I have been outraged, horrified, and heartbroken yet again by the news this week that another unarmed black man was murdered by a police officer. George Floyd was brutally & needlessly killed because of racism.
When there is a dynamic as horror-filled as racism that is pervasive in a society, like it is in ours, you can be sure that the racism isn’t simply out there and perpetrated by “other” white people.
If you are white, like me, you don’t just spot it, you got it too.
I know this is a strong statement, and may even be triggering, but please, keep reading. I’ll explain.
Racism is pervasive in society because it’s a collective Shadow, not just a Shadow for some people. And we must do the really hard & honest work to confront it & root it out inside ourselves.
If you’re white and consider yourself, or desire to be, a leader or a guide for others, it is vital that you look at your own biases & your own conscious and unconscious implanted beliefs around people of color.
It’s also vital to invest time and money in learning from BIPOC about how your unchecked privilege impacts people of color. I recommend following Layla Saad, Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Trudi Lebron, and to speak to this in your parenting, The Conscious Kid, just to name a few. I also recommend the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.
It’s very difficult to create a safe environment for ALL people in your coaching or transformational practice if you don’t do this work.
That’s because if you are privileged (and being white is a privilege…and for that matter, being straight is a privilege, being able bodied is a privilege, etc etc), you have blindspots to your own biases. Because racism is baked into our culture and collective unconscious, even if we consider ourselves “liberals”. This is exactly why I include a training on inclusivity with teacher Makeda Pennycooke in Sacred Depths. To be nurturing and supportive to all your clients and to your entire community, you must do this work. Period.
I know a lot of coaches and transformational guides want to learn how to work with Shadow. Doing your own anti-racism work is the most powerful and important shadow work you can do.
It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. I keep on coming back to this for myself. Every time a person of colors needlessly dies because of a racist act, I am painfully reminded yet again that I need to do better, that I need to look more closely at my beliefs, that I need to confront where I’m not doing enough.
All of this is important to first and foremost help save lives of people of color. It is also important to being a good human in the world, and to being an in-integrity, trustworthy, effective transformational practitioner.