Yesterday I felt prompted to commit to dedicating the next 7 days of my daily writings to answer the question “Where Do We Start” in regards to “doing the work” necessary to heal the gaping wound of racism that is so deeply embedded in American culture and society. This question was posed to me by a friend of mine who like me wants to make sure she is actively doing her part to make a positive impact. Of course after making this commitment I began to ponder the question and wondered how I would go about honoring this commitment. Especially since honestly I too have asked the same question to myself and have sometimes felt mentally exhausted at the thought of answering it!
This of course is one reason to be thankful for getting a good night’s rest! A good night’s rest provides us the opportunity to awaken and face the new day with fresh new perspectives and renewed energy to rise to the occasion! Repeatedly in my life experience, I have found that if I stay “open” and “receptive” in my expectation of receiving guidance and direction and answers in regards to things I seek in life they usually emerge in the most simplest of forms from events that happen in day-to-day living! The subject matter focused on in this writing is one such example!
This morning while I was on my way to get my daily “movement activity” in, I like so many people you see out these days, was walking with my eyes fixated on my phone. I certainly could not, under any circumstance, begin my walk/slow jog without starting my nifty MayMyWalk app so I could calculate both the distance I would walk and the calories I would burn. I had a little ways before I would reach my starting point so my pace at the time had decreased to a snail’s pace. Starting apps on the phone while walking takes a lot of concentration for the “Fine and 50” crowd! Shucks, not only did I have to start the app, but I also had to select what I would be listening to for the next 2.25 miles! Needless to say I was intently focused on my phone.
Somewhere in my consciousness I know that I had heard a lawnmower and I suppose it was the fact that I suddenly realized that I didn’t hear it anymore that made me finally look up to see what was going on. What I saw was my neighbor standing there smiling and waiting patiently for me to walk past his lawn. He had stopped moving his lawn and was just standing by his lawnmower as a courtesy until I walked passed his lawn. Of course considering my fixation on my phone it is no surprise that I was completely oblivious to the man. As a matter of fact my neighbor, his yard and his lawnmower didn’t even register in my consciousness at all! However, realizing what was going on I smiled back, covered my mouth as to say “oops” and picked up the pace so I could get passed his yard so that he could get back to mowing his lawn again.
Ok so by now you just might be thinking “geeze, where is she going with this story”? Well, I’m glad you asked because this experience to me is a simple but very powerful lesson regarding conscious living! And for all of us who are committed to “doing the work” necessary to impact positive change “conscious living” is where we must start!
The dictionary defines conscious as “…awake and able to understand what is happening around you : aware of something (such as a fact or feeling) : knowing that something exists or is happening”! You see, it is imperative for those of us committed to this charge of healing the gaping wound of racism that is so deeply embedded in the American society and culture that we start by:
- Being awake and able to understand that racism is happening around us,
- Being aware that racism exist (in both a fact and feeling sort of way), and
- Knowing that racism is happening in America every single day and that you can help heal this wound!
“Conscious Living” provides a foundation for all of us to build on while we “roll up our sleeves” to do the work of helping to impact positive change in regards to racism in America. We begin first in our own families, then in our communities, then in our states, then in our nation and ultimately we will positively impact the world! So in beginning to answer the question of “Where Do We Start”, I offer this as a starting point: Be Awake, Be Aware and Know!