Embodied Liberation

Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  – James Baldwin

Are you worried about climate change and environmental destruction? Or sexism, racism, classisism, ableism or any number of other isms? Me too, and as a white woman I share some of the discomfort you feel around these topics We sign petitions, donate to worthy causes, but in the end, do you also wonder whether it’s enough? If there is something else you should be doing?

Maybe you think about becoming more active politically or in your community, but you question where your time is best spent?  Your life is busy and it’s hard to know what to do. You are concerned about doing something wrong, causing harm, or getting called out.

Sometimes you wonder, what would it even look like to live in a just world? What is this destination? Is there a destination? Who do I need to be for us to reach that destination?  Who do we need to be together?

Let’s come together to explore all of this while practicing being present and taking responsibility for what we are experiencing in our bodies.  We will not necessarily be arriving at any solutions. Jumping to urgent, cognitive, rational solutions has limited use at this time.  We will practice dropping our awareness into the body, where we can hold paradox, complexity, uncertainty, and discomfort. Engaging the body, connecting with Earth, connecting with each other to tap into a deeper source of wisdom, understanding, and creativity than our mind alone.

Facing these challenges, facing the ways we have been harmed by systemic oppression, facing the ways we have caused harm to others is not easy to say the least. But as James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  Embodiment practices may increase our capacity to face these challenges.  Practicing together in community definitely will increase our capacity.

My intention with this exploration is to create a short-term community, where we engage in discussion, embodiment practices, self-reflective exercises, and have space for wonder and play.

We will:

  • build connection with each other, the park, the Earth, and more.
  • open ourselves to the feeling sense of living in a body.
  • speak from our embodied wisdom and connection.
  • explore different ways of being in the world that allow us to be more compassionate with ourselves and others.
  • become aware of our felt sense of compassion, disconnection, curiosity, uncertainty, discomfort, and more.
  • notice our bodily response to connection, injustice, paradox, and more.
  • begin to have an embodied understanding of why addressing white body supremacy and systemic oppression can feel uncomfortable.
  • experiment with simultaneously holding the joy of living in a body and the
    discomfort of living with systemic oppression.

Sounds like a lot to promise? Clearly we can’t do it all in 1.5 hours. It has taken hundreds of years to build systemic oppression.  It will take more than 1.5 hours to dismantle it.  But if we keep showing up, we might catch a glimpse of what liberation might feel like.  Or maybe not.

Interested in joining?

Practical details:
When: The second and fourth Thursdays of the month (ie, May 13th and 27th, June 10th and 24th, July 8th and 22nd, August 12th and 26th)

Where: Pinhook Park, 2801 Riverside Drive, South Bend, IN.  Park in the lot just past the Community Center.  If you stand in that parking lot with the Community Center behind you, the drive you came in on will be to the left, water on your right, and you will see us in front of you sitting amongst a grove of trees.

Who: Anybody who resonates with this invitation. My ancestors are European and I identify as white.  This workshop is specifically designed for white people to look at systemic oppression from the standpoint of how white people perpetuate systemic oppression and what they can do to interrupt and dismantle it.  People of color who resonate with this invitation are more than welcome to attend, and I invite your feedback.

What: Bring anything that you think you will need to be comfortable outdoors. (If it is raining, I’ll probably cancel, or postpone to the following week.  I’ll post updates here and on Facebook.) We will be sitting, standing, lying down, walking, and doing gentle movements.

• Bring water.
• Bring a blanket/towel/sheet to sit/lie on if you like.
• Bring a chair if you like.
• Wear comfortable clothes.  Bring layers if the weather is chilly.
• Bring a small object that has an important symbolic meaning for you, if you feel like it.
• Bring a journal if you have one and feel like bringing it.

Linda looking peaceful meditating
No Justice No Peace Sign

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