“If we don’t begin to consider how our thoughts, words and actions impact the collective good, we will perish. If we don’t begin to work collectively and in solidarity with one another, we will perish. The journey of discovering that our dharma is connected to the greater good is challenging and we must do it anyway. We must skillfully take collective and radical action to create a world that allows all of us to breathe, be, live, and be seen and validated.”
– Michelle C. Johnson, Skill in Action
Yesterday, as I watched the horrifying acts of the insurrectionists at our nation’s Capitol, I was outraged. I imagine you were too. I expressed my outrage via text exchanges with various family members and spoke into the night with my husband about it. I live in a white body, so does he. We are middle class and I have a Master’s degree. In other words, I hold a lot of privilege.
When I woke up this morning I recognized (again) my privilege and weighed my options. (Having the opportunity to weigh options is also a privilege.) I could either simply continue to complain to my other white friends and family members, or I could do something. Choosing the first means that I continue to be a complicit member of of this complicated web of white supremacy that has prevailed in this country for far too long.
So, what can I do? This list is a starting point, I share it to offer ideas based upon my circumstances. Yours may be different.
- Practice svadhyaya daily, look at myself and identify and change the characteristics of white supremacy culture that I hold.
- Continue to educate myself. There are so many available resources to do this. Here are a couple… Subscribe to, support and read Anti-Racism Daily; follow the work of Michelle C. Johnson, purchase her Skill in Action book and do the practices.
- Center voices of color in my podcast, workshops, and other offerings I bring to the world.
- Uphold a culture of equality in the communities I organize.
- Re-evaluate my business model so that more of our profits go into scholarships and grants that offer more opportunities for BIPOC individuals to gain access.
- Offer micro reparations. As I learned in workshop with Dianne Bondy, these can even look like small acts of kindness such as offering up your place on line.
- Act locally in my community. Continue to be a contributor in our Mutual Aid Network.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and taking action based upon your circumstances. And if you’d like to participate in an upcoming Skill in Action workshop with me to explore these teachings further, we’re hosting one on January 30. Learn more here. I’ll also be interviewing the two facilitators on my podcast next week, so stay tuned.
Yours in Yoga,
Michele Lawrence, Director