Today is Blackout Tuesday. It is a day to remove ourselves from social media and to enter the darkness. It is a day, a beginning, a seed, of solidarity. We enter the darkness with consciousness now, no longer burying our heads in the sand. A few of my friends, who I respect and trust fully, have posted on IG the following:
BLACK OUT TUESDAY
June 2, 2020
Do not post on social media
Only post a blank black image on all social media platforms for solidarity
Suspend all music streams and youtube streams for the day
Cancel/close/suspend participation in all dance studios, classes, and meetings
Identify ways to help your community
Strengthen your knowledge in contemporary race relations and the history of the Black social, political, and economic plight in the U.S.
I can only tell you my story and process. It is tempting for me to tell you what to do in deflection of my own intense feelings. This is called projection: instead of feeling what I feel, I place it onto others, asking them to be responsible for relieving me of suffering. This is what humanity has been doing for millenia: PROJECTION. This is how racism began and has been perpetuated over many centuries. I have been educating myself on the history of RACE and how Black people have come to be subjugated and made inferior by White people for gain and for slavery. Over many centuries, this idea of race has become ingrained in our DNA, in our collective psyches and this is what has hurt humanity the most – both Black and White and all humans. It is ideas that kill and propagate. Ideas being the most powerful force when love has been forgotten and buried in the darkness. It is this darkness I enter to see myself with eyes open; to see how I’ve perpetuated violence by being complicit and silent and numb. I have believed I am powerless and helpless – which has conveniently kept me from seeing the truth and from taking Right Action – and that is barely scratching the surface of the tremendous suffering Black humans have felt for a ghastly long time. It is this darkness where I will feel everything – crippling fear, crippling grief. It is in the darkness where I will be reborn and remember love.
I have been feeling numb and that is always a signal to me that I am suppressing my own suffering because I believe that I cannot handle it. Today I feel. Today I listen. Today I allow the pain. Today I imagine, in my body, what it feels like to be afraid for my life as many Black humans have felt and feel. Today I imagine what it feels like in my body to be an instrument for someone else’s gain, as a slave, stripped of Spirit and humanity.
Today I acknowledge my White Privilege knowing fully well that I have the space, time, and luxury to meditate, self-reflect, cry, and write this. I honestly don’t know what to do. All I know is that I need to listen. I need to listen to my dear friends who are wiser than me. Who are in the trenches of this. I need to listen to Spirit to await guidance toward Right Action.
Yesterday I wrote what I thought would be this week’s newsletter. It was scathingly angry and full of projection. Do this. Do that. Be this. I entered a space, as part of my own process, of righteousness so I would feel better about myself. So I would receive brownie points from my BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) community. Through all of this, I was seeking validation that I am good and just. I am an ally. Look at me! I wrote the newsletter to promote my business; an opportunity to make you feel bad so you could hire me.
Thank God something told me to sit and think and send the draft to a small group of leaders of which I am part. Upon sending it, I knew it was my first draft. My own processing. I also had dinner with a dear friend who is of Filipino descent. I told her about what I had written and asked for her feedback. She not only told me she would be happy to read my newsletter, she held me in compassion. This display of love immediately brought me back to myself, to my purpose, and to how I move through the world. She reminded me of Right Action from a place of compassion.
Compassion is the experience of sitting, many times deeply uncomfortably, with those who are suffering with equanimity; without trying to fix them or the situation; without problem-solving. Just witnessing and holding them as able and wise. It is the seed of Right Action that comes from listening and collaborating. I had another friend offer to speak on the phone about what I had written. She asked me to watch her stories on IG. I did and again was reminded to stay in my body, to feel my feelings, and to take conscious Right action in solidarity, in vetted information, and in humility in the right time.
I am deeply grateful for the patience, grace, and passion of many leaders and activists in my close circle. They continuously display outrageous compassion even though they are suffering greatly while witnessing and feeling the suffering of their brothers and sisters. I take cues from them on how to proceed.
Not knowing is a powerful step for me.
Feeling is a powerful step for me.
Listening is a powerful step for me.
Being compassionate with equanimity is a powerful step for me.
Sharing what I know, believe, and think is a powerful step for me.
If you desire to know more, below I share resources I’ve been using to educate myself. These resources are from exceptional individuals in my community. May they bring you gently into the darkness so you can emerge carrying your light with you. Let us be together in courage and humility so we can light the way for our Black brothers and sisters and for all of humanity.
I love you fiercely and thank you,
(you can click on the underlined text. They are links)
Michael Caloz (a very good series written by Michael that begins with the history of racism)
White Men as Full Diversity Partners (an incredible organization working with white men and leaders around the world)
I’ve joined a community of leaders and activists that provides resources to trauma survivors, builds community using a socially conscious platform (created and built by a woman), and provides a platform to co-create offerings where the voices that need to be heard are heard. It is called the Phoenix Project. There are many offerings right now under the umbrella of healing circles. You are welcome to join us at any time. We are here for you.
Please join me on Wednesdays and Fridays for healing classes and authentic community engagement. I teach you how to look at your trauma safely, to release trauma from your body so you have space for clarity and peace, and how to become aware of your blind spots so that they don’t rule you and block you from connection with people in the world who are suffering (including yourself). Reminders for classes go out on Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon when you are signed up for email. Sign up at www.radicalpleasurist.com/pleasertopleasure