Working for racial justice is a shift in perspective—a shift in understanding and empathy that leads to a change in our actions: to listen instead of talk, to follow instead of lead, to yield rather than dominate. And to accept that I will continue to mess up. Part of working to undo racism is having the humility to know when our own understanding is limited. Read on for more this, and how it relates to meditation -- plus personal and collective liberation.
Here are two practices for connecting with "request energy". One of them helps us practice in the moment (7 steps). The other one helps us connect to ourselves (11 steps).
Trainer Tip: When we are authentic about who we are, and our preferences, we give everyone and ourselves a better opportunity to open up dialogue about how to meet our collective needs better. We simply express our truth, and in that way we value our own needs as much as those of others.
Trainer Tip: There's often a large gap between what we experience, and the story we make up about it. Noticing how our judgments and assumptions cloud our observations can be critical to creating a connection with others and maintaining a Nonviolent Communication consciousness.
Tolerating reactivity, name-calling, blaming, guilt-tripping, or stonewalling can lead to resentment and hurt. Plus, the more you stay in a reactive dynamic, the more you are likely to reinforce the pattern. Setting life-serving boundaries arund reactivity is about letting another know that you aren’t going to participate in that kinds of dynamics. This means knowing what helps with handling difficulties and asking for that.
Most of us subject ourselves to so many painful mental jabs and they seldom stimulate helpful change. We can be like a frustrated animal trainer repeatedly whipping an animal, without ever helping the animal to understand what behavior is wanted or offering encouragement. Instead, punishing thoughts can be stepping stones to awareness. We can focus on sensing what we're really aspiring to. This is more likely to eventually produce sustainable change that'll serve us better.
The existing unequal risks and impacts people of certain race, class and identities face in society is magnified in these strenuous times -- especially with things such as illness, financial well being, discrimination, attacks, and death. As responsive NVC practitioners we can stand in solidarity with those who are differentially impacted. Read on for this, and additional ways to spot common pitfalls of doing so.
It’s essential to give ourselves time to grapple with the complex feelings surrounding the brutality of state-sanctioned racism and violence. But if all we do is reflect and attend to our emotions we fail to show up, where and when it counts. So let's not perpetuate the violence by standing idly. Instead, here's ten things you can do to move into concrete action to address the continued, untenable, and horrific violence of racism. A list of resources is included.