Foundations...for those who wait (Email 4)
5 minute read
Note: This is an archive of an email from the October 2021 series and pre-enrollment for those on my email list who have been waiting for Foundations to open up again after a year away to grieve the loss of my beloved.
Let's recap where we've been so far, then move on to today's installment.
Thursday's email turned on the light; illuminating doubt among the shadows. Sometimes saying the things we rarely say helps us be more courageous to say the things we need to say.
As doubt loses its grip, belief shows up.
Friday's email introduced the journey through different kinds of terrain where white people in liberation movements can build belief and sent us straight up the mountain of staying put with one another.
Traveling up the mountainside, we gain the skill and will to journey with each other and stay put even when the going gets tough. From those heights, we get a little bit of perspective about the journey ahead of us as we make our way down and into the forest.
Yesterday's email landed us straight in the dense forest of hopelessness where it's easy to get turned around, walk in circles, become fearful, and feel like giving up. We discovered that the best way to reclaim hope is to heal - exposing that hopelessness is a thread woven into our patterned behavior that can be pulled - loosening us from its grip. And we remembered that our healing can heal the world as we imagined how we can help those around us reclaim their hope.
Today's email drives us through the desert of anticipation.
If hope is the things we long for and the expectation of that which is yet to come, anticipation is the ability to visualize what is coming.
A tiny little word without a coating of doubt.
Driving us towards the belief that words create worlds.
Which forces us to stop saying "this will never change in my lifetime" because knowing how powerful our words are, we can't bring ourselves to keep recreating a world where it cannot change.
This is wrong.
It must change.
It is changing.
I'm part of it changing.
Which leads us to visualize a world without the system of racism.
Since none of us have experienced that, we will need imagination.
And imagination can't happen when you are running all over the place doing all the things.
In fact, desert survival says the worst thing you can do is exert yourself. No need to hunt - you can live for weeks without food but not without water. Which means you can't wander aimlessly in the sun, lay down on the desert floor, or remove your clothing because these choices will speed dehydration and death.
In liberation terms...
Success is dependent upon preserving life-affirming, humanizing, and principled efforts.
Much of what's offered to us in white antiracist spaces is sadly, not any of this.
And we are losing people because of it.
Many are exhausted, confused, worn down, and numb. They fear that they are inadequate or ineffective.
This isn't because something is wrong with them.
Nope, our internalized superiority will have us pointing our fingers at people in our movements who are the canary in the coal mine - warning us that what we are doing isn't only not working...it's dangerous.
So how will we make it out of the desert?
Let's start here...
“You can’t do anything that you can’t picture yourself doing. Once you make the picturing process conscious and deliberate, you begin to create the self you want to be.” -Anonymous
Getting through the desert of anticipation is about visualizing the world we want to be a part of.
So let's do just that...
Here's a practice I've been doing as I move myself away from spending all of my time battling what I'm against and begin to visualize (anticipate) a just world where everyone belongs, has agency, and lives in the truth of our interconnectedness:
What you need:
There are two moments of the day when this practice works a little better:
First thing in the morning (before email/social).
Immediately after movement energetic enough to have you sweating.