It's taken me a few days to sit with, and find some words to express around this planetary situation. I have also felt it necessary to make room for the voices from black people and people of colour to take centre stage while I listen and learn.
This is not only a personal share, of which I felt more value in doing, but a public stance and commitment to where my solidarity and work is at the moment.
I’ve left no stone unturned in my own personal growth process for over a decade, and am always awaiting the next edge and uncomfortable place that I still need to explore when it's presented.
This situation is one of them.
I was born onto this planet in a white skin suit, in a country and culture where systemic racism is a part of our world and how we experience life. Every human being on the planet is a part of this culture in some form or another, regardless of whether it’s in our faces or not.
I was born into privilege also. White privilege. I’ve had it better than the large majority of the population in so many ways.
At school, I learnt more about the first white man that came to Australia and ‘founded it’, than I did about the profound ancient indigenous culture, and the truth of what Australian land is built upon.
In my teens I was getting around in NBA gear and a pair of Jordans, idolising him and black culture from which he came forth. I listened to rap music, still do at times.
Black culture has been a huge phenomenon in cultures around the world…
Yet, just like Indigenous cultures, mostly just the ‘good’ bits.
The digestible bits.
The pedestal pieces.
I enjoy many close friendships with people from different cultures, backgrounds and belief systems.
My passion is shadow work - Unwinding the human wound.
We ALL have wounds and our own slice of suffering in this life, to varying degrees, and I'm fascinated by that.
We also have COLLECTIVE WOUNDING, that we are ALL responsible for in some way.
I’ve learnt from deep experience, that anything that makes me uncomfortable, is a place where existence is guiding me to look more deeply into for my own evolution. Anytime I deny, judge, blame or dismiss anything with emotional charge in it, I’ve lost an opportunity for the gold that's within that circumstance.
So I’ve come to yet another ‘edge’ - another uncomfortable frontier - where I am faced with something that although appears on the outer and happening elsewhere, is intrinsically a part of ME, simply because I am experiencing it.
Just like any real shadow work, it’s uncomfortable walking this path and being faced with something that I essentially know nothing about, and will never fully understand.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of colour, whatever colour that may be, and never will.
I feel it’s my duty with this privilege, as a white man ‘walking his path’, one who stands for integrity and authenticity, to make a statement at this time and perhaps shed some different light on this topic for my friends and followers. At the same time owning and accounting for everything I possibly can within it - while it’s up, present and accessible to all.
When I hear the words WHITE FRAGILITY and WHITE PRIVILEGE, inside my body I feel different responses and reactions that mutate and shift. I can sense this deep existential shame and guilt that I carry IN my body around these things.
Easy to dismiss and move away from, but therein lies the rub…
That's how I know that there’s something more to lean into and take greater ownership and accountability for, even if I don’t know exactly all of what that entails just now.
Racism to me - much like the core wound of shame - is insidiously weaved into this existence, in the way that can slide and move outside of our conscious grasp a lot of the time, especially if I’m not of colour. When it’s UP, it’s time to take action, and for me this is what the opportunity is, to grab this topic, and throw the maximum amount of energy, learning and and resources at it while it’s up, so that it doesn’t go back to sleep in the same way ever again.
So what am I doing?
I’m saying sorry.
To all people of colour, from my land of origin to all those across the world, for any part that I’ve played, consciously or unconsciously, in this racism story of humanity, and for any dishonouring of the cultures and people that i’ve been blessed to interact with, either directly or indirectly through my human experience.
It is my commitment to do better.
I am acknowledging that this is another growth point for me.
I am taking action to further educate myself on this topic, to read and learn more about it and to attend workshops and gatherings around this, so I feel as grounded in it as I can possibly be.
I will continue to use my platforms to post things that I resonate with, including this topic, and that I find of value on my way. If I lose followers or support standing in this, so be it.
These are my first steps.
I’m here to deconstruct, both myself and the false threads of an unjust illusory system that keeps us separate, suffering, in fear, blame, shame and guilt for who we are as a people.
As a leader, coach & facilitator. A man in a committed relationship with a brown latinx woman. A man who is committed to creating positive and lasting change on the planet in this lifetime. One who is willing to fight for the truth, whether it means I fill a room or clear it, and whether I have to stand on a hill and die by it.
All I’ve got is my truth, and a fierce dedication to ownership and accountability of all things in my reality, I will continue to do this, and to speak from that space…
Come what may.