To be willing to ‘go there’ and see and own our truth, individually, and collectively, we must cultivate commitment.
I wrote in my last post about the idea of holding a safe space, particularly in the journey to creating racial equity in our world, with the goal of creating a symphony among our voices so as to accurately manifest what we collectively desire.
I shared about how, in response to the terrible killings of unarmed Black Americans (which continues), my initial tendency is to want to jump into action. And I did take a variety of actions, and will continue to. However, as I’ve taken them, the biggest ah-ha that opened up for me was the need to hold space right now, rather than forward my own agenda, however well-intentioned.
In this post, I’d like to build on this by sharing about the outcome of holding space — commitment.
As you read the transformational perspective I’m sharing via this platform, I invite you to remember that staying focused on the big picture of collective transformation and how transformation works does not mean you don’t also do the physical things now… like speak up, educate yourself, buy from Black-owned businesses, protest, write your government representatives, sign petitions, donate your time and money, and VOTE.
For me to add my voice to the conversation in a way that adds value, I want to bring the perspective of what it takes to move toward true transformation of this long-held pattern of racism.
AND, this is also the same way we move transformation forward in our own lives and with our clients.
What it takes to move toward true transformation of this long-held pattern of racism is also the same way we move transformation forward in our own lives and with our clients.
I’ve seen a few posts this week (I have been selectively entering the world of Facebook) about people being all “love and light” about what is going on in the world. I believe the ‘high vibe’ perspective is important, but it is not enough.
As you know I am all about raising our energy field to align with the outcome we seek. And it is a NICE IDEA to think that the way to do that is to meditate and think high-vibe thoughts. This can work for someone who has already done a lot of transformational work, and only needs a REMINDER of their high vibration, because they have experienced it before, and done the work to explore and release the underlying truth about why they held their old vibration.
But when someone has never sat with the TRUTH of the OLD WAY (their default energy), they are not yet ready to go all high-vibes. They are using that idea of being in high vibration to lie to themselves and avoid looking at ‘what is so’ about what has been going on. Anyone who has truly done the work will tell you that before they shifted to a new energy field, they had to get real about what was so.
So when you see people posting about the ‘love and light’ healers who are spiritual bypassing their relationship to, and contribution to, racism, this is what they are talking about. Using spiritual teachings about vibration as a reason not to look into their own shadows.
Getting real about what is so means looking in the shadows. All humans have shadows. They are not necessarily ‘bad.’ In fact the less we judge them as bad, the more we will be willing and able to look there and bring the truth out of the shadow and into the light. The shadow has to do with the parts of ourselves that we have hidden from view because we, likely based on someone’s external feedback or influence, judged them as dark and wrong and thus needing to be hidden.
The shadow has to do with the parts of ourselves that we have hidden from view because we judged them as dark and wrong and thus needing to be hidden.
WE ALL HAVE SHADOWS.
We hide things (even from ourselves) to fit in, to toe the line, to survive in a scary world. And then we design our lives to justify what we’ve hidden.
To transform we must ‘go there’ and begin to poke around in our shadows and own what’s been true up until this point.
This is often painful and messy. Which is why we avoid it.
*** Note: This doesn’t have to be painful and messy if we don’t resist what is so. But when we do resist, which we often do because we feel shame when we see it, it can feel like ripping the bandaid and pouring salt in the wound.
So, if we need to look at the truth in the shadows in order to create transformation, and looking is something we avoid because it is often painful and messy, what do we do?
In working with hundreds of clients on retreat and even more in our programs, I’ve watched the process of transformation in individuals, and in small groups, and here is what I’ve learned:
Before we can even think about doing the work that will lead to a whole new vibration (TOTALLY POSSIBLE), we need to cultivate commitment.
Once we are committed to transforming something, we will be divinely, energetically, and practically guided, carried by momentum to the throne of the truth. Meaning, when commitment is clear, the fear of what we will see in the shadow is small in comparison to your commitment to a new future. And we will be WILLING to see the Truth.
This is the only place from which we can create a new future.
When commitment is clear, the fear of what we will see in the shadow is small in comparison to your commitment to a new future. And we will be WILLING to see the Truth.
So, to be willing to ‘go there’ and see and own our truth, individually, and collectively, we must cultivate commitment.
While many people right now want an answer – to COVID, to racism, and then some, the new possibility is not yet ready to appear. There may be lots of ACTIONS that come as a RESULT of the new possibility – like police reform, equity in education, redistribution of resources, and more. But first, commitment.
You may personally be in a place of commitment to equity, and that is great.
But how can we cultivate collective commitment (a symphony)?
