As a privileged cis white woman in this world, and especially as someone who does healing and spiritual work, I felt it was important for me to speak to what’s going on in the world.
Until a month ago, most of my clients have been people I know personally, and those who were referred by clients. If you have met me in person, it’s unlikely that you wouldn’t know where I stand on all things. As a good friend of mine said, “You have no opinion that you don’t feel a need to share.” Blame it on my Leo sun or my Sagittarius rising or even the call for justice and balance that I get from my libra moon. I am a woman of conviction and an advocate for those who are oppressed.
But in the past few months I’ve brought in a whole new bunch of clients who have only met me over the internet or through social media posts. I’ve also seen some people stop following me after all of my sharing of content by black craters and activists this week.
First of all, let me say that I am ashamed that it might be unclear from my website who I serve and what my philosophy is. I am embarrassed that it took this kind of violence in the world for me to recognize that I am not as transparent in my beliefs as I think I am. I have not been actively anti-racist and I am pushing myself to do better.
I want to be clear when I say that I believe in the Black Lives Matter Movement. I have lived a privileged life and I have seen blatant racism play out in front of my face on numerous occasions. I am horrified by the mass incarceration of black people in this country, the murder of unarmed black men and women by the police, and the casualty with which these things are viewed as someone else’s problem by white people.
I have extensive trauma-informed training that I apply in both my yoga practice and my healing practices but I am continuing to train with black teachers and healers to learn more about being inclusive and understanding forms of trauma that I have not personally experienced. I know that training from a variety of sources will make a more well-rounded healer and a better ally for black folks in my community.
It is with great humility that I continue to learn from people who are experts in anti-racism work and dismantling white supremacy. I am continuing to read and reread resources that I have found helpful for understanding and dismantling my own privilege. I will continue to seek out teachers who teach about trauma-informed practices that aren’t just based on the white experience. I will continue to learn from mistakes I have made and take correction from people with more experience.
Since the start of the pandemic I have been donating 50% of workshop proceeds to local food banks, but I want to do more going forward. Because I am still newer to my business and don’t have as much income consistency as I would like, I am looking into ways that I can donate my time and energy. My goal is to find ways that are long term and sustainable and will grow and scale with my business.
As it stands, I plan to offer scholarships to workshops and trainings, specifically reserved for BIPOC students. This is something that I know I can commit to long term and that I can scale as my business grows. I will also continue to donate a percentage of my income to charities like the The Loveland Foundation and Therapy for Black Girls. Mental health care is particularly near and dear to my heart and an area where black women are underserved.
You will also now find this statement on my website:
As a facilitator of healing, I believe it is my responsibility to stay open and hold space for your experiences without judgement. My practice is trauma-informed and anti-racist. I accept people of all backgrounds therefore my space is one that is safe for LBGTQIA clients and I strive to be non-harmful toward BIPOC clients. Know that when you have a session with me, you have no need to explain yourself or defend your experience. I honor whatever your experience is and I meet you exactly where you are. Know that wherever you are coming from, whatever pain you are working through, my space is not one where you need to minimize your feelings or carefully select your words. You can just be who you are. I am an imperfect person but I continue to learn and grow and I will continue to do my best to make my healing work a place where all people, and especially those marginalized, feel welcome. I continue to listen deeply and learn from you.
Finally, I would like to offer the following resources for those interested in anti-racism work.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. I read this book last year but I am rereading it now and getting even more out of it. Layla’s work is challenging and confronting and provides real steps for you to dismantle your own internalized white supremacy.
A Lifetime in Quarantine with Sabia Wade (@theblackdoula) – Trauma Skills and Nervous System Understanding for BIPOC. This training on Somatic Work and Nervous System regulations was presented by all BIPOC teachers and taught me so much about different skills for regulating that were outside of my past trauma and PTSD trainings, which have mostly centered around the white experience. I cannot express how moving, helpful, and cathartic I found this training to be, even after all of my past trauma experience. This training is not currently open but when it does open back up I HIGHLY recommend purchasing it.
Skill in Action with Michelle Cassandra Johnson. This is not a course I have personally taken yet but I have several peers who have and speak very highly of her work. It is something that is on my list and that I plan on taking by the end of the year.
Thank you all for being a part of my community. I am honored to continue to do this work.