As I sit down with my tea, to prep for my first week of “normal” work since the murder of George Floyd, I realize how important it is, right here and now, to make commitments for long-term change.
Because nothing should go back to normal.
We should not return to our scheduled posts, our services, our sales.
Many companies are sharing their commitments or their values right now, which is important, but also feels like lip service or marketing, or surface-level support.
Amazon shows a Black Lives Matter banner; yet we know this company refused to offer PPE to employees to protect them from Covid-19 in their facilities, a pandemic impacting black communities disproportionately.
Chase Bank also created a graphic on their web pages to support Black Lives; yet we know who funds massive displacement of Indigenous People on “protected” land.
So when I express and commit to anti-racism in what I offer, what I need to do, and where my impact is most helpful, I understand the weight and the actions required of me as a business owner, a facilitator, and a white woman.
What I will share today will discuss my commitment to make an impact, to offer support, to share resources, and ultimately, do my part in ending white supremacy.
When I look at what I am able to do with my skills, my audience, I realize I am in a considerable position to educate.
A majority of my clients are white women. And it is clear that we have so, so, so much work to do.
Before sharing these values and vows, I feel it is essential to share where I have gone wrong.
To state ways that a company will move forward without reaching deep into the shadows of the people who run these companies — it is not meaningful, it is not real.
It is also imperative that white people get more comfortable with changing behaviors, especially after someone takes the time to offer correction. Whereas the harm of ignorance is significant, knowing better, and not doing better, is wicked.
Even though I educate and speak often about cultural appropriation, spiritual bypassing, ancestral/generational trauma & inherited beliefs, it does not abstain me from reckoning with my missteps.
It is uncomfortable.
But it is necessary.
This shows how deep white supremacy runs — I can intelligently know it exists in wrongness, but instinctively perpetuate it.
During a retreat about Breaking Cycles—habits that have formed in our lives, or that have been inherited from our mothers and fathers—a guest, a Black woman, shared about her experiences with racism, and having severe discomfort around blonde, blue-eyed women. Another guest, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white woman, took this personally, defensively expressed how uncomfortable it made her feel, and began her verbal processing in front of the group, even speaking directly to the Black woman who shared, asking questions and seeking validation.
A similar instance happened at a workshop where we all journaled and created vision boards for 2020, sharing about what we learned in the past decade and what we hope the next decade will bring. There was a guest, a white woman, who commented on every single share, offering a new perspective or a solution. This is an obvious cross of boundaries, but it deepened in its impact because most of the women who shared that day were Black Women.
As a facilitator noticing these microaggressions, I pivoted the conversation. Later, I spoke with these guests privately about the weight of their comments and boundaries that were crossed, and created guidelines for compassionate discourse in future events.
The question I ask myself is why I felt this was a reasonable response.
The answer is painfully obvious, but I will break down the thought process for you:
1. Why did I avoid the conversation in front of the group?
Answer: Because I prioritized comfortability.
2. Why was comfortability on the table?
Answer: Because I promised a safe space.
3. Why was the discomfort of white women the indicator of safety?
Answer: Because I have been raised and conditioned to prioritize the feelings of white women, of myself.
4. Why did white feelings matter?
Answer: Because we live in a world that values white feelings over Black experiences.
5. Why did I uphold this?
Answer: Because I inherently, as a white person who benefits from white supremacy, am supposed to uphold these violations out of fear of consequences.
My nonaction in those moment said loud and clear whose feelings mattered in those spaces.
White supremacy lives, breathes, and breeds in white people, whether in the light of day or in the shadows, and that’s why it’s vital that my work as business owner starts with me, and is ongoing throughout my practice.
Coming to these conclusions is a requirement.
I have in my past been a fragile white person, infuriated when someone had the nerve to call me out. I have also centered conversations about racism to focus on my experiences growing up in a predominately black neighborhood — both of these examples are times I can look back and see how harmful this behavior is. I know what it’s like to be ignorant and entitled and privileged, and reject each and every one of the notions. And, I can share from experience how instantaneous it is to change your behaviors once you keep listening instead of ignoring or avoiding.
To hold myself accountable, I offer specific ways I will be active in anti-racism. This is just the start, a non-exhaustive list, not a checklist to complete; my actions will update and evolve as I continue growing and learning. My actions will update and evolve until Black people are free.
💛Adding cultural context in every Tarot 101 Workshop & Tarot Study
💛Removing culturally appropriative practices from teachings or rituals, such as Smudging
💛Intentionally including topics of anti-racism in retreat programming (for example, the Nourish Your Body retreat did not include a specific time to discuss race, which is a major oversight. I rescheduled it for a later date to research ways to incorporate it into the program)
💛Unpacking white supremacy, white exceptionalism, white privilege, white entitlement in sessions with one-on-one clients
💛Including more resources by Black Women in teachings
💛Vetting potential partners to identify problematic language/behaviors, as well as see their commitment to anti-racism
💛Severing ties and connections with partnerships that do not commit to anti-racist work
💛Purchasing from more Black-owned businesses
💛Inviting and paying more Black experts to speak at retreats and workshops
💛Donating to causes on a regular basis to support Black communities
💛Creating free downloads to educate Spiritual White practitioners on culturally inappropriate language/practices and provide appropriate alternatives
💛Researching my lineage to understand the depth of my inherited racism (what to heal, what to repair)
💛Researching my heritage to learn of my own culture and practices
💛Expanding my understanding of cultural appropriation
💛Continuing education about tarot, spirituality, and cultural context
💛Devoting daily time to learn more about anti-racism, allyship, Queer/Gender issues, and more
💛Speaking openly about my own mistakes and corrections
What this means for White clients:
In your time working with me, expect to address Anti-Racism. This conversation is not an “if.” There is no spiritual growth, no mental health or healing, while white supremacy flows through us unaddressed. I will not always have the right thing to say and I will often refer to notes or external resources, but I will no longer hold space for microaggressions, spiritual bypassing, or cultural appropriation. You are in a space to be educated on white supremacy and how it starts within, and seeps outward into our communities. Expect to engage in these conversations. They will be different for each person, each client, depending on where you are in your awareness, and it will be difficult for all involved. But these conversations are necessary. If you want to build a better world — start with you.
What this means for Black clients:
you are held in safety. When we talk about race, when we talk about manifestation, when we talk about abundance, when we talk about anything… your identity is seen and matters.
This is the year of The Emperor.
It is the year to destroy the systems.
To rebuild the foundation.
To lift up humanity.
The world is not ending. A new world is beginning.