimination and abuse. All are worthy of being treated with love and respect. Because of my background and history, I am drawn to certain areas of advocacy and social action, though of course, we are all interrelated and positive change in one aspect will inevitably affect other aspects of life. The time has come to engage in love- and spiritually-guided social action to diminish and end bigoty, prejudice, and abuse. And though each of us only makes a small difference individually, collectively, we can make a large difference. We can make the world a better place, guided by limitless love.
“It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected,
all over the world.” ~ Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
“If I wait for someone else to validate my existence, it will mean that I’m shortchanging myself.” ~ Zanele Muholi
“I think transwomen, and transpeople in general, show everyone that you can define what it means to be a man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you’re supposed to be to live a more authentic life.” ~ Laverne Cox
As a bisexual cisgender (e.g., my gender identity corresponds with my birth sex) white woman, I have been rejected, derided, and misunderstood, but I have not suffered as many have suffered in this community, I am passionate about supporting members of the community for so many have faced discrimination, prejudice, denial of human and civil rights, harassment and family rejection. The LGBTQ+ community is one of the most targeted communities of hate crimes in the US. Although it is beginning to change, many members of the LGBTQ+ community suffer from identity-based shame, identity-confusion, isolation, and loneliness. There is also trauma associated with homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and bullying, including labeling, stereotyping, denial of opportunities or access, and verbal, mental and physical abuse.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are at a much higher risk of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety disorders, substance use, homelessness, and suicidal thoughts and attempts than the heterosexual, cisgender population. LGB youth are over four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youths. For transgender youth, 30-50% attempt suicide at least once and 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide in their lifetime, compared to less than 5% of the general U.S. population. LGB adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults, and transgender individuals are nearly four times as likely as cisgender individuals of experiencing a mental health condition. LGB youth are more than twice as likely to report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness than their heterosexual peers. Transgender youth face further disparities as they are twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide compared to cisgender lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning youth. Coming out can be difficult or even traumatic because of the rejection of one’s identity from family or close friends, at work, or in a spiritual community. A 2019 survey reported that 86% of LGBTQ youth reported being harassed or assaulted at school and a 2022 Trevor Project report found that only 37% of LGBTQ youth identified their home as an affirming space.
Nonetheless, there is resiliency and pride in the LGBTQ+ community. Opportunities to come together and promote a sense of belonging are important. Intersectionality and the diversity of the LGBTQ+ population in terms of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic class, and gender identity also add to rich and varied thought, experiences, and perspectives, from which we all benefit. The LGBTQ+ community can come together to increase visibility, support, and acceptance, to support equal, non-discriminatory opportunities and laws, to promote the end of bigotry and heterosexual privilege, and to advocate for every individual being free to be who they truly are.
This is a LGBTQ+ and gender affirming space and practice. Dr. Devi supports the population in any way that she can, including through assessments and letters for gender affirming surgeries, advocacy with schools and workplaces, and education and support for families.
~ Love is Love ~
“No country can every truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half its citizens.” ~ Michelle Obama
Many strides have been made in women’s rights, freedom, and independence. Afterall, it was only in 1920 (about 100 years ago, only!) that women were granted the right to vote in the US. And it was the 1960s before women in the US could have a bank account in their own name, and 1974 before women were permitted to obtain a mortgage without a male cosigner. Still today, women are often still seen or treated, even in more progressive communities, as secondary to men. In the US, we still live in a patriarchal and hierarchical society. As Muthulingam stated in the New York Times (Grose, 2020), "women are the shock absorbers of our system, and the poorer and more precarious you are, the more shock you’re expected to absorb.” For women, there is likely more stress and less support (as when women have to work full-time today and still do much or all of the rest for their families). Such stress then reveals itself in numerous overt and covert ways, as in the much higher rates for women of autoimmune diseases. Women worldwide need to continue to be supported, to support one another, and to self-advocate for equality and autonomy – equal rights, equal pay, equal status and respect in their families and communities, equal access to healthcare and autonomy in making their own health decisions, equal access to education and opportunities, affordable childcare and family planning services, financial independence, the right to speak freely and be heard, and just, fair, and unbiased laws.
