The Prison Doors and Laughter

Some weeks ago I came across this Tweet and brought it to my classes and family. Although only a few words, the power behind the human connection and love in the message moved me deeply.

I shared the Tweet in classes and students wrote pieces in response. I did not think of collecting these to share, but went back when I realized how important of an insight was being shared. I eventually wrote back to my students asked for volunteers who would want to share some of their own responses to how they get through the difficult times. I got some responses.

I want to thank @RailroadUnderg1 for sharing, teaching, and inspiring. I remind them that they are not forgotten and that they matter. And I remind those of us who are not behind prison bars to keep making space for freedom in our minds and hearts and do so by reaching out to one another and inviting community.

Here are some responses that came in.

What’s up, brother?! Hope all is well with you and yours.

On my darkest days, I try to remind myself that some days are brighter than most. I remain confident in my belief that the dark clouds will pass. Which they always do. Listening to my favorite music helps me clear my head – and the skies. It allows me to escape my mental prison. To break free and see daylight.

“Like an angel
Standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise
I know I’m going to shine”

–  “Estimated Prophet”

written by John Perry Barlow 

Shine on,


What gets me through challenging times is knowing that I am loved. Even when in solitude, I can feel the embrace of my loved ones strengthening me and sending hope that things are going to get better. And a blessing always comes.


Whenever I feel insecure, sad, or stuck at a place where I don’t know where to go or who to speak to, I believe in an everlasting God. Whenever I’m at a dark place, I turn to God because no one knows what’s tugging at your heart except God. God is the only one that has known you since you were in the womb. God knows your everyday struggles and he’s the only one that can lead and guide you outside your darkness. Surrendering yourself to God is allowing him to bring change and blessings in your life.


What gets me through my darkness and difficult times is music, my mom, and friends. For me music is a way to escape reality. It’s where I just lay down and turn on my speaker and relax. It feels like every thing in the world is fine. My mom helps me cope with my difficult times by guiding me through it and making sure I make it. My friends bring me joy and laughter when everything seems wrong.


What takes me out of darkness? What has the impact to take my life around? The answer was very simple–love. Love makes my worst moment become my best one. It makes the shadows of the night and the voices in my head disappear. Love makes me focus on what is truly important. It is the most valuable thing in this life, and when you give it to someone, it is the best gift to give.


I have always wondered what is the reason why I am still here, not giving up. I attribute it to only one thing: poetry. Poetry is the possibility of sadness to transform into a beautiful thing. It saves people from darkness and gives life a meaning.

Being the main character of my story is a gift from poetry.


This what’s behind the yoga we share every week.

I invite you to pull up your mat and together cut through it all with laughter, breathing, and a huge dose of kindness.
Join me Monday and Thursday from 7-8:15 PM. Bring a mat and make a friend.

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