Whiteness is a thing.
It is designed to make you think it does not apply to you, even as it seduces you into using its deceptive tactics to advance its interests and sustain its life force.
Its vitality is linked to your denial that whiteness exists within you. Whiteness wants you to believe it belongs to someone else, even as its tentacles are wrapped around you like an invisible cultural code, programming you to speak and act and respond in ways that will feed its energy of survival.
If you have white skin, I am speaking to you. None of us have escaped the passing of this disease from our ancestors. But we can untangle it. We can learn to see it. And when we observe it, we are able to learn from it, understand how it operates, and develop new skills to deprogram the codes. …
John Lewis is now lying in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. History knows and has recorded all of the amazing contributions he has offered to this world in his tireless goal of calling humans to their highest selves. One story that will not be in the official history books, but is forever written in the story of our hearts, is the blessing he gave to me and Deborah for our wedding day.
The year was 2005. LGBTQ marriage equality was a hope for some distant future we might attain if we could get politicians to show the courage of their convictions. It was still a lonely road. When Deborah and I searched for wedding venues we had to work through the inevitable snarks and downright gasps that came when they realized we were both the brides, marrying each other. We finally found our perfect spot and when, next on the “to do” list, we gave thought to who might officiate our wedding, Deborah’s first instinct was to ask Mr. …
The seeds of liberty were cloaked in hypocrisy from the very moment colonizing slaveholders drafted and signed our Declaration of Independence two hundred and forty-four years ago today. No wonder the promises of freedom have been so elusive. But there is a new day dawning in America.
The concept behind the founding of a nation based on liberty, justice, and equality is a very powerful one. But so far, we are only a brilliant and noble concept. We have never measured up to its calling. …
George Floyd. Amaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Bothem Jean. Atatiana Jefferson. Elijah Al-Amin. Philando Castile. Alton Sterling. Jordan Davis. Anton Black. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. Tamir Rice. Sandra Bland. Freddie Gray.
These are only the names I can remember.
I can barely contain the rage at there being too many to name them all.
Innocent, unarmed, beautiful black people are being murdered by white people because they deign to run in “our” neighborhoods, wear hoodies, listen to rap music “too loud,” play with toy guns, or resist arrest from police they cannot trust to protect them.
Quick to see and easy to condemn, this illness of overt racism. …
Navigating life can be bittersweet.
On a recent Wednesday, my fourteen-year-old dog crossed over the rainbow bridge. On the following Monday, my twelve-year contract job was terminated with no notice. Fifty days into our pandemic quarantine and I would lose my best friend AND my income in the same week.
How is it that inner ease continues to be my overriding emotional experience? The short answer is the gift of resilience. And I want to help you build yours.
It was the weeks before Christmas in 2006 when my wife and I were shopping for shoes in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland and an unexpected opportunity to dip into a mobile adoption van from the Washington, DC animal shelter brought us face-to-face with the most amazing soul we would ever know. For fourteen years, Chester worked with us whether at the office or on the farm; explored with us on every adventure; and always slept by our side. He was our teacher, our best friend, and our beloved. Chester’s immense spirit filled our home with precious laughter, snuggles, energy, enthusiasm, and precocious inquiry. He always kept us on our toes and in our hearts. …
Mother Earth, how would the world be different if we radically loved you?
Ask instead, my child, how the world would be different if you knew MY radical love for YOU?
Say that again?
Our relationship is alive and dynamic. But you have forgotten. For just one day, allow your hearts to fill with the immense reservoir of love I have for all of humanity. Remember the wisdom I blew into your heart at your very first breath. It’s your separation from my unconditional love that causes you to act in unskillful ways against me.
But how can you love us? We have caused you so much harm.
That is what radical love is and I am your primary teacher. I love you so much that I co-created you. There is nothing you can do to be unworthy of my love. I see the goodness of your hearts. I know you are afraid — and in fear, you make unwise choices. Let me lead you back to love. …
Calamity is a fierce teacher. She has birthed many awakenings. When I stepped outside of the tiny shack that had been my isolated retreat home for 30 days in the Amazon jungle, I was entirely unaware of the unique global moment that had unfolded around me. This is the story of clueless re-entry into a world-wide pandemic and the wisdom this experience offers to navigate these challenging times.
A friend of mine owns a small farm in the jungles of Peru. She has a handful of little cabins that sit on her large duck pond. A few times annually over the past five years, I have spent ten days isolated in one of these rooms, benefiting from the remote nature of being isolated in a place with no electricity and only the sounds of exotic animals singing me to sleep each night. …