I have been feeling so many emotions the last few weeks. I have alternated between feeling extreme anger to deep sadness as it feels like there is no progress in the fight for racial equality and justice. I’ve swung from encouragement as I watch company after company, celebrity after celebrity, joining in the cry that Black Lives Matter, to utter frustration that it has taken so dang long and that all of these people and companies were silent for far too long. I’ve experienced fear as I watch the protests happening around the country, and I’m transported back to Charlottesville where my partner and countless friends were involved in fights and helping the wounded. But then I experience so much joy as I watched the video of so many of our community standing on the streets of Broadway and High last week, as car horns honked in agreement.
I think many of us are experiencing a roller coaster of emotions and so many questions. Questions that we may never get answered, but questions we will keep asking. As I started thinking about today’s Meditation Monday and what I wanted to add to the conversation, I realized that what I as a white person of privilege need to do right now is step back and listen. I hope you’ll join me in this.
I want to share a couple of meditations that I found, both written by Dr. Candice Nicole. Dr. Candice Nicole is a counseling psychologist and assistant professor in the University of Kentucky’s counseling psychology program. I came across her Black Lives Matter Meditations as I was struggling to find some moments of self-care. In the blog post, Dr. Candice Nicole provides two meditations; the first titled Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma, a meditation for people of color. She writes, “racial trauma exacts a psychological and physiological toll on people of color, and those involved in the Movement for Black Lives are especially vulnerable to hourly personal, emotional, and physical racist attacks. Guided meditation is one way to assist in calming a heightened state of distress, affirming one’s value and humanity, and recentering with love for Black people.”
The second meditation, The Ally + Accomplice Meditation for Cultivating an Anti-Racist Mindset, was developed a year after the first. Dr. Candice Nicole writes, “my intention is to offer an opportunity to mindfully reflect with guidance from a Black person in a way that attends to the cognitive, affective and physiological parts of the person listening.” This meditation was designed “for White people who want to partner in liberation with Black people.” I have to tell you that I found this meditation to be incredibly moving and powerful. I encourage you to find a comfortable position and listen to the whole meditation. You won’t regret it. When you finish, consider journaling, or finding another creative way to express the emotions that rise up during this meditation. And if you would like to share what you experienced, or would just like to have a listening ear, I would love to hear from you.