We Must Change
Can you see a multi-racial planetary future?
The road to a non-racist future is long.
Why transform if not for the well-being of all?
In the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 – a microscopic entity (by Scientific standards) created upheaval for ourselves, our neighbors down the street and across the planet.
We deepened into a planetary identity. In one of these narratives, we shifted from a globalized culture focused on commerce to a planetary culture wishing to protect each other and our loved ones. For a brief but powerful energetic moment, we prioritized care. Patterns so ingrained, undone. We adapted. We collectively “presenced.” We are still urged to take our life day by day.
This period is exposing that all has not been fine. We’ve played into systemic racism. The urgency to heal the planet is not climate change but to heal ourselves. The past is rushing in for the privileged. That which we cannot ignore exposed. The shadow is being seen. A legacy of colonization and amnesia does not bode well for a planetary culture. It’s healing however, is liberation. We are celestial beings.
The past lives daily with oppressed communities in perpetual crisis. What appears as upheaval to the privileged is but part of life in communities fighting to survive. Look at the stats for BIPOC people (Black, Indigenous, People of Color – members of the global majority) – environmental degradation, housing, opportunities for learning communities/alternative education, mortality, death, wealth. Name it and there’s a gap fueled by centuries of power dynamics
When does it stop?
Here we address blindspots. Those places we don’t have time to address. I’m too busy. I already know that. I’ve learned that. I know what I need to know. There’s something I need to know? Privilege.
We locate blindspots in our bodies – in our heart of hearts. That mysterious tug signaling we are prepared to release our willful amnesia controlled by “I know” into a remembrance encouraged by our ability to presence and let go. What lies in the shadows?
Whiteness is decaying. It’s melting, sloughing off. It’s going away. Your color is beautiful. It’s the performance of whiteness and it’s particular overt and subtle configuration of power, privilege, domination, censorship, blissful ignorance, accumulation-of-resources-as-fact-of-life, and extractive ways that do not have a role to play in a multi-racial planetary future (aho, for reparations). How can we let go of that we do not name?
This is going to cause a lot of anger. This is causing anger. It has been causing anger. Generally, there are a lot of emotions involved.
Justice is love that sears the flesh, mind, and heart. It is a brilliant star bursting with heat. It is unfamiliar terrain for those comfortable or in denial. Any soul living in deep inquiry within the living system of life can feel the swirling patterns of an era shifting. Here we navigate danger and opportunity.
As a planetary culture, we need nourishing communities that can care for our learning – learning that is difficult, learning that deepens compassion, bravery, and love. What future do we want to build? What do we want to emerge? The Black Lives Matter movement is a movement about justice. Where does justice land in the white body? Anti-racism supports the pursuit of liberation. The integrality of liberation supports freedom/ enlightenment for everyone as part of a planetary dream, but are we willing to look at our shadows?
However well-meaning a community, colonization is blinding. Normalizing difficult conversations and brave conversations is a healing balm and an antidote – a learning journey where learning edges meet honesty and a different perspective of what a planetary existence can look like. A transformative culture – rooted as a whole system supports individual learning paths. Peace building and justice building go hand in hand. Locating this relationship is as simple as paying attention to where in the body you feel anything at all. This is one pathway of many to amplify anti-racism, equity, and a truly diverse world for a flourishing future for everyone and all beings.
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Vanessa Cabrales, MA In Transformational Learning, TLCP
Vanessa served as one of the youngest council members at Alma de Mujer Center Social Change, a program part of The Indigenous Women’s Network. She has received grants through the City of Austin for interdisciplinary art-making and curation, supporting projects on Living Inquiry and Honoring Ancestral Presence. She is currently fundraising for a curation project, Resisting Dystopia.