Postcard from North Carolina - October 2023Oct 10, 2023
Oh fall. Just lay me down to rest with your rainy mornings. Take me out to kayak on your smooth waters. You offer a splash of color, a sage reminder that winter is coming. You coax me into letting go of old cups, books I know I wont ever open again, socks that are threadbare or flying solo. You invite me to soccer games and campfires, hikes and car shows. I see you, fall, stretching to hold it all.
I want to meet fall right where she is, not grieving summer, not anticipating winter. Every day, I long to show up here, in this place, now. My coach recently offered a grounding that included the notion that when we breathe, we are in the present because our breath only happens in the present. We can't breathe in the past or in the future - we take our breath right now. Somehow, that small awareness has moved mountains inside me.
This month, I am delighted to celebrate 3 years as a solopreneur. Coaching, facilitating and consulting with clients from across the country.
What a journey!
There is no way I would be here without the support of mentors, coaches, and my family. So much gratitude for the web that holds me!
I am honing in on some adjustments to how I work with organizational clients and leaning into a rhythm with my coaching groups, imagining a calendar for 2024 that has juicy projects and clients balanced with ease and play. Honestly, I am bringing play and art more into my practice every day. Pushing myself to bring openings that are not language based, more right brained, more embodied. And guess what? Clients are digging it!
This does not mean the hard goes away. And I've noticed something happen when we make space for the body, for grief and for play. The hardness of racism, the burdens of shame and confusion become lighter, and there's a willingness in the room to be more vulnerable, to create something entirely different, to release a pattern that has not been serving them as individuals or the group as a community.
The gift of genuine laughter in multiracial work space cannot be overstated. In the midst of working through roles, decision making, power dynamics - a group's willingness to engage the imagination is key. When we engage play, the body and the spirit, or art making in our facilitation (Please remember that your staff meeting is a facilitation - every meeting is a chance to play):
>> Hierarchies are disturbed (in a good way) and the field becomes more aligned
>> Laughter makes room for trying something different (being vulnerable)
>> We decenter the front of the room - the group's wisdom is more centered
>> Introverts and extroverts must negotiate space in a different way
>> Trust is built
What are you doing to bring more right brain activities into your meetings, projects, connections?
Two weeks ago, I worked with an international group of teachers and it was so joyful. There was deep respect and tenderness in the room, as well as the courage to speak to the harms happening in their community. I observed the leadership in this organization showing up vulnerably and with the utmost care for the team. The balance of gender, race and sexualities on the team may have helped with establishing a strong culture of belonging, and the modeling that we will make mistakes and learn also went a long way. One of the wonderings we had as facilitators had to do their multilingual reality. From Korean to Arabic, to Chinese to Russian - so many of them engaged in multiple languages outside the room - although we centered English in the space as our common language. And I am curious how their language adaptability has become a broader strength for them understanding their differences. I left that engagement feeling honored to witness such high integrity.
If you want to engage more deeply in your own journey of anti-racism, please consider:
** Join our collective liberation caucus for white folks that meets every 3rd Friday.
** Check out my new 90 minute online course, White People My People, for any white person wanting to dismantle racism.'
** Subscribe to my seasonal Love & Justice Box lifting up makers of color.
** Check out 2024 New Ancestor coaching opportunities.
All of these items above are described on Beyond Conflict's website.
Poem of the Month
For Neruda: Political Landscape by Sandra McPherson
You were a ship in a narrow creek.
Ferns, sprouting nests, crawfish,
sulphurous rocks split open, a scent
of hand-crushed bay leaves…
A horse rode over the waterfall
and started the revolution.
Flowing to the public beach,
the blood could hardly be felt
on the backs of swimmers.
The pier’s timbers marched on into it.
Salt preserved the black ration, mocked artillery
in crackle of its sublimation.
If those are dreams, consider these soporifics:
old roots guard the springs of the creek,
sun stirs the muddy pond, leaves calm in the current
between leaky boats,
with a dead bee. The poor child
on whom the boathouse falls grows up as the sleeper
in a black train on its way to the beach
and the dance hall.
Wined fish from the sea. Cordial jowl
of pelican. The creek like a torn nylon cropped
by the tide: while American music grinds the carousel,
horses of revolution.
Provocations and Nourishment
In 2024, I will be convening 2 more New Ancestors coaching groups for white people who want to center racial justice in all aspects of living - money, family, work, community. Reach out if you're interested and we can set up a 1:1.
We Are Finding Freedom is hosting a community wide online event open to any white and white presenting people interested in collective liberation, anti-racism and dismantling the legacies of white womanhood. Join us to celebrate the life and work of Jessie Daniel Ames. November 2, 6:00-7:30pmET. RSVP here.
Somatic Experiencing begins on October 19th
Navigating Trauma 6 sessions with Dr, Diane Poole Heller starts October 16th.
Human Badass of the Month
Antoinetta Mosley is a courage curator, keynote speaker, and culture strategist, who helps individuals and organizations reach their highest potential by teaching them the power of consistently cultivating courage.