I have done some serious and brutally honest listening and observing of myself and my business in the wake of protests calling for social justice and an end to systemic racism.
What I discovered here is that I have little patience for empty proclamations by people who claim that they “support the BIPOC community” and throw a filter on a FB profile and call it a day. That’s not what is needed here. There have been commendable posts and letters from many many many businesses and writers that I admire, not only calling for action but taking a good look at themselves and recognizing action that they can (and vow to) take. This is not a time to point fingers and talk about what other people should do – it’s a time to step back and reflect on what we can and are willing to do. Change begins with ourselves.
So what am I doing? As I dismantle and reconstruct my business from the foundation, I am asking myself how each service I offer and decision I make contributes to a more open, compassionate, loving and just society. I am looking at the blogs and newsletters I read and asking if I am listening to a diverse collection of voices. I am actually listening to these voices and adjusting my own language and awareness. I am learning to bring more conversation surrounding racial and economic inequality into my work. I am looking at my plans for the future and assessing the impact of those plans on both local and global communities.
I am aware of and acknowledge how my silence in the past has contributed to racism and supported systemic racial injustice – and I am challenging myself to find my voice in the conversation.
I am also aware of and acknowledge what kind of activism works for me and what I can commit to. It is not the angry and aggressive calls for change. That is not who I am – though the anger is warranted, and change is absolutely needed, and this type of activism is crucial to change. My brand of activism is the quiet kind that works one on one with people, challenging them to ask themselves hard questions, to see hard truths, and frankly – to do hard things. As I challenge myself to do all of those things myself.
Society is made up of people, and I can contribute to helping individuals to embrace change, challenge fear, and transform their lives to become their best selves – thus building a society that reflects the kind of people who are not controlled by fear and judgement, who are truly strong and brave enough to share their open-hearted and compassionate selves with the world. Strong systemic change happens when people are not limited by “the way it’s always been done” – but instead see the possibility of being open to change, and are willing to do the work to reformat and restructure from the ground up, building upon solid values, new perspectives, and fresh ideas.
Working with individuals to help them to evolve into their highest self is my form of activism, and the work that my clients do radiates out and touches everyone around them. The success of individuals of all racial and economic backgrounds contributes to a successful community and society. It is a subtle but impactful approach to creating a shift and moving toward lasting change.
I continue to look at myself, my values, my decisions. I continue to listen. I will continue to evolve, to strive for better, and to help people to navigate their darkness with the intention to contribute to a more just, inclusive, loving society. This is not an empty promise, it is my choice of action and what I can fully commit to doing.
Many blessings to you, my friends, and many hopes for a brighter and more just future for us all.