This past Sunday we continued our exploration of The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor. I talked about race, belonging, identity, and Wholeness. It was a deep dive into expanding our spiritual focus from how you're doing individually to how we're doing collectively. I shared my personal experience as a bi-racial woman and how I've been impacted by racism within my family of origin.
In our spiritual communities, we often don't want to talk about or address negativity or negative experiences like racism. However, what I know about long-term, sustainable transformational work is that anything you are denying, ignoring, or repressing will limit how far you can go. Essentially, if you deny truth with a little t, then your experience of truth with a capital T will be stunted.
We know this in our private practitioner session with clients. When we work with a client, we hold space for them to express their emotions, dig deeper into their thoughts and beliefs, and release judgment, criticism, shame, and blame. This is critical healing work that creates an opening to align with your spiritual Truth not just as an idea, but as a felt experience in your heart and body.
This work of connecting the head with the heart does not always feel good. It can be painful, uncomfortable, scary, and overwhelming. But, the rewards are infinite. An integrated heart and mind provides access to a deeper understanding and experience of love for yourself and others. It is this love that is the foundation of forgiveness, reconciliation, transformation, and freedom.
The Centers for Spiritual Living are on a mission to create a world that works for everyone and all creation. This mission requires the same transformational work on a collective level that we do on an individual level. We must know and feel our way through the underlying trauma of oppression and marginalization. As an organization, we must provide space for an expanding consciousness around race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, size, religion, education, age, etc. Essentially anything that creates privilege for some also creates pain for others. We don't create a world that works for all by ignoring these points of privilege and pain. We create a world that works for all by bringing them into the light of awareness where they can no longer function in the same way. We begin to understand how these ideas are playing out both in our own minds and in the community we want to create. Then we align with Spiritual Truth and take powerful action.
Do you want a more diverse, abundant, and thriving spiritual community as well as a world that works for all? It starts with an exploration of your own individual identities along with an examination of how they fit into the larger, collective social structures. Take some time to reflect:
1. What are your identities? Consider race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, size, religion, education, and age.
2. How have your identities helped or hindered you? Notice the places that provide privilege and/or pain.
3. What are the collective, social, or societal beliefs and biases that lead to that privilege and/or pain?
Understanding your identities and the identities of others, is a vital part of pulling out the weeds of oppression in the collective mind so that we can more fully experience the Truth of our Wholeness, our inherent beauty, and the divinity in our diversity and shared humanity.
I see your Wholeness - your immeasurable worth and value just as you are in all of your identities - even when society or your family doesn't see it. I love you and I want you to flourish.
Cassandra Rae, spiritual director
Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock
Join us every Sunday at 10:30 am (doors open at 10)
Sunnyside Community Hall at 1845 154 St, Surrey, BC V4A 5J8