In the new issue of Spiral magazine, I discuss how mindfulness can help us meet the "rough edges of racial distress.” With mindfulness, we can open to healing modes of inquiry and response. For those of you who are influencers in organizations, this is good news!
Mindfulness is powerful medicine that helps us meet racial distress with compassion and inner stability. Attending internally may feel like a privilege in the face of surrounding racial distress, yet for influencers, this necessity serves to transmute our justifiable rage into fierce clarity. Imagine turning your gaze toward your particular spheres of influence: leaders, communities, organizations, and other influencers. You might ask yourself:
- Do I have the clarify and resolve to educate leaders on racial habits of harm? Where such habits of harm are active, even in well-intended organizations?
- Can I encourage the communities and organizations I serve to incorporate healing inquiry and wise response to structural challenges?
- Can I engage in this influential work with inner stability, clarity, and an intention of wellbeing for all?
After you read the article in Spiral magazine, I hope you check out my book Mindful of Race. It delves deeper into racial habits of harm that manifest through dominant and subordinated racial group dynamics, and our role in both harming and healing.
Vital Role for Influencers in Organizations
The work I'm encouraging for influencers require a longer gaze - a contemplative approach not driven by deadlines or an urgent call to comfort ungrounded anxiety. The energetics to do something (and anything) in fact can feel urgent, but the process requires a mature and thoughtful response. For influencers in organizations, such grounding is important to know directly and can only be experienced from within.
This summer, the Mindful of Race Institute will begin offering a 12-month Brave Space program through its online learning academy. The Brave Space program engages multiple racial affinity (RA) groups within an organization in:
- Investigating your racial conditioning and impact through mindfulness-based inquiry;
- Reducing internalized psychological distortions with members of your own race, and;
- Attending to how you integrate racial awareness and how members of your own race impact others by consciously progressing through three stages of group development: Inclusion, Control, and Belonging.
The immersive 12-month Brave Space program provides influencers with a solid foundation for understanding their own racial conditioning. Without understanding ourselves in this deeper and insightful way, our capacity for understanding and influencing the culture of organizations is deficient and short-lived. This program also provides influencers supporting organizations with a powerful structure that deepens and augments ongoing DEI efforts.
The Brave Space program includes monthly lesson plans, monthly racial inquiries, instructional videos, and guided audio meditations by Ruth King.
Through structured and supportive monthly guidance, we are bringing to light our buried uneasiness, our deceptive discomfort, and our unacknowledged despair. We are leaning into what is unfamiliar and inspecting more tenderly what is habitual and defended, as well as what is worthy of celebration. We are recognizing the stories we have been told and the stories we tell ourselves. We are seeing more clearly our role in racial harming and healing. We also experience the relief that self-awareness, honesty, vulnerability, and presence make available to us and others as we recognize our kinship and innate propensity for kindness, insight, and care. When we ripen our capacity to connect from a deep understanding of ourselves as individuals and as individuals membered in racial groups, we strengthen the organization's capacity for genuine understanding, connection, and collective potential.