Racial Healing in America Conference – 2020

Women For Equality presents its
Third Annual Racial Healing in America Conference
February 29, 2020
9:00AM to 6:00PM
9249 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95826

This one-day conference is in response to the heightened awareness in our nation of the need for racial healing. The prevalence of hate crimes, social injustices and racial divides have been brought to the surface to demonstrate the need for us to come together.

Participants will:
• Experience unprecedented bonding
• Understand the importance of racial healing
• Explore their own biases
• Experience what it is like as a marginalized person in this country
• Co-create a community-based plan of action

Click here for tickets

Click here for Facebook Event Page

Tickets will also be sold at the door as space allows.

Flyer

Gut • Heart • Head

So my father died, and I was just thinking….

I got something HUGE out of sitting in the silence just now.


I was on my deck listening to the breeze, wind chimes, and my wonderful miniature wind gong.  My father died a couple of days ago.  I was taking a breather from an emotional few weeks and an emotional data dump into another solar system (well, that’s what it felt like) that I just released on Facebook a couple hours earlier.  My dear friend, Moe, sent me a note of encouragement about my Facebook post (data dump) and my previous blog post (“The Dark Soul and Little Spitfire), and I stated something to him about how many of my blog posts have a distinct topic, but are vague or esoteric in nature.  That is by design — no accident, because it is kind of like a song.  You know how a song means different things to different people?  I might hear a song one way, and you hear it differently, or it has a different meaning for me than you.  That is the reason I am vague and casual in my blog posts many times.  I want the topic to be clear, but the parameters to be set by the reader.  This way it can have many meanings, and the meaning/s can even change over time as our thinking and experiences evolve as well.

I think my style is effective for the purposes I mentioned above.  However, here’s the meat.  What I got while sitting in the silence was how extremely ineffective it has been for me in my real, in-living-color life.  I am a natural introvert, and a reluctantly-learned extrovert; so this is a tragic, perfect fit.  There are times in life when diplomacy is most certainly called for, and a lack of it can cause more harm than good.  There are times when tact and/or caution are necessary.  But I see how tip-toeing around myself in order to avoid injury to others down my path of personal healing has only prolonged and deepened the injuries.  I am not saying one should just bulldoze over people and their feelings, but I AM saying that I have forgotten who I am to myself.  I have forgotten to treat myself like the one and only me that I will ever, ever, EVER have.  Why should I not treat myself the way I try to treat others whom I revere, and the way that I advise them to treat themselves?  So rather than opening myself up to personal things, I am… VAGUE.  And if I want to get deep with it, that’s not really an honest way of being.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I can talk and TALK about all kinds of things.  I have been told more than a few times that I talk too much!  But if you’re one to really pay attention, you would notice that next to none or absolutely ZERO of what I was talking about had anything very personal or vulnerable about me in it.  If you feel this is not true about me, then consider yourself one of the chosen extreme few.  That’s not bragging, by the way, it’s part of today’s epiphany.

I also get that my vague style of communicating personal things is a protection.  I am sure as I am Irish that it is my own training.  All the way to his death, if you didn’t agree with my father, you were going to pay.  So, I mastered “vague.”  Hell, I JUST said to my husband THIS very morning after I posted my data dump, “I will probably never fully trust anyone.” Wow. Way to go…  Team… ➟➟ of ONE!  How convenient for someone who wants to stay stuck in the beige realm.  (Is that taupe or ecru?  No one really knows.)

I will remember to revere 

myself,

and take care of 

my one and
only 

ME! 

Finally, what I got in the silence today is that by being vague about how I feel, or stepping around things, as my cousin and I talked about, rather than going through them, I’m setting myself and others up to be nuked or data dumped on — like today.  I have lots of feelings and words just swarming around dying to get out!  So if I pressure cook them without releasing the valve at the appropriate time, “She’s gonna blow, Captain!”  What I said in my post on Facebook, I meant.  My regret is that I didn’t say it all sooner and handle it under the category of self-care rather than anger and hurt.

An Aside:  I just took a break from writing this blog post to read some of  the comments on Facebook.  After I posted my blast, I purposely ignored it for a while.  I was fully expecting some cricket noises, maybe a few thumbs-up, and possibly some negative returns.  But I am in tears right now instead at the support I have received.  This is what happens when you put yourself on an island in your mind instead of sharing.  You begin to think you are alone in your feelings and experiences.  I am touched by the kind and caring comments, as well as some private messages, text messages, and phone calls I have received in response.  I hate to sound cliché, but my mind is just blown.  It is time for me to do the work of someone who is ready to move forward from where I’ve been stuck.

I am sad.  I am tired.  My head hurts.  I feel a little less angry today, but I see I have a ways to go, and I fully understand it is totally up to me to find my way to peace.  This is a journey I have to take alone.  I don’t mean that in that lonely, sad way — like “I don’t want anyone around” way, or “There is no one to help me” lugubrious way.  It just is what it is!  Some lessons and transformation are truly and simply a journey for one.

So, what am I going to do about this revelation?  What am I going to do next?  I’m going to buy more wind chimes, that’s for sure.  Those things are MAGIC… like Tinkerbell!  For sure I need to be responsible.  What that looks like is no longer allowing people to abuse my time, which includes family gossip and anything or anyone that just doesn’t feel good or right, or anything that puts me in the position of aligning myself with someone that consistently and purposely makes others feel bad.  After that… I need to stay present and conscious, and I’ll just keep breathing (both directions), learning, and sharing.  

