If you’re feeling like the time has come to do something about systemic racism, and you’re not sure what – you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll dive into what we can do as allies, as anti-racists, as fellow human beings to create a world where black lives truly matter.
These past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of momentum and the air of change is upon us. We can see that we’re getting fed up with the systemic racism, oppression and senseless deaths. People everywhere are being challenged to decide what they stand for and speak up on topics of race and privilege. It’s been a lesson for all of us.
How do you handle discomfort?
The biggest lesson for all of us has been how we handle discomfort. You might be thinking, “but I’m not racist” or “I’m not a bad person” or “ what does this have to do with me?” For many of us, thoughts of being racist are truly uncomfortable. Most of us like to think of ourselves as nice and kind human beings. So then you start thinking that the protests, the anger, the “loudness” of it all is too much. But this is when we have to wake up. Wake up to the idea that people are in and have been in deep pain for a LONG time. That there are so many people suffering silently and have been their entire lives. That the kindness that you receive may not be that which others receive on a daily basis. That you DO act differently based on someone’s race. That you make generalizations about people based on one or two people you know. We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. And it makes us uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that we don’t want to admit it. We don’t want to talk about a topic that seems so sad or depressing. Or we don’t think that what we do or don’t do actually matters. It’s not that bad because it doesn’t affect my family. We’re not that bad. Why bother?
This cycle of acting, thinking, and inaction is all too common. You’re not special. And this is why systemic racism exists. Until it’s talked about by people who have NOT talked about it (namely non-blacks), it won’t change. Because the people who have benefited from racism are the people who need to say, “wait a minute – I think we can do better.” I wouldn’t want to be treated worse because I happen to be born with darker skin. Would you? The ultimate test is this, “If I gave you an opportunity to be born as a white person or a black person, which one would you choose?” If you chose white, think about all the reasons why. These reasons will give you a start to what is missing for so many others in this world. If you’re listening to this podcast, you likely feel that you do want to be different. You want to stop thinking like the herd and you want to break free. Guess what is your north star? Whatever makes you feel uncomfortable.
Discomfort is the starting point
Discomfort is not bad. It shows a contrast to what it is that you want to see in your life. Embrace discomfort. Welcome discomfort. Know with a sense of deep trust that when you see discomfort through the eyes of a superconscious and spiritual view, you can see that you’re bridging what is with what is yet to be. When you can identify what is not ideal in the world, yet have hope for the future, you are able to be fulfilled and happy on the path to everything you want to achieve and create in your life. Your inner world of values, meaning and purpose is showing you the path to take. If you don’t accept discomfort and shy away from experiencing what makes you feel different, then you’ll stop yourself from moving past it. You will constantly come up to the discomfort as a wall and then back down. But what if you saw the discomfort and realized that everything you want is on the other side of this wall. You just have to climb over it. But in order to climb over it, you need the inner strength to see that even though right here, right now everything looks so tough and overwhelming, that you can handle it and you will handle it.
One example of this is a difficult conversation. Perhaps you start hearing accounts from the black community on what their life has been like and they are angry over racism. You’re trying to understand and yet you are still receiving backlash for what you’re doing or not doing. This is a difficult conversation. But if we decide that this is too uncomfortable for us to have, we’ll shut it down. This is when we have to overcome our natural desire to avoid discomfort because of fear. Fear that it’s not safe to have a conversation and what it might do TO YOU. But fear has to be managed and it cannot run your life. See the fear and realize that this ability to understand and receive this difficult conversation is ultimately allowing you to learn and expand. This is a choice and if you want to create a positive end result to what can seem like a difficult situation, you have to choose to use it for good. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable and learn through the process.
Who do you want to be?
This past week, in the livestream, I talked about how we create an outer world that reflects our inner world. Identity and who we are is a large component of what makes or breaks our ability to create a new future. If we want to do something we don’t normally do, we have to create a new identity. We have to decide that we are going to be someone who has the capacity to handle the desire to create a more just future. What does it look like specifically for you? Does it look like being an activist? Does it look like going deep within to see what you care about and why? Does it look like acting in alignment with your values? Does it look like speaking up even when it’s uncomfortable? Does it look like asking more questions to understand more? Be specific and see yourself standing with strength for what you believe in.
You can do something about it
The good news is that whatever you want to create, you can. I’m not an expert on racism, but there are so many people who have dedicated their lives to this topic. If it pains you to think that the senseless deaths that occurred to so many of our fellow human beings could occur to those that you love most – your family – then it’s likely that you want to do something about it. One of the first things you can do is to educate yourself on the history of oppression and racial injustice. Again – is this going to make you feel good? No. But is it likely going to do you good? Yes. Focus on it enough for you to understand, align it within yourself and see what it is that you want in this world. One of the hardest things ever is to witness and read about these harder topics, events and history and not be emotionally charged. But emotion is only negative if it keeps you from moving forward. Emotion is charged energy and if you wield that energy and leverage that energy you can move forward. You suddenly have new ideas for what you want to create. You suddenly have intuitive hits of what does feel aligned.
What do I create or do?
Creating is taking action from a place of alignment. Do what feels good to you and what you’ll enjoy creating. Don’t create and take action because you want to get approval from others. Create because you can see how a solution can start to take hold. We each have so many gifts and from a spiritual point of view, your ability to act on your gifts is your greatest source of fulfillment. I teach, coach and train so for me, taking action looks like teaching/coaching/training and sharing resources. It was talking to my kids and others about this topic. It was talking about it at work, in my live streams – and one of the biggest differentiations for how you create is to create from a place of hope. I wasn’t talking about fixing what is broken, but because I was talking about to lead with intuition. This is how we don’t let the shame, overwhelm, or the frustration stop us from moving forward. Lead from the future, not the past. Lead from a sense of positive hope. Instead of comparing yourself to what others are doing, just ask yourself what you want in terms of racial equity and how you want to feel as you create from a place of what matters to you.
Worthiness and Abundance
What does worthiness have to do about racial injustice? I had this thought the other day that so many of our disagreements or places where we act out of alignment with our values comes when we believe that the world is scarce or that we have to prove we are worthy. We fight over resources, power, control. We look to the external world to define who we are and how worthy we are. If your sense of power came from money, and in order to have money you felt you needed to diminish others, then you would do so. On the other hand, if your sense of worthiness and abundance came from you, not others – you wouldn’t try so hard to force the outer world or other people to submit to your control. Anytime you feel a forcing or a resistance, this is your clue that you’re out of alignment. Instead, from a place of worthiness, state what it is you want and why, without diminishing others because you know that what is for you will not pass you. Don’t be hard on yourself when you realize this controlling attitude is what’s happening inside. Focus instead on bringing all your energy back to you and turning on the belief that you ARE powerful. Acknowledge where you are and then improve upon it. Do this every moment and every single day. When you see yourself as a being with infinite possibilities and inherently worthy, then it’s possible to believe that others are too.
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