Some reflections on the last few months.
Since early May I’ve been pretty quiet on social media and generally in public. I haven’t been thinking about or planning or working on Inner Teacher Awakening offerings. I HAVE been working. On bigger, deeper, more immediately important things.
The “COVID Issue” as it was labeled where I spent the better part of the last four months and its resulting isolation has been a laboratory for my inner world. Living with two of my dearest soul sisters in a small and open house with spotty (at best) wifi connection provided me with so many opportunities to get to know myself better. The three of us were, and continue to be intimately connected. And we lived that way. Thanks to high walls and a tropical climate, we were pretty much always nearly or completely naked. All space was shared space. There was no hiding. And with the similarities in our stories of origin and personalities and astrologies and so on, it was like living completely exposed and surrounded by mirrors with nowhere to go. To say that I was regularly triggered…yeah, a lot.
I believe that we “are wounded in relationship and we heal in relationship,” as Harville Hendrix said. So I’m immensely grateful for that time I had with those sisters. They shined new light on old wounds and habits and patterns. They held space for me as they held me accountable to reflect on them, communicate about them, and take steps to heal and change them. They loved me when I had a difficult time offering the same to myself.
And then I learned the names Breonna Taylor, Charles Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, David McAtee as they were added to an already far too long list. I learned about what was happening across the US and specifically in Seattle.
While still abroad, I wished I could be on the streets too. I still do, alas, quarantine. So often, my old patterns are about action, do it, fix it. So instead, I’m back to remembering the power in sitting still. I’m continuing to turn inward. To listen to Black voices. To read Black writers. To continue to learn about white-body supremacy (thank you Resmaa Menakem) and how it appears in my own body and actions. To notice, as Resmaa teaches, the ancestral trauma that is in my cells and how that impacts and informs my way in the world. To challenge my assumptions, my implicit biases. I am a white, cis woman. I do not, nor will I have any inkling of an idea of what it feels like to live in a Black and/or Trans body. I do BELIEVE those who do live this every day and have for hundreds and hundreds of years when they say just how it is. HOWEVER they say it is for them. Believe them.
I will continue to seek out BIPOC teachers and their resources…and PAY them for this. I will continue to feel and look into my own body, to observe, unlearn, and heal. I will show up in person when these 14 quarantine days are up to be led by Black leaders.
The transition back to Seattle was uncertain and stressful. And now I’m here in it with new tools, insights, and teachers. I have been diving deep into interoceptive, somatic work, and remembering. Stillness, quiet, observing, feeling what’s happening in the body. Writing about it, moving with it. Yelling at it, crying with it. ALLOWING IT.
I am diving into a 12 week full-spectrum doula training with Sabia Wade and a six month course called Inner Activism with Rochelle Starr and Mallorie Buoy. Both courses are BIWOC lead and centered. I will continue to share with you what I am learning. And more importantly what I am unlearning.
So, to bring it around, who is willing to get naked? To pull away the layers of protection, to get vulnerable, to make mistakes. To feel uncomfortable and angry and sad and frustrated. To discover what else is possible to feel once we allow all of that to be here and move through us. To do our own work as we also show up to support and stand up for our BIPOC neighbors. I believe that the collective cannot heal until we are each willing to look in the mirrors and see ourselves in full, bare, raw, humanness. Who is getting naked with me?
I will stand up until we no longer have to. That is not yet.
Black lives matter.
Here are some resources I’ve been learning from:
*My Grandmother’s Hands, by Resmaa Menakem
*Kiling the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts
*So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
*Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
*So many IG profiles including the above and @theblackdoula, @rachel.cargle, @dianebondyyogaofficial, @mynameisjessamyn, and others!