I know that if you are someone who has been ready to see resolution to this systemic injustice for a long time, you are impatient. Four hundred years impatient for some. I get that and I agree. Yet, for the first time the videos and reporting is helping to bring light to shadows in a way that more people can hear it. For more and more people, the pain of being where they are is greater than the fear of what they will discover if they commit to transformation.
We can’t let up on cultivating commitment right now.
Many are going to action, and if someone isn’t committed they will resist the action. They will fight against ideas for possibility that don’t align with theirs. But if we can stay in the commitment stage a bit longer than is comfortable, long enough for a critical mass of people to be FULLY PRESENT to their own, internal and personal, discomfort at what is so, or the way what is so is in conflict with their true desire, we will create a critical mass of commitment to transform this at the root.
You’ve heard the idea of pulling the weed out from the top versus pulling the weed out at the root. When we dig deeper, we eliminate the ‘problem’ altogether. But we get dirty in the process!
The more we can focus people on their own internal commitment, and bring our uncle and our colleague present to their own discomfort, the greater the chances that we pull this thing out by the root.
If you are reading and you aren’t yet committed to the anti-racist movement, please look within at what racism is COSTING YOU, and what you are GETTING OUT OF IT.
Draw a line down the center of a paper and write COST on the left and BENEFIT on the right, and fill these columns in with what systemic racism is costing you, and what you are getting out of it. And get real about this. Stay present to it. Until we do this work, we may simply be donating to a cause or buying a book to alleviate guilt and avoid looking deeper. This is what has been happening, and it hasn’t worked!
By the way, while I am speaking from the perspective a white female-identifying person, I recommend everyone from all backgrounds do this exercise – even if you feel you are very present to the cost. Spending this 10-15 minutes will help you be a better advocate for cultivating commitment in others.
The more we can focus people on their own internal commitment, and bring our uncle and our colleague present to their own discomfort, the greater the chances that we pull racism out by the root.
And, I trust you. I trust you to get real with yourself, and I trust your inner knowing to decide what you do with this information today. For some of you, you may ask two people to examine their own commitment to change by looking at the reasons they have also been committed to keeping things the same. For others you may be speaking to an entire tribe about their commitment, and for others you may be quietly looking at what’s been true for you and committing to yourself to show up in confidence around your commitment.
[If you choose to speak to an audience, check out the recent episode of Patriot Act on Netflix entitled “We cannot stay silent about George Floyd” for inspiration about creating commitment]
When you are committed, when your Uncle is committed, when the critical mass of society is committed, the truth shows up.
I’ll speak more about truth next week, and some of the costs and benefits you may not think to explore.
In my forthcoming book (prelaunch book study in process) I walk through the Anatomy of a Transformation with stories, tools, and detailed examples.
Stage 1 of transformation is Commitment.
Cultivating commitment consists of two things: DISCOMFORT and DESIRE.
I mentioned this earlier. To commit to transformation we must be either present to our discomfort with what is, or present to our desire for something different, or some combination of the two.
If you get (or are) committed personally to standing for change, focus here — getting people present to their discomfort with the status quo, and getting people present to their desire for a new possibility.
Don’t move into the ‘fixing’ (transformation) until you’ve helped at least 10 people find their own internal commitment.
Don’t post your ideas for how the systems need to be reformed until you’ve posted your own sharing about the cost and benefit of systemic racism for you personally.
Don’t ‘teach’ how people should change or what they should believe until you’ve offered to your community a space where they can get present to their discomfort and desire.
As I type this I will take my own advice. Let’s all do this exercise this week and share our findings (me too) and in doing so we will open up the space within our community for others to follow suit.
Comment below “I’m in” if you are up for doing this exercise with me in honor of cultivating commitment (transforming out loud). EVEN IF you think you have nothing to transform… do the exercise!
By the way, nothing I am teaching here is in a vacuum, or only about anti-racism. The same thing is true for your work with your clients, and your transformation in all areas. Doing this work around race will transform you in all-the-areas.
If your clients aren’t in commitment to their own internal transformation, you can give them all the best advice, and teach all-the-things, but nothing will happen except your mutual frustration.
Their DISCOMFORT + DESIRE, and getting present to this gap, will create their commitment to their transformation. In any area. If you are willing to walk there with them and guide them to the gap, they will receive better results from all of your work together.
But for today, I invite you to focus on our collective commitment as a society to ending racist society for good.
PS: One thing that may add to your lists in your exercise is understanding why we have been committed to duality and better/ worse energy in our culture. Check out this awesome video and spiritual message on the topic of duality and healing by Jerome Braggs (opens in Facebook).
Want to start creating better client results by working with your magic now?
(before it becomes a part of our paid programming)!
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