Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Part Two of a Three-Part Series:
Imagine yourself standing in front of a mirror. Configure your left hand like this: fingertips point to the ceiling, palm faces to the right, now place your thumb at your sternum. If you are a sign language interpreter we call this a ‘Flat B Handshape’ (The More You Know 🌈). Configure your right hand in the same handshape, palm facing left. Touch the right hand’s thumb to your left hand’s pinky. This is a visual representation of your body in perfect frequency, aka resonance.
Now, move your right hand over to the left side of your body.
This is a visual that represents your body being out of frequency, aka dissonance.
When we ignore our frequencies we are ignoring who we are supposed to be. We are ignoring how we are supposed to show up in this world. We are ignoring our impact on those around us.
I have two primary examples of this in my life.
One - Once upon a time I worked for an entity that I was so proud to call my employer. I was in the honeymoon phase for at least a few years, and I believed with all my heart we were making good decisions for the company, the clients, and the community. However, I had “the experience”. You know the one, the one that changes everything. The one you try to shake off and pretend it didn’t happen but you can feel it deep in your soul. We were in a client meeting and the client asked something of us that we could not commit to but my boss committed anyway. At that moment my trust was shaken. But I kept on smiling through the meeting.
I stuck with the company even after that, ya know, people make mistakes. But I was shown time and time again that this was the culture of the company. Overpromise and under-deliver.
What’s that saying… when someone shows you who they are, believe them.
I found myself speaking up less in meetings, just nodding my head, and going along with ideas that I gave zero support. WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME?? I didn’t trust myself for some reason. I was suppressing my inner knowing. I just let the group do the leading and me doing the nodding. That will never catapult change. Ever.
Two- I grew up in Iowa, where there was a lack of cultural diversity. My one friend of color was Asian, but I didn’t really understand that life could be different between the two of us. She never talked to me about feeling different, being treated differently… maybe she didn’t feel those things or maybe she didn’t feel comfortable talking about it with me, the “I don’t see color” friend.
Here’s an excerpt from the book “Why I’m No Longer Talking About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge, which really encapsulates how I feel now about my childhood:
Being white, Jenny would have probably gone to school where she was among other white children. And although children always find something to bully each other about, being white, Jenny won't have experienced racism in the playground. ‘Originally’, she says, ‘I just thought you shouldn't use certain words. Colour-blindness was something that was definitely taught to us in school. Growing up, I would have told you that racism is about calling people slurs. Or that racism was about laws about segregation. Or that racism was a two-way street, that anyone can be racist. I probably would have said that words like the N word were worse than someone calling somebody a cracker, for example, but I would have said that cracker is still racist. Now, that sounds ridiculous to me, but that was my very simplistic understanding. That racism was individuals, and I would not have seen systematic things.’ ... ‘race was something I was always aware of, just not in relation to myself…’
An upcoming blog post (part three of this series) will be presented by a dear friend of mine, Stacey Ferguson. She helped me craft these next thoughts:
When it came to supporting individuals from other races I wasn’t feeling out of alignment because I was so unaware. I could sense my values start to shift at first with exposure - an experience or an observation that made me pause because it had never occurred to me before that my skin color gave me an advantage, that my skin color meant I could go through life without having to calculate my moves, my words, my actions… and that the reverse was true for someone else of a different skin color. And then, more and more news stories were sharing the traumatic deaths of individuals from the Black community at the hands of white supremacy. I started to feel that frequency start to shift, but just subtle enough that I was able to proceed with my life nearly unimpacted. I would do my best to make sincere eye contact with strangers that were from the Black community in hopes they could see in my eyes that I wasn’t “one of those people”. That worked for me for a while, and I felt pretty good about it. And now, I can finally see that we have been asked to be allies and accomplices for a very long time...and I wasn’t paying attention.
What I know now is this:
Ignorance will never catapult change. Ever.
So why is this topic so important? What happens if we don’t stay true to ourselves?
Let me count the ways:
It deflates confidence
When we don’t have confidence we don’t stand up for what’s right
When we don’t stand up for what’s right, we lose sight of it
When we lose sight of what’s right, we focus only on our world bubble
The moral of the story is: stay true to who you are. Stand up for injustices.
Stay tuned for part three!
Stacey is a Transformational Coach & Trainer, she will be adding to the conversation from her lens. I’m so excited for you to meet her.
Here’s to you!