Stay with me.  I’m sure my ride is not over.

ღ Love yourself.

Little Spitfire
I would like to go back
and hug her so tight!

Debora Lynn

P.S.  “Follow” my blog if you want to keep up with me (button on the far right side).  Some of my posts are going to change tone.  When it makes sense, you’re going to see more clearly who I’m writing about. 


A Smattering Is a Big Measure

I grew up in a culturally diverse neighborhood, and probably not all that surprising, my family is quite diverse as well.  We are multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-generational, multi-political, feminists, gay and lesbian… you name it, we’ve multi’d it!  We share a common public service theme, i.e., teachers, healthcare workers, therapists, social workers, cops, and firefighters.  We love our music — all types, and I can’t think of one of us that won’t cut a rug when a tune plays whether anyone else thinks we look good doing it or not.  Essentially, we have a smattering of just about every socioeconomic group you might think of… just about.  I think that makes us special, and I know it is a blessing.

Today, however, I’m not wanting to talk about how special we are or why.  To be straightforward, we buried my mother-in-law yesterday, and I’m feeling drawn inward by the whole experience. Today I want to express why being special in this way and having this blessing is really two other things: an opportunity and an obligation.  Depending on the day, I may feel stronger about one or the other, but my mind will never change about the importance of either.  People don’t often like the word “obligation,” and I’ll bet a lot of people tuned out when they read that one.  It’s not a bad word — just something to live into, not always up to.  This is the case with a family like mine.  This is where people are missing the boat, so to speak.  My family is special, but we are not unique, and we are becoming less and less unique as time flies by.  That’s why this feels so important to me. My own family’s demographics are much like the rest of our country’s, just on a smaller, easier to view scale — a microcosm.

The opportunity in a family like ours is a rich one, not unlike our total human family. But the opportunity doesn’t exist at all if we refuse to listen to each other. This is true of the human existence overall — no different than my own special family.  If we refuse (I won’t use the word “can’t” here, because it really is a refusal.) to validate each other’s individual life experiences we are truly doomed.  Our family is doomed.  This country is doomed, and you can follow the trail from there.  Because we don’t look the same; because we don’t worship the same; because we have lived in different parts of the country; all these things have given us different experiences — ones that we don’t all share. For some reason those of us who don’t share them feel that those experiences somehow don’t exist or lack validity.  We pick and choose simple arguments to prove our points, rather than just simply listening to our loved one’s experiences.  Isn’t that crazy? I personally find it near insane and completely unloving that we’d rather pick a random article, written by a random unknown person to prove our preconceived notion than to lend our loved ones our ear, much less grant them some validation, or better yet, give them some credence and climb on board.

I posted this the other day after watching some family and some friends do and say some very destructive things, and also out of worry for another whom I think could be selling herself short:

Don’t limit yourself by listening only to those who you know are already in agreement with you, and be mindful of surrounding yourself with limited thinkers.  Growth and learning don’t happen in the dark.  Open your heart and soul to the light of others.

Then in response:

I used to think it was common sense, but not anymore.  I really think it’s a learned skill, and a heart condition that is WILLING to hear another’s experience and validate it, even in the possibility of learning that we might need to admit we need to change our own thinking.  Most people just can’t align with this.  We’d rather stand in our rightness and righteousness than to admit we might be wrong or not understand something fully.  It’s sad.

I realize there is a lot of obligation wrapped up in this post, but I hope that the readers can recognize how much opportunity there is as well, and that they actually go hand-in-hand. There is ALWAYS obligation if you want opportunity.  However, often when we associate obligation with family and close friends it may feel like opening the door to be trampled upon, or like extra work.  That is not at all what I’m suggesting, nor am I suggesting that you do the trampling.  But if you can’t own up to the obligation of who you are in your family, and even bigger, the world, you absolutely will miss out on the opportunity to love and be loved for who you are as well.  You absolutely will miss out on blessings that will undoubtedly enrich your life.  If you can see the differences only as something to immediately dismiss and/or disagree with, you are ultimately selling yourself short, though you may at first be selling the other short.  You will be the one who loses out in the end.  At any time and any place in life when you deny someone their right to just “be” in their existence, to allow them the space to have an expression of how life occurs for them, you are also shutting the door on yourself.  Imagine that it would be like an opportunity to step through a door that takes you on a trip through a place you’ve never seen, but choosing to just shut the door instead.

It’s real comfortable to go through life only with people that already agree with you.  It’s easy to read only things that you already know, or things that sound like what you already say.  It’s even easier to spread posts and articles without drilling down and researching what is being put out there simply because we like what it says.  How does this enrich your life?  Where is the learning?  Where is the discovery?  Where is the growth in this kind of behavior and thinking?  This is actually inaction at its finest, and it’s also sadly the stuff that is not worth hurting people we care about over, yet it happens daily.  We are quick to be indifferent to or minimize someone’s experience when it is something we don’t know, and adamant about standing in our own opinion even in the face of losing someone, even in the face of limiting our own experiences.  We humans will do all this, risk all this, avoid all this —  because we would rather be right than to just listen.

We could change the world, but we refuse to even change our minds.  A smattering is more than you think.  We can only change the world one mind at a time, but we forget we must start with our own.  Give yourself the opportunity of living into something more than what you already know.

A Smattering of My Beloveds