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A Voice...

When I was a little girl, I sung in the choir of my church. I loved singing. I never wanted a solo. But I loved singing. Until one day, a older girl, leaned over and said, "your singing out of key!" I recoiled. Only a little at first and then I tried to listen to all the voices around me. I sang out again. She gave a sigh a disapproval. The next Sunday, when it was time to sing in the choir, I pretended to be sick and I held that as my story for years.

Its difficult to be a voice within the many voices that are always rising up. It's hard to be a different voice in the midst of people that choose to follow status quo and not trust the inner workings of their uniqueness. It was at least a truth of mine. Then came yoga. More particularly, then came yoga that I could share in the midst of what people thoughts was ridiculous to offer. Especially to those who feel that their voice has been taken away.

The jail.

The rehab facility.

The group of refugees.

The poor.

The people of a range of color and social background.


For them, I chose to stand up and raise my voice. Even when I get the sigh of disapproval. When many don't understand. Because I firmly believe that their voices matter. And yoga helped me fine my own voice again. My beautiful off-key voice.

Poppies have become my favorite flower. The bright red flower stands tall in Australia. But in a field of them, you can see that they all are the same height. Why, because when one stands too tall, they chop its head off. For years, I felt if I sang to loud, if I stood up too tall, my head would be cut off. But with this project #yoga4agoodhood in connection with a dear friend and stunning artist of #hervoicecarries I see my tall-poppy-ness and it is glorious. It literally took a giant wall of my face to get it. That my voice matter. My taking a stand matters.


I stand tall

I sing out

for us all - in faith, without fear.

Sometime later in church, a dear friend of mine Angie said this to me, which was a play on the meaning of my name Imani, which means faith.

Charles Settlement House - Rochester NY

"faith had a house. faith had a beautiful house. one day fear knocked on the door and FAITH answered and fear was gone."

That is my standing, singing mantra.

For Yoga is Good for our Hood. and it can change the HOOD one downward dog at a time.

Join us!

“Her Voice Carries” is a blog compiled by artist Sarah C. Rutherford that features Rochester women who are changing their individual and collective worlds. These are their voices shared through recorded interviews, written word and drawings. I am honored that Hannah Betts will be accompanying me in this process as she photographs each of the women we encounter.

Thank you for experiencing this journey with us.

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