During this time of grief and sorrow over the horrific murder of George Floyd, and so many other stolen black lives, it is hard to know the right things to say, knowing that nothing will be good enough. Witnessing the cries of George Floyd's last words will haunt me forever, and it feels necessary to add my voice to the millions of people globally who are standing side by side with Black Lives Matter in denouncing white supremacy in all it's ugly forms. I hope the uprising of so many outraged and grief stricken people continues to bring awareness to the 400 years of institutional racism that has stolen the lives of so many Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Awareness that results in deep, concrete changes in how we live together on this planet.
I would like to quote 2 very wise friends and teachers of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), Bonnie Badenoch and Jo Hadlock-King:
"We need to confront our own complicity in this tragedy. In this IPNB community dedicated to compassion and care for all, we white people can miss and deny that we are socialized into racism. We can be completely blind to our privileged position as the ones who belong. With work, we can become conscious. By attending to Black voices, we white people can listen to and trust their account of their experiences, and see how our behavior affects them. This calls for humility and deep listening in the midst of our privileged status. We will begin to get it and then forget, only to begin again. With work, we can become sturdy in order to be of ongoing support in this movement towards justice". (from "Nurturing the Brain with the Heart in Mind" Newsletter, June 10, 2020.)
May we all find the strength and commitment to be trusted anti-racist allies as we stand side by side with our Black sisters and brothers, facing these challenges for the long haul, together, heart to heart.
"Racism is a heart disease, and it is curable". -Ruth King, black activist, author, mindfulness teacher,
Below are some resources that I think are invaluable aids to deepen our understanding of racism so we can hold and support each other in this revolution of our hearts.
Krista Tippett: On Being: Talking About Whiteness
Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, Ruth King
My Grandmothers Hands. Resmaa Menakem
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon for White America, Michael Eric Dyson
White Fragility: Why It's so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin J. Diangelo
How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Jennifer Eberhardt
Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, Layla Saad
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
The world today challenges us as we struggle with loss in the world. This brilliant, short talk by Judith Butler on how rage and grief are intertwined suggests that mourning our losses, instead of pushing them away, can change us in healing ways. She explains how sorrow is what lies beneath rage.... and non-violence can occur as we allow rage to "collapse into grief". Sorrow, she suggests could "show us what steps to take to preserve what is left of what we love." To think that welcoming an emotion that we humans want to avoid and bury could be our path towards our deepest healing.
I have never been so moved to recommend a performance; the power of Hannah Gadsby's brilliant "comedy routine" is a revolutionary work of art. Hannah demonstrates how trauma can be healed by telling our "stories properly". Embodying fury and resilience and deep connection, her bravery paves the way for her audience to walk away stronger. I am in awe of one of the best mantras ever: "There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself".
Nearly everyday, someone asks how to manage the difficulties of living with so much cruelty in our world. Watching children being torn from their parents at our borders is excruciating. Tara Brach, brilliant meditation teacher and psychotherapist, always offers sage wisdom and advice in navigating the pain and learning to be a better citizen of this troubled world. In this talk, she helps us recognize how we learn to make others "unreal humans", which then makes it possible to treat them as less than human.
Jimmy Hendrix said, "The world will know peace when the power of love overcomes the love of power". This beautiful little film will open your heart to the power of love.
Our right and left brains view the world and their roles in very different ways. Iain McGilchrist’s research on our two hemisphere’s ways of experiencing the world offers a challenging and important perspective of our current relational struggles and world conflicts. Watch for the upcoming documentary of the same title that he is creating with comedian John Cleese.
Daniel Siegel demonstrates how we carry a model of our brains in the palm of our hand, and how when we lose our tempers "we flip our lids". Dan is the brilliant originator of Interpersonal Neurobiology, and has helped change the way we understand ourselves as we relate to other human beings.
An beautiful description of how empathy is how we connect, while sympathy leads to disconnection.
In honor of Pride Month, a couple sweet videos on coming out.
Tara Brach posted this wonderful article in January 2018. It seems that every day since then, we are still needing help keeping sane, and focusing on compassion while still being able to respond to the circumstances of our world.