When I started ideating on this blog a couple of weeks ago, the direction I envisioned it taking was completely different than what I’m writing today. Seeing our world move so quickly through some really challenging times has dramatically shifted my focus, causing me to think of the word “explore” in a completely different way. It’s amazing how one hugely unsettling situation can create such a quick pivot on how we look at ourselves and those around us; if we choose to accept that necessary exploration.
From children, we are all given a certain perspective of our world based on where we live, how we are raised, and the color of our skin. We all have our own story of how we were influenced from early on, here’s mine:
I was raised in Denver in the ’70s. This was back when bussing was prevalent to support diversity. My neighborhood was not diverse but I was the minority at every school I attended from 3rd grade – 12th. I believe from an early age I didn’t really notice color or social differences. These were my playmates, friends, and my dance partners. I was part of the dance department at East High in Denver, which was one of the most diversified programs at our school. We were the same. We loved and accepted each other. I learned early on that our differences do not define us, they’re not important. I know I’ve brought that acceptance into my adult life, but, I haven’t first-hand been exposed to the really hard stuff. I’ve seen it on the media but not personally. I fully own that I need to explore what is really happening, to educate myself and my children so that we can create awareness, action, and change.
Because I’m making it a priority to have these conversations- I asked Katina Griffin- Master Teacher Trainer, trusted friend, and personal teacher to share her upbringing and perspective:
“Like many white people, I have always positioned myself as non-racist – I moved away from a cultural climate that fostered inequality in race because it never felt fair to me to treat another human being whose blood was the same color or whose tears contained the same salt as mine – but I realize now in my adulthood – that I merely ran away from it. I hate conflict. I was unsure of where to trek or what step to take or what to say because I only hoped to avoid more rage and further dissension. While running may not have been the action to take – I stand by a deep core value that fighting and violence against any property, all races, or each other is not the answer. I am reminded that it is one thing to say, ‘lead with LOVE’ – and yet it is another to accept that part of leading with LOVE is creating the space for rage and anger to be heard and fully processed. These are the voices we are hearing and seeing.”
I acknowledge that both Katina and I have been relatively privileged. There is an infinite number of different perspectives that we, without choice, each come from. Despite how we were raised and what we were taught it’s important that we are open and decide for ourselves what we believe and how we want to show up. I encourage you to ask the questions of others and truly listen to them. And to share your own stories- I want to hear!
I feel like our world is out of alignment and, for those of you who do the Dailey Method, you know that I really prefer alignment. I want to work together -with everyone- to calibrate it. This month, I challenge you to explore by looking deep into yourselves, discovering how you really feel. Then find words for how you are feeling and courageously put a voice to those words.
We need to hold hands (obviously metaphorically because ? don’t get the virus). But if we don’t reach out, connect, and allow each other space beside us we create a worse virus- distrust, separation, and hatred.
Let’s instead explore compassion, understanding, oneness, and love.
I love you,
Here are a few links where you can donate , take action steps and educate ourselves. We need to make change and we can.
5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today
Follow Light Watkins on Instagram
Photo credits and a touching read