This post is mostly addressed to my white followers but could hopefully resonate with anyone <3
Like all of you, I have been bearing witness to the pain and injustice of Black lives lost these last few weeks and the swelling response that continues to grow. The recent senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and now Rayshard Brooks have set off waves of movement across the world and we are really feeling it. In between moments of taking action there is a lot of time looking inward. While I have been diving deeper into my own passive and often subconscious upholding of racist systems and ideologies and contemplating how I can affect real change in myself, my immediate circle, and my community, I have found it can often be challenging to find the right language. Even writing this is a challenge because there is a lot that I want to emote, but I’m not sure what words to use. Justifying the basic right to live freely is not something that can be dignified through the flat landscape of words alone. This process of antiracism work is an inward excavation, and the energy that’s required is coming from both the light and dark corners of the heart. There is no intellectualizing this movement, or cutting it short with one liners or trending hashtags.
We are being called to sense through our heart center so we can finally see and feel the truth and the weight of the world we are living in. Words may have to be bent, molded, and laced together. When chosen purposefully words can be like a life raft for those stuck in oppressive waters. If we are going to support and defend Black people then we have to also free ourselves from any oppressive language and symbols that we allow to permeate our thoughts and surroundings.
As we continue to walk through this movement and dismantle racist systems, we will need to make a lot of art. We will need to write poetry, songs, and letters to our city officials. Sculpt, paint, cook, dance, and build new alliances. We are going to have to burn distorted historical texts and bring back the wisdom of the storytellers. If it wasn't already, voting and ending voter suppression is now a part of our creative practice.
Everything we do and everything we create now has to be from the heart, because that is where the real language of justice lives. While the upheaval of old ways can feel vulnerable it is also very, very exciting. I’m so very hopeful about this new world that we are creating together, and the new world I'm creating within myself.
A simple exercise for when you want to feel more present in your body and heart space: Place both hands on your heart and take three slow, deep breaths. The vibration of your hands touching your heart is a gentle reminder that you are here, loved, and loving. I often use this tool when I've taken in lots of information, or when I'm feeling overwhelmed and a need to show myself some compassion and remember that I am a powerful and loving spirit.
Much love to you all during this time of deconstruction and rebuilding,