Reference: Grose, J. (2020, Oct 14). "Mothers Are the ‘Shock Absorbers’ of Our Society." The New York Times.
~ Love is Love ~
Environmentalism, Animal rights, & Vegan diet
“Remember that Earth must heal.
Remember that we must help.
Remember that we must act.” ~ Yogini Kaliji
“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? This we know – the Earth does not belong to man – man belongs to the Earth. This we know… All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” ~ Chief Seattle
“May we join hearts for freedom
Give all animals a respected life…
We cannot wait any longer
End the prejudice of foms
All beings should choose
A planet with love for all” ~ Yogini Kaliji
“You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother.” ~ Chief Seattle
“Can you feel the Earth is crying.
It’s up to us to make the change.
Many will deny, fight and ignore…
This is one great change to make for all animals, planet and health:
Vegan.” ~ Yogini Kaliji
There is intersectionality and deep interconnection of people, animals, and our planet. It is time to end bigotry and prejudice in any form, including toward non-human species. Through social action and individual choices, we have the ability to practice the yogic ideal or ethical principle (yama) of ahimsa (non-harming) and work toward a better planet for animals, humans, and the environment. We can make decisions that are wiser for the environment and end the domination, subjugation, use and abuse, and slaughter of non-humans by humans. The need increases as each day passes for animals to be treated ethically; to build empathy for all; to promote healthier dietary, clothing and lifestyle choices; to reduce (or end) speciesism; and to promote a more sustainable future for our planet.
I personally believe that ethical treatment must be extended to all beings. I believe in working as humanely and effectively as possible to end speciesism and the abuse and domination of animals that has thus far been a part of the history of the world. I believe that animals are not ours to eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. I am aware of the many obstacles, sacrifices, and difficult conversations that we face within ourselves, our families, our communities, and systemically in order to make changes. Many people do not see cultural and familial norms (for clothing and diet, for example) as a misuse of animals, even if they recognize – in a different context – that taking of another’s life or limiting a being to living in a cage is wrong. I am also passionate about environmentalism, conservation, reducing our carbon footprint, reusing and recycling, water conservation, reducing the effects of climate change, and good stewardship of our resources and planet. These interests stem from childhood: in high school, I worked at an animal hospital, founded the environmental club, began an in-school recycling program (at a time when there was none), spearheaded many community trash cleanup days, and learned to reduce, reuse, and recycle often and in numerous ways.
The following passage can be used to justify humans’ domination, use, and abuse of animals and the planet or it can be seen as a mandate to care for, love and tend to the beings and planet as if we were the Source of life itself, serving a Higher purpose (and not our self-interests).
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Holy Bible, KJV, Genesis 1:27-28)
If we are here to look after and protect creation, to utilize but not exploit or abuse, what choices do we make in how we live, what we eat, how we use and conserve resources, and how we treat animals, fish, birds, insects and the earth itself? Can we serve creation rather than dominate it? Can we sustain, preserve, and honor the air, water, land, biodiversity, environment and ecosystems, climate, and beings of the earth? It is up to each of us to ask these questions, seek the best answers we can, and then act accordingly.
Though many may think being vegan is a challenge, it is easier and more mainstream than ever before. There is a trinity of reasons to make this lifestyle change:
• for your individual health
• out of compassion for animals
• for the environment.
For more information, please visit:
And many more…
The good news is every action you take can contribute to positive change – every way in which you care for the earth, the plants and the beings of the earth. You can make a difference with every item you recycle, every shopping decision you make, every time you conserve water, every food order you place, every time you favor local products or grow your own produce. There are a multitude of ways to express a love for the earth and its inhabitants and to make changes that will benefit generations to come. What difference will you make?
~ Love is Love ~