Stop. Sit still. Breathe in and out, in and out.
Now wiggle your shoulders and neck.
Shift and straighten your spine.
Drop your shoulders.
Unclench your jaw.
Breathe and breathe and breathe.
What was that about? What were you holding so tightly in all those spaces and crevices and pockets? Rage? Anxiety? Disappointment? Fear?
Name the Feeling People who inhabit your body. Ask them what they have to tell you about yourself in the world right now.
We need everybody’s voices right now. We need everybody working for change. Racism and white supremacy won’t be dismantled in a day. It’s been the defining principle for way too long, and people have been trying to break it for a long, long time. But there’s a movement afoot, and it need us all on deck, doing our parts. But you have to rest, too, sister. You have to tend your own tender spirit, brother. Now might be a good time to pick up a new spiritual practice that helps to anchor you in the midst of this transformative storm.
Pray. Make energy webs that knit and protect, that send along the message of change and justice. Meditate. Make art. Write poems. Pet a cat. Watch the birds. Drink lots of water. Stretch your body. Take intentional breaks from the streets, from social media, from thinking about it. You know you’ll get back to the work when you’re strong enough. Tend Your Spirit. We need you healthy and whole, working in whatever way you work best to help turn this massive ship in the direction of a just and safe future for all. It’s okay to look away for a little while, and breathe.
1. The young people who are galvanizing the movement.
2. Tens of thousands of people are in the streets demanding change. Don’t let the dominator’s narrative hide that fact. Let’s keep our language clear: This is not “The Riots.” This is a social movement demanding police accountability and an end to white supremacy. There are thousands upon thousands of people taking that word to the physical streets and to social media. That’s a great and marvelous thing.
3. Friends checking in with each other. Keep doing that. Keep making sure your friends are okay. Keep the network lively. Take care of each other.
4. All the resources! Books to read, wise thinkers to follow on social media, lists of black-owned businesses to support, ways to attack our own internal biases. Keep passing those around!
5. The graphic pattern of black and white on the back of that downy woodpecker, and the way his head is shining red.
Love Mercy. Do Justice. Walk Humbly–in Beauty.
“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.” ―Ursula K. Le Guin
“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.” ―Ursula K. Le Guin
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel. . .is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” ―Ursula K. Le Guin
“Give yourself to love.” ―Kate Wolf
“So it turns out that the ‘blemish’ is actually essential to the beauty. The ‘deviation’ is at the core of the strength. The ‘wrong turn’ was crucial to you getting you back on the path with heart.” —Rob Brezsny
“For a breath or two, to have been inside this Ka‘ba of the heart,
praying from the inside.
Breathe in God, breathe out God.
The one who adores is the One adored.
The lover is the beloved, is love itself.
Bathed in light
Being with the one we love.” ―Omid Safi
“We become each other’s stories when we listen to each other closely.” —Mara Eve Robbins at TEDxFLOYD
“Come on Mr Frodo. I can’t carry it for you―but I can carry you!” ―Sam Gamgee (JRR Tolkien)
Glinda to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz: “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”
“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.” ―Maya Angelou