This past Sunday, I just ended a 4-day "semi" silent retreat with Jeff Carreira. The prompts were simple: No judging, no concluding, no labeling, and no identifying, use no effort and know nothing, and all the answers you are looking for are already here; we are a cosmic being. We get caught up in our daily lives with precisely the opposite. Once it ended, I felt content and found myself "No Place But Home."
After reflecting on what I witnessed after the retreat, the backlash after the death of #GeorgeFloyd, I felt a sensitivity and vulnerability come over me. At first, I didn't realize why my days were so turbulent, and only when I called my friend out of the blue who dealt with racial injustice herself and is educated on black history; I had the answer.
In this past week, I listened, observed, and reflected on how people are expressing themselves and what is on their minds. I noticed that there is a lot of confusion and unsettled issues roaming around. I found it necessary to point out that there is a history here in the United States that isn't present to many people. For many of us, life had/has its ups and downs, no doubt, but what seems different to the black community is that most of their ancestors didn't come here voluntarily and didn't come here to find refuge. It was quite the opposite. And what we witnessed a week ago and many other incidents in recent years is a flashback not being accepted into society. The oppression of "another race" is giving proof that those issues are not resolved yet. And this is why we see what we see.
My work in mindfulness focuses on our humanities' well-being. Finding ways to explore all our emotions and being at ease within our own skin. When I heard about the unprofessional law enforcement and reactions of injustice, I realized how much work there is to do to heal as a society. The messages sent by people who are suppressed, who are not heard by the government, who see separation, and who want to see a brighter future made me think about how can I be the change?
The way we change as a society is by changing as an individual. We have to do our part. Awareness is the beginning. Recognizing that we are hurt, experiencing fear, being wronged or wronged, afraid to admit not to know, or haven't been heard. No matter if we are talking about racial injustice, Covid19, health matters, or financial crisis. We all had some trauma in our lives. Experiences shifted our perspectives and adapted the way we see the world. Therefore, we must acknowledge our internal and external desire and aversion to specific conversations, in today's case, racism, but it doesn't stop there.
We all influence how people feel and how we distract ourselves not to feel uncomfortable. It is the beginning of change and transformation when we start to be okay with discomfort and investigate where it stems from. By working through these tough emotions, we will strengthen our confidence and be better human beings. Let's be the change and start with us to see the world with all its beauty, including all cultures, religions, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Let's understand the history that brought us here and make a difference in how we perceive our surroundings and the future.