Black Lives Matter
When I shifted over to becoming Daphne a few years back, one of the changes I made was disengaging from politics and activism in my work sphere, at least to the degree I had done in the past. It is not the energy I seek to openly engage in, nor focus on, publicly. I prefer to keep my professional focus on exploring all the ways in which humans can connect, and find that politics and activism can often devolve into a lot of lip service and virtue signalling, as well as a never-ending ride on the roller-coaster of reactionary emotions that detract from my purpose and intention: helping you find and be the best you can be, for yourself and for those important in your life.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have views or opinions, but they are not ones I necessarily engage in casual conversation or via work (or with those who just want to talk about how they have it all figured out...). One of the things I’ve learned at this stage in life is that life’s issues are often complex, nuanced, and multi-faceted. If you don't have time to really dig in to complex issues, you can't really have a good conversation about it. And that more often than not, shutting up and listening to the experiences of those involved directly, and asking questions, is a better course of engagement than pronouncing resolutions from the comfort of a privileged armchair.
This is why you may see *some* tweets or interaction from time to time on my social media that engage *some* political issues, but it is far less than what I am actually thinking about as these issues come up. I know some see sharing their views as a part of their “brand”, and a representation of authenticity, and even attracting like-minded clients. I get that, and used to think that way also. The thing is: not all my clients ever think the way I do...none of us do. We all have unique perspectives, and the trend to create bubbles that only surround ourselves with certain viewpoints or ways of thinking is problematic IMO. Someone may share a view I disagree with, but being able to be curious as to why people think they way they do, instead of dismissing or cancelling anyone who doesn’t think the same way, is the only way we will ever hope to not eventually kill each other... Social media is not a great place to have nuanced conversations, which is one of the reasons I don't engage such topics there any more.
But without a doubt, blacks and African-Americans have been suffering for a LONG time in our country…the whole time they have been here, by and large. They have been set up to fail, and be victimized and oppressed, for generations. The emotional responses and actions in the streets are ones that I could never sit in judgement of, as I have no idea of what it feels like to be them...no idea of what they have had to live through, and no idea of how the generations of trauma have shifted their entire culture. All at the hands of white-bodied supremacy. Peaceful or not, their feelings are valid. As I saw one black woman say in a video, we should be grateful they are only seeking equality and not revenge.
My heart breaks when these stories are amplified, but the heartbreak I feel is NOTHING compared to the lived suffering of non-white bodies in our country (yes, let’s not forget our indigenous people here too…). Anyone who stands by and does nothing is complicit in creating their pain. The roots run deep, but regardless of this country's history, we can be doing more to change today, and therefore change tomorrow.
I will be continuing to examine how I can do that in a way that also examines my own cultural history of privilege, including (among many things) how colonialism & imperialism has driven my experience of where my views factor in on the importance of any given topic, especially ones like this. While I have a natural tendency to be a self-starter and leader, at times my privilege has centered me in conversations and actions that I was not meant to be the center of...and this is one of those times. So if you hear anything from me at all after this, it will not be declarations of what is the “right” or “wrong” way to address issues of racism, but more focused on asking questions, and sharing information that is led by those most affected, and hopefully helps promote deeper understanding of these complex issues, and solutions based on the needs of those most affected.
This is bigger than just race, as oppression and power struggles are happening on all levels, and are heavily influenced today by patriarchy and capitalism, besides just our history of slavery and colonialism in this country. We segregate the value and worth of other humans (race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, physical/mental abilities...) in order to grab our own little slice of security/power wherever and whenever we can. This is partially an instinctual reflex to find and protect our sense of safety and security, but is tainted by the other structures I mention above, and also the reality that we all have darkness inside of us... If we are not paying attention, we let instinct, our shadow selves, and whatever comfort our level of privilege provides, convince us that this is the way it is supposed to be.
We are not animals in the jungle, we are humans who have the capacity to do MORE and EVOLVE beyond auto-pilot...to heal our own wounds, and help create space for others to heal as well, in our intimate personal relationships, as well as large-scale global issues of humanity. The micro, or how we live our day to day lives, influences the macro. And I mention this because the ability to cultivate genuine intimacy, in all of our relationships and human interactions, is about MORE than just improving one’s sex life. The deeper you are willing to go, the more this will become clear: none of us live in a bubble, and we are all connected, even to those we never meet. How we interact with each other is important, and influences more than we know. Developing and modeling a sense of deep presence will not only change your life and the quality of your relationships, but it influences the world around us. Now, more than ever, my intention in my work has deepened this focus. I strive to move clients beyond the *performance* of GFE to cultivate skills that help them develop the intimacy they are often missing in life. I believe this is one piece of the puzzle that will help lead to creating compassion, justice and liberation for all.
So yes, support black-owned businesses...cultivate/hire/support black leadership...demand equal pay for your black colleagues...and by all means, DEMAND JUSTICE FOR MURDER VICTIMS AND VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY, but the real work, and the real place of change for most of us is done within. Until we understand our own cultural influences, and develop the presence to see beyond our own lives and the stories we create to keep us comfortable, these conflicts will continue to rage...sometimes quietly, sometimes not so much...but they will continue on until an equilibrium is found. This is a universal pull and law that will not be denied, no matter what power structures dominate, and lull the privileged into temporary comfort.