Over the last six months, even a certified yoga and meditation facilitator like Alli Simon has had to remind herself to slow down and be patient. From leading sessions in person to now hosting meditations behind a screen, she felt a little out of control. During the pandemic, amid a highly charged political atmosphere, it’s no surprise that even those considered most equipped to bring themselves and others a sense of calm and peace have struggled with the task.
But on Wednesday at Compound, the day after the election, Simon is looking forward to leading one of her first in-person events since the pandemic altered her and everyone else’s lives. Post Election Reflection Meditation will take place at the ambitious new art and community space’s outside courtyard and will also be livestreamed for free. The 30-minute meditation will be followed by an open dialogue centered on relieving election-related stress.
No matter the outcome of Tuesday night’s election, and no matter who you are, a little stress relief will likely go a long way, at least, that’s what Simon is hoping to bring to attendees. For Simon, it’s an opportunity for her to help people “see how they are a part of this larger ecosystem of change that can be created in the world… I think regardless of which politician gets into place, it’ll probably really fuel folks to really think about their impact and how they can be showing up in this world a little bit differently.”
This is the first of two upcoming, in-person, events at Compound. A screening of the documentary “LA 92,” followed by a Q&A with director TJ Martin takes place Friday, Nov. 6. The events mark Compound’s soft opening to the public since organizers announced, over the summer, its projected September opening. Simon aims to create an experience where attendees feel they can contemplate what thoughts, what stress, what experiences to let go of, and what to move forward with, and not just from over the last six months, but the last four to five years, she said.
“Many people are going through so much right now: financial challenges, racial injustice, job loss, sickness, and mental health disorders,” said Compound’s executive director Airrion Copeland. “It’s really tough to manage basic needs these days. So, the event is centered around being mindful and present with what is. Out of that, you realize that we all are suffering in some capacity as we are all humans doing the best we can.”
As a resident instructor with Compound’s virtual offerings, Simon has long dedicated her practice to increasing self-care access for people of color. Now 36, it was about 15 years ago when she found meditation as a method to heal from loss. Now, she works with nonprofits focused on racial justice. Wednesday’s experience will be community-led, Simon said, and focus on ways the group wants to move forward, after looking at the past, and at what’s present.
“I’m hoping that there’s excitement, I’m hoping that there’s people who feel joyful that they get to be in the space,” Simon said. “I’m personally feeling touched by the opportunity to just see faces. It’s a culmination of so much, I feel like that what I’m expecting is not necessarily a release, but a really settling-in and grappling with what this time has meant for me personally. From here, what is my intention and how I want to move forward, or how we want to move forward? Is that together as a community, or separately?”
From artists and activists and young people, to city officials and business owners, all are welcome at Compound, said Copeland.
“We really want to offer a safe space for the Long Beach community to come together to reflect on the challenges we have all faced in 2020. One of the things that makes Compound so valuable is that it is community-based and for everyone to share an intercultural connection.”
Post Election Reflection Meditation will take place Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. at Compound, 1395 Coronado Ave. You can register to experience the event virtually or in-person (space is limited due to COVID-19 guidelines) at compound.com/calendar. (You can also connect with Simon on Instagram @omgirlalli.)The event will be held outside and guests will be seated according to social-distancing guidelines.
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