Why I’m not writing about ‘The Sacred Threads Co’
The Sacred Threads Co is growing up between the cracks of mothering, homeschooling and running a household single handed for and with three boys....two of whom are teenagers.
But Sacred Threads is not what I want to write about.
I’m just one of those people. It has to mean something. And whilst The Sacred Threads Co has the potential to bestow upon me the title of ‘successful’, (although, why raising three happy, kind, connected and self aware boys doesn’t quite do that is a whole other discussion)....it doesn’t have ‘Universal’ meaning.
This search for ‘Universal meaning’ is undoubtedly what lead me to become a yoga teacher; it’s why I love Sanskrit & Philosophy, pine cones and pineapples.
As is often the case, I looked for ‘meaning’ outside of me. But what I have subsequently come to understand is that the ‘meaning’ I was looking for was my place in the whole, a sense of synchronicity between my heart and mind.....to give me some sense of ....peace? Wholeness? Who the hell knows? Yoga just helped. A lot.
I have however, been thrown way off that path. I mean a yogi doesn’t feel rage and despair. A yogi feels calm and centred. Right? If a little off balance sometimes. But out there in rage? Nope. Can’t be a true yogi!
The murder of George Floyd threw me ‘out’ there into the passions of rage. Such, that I was tearful and angry and definitely ‘out’ & loud in my partnership with rage.
I didn’t watch the video. I didn’t want to or need to.
But my husband pointed out, whilst speaking at a BLM meeting some weeks later, that the policeman subsequently charged with 2nd degree murder (how many degrees are there to murder?), had his spare hand in his pocket for the whole 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The obvious impunity and ‘permission’ this man felt he had was demonstrated whilst he slowly (is 8 minutes slowly?) took another man’s life?
The TOTAL inhumanity and injustice of it!
I have always had visceral responses to injustice. There were the 5 Japanese guys beating one Japanese guy incident in a Japanese ski resort. And, the bread pudding incident, which involved some very large white skinheads at a march to Free Nelson Mandela.
It’s like my need for meaning. I have no control over it.
And the very few who followed me @thesacredthreadsco on Insta, will know that it too was plunged with me into the depths of rage and despair. I have berated anyone and everyone who follows the light, creative, aspiring beauty of Sacred Threads for not speaking up.
(I have since transferred all those posts to another private account, where I rage to my heart’s content).
I didn’t care that perhaps I was going to lose ‘customers’, or ‘followers’. It truly didn’t matter.
My son (middle one), initially told me I should be careful not to be seen to be ‘virtue signalling’. Whatever the hell that meant. He subsequently explained it.
Who does that?
So here I am. Saying WTF to a bunch of undoubtedly gentle hearted yogis!
I’ve felt shame for being so angry. I’ve even been angry at being so angry. I’ve looked at my personal stuff to try to understand my outrage.
But I’m still here. Out in rage. Although, somewhat calmer. Somewhat.
So, here’s the deal. Here’s how I relate it to my path as a lapsed? Poor? Obviously not yogi!
Inherently and intuitively I know that we are all one. Philosophies, practises, theories and anything that supports that understanding make my heart sing, like Sanskrit and sacred geometry pine cones, pineapples, and meditation, all these things soothe my soul by joining the dots that have become disconnected in this materialistic world.
Buddha gave us this gift of meditation, a way to ‘know thyself’, a way to move forward toward enlightenment, which is a revolutionary act in and of itself, since it leads to the understanding that ‘we are all one’.
Yoga helps me align my heart to my head. And what I know intuitively is, is that every man, women and child is a sacred being that deserves love and respect.
That breathing is a sacred thing.
So when breathing becomes a political act the spiritual must become political*. And, if we think of ourselves as ‘spiritual’, or on the spiritual path at all, then the world just busted in on us and demanded we stand warrior like, strong and resolute in the face of that which assails our inherent truth and intuitive knowing.
We are all one.
And if this murderous act, that, let’s be clear, signifies the proprietary nature of one human over another, is not moving you to outrage or despair, or closer to it, then you need to get back onto your cushion. Because the meditation isn’t working.
But most probably I am preaching to the converted.
In which case, I would like to offer some clarity and a path out of the rage and confusion.
As a white person we are more likely than not blind to ‘systemic’ racism:
If we don’t feel ourselves to be ‘racist’ and if we don’t experience racism (because we are white), and we don’t see it being explicitly enacted, it is likely that we really don’t understand how it works.
That’s ‘systemic’ racism. Systemic, because it is so embedded in our culture, and has been, for so very long that for ‘non racist’ white people, it is, perhaps, hard to imagine that it exists. Particularly at the level the recent global protests would suggest.
The solution, in the words of Rachel Cargle (Black activist & Educator), is to:
Get some ‘Critical Knowledge’ (see below),
Have some Radical Empathy,
(which will undoubtedly come when we do the above, - be prepared to have your heart busted open),
Take some ‘Intentional Action’, which you will be inspired to do as a natural consequence of the above.
Getting some ‘Critical Knowledge’ may well mean ‘getting uncomfortable’ when we start facing our complicity...and WE ARE complicit!
Each and Every One of Us.
I have found however, that the ‘getting uncomfortable’ aspect of waking up to the system of global racial inequality, and how it implicates us in so many ways, is mediated by the clarity and understanding and sense of ‘oh ok’, now I get it’ness that also accompanies the learning.
And, from that we garner some Radical Empathy, which will lead us to take Radical Action and begin to address, because we now understand how to, once and for all, racial inequality and the issue of civil rights.
And Civil Rights, let’s be clear here, is not a new movement, it’s just we are so damn late in joining it**
And afterall this is not a black person’s problem with which we are to empathise with, it is a white person’s problem to solve!
So, I ask that, like me, you take this outrage, and bring it home to your heart, because then, as a true yogi, you will align your heart to your head and in doing so relieve yourself of any unknowing complicity.
And there is freedom in that.
It’s easy to do the work....start with this 47 second video...
Then if you haven’t already, watch The 13th...available on Netflix.
And just in case you were thinking this was predominantly an American issue - this is Akala’s address to the Oxford Union. https://youtu.be/WUtAxUQjwB4
Also by Akala: ‘Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire’, which is excellent, with a capital E.
Akala is also all over You Tube.
Follow or sign up to Rachel Cargle @rachel.cargle for ‘The Great Unlearn’.
Read Ibram x. Kendi or follow him @ibramxk
I promise you will never look at the issue of ‘Racism’ in the same way again.
Which is exactly what is needed, if we are to begin unlearning all that we think we know.
* Om Magazine.
** Glennon Doyle