None of 2020 is easy. It is bringing up a lot for people to process, and if we are not doing the inner work and learning to lead from love, then fear, anger and division will prevail, which is what has got us all here in the first place.
I don't claim to have all the answers, but I have committed to doing the inner work for the past 7+ years, and that work is about exploring what is happening within us that leads to what we express outside of us - our feelings and our words. Both of which are important signals, and with all that is going on and all that I am processing, I want to talk about how we can make this vital transition with more ease, grace and understanding.
Your feelings and words are important signals
I just want to start by saying, none of this is easy.
I was sitting on this thought last week, this reminder to myself about how my feelings are giving me signals on what I need to change (within) and the words I use (and how I use them) when I speak to others is either contributing to a current or an outdated narrative, and I get to choose to reframe, rewire and redirect.
Then everything in the world changed again. This very eye of the needle focus went from COVID worldwide pandemic to the whole world waking up to the pain and discrimination of black lives in America and from there we shifted our focus and suddenly COVID didn’t exist.
Now, when I say that it didn’t exist and the focus was shifting, I want to bring some perspective here to where that narrative has been coming from - mainstream media and social media.
We are all subjected to mainstream media narrative across the world because of the internet, and then we have social media, a place for every person to be heard.
There are many voices, much pain, many perspectives and a lot of division.
As someone who has spent the last 7+ years deeply doing the inner work, I made a commitment to myself to keep my mind open, to ask questions and to be curious about what I am seeing and hearing, especially from myself.
Any change that happens outside of us must start within first.
Your feelings and words are important signals.
When we feel uncomfortable we have a choice to stop, look at what is the cause of the discomfort and then work out if it is based on beliefs that are outdated or from a lack of knowing, understanding and fear?
Any of those feelings can lead us to curiously explore further within ourselves what has been hiding beneath the surface, and when we don’t know the answers, and we need to learn from others, we start by asking, by being open with the fact that we do not know and that means we are now learning, something new to us, something that has come into our vision and that is going to take some time.
In no case should these feelings EVER be turned into vitriol, shaming and guilting of others whilst we are ALL learning something new.
Unfortunately, when I go online that is what I have seen more of the last few days than anything else.
And this deeply saddens me as it delays the change we are moving towards and leaves more people in pain than is necessary.
Shame and guilt are the lowest vibrational energies we have.
Vibrational energies are important to understand. Next time you feel something, measure it against this guide and consider how you feel inside changes as the feeling shifts.
If you have read Brené Brown’s work, Daring Greatly, you will know that there are statistics that show how shame literally eats away at us from the inside out.
If you haven’t read it, now might be the time for you to explore further and have a greater understanding of these feelings and the impact it has on people’s lives and the way that they behave.
What I have seen from others tearing people down for not speaking up because they believe they should, or someone not using the right hashtag has been heartbreaking to witness.
Is this the way to real lasting change?
In my opinion, no.
Social media is for someone to express themselves, their feelings and their work. Not for them to be shamed into doing what YOU believe they should do to make you feel better.
If you admire someone and they haven’t shared on a social media square or their stories, how do you actually know what conversations they are having on the other side of your phone?
How do you know what they may be educating themselves about?
How do you know that their silence may be because they are scared of saying the wrong and being torn down for not getting it right so they are waiting until their heart and mind feels clearer?
Judgement about others is not the solution.
Most of us are in a space of relearning about who we are as human beings, this human race that has been divided for so long - we are all unpacking this together, some further along than others and many bravely stepping into the transformational zone that brings greater awareness to the masses.
If you want to know why someone (who you have deemed is important and must speak out because of their platform), then please, ask them directly before you publicly call them out.
If you want to be part of the solution, please start with asking yourself why you think using your energy to tear someone down is the way to peace and equality and understanding?
If you want to be part of the solution, what work are you doing on and within yourself every day before you ask what another is doing?
For me, this means that I had to recognise on a deeper level what privilege means, and also see how I have been able to easily brush these things off as 'it's an American thing'.
That then led me to realise what a privilege that was to be able to choose that.
Which led me to see that this is not just an American thing, although that is truly where our pain is being deeply repressed and expressed right now and black Americans need us to help change this with love, not anger.
So when I looked again I saw that I have done that here too; 'it's an Aboriginal thing' and because I could dismiss my role in their lives, I continue to live my life without this being affected.
