Here is an uncooked report from the messy process of a liberal, spiritual, all-about-love woman, waking up from the trance of white supremacy. And also a heartful recommendation.
(Oh and before I go on, if you have no idea what I am talking about when I say white supremacy — and yes, there is more to it than skinheads and the KKK — or just want to get a crystal clear explanation of white privilege, watch this Deconstructing White Privilege.)
So, I have been sharing with some of you that Suzan and I have been in a life-altering process in this powerful course, Hard Conversations: “An Introduction to Racism and Its Undoings”. I have been waiting for the perfect moment, waiting until I would be more enlightened and able to say the right things, in the right way, before I shared more about it.
The truth is that the more I learn about white privilege and racism, the more I realize how little I know. I will never “get it” and be “done with it”. And in the light of the heightened awareness around this wound in our online spaces lately, I will just begin to share from the process I am in. If I say something wrong, I will learn, we will learn, and perhaps it can in a small way be supportive and maybe even motivate others to take the leap into this humbling, fierce fire of freedom and love. For all.
As we know from our spiritual practice, when we have built our identity and values on erroneous assumptions — the most severe being the assumption that we are separate from each other — which again fosters fear and greed, when we unknowingly have been looking through lenses created from false perception. It is a ground shattering work to begin to work through the stubborn defensiveness of that perception (hello “But I am not racist”, “But I am a good person”). To begin to acknowledge that I am part of white supremacy, that I have huge blind spots that I don’t see around my privilege and segregation and that I am causing harm every day.
It is humbling and requires deep breathing to stay with that truth, and this is what we have prepared for in our practice. To bring all that is arising into the fire of awareness…the attempts to escape the shame, to protect a false identity that keeps me exiled from my true nature, from our humanity, and that keeps hurting people, the wanting to control and blame, make excuses, scramble for ways to keep a good face… and keep breathing diving into the dismantling, for real. And again, and over again, as new layers of unconsciousness become conscious. Knowing that it will take a long time. Knowing I am here on planet earth to be part of the awakening, and that this house of white supremacy has a rotten foundation, and that wherever we are landing when this comes tumbling down, is in freedom. For all.
This cannot, of course, just become another introspection. Yes the change HAS to come from within, and at the same time the anti-racism must lead to action for real change to happen. We are also learning how to speak up (and to shut up), to redirect resources and become an ally for the people of color who every single day, in this very minute, suffer the consequences from white supremacy.
I am not in this process alone; I honestly don’t think it is possible do this alone. If I were guiding it myself, it would be white supremacy guiding white supremacy to wake up from white supremacy, and well, we all know how that turns out.
Suzan, many of the team and I, have taken this powerful course, and it has been/is a huge wake-up call, a dismantling, a humbling and inspiring process, all held in an extraordinary solid and clear and compassionate learning container. It goes deep, as it must, and it is intensive, a LOT to study and process and yet after taking it, it is clearer than ever that there is so much more to learn, and that this is a life-long commitment, to learn and unlearn, to dissolve and realign.
And we are incredibly fortunate to have many courses on this topic out there, so if this one does not look like your thing, look around and find one that resonates with you.
Trust me, to take the step to get educated will change your life and the lives of everyone you influence. I highly recommend this course. I will for sure sign up again. It would be incredible if many of you would like to do it together with me.
I will keep sharing more from my process, mostly on Facebook, and I would like to hear from you about yours. Oh, and if you want to get started right now, you can watch Is Racism Over Yet?, Deconstructing White Privilege (yes, I am mentioning it again it is THAT good) or a short clip from The Color of Fear.
With Love, Always,
P.S. I recommend registering for Hard Conversations: “An Introduction to Racism and Its Undoing.” The course is masterfully guided by Patti Digh, founder of Hard Conversations, and social justice educator, Victor Lee Lewis, who was featured in the documentary on race relations, “The Color of Fear.” You can find out more here.
You can also see our list of Anti-Racism Resources we recommend.
Photo Credit: Unknown