A lot of us are learning more about our history in response to recent events, protests and having a little more time on our hands. I confess that before this year, I knew very little about Juneteenth. I am an introvert and I do not gravitate toward large events.
This year, because it has become abundantly clear that people who identify as Black or African American have never been truly free in this country. We swim in history that is informed by a philosophy of white body supremacy.
I found a virtual Juneteenth event in Saint Paul that was co-sponsored by the Saint Paul Library. On the home page (linked above) are some beautiful read-aloud videos from staff there, children’s stories that have wonderful lessons for adults. Check them out. They can be resources to help teach children about inclusion versus racism.
I will be tuning in this Friday. It is time to learn and grow, time to come together as human beings “alone together” on this tiny planet.
I write with a sad heart and an all too familiar feeling of distress at the news of another unarmed black man being murdered. His name is George Floyd. I support the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe we all need to become aware of our privilege and how white body supremacy has functioned since the early days of this country’s history. It will help us understand what keeps happening.
Last summer I read a book called “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies.” It helped me to see and understand the deeper historical forces at play within white bodies, black bodies and police bodies.
As a yoga practitioner I appreciate the exercises that Menakem offers for the body, to be done alone and in trusted communities. He writes sections in the book for black bodies, white bodies and police bodies. A couple days ago I realized he also has a free e-course on Racialized Trauma, offered by the Cultural Somatics Training & Institute. While it is a 5-day course, each of the videos are only 10-15 minutes, and it introduces the major themes covered in the book.
I highly recommend the course or book, as I think Menakem helps us to understand how we swim in a larger system of injustice. While we are not personally responsible for creating the system (and there are historical factors that are larger than us) we are responsible for dismantling and slowly unwinding it.
While I don’t claim to know anything more than what I have observed and absorbed over the years, racism can be subtle poison. Current times are revealing how black and brown bodies and women’s bodies are subject to even greater risks for the COVID-19 infection.
I have no answers. I am a white person. Other voices need to be heard and highlighted. All I know is that I’m going to keep doing my personal work in bodyful and somatic ways with self-compassion and love for all those that are hurting. Hopefully I can connect with communities that also want to engage in these efforts.
Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands. Wear your mask.
I received some news at work yesterday which was surprising at first. It took me a few minutes to process it, and I am still deciding how to approach this news.
My emotions went from disbelief to amazement to sadness. Then I felt quiet recognition that this was not actually unexpected. My intuition had been nudging me here but I had been reluctant to fully see and acknowledge what I was seeing.
So my current emotion is relief. There is some uncertainty in the process of moving forward after big news. And there can be a delightful freedom in it, a chance for something new to burst forth.
I thank my yoga training for allowing me to sit in the “heat” of any situation in my life and recognize it is here to teach me something. My resilience and resourcefulness come from within, and I am so grateful that I know this.
Over the weekend I received news about a yoga teaching opportunity which was energizing and exciting. After my “desk chair yoga” class in February I have been wondering what is next along that front, and some new options are emerging. I felt like I had been pushing, pushing, pushing on some projects that had felt stuck. And now I feel a sense of ease at understanding that planting seeds was more important, that growth and harvesting are a later part of this particular project.
Grateful for all the the wisdom I continue to receive.
I am so excited that my lovely yoga sister and friend Megs is offering two yoga series’ in February!
These are part of her practicum and I am truly impressed with her graphic design skills. Any of y’all in the Twin Cities?!? Check them out! Megs is a lovely yogi and she also teaches Pilates. I am very excited for what she has to offer and what I will learn from her.
I think in my next life I will be a marketing person for yoga-related businesses. 🙂
Oh well, if things don’t work out in my current clinical research career… I will have to pivot. I actually really enjoy my current career, but there’s no rule that says we can’t do more than one thing we love.
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know so many outstanding women in my yoga cohort. They are doing amazing and brave work! And they are such great teachers that I love taking their classes!