So I put my hand up and say, I am sorry, I really did not see that it was a privilege for me to be able to turn away.
I now know that I can have a role to be part of the solution in a more profound way.
I also do not know what to say or do or what you are really feeling, so I am asking where can I learn more, where can I understand that, without you having to feel like you are reliving pain or injustices, but from a place of storytelling that shows me something different to what I have only known.
So my role now is to not turn away, but to be part of a solution that is about us being one human race, not divided by colour.
I am reading, listening, watching but what I am weary of is that this is a long term change and I don’t want it to be just a fad that we forget about because the next big thing comes along.
A revolution of our lives is taking place, and it can only create lasting change if we choose to commit to not forgetting, and to be part of the solution for a new narrative and inclusivity for all.
Our society is angry, scared and over-IT! On a whole, fears have been compounded this year over money, housing, jobs and food - we started with the Australian bushfires, we moved into the worldwide COVID pandemic, we saw a rebellion start with MASS MEDIA inaccuracies in their one-sided narrative and then everyone was locked up in our homes - this has created a boiling pot of emotions and now we are feeling it.
Feeling emotions and not knowing how to actually deal with them is one of our societal issues.
We come from years of pushing them down because no one was shown how to process them. This exacerbates fear, anxiety, anger and shame until it is turned onto others. This is what our societies have been perpetuating for a long time.
How do we overcome (and recognise) our fear so we can lead change within ourselves and in the world with love?
We start by listening
To others and to ourselves. What are we really hearing and saying?
We do the introspection
Is your response coming from a place of love or fear? Do the work to uncover that so that we can lead with harmony not division.
We know that we can and will revert back to old patterns along the way of change
This is what change is, it is the forward, backward, motion of becoming something different. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip into old ways or you don’t know, learning is about continuing to review and reapply.
If you find yourself racing, slow down, breathe and be open to the fact you are learning and that can create feelings of anxiety and lack of control, it will start to balance itself out as our neurons are rewired and new patterns, thoughts and actions are consistently applied.
We commit to it being a process
Which is where we lean into commitment of change being a process, and when it comes to deeper emotional changes, these can sometimes take years to flip within us but always it happens without us being fully aware that it happened, we just realise that because we kept reframing and rewiring it one day just changed, we thought about things differently and with more ease, grace and freedom within.
We share, educate and learn with an open heart
No one is asking you to be a leader or speak out online, but sharing with those around you and being open to being educated about something you do not know with an open heart will lead to discomfort, vulnerability and great connection. We do not have to agree, but we do need to remember that everything we feel is a choice we have made about the thing, person, situation - and that my friend can be changed if we want it to open our perspective a little wider.
We recognise our judgement and we resolve it within, we don’t take it out on another
This one is big. We all judge, it is being human, but how we process it is another matter. Tend to your judgements within before taking it out on another. If we take the time to call ourselves out first we may end up building a deeper connection and understanding for another because without a doubt, vulnerability and truth is the way for humanity to understand they are not alone in what they think and feel, but when we come from love we change the narrative and the outcome.
We connect to something bigger and inclusive of all
Don’t focus on the square, focus on the bigger picture for all of humanity. You being scared and fearful is normal, but using that to divide is not the answer. No one wants war, no one wants riots, it is really a power struggle that comes from fear.
Start with love and ask yourself, is this action for the highest good or is it because I am acting from fear?
If you are acting from fear, go back to step 1 and do the work.
What am I doing? I am doing the work that I need to do for me to learn more. This is always with an internal focus, uncovering what is blocking me and being able to lead from love.
That may mean I am not specifically being radical in my voice on a square on social media, and I will still share love and pieces that bring connection from a place of inclusivity, and as I learn more I will share - not because someone has judged me and shamed me into it.
We are one race, the human race. We are built upon multifaceted ways of living that come from the country we are raised in, the personalities of our community and tribes, and that in my opinion is what makes life bright and colourful and brings unique ways of learning into my world.
I may not get things right in someone else’s eyes, but I know within myself that I am trying, I am opening to learning, I am open to connecting and I am open to leading with love and a deeper responsibility for my role in this existence - and that is not from a place of selfishness, it is from a place of desiring full inclusivity and wanting to be a better human to all.