“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.
Our 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.
- 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?
When and Where: While the weather becomes colder, I’ll be taking a pause on offering Embodied Liberation on a scheduled basis. If you have a group that you think could benefit from this exploration, get in touch and let’s see what is possible!
My (Linda’s) ancestors are European and I identify as white. This 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 we invite your feedback.
This will be co-facilitated by Linda Raven and Derrick Perry. Derrick Perry is a ‘92 graduate of John Adams High School. Following high school, he became a United States Marine, specializing in communications and traveling the world during his time in the Marine Corps. Derrick has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwood University. Derrick values God, family, and education. Derrick is a husband, father of four beautiful children, mentor, and a role model for his community. Derrick has spent the past 13 years working in the mental health field with high-risk youth and families and is currently the supervisor of his community’s High-Fidelity Wraparound Program in two counties. Derrick is passionate about dismantling the “mental health stigma” and “school to prison pipeline.” Derrick is well versed in trauma informed care, knowledgeable in SEL (Social Emotional Learning), and well-known advocate and volunteer leader of Restorative Justice initiatives and practices in South Bend.
What: Bring anything that you think you will need to be comfortable outdoors. (If it is raining, we will probably cancel, or postpone to the following week. We will 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.
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