My Love Letter to You This Month
This is a major time for change. The Solstice is coming. Can you feel the quickening weather changes? The tides turning? That SOLAR energy asking us to burn the old and snake-skin shed into our BECOMING? Yeah, me too. And it's not always easy to shed our skin.
When I heard of the murder of George Floyd weeks back, I intentionally held back on speaking. Truthfully, my own nervous system felt just completely overwhelmed. I wanted to process in order to be able to respond appropriately. I wanted to be able to come to the community as a beacon of stability and love.
I feel that capacity online in my system now. I know this is not about me or what is going on in my personal life. I just want you to know why I didn’t respond immediately. It was because I wanted to respond thoughtfully, authentically and from a resourced place.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve been communicating with trusted friends and colleagues, both BIPOC and white friends that I know have a background in race equity. They have recommended resources to me, both professionally and personally, to deepen my education on how to be a better race advocate and ally.
My response has also been slow because I'm committed to authenticity. I don't want to be just another white person parroting back the current narrative used by many, and then moving on. I actually want to be changed and melted by this. This is the definition of yoga - to have the unconscious stuff made conscious.
This is a whole body, emotional experience. It is not enough to simply write an instagram post. I want to act and stand in solidarity with the Black community in dismantling racism once and for all. And I also want it to come from a trauma-informed, authentic place within me.
And I also want to honor the fact that there are as many black experiences and opinions as there are black people. I realize that we are in a very necessary deconstruction time, where race matters. But I also hope that this break down can lead to a rebuilding that does hold true to the vision of MLK - where we will be judged by who we are and not the color of our skin. I realize that is a journey that will take time and effort from all of us.
I come before this topic with much humility and even moments of confusion. I am not an expert, in any way shape or form in this realm. I am a somewhat new student to this world, and I will make a conscious effort to continue to learn because it is important to our mind, body, soul and the well-being of others.
I am also deeply aware that it is so difficult for many white people to speak at this moment in a way that doesn’t hurt, dismiss or offend and I want to walk gently. I also believe that ALL beings have the right to think for themselves and should never be coerced or shamed.
We must shed light on systemic racism, frustration and the hurt that black and indigenous Americans have endured for hundreds of years.
So here is what I am committed to doing:
Perhaps by hearing this, you may feel inspired to write a list of actionable items that you will commit to do to bring about change.
- I will speak up-personally and publicly on my commitment to being an advocate on terms that feel authentic to me.
- I will personally commit to deepening my ongoing education on race and history by reading books and following leaders who I feel embody wisdom, fierce love and a trauma-informed approach.
- In addition to the work we have done with charity and scholarships programs here at Shakti School, we will be doubling our Diversity Scholarship recipients for the 2021 school year.
- We'll be partnering with our mentors and teachers to create more learning content that addresses issues such as racial diversity in the wellness/Ayurveda community, cultural appropriation and other concerns.
- I will personally make donations and $ contributions to the organizations and thought leaders that I feel are in alignment with the support of black voices and healing for all.
I am not perfect. None of us are. I am going to do and say things, perhaps even in this letter to you, that may hold unconscious aspects of my bias and ignorance. But I am committed to showing up fully, with the capacity that I have each day, and in a way that feels right in my heart, towards being a support to the BIPOC community, as well as all beings who need to be heard. I ask that you truly use this school as a home for your body to unravel pain patterns. I ask that you USE the support and resources you have learned here with us to do the work as well.
The Shakti School is a home for people to work with being more in tune with the natural rhythms of our bodies. We are NOT a school that will teach a particular brand of social justice theory. We are NOT a school that will teach a particular ideology or politicized perspective. We welcome all women, of all backgrounds, including women who identify as trans.
Here we can support students by sharing ancient health wisdom that can support our bodies and minds in this incredibly challenging moment to come back into wholeness and goodness and safety. I can support you all by guiding us back into our bodies in a time where the images and news media’s words, while necessary to stay informed, are oftentimes so overwhelming and unsettling to our animal body and bones. These are the areas where I feel I can most support this community during this time. Here, with you, in this school, because we are SO firmly dedicated to being a place where the body can heal. And I am good at holding space for this.
Lastly, I am also aware of that which does lie beyond our colors and races and backgrounds, which is the spirit within. This spirit is untouched by the injustices of the past and the present. Allowing this part of us to ALSO be here, alongside the pain and reactivity and confusion and fear and anger. Allowing this part to ALSO be here in NO WAY detracts from the deeper and uncomfortable work that we must do, especially those of us who have existed in a world that has historically valued whiteness, to unravel that bias and unawareness.
It is HARD to take a look at our shadows, both culturally and individually, but if it is done in the spirit of Kali (fierce love) it is the fastest way towards our growth, and towards actually being able to connect with one another.
I hope you will join me in this global effort. Let’s grow our capacity to treat each other as individuals, with love, to use critique to uplift and not tear down.