I’m having difficulty knowing what to write these days. Day in and day out, I focus on two things: (1) moving our Urban Yoga community over to a new platform to deliver what we offered through our studio directly to your screen, and (2) educating myself in Black Lives Matter. The latter is heavily influencing the foundation and relevance of the former. What we’re in for right now is a total spiritual reckoning. I’m feeling as awkward as the next privileged person right now, but I feel a responsibility, so this is me working things out, trying to understand the dissonance.
- We all start out in life believing what we’re first taught. Why wouldn’t we? We were born loving, and we believe those around us… even when they say abusive things. We lay our foundation on our initial exposure. Shifting our beliefs away from it threatens our identities, even when we’re dying for a new one. We lack the strength to disagree with those we spend the most time with because we need to belong, and we want the approval. Our beliefs only start shifting when conventional wisdom shifts (when it’s safe), or when our personal experiences challenge them, and we are lucky enough to find courage.
- We learned edited versions of history that benefit the “winners” at the expense of everyone else. This happens not just in American history, but in all other areas of capitalism, like pharmaceuticals and what ends up on the USDA food pyramid.
- No matter what side we’re on, we believe that WE are coming from love and the other side is coming from hate or ignorance. I refer only to the general public. I’m not speaking about those that created certain policies (that make up the New Jim Crow laws, for instance).
- We’ve had enough privilege to appreciate the things that seem to be serving us… up until recently, like the police. We’ve easily accepted that the POC experience stems from bad behavior and choices instead of oppression deep and systemic that continues to this day. Why? Because that’s what’s been explained to us is happening. And, it averts responsibility. Makes it easy to go about your day.
- In order to see something different, we need to turn to new sources.
- When our beliefs are challenged, we get defensive. We feel threatened, as if this new information will make us complicit or take something real away from us. That’s an incredible belief.
- Brene Brown’s personal mantra is “I’m here to get it right, not be right.” We could all benefit from adopting this mantra. I’ve taken this on as my #mantraforlife. We serve each other by engaging in open discourse. Not to get it perfect, but to ask questions and learn; to call out and to call in. When we stay on the defensive, when we make it about being right (and the other person wrong), we end dialogue and, in actuality, we end relationship.
- We say we value education. This is how we embrace it. Education is our lifeline out of the ignorance that causes us to make harmful choices. Education is what allows for sustainable action. And, it’s a lifelong process that we need to begin today. This is true whether we’re talking about Black Lives Matter or what’s happening in our own personal relationships.