Y'all, I can't stand mindfulness. It's so fluffy. So privileged. So...white. Like most things, the general approach does not take into consideration the experiences of Black folx and other People of Color. Like, I'm over here thinking about keeping my life. I don't have time to roll around a fruit snack and express how it feels to each of my senses. And I surely can't just breathe and hope systemic racism will no be top of mind still when I'm done meditating.
I get it. Mindfulness wants me to realize where I am, accept it, and be ok with it. But the problem is, where I am is so much impacted by racism that it's gonna take a LONG and COLLECTIVE breath before I can breathe easy. I need mindfulness that addresses all that and more. Allow me to illustrate what I mean with a quick story.
So I realized today how not "at-home" I feel in my neighborhood. I was taking my morning stroll while listening to Girl Trek's Black History Bootcamp...a call where thousands of Black womxn and allies join founders Vanessa and Morgan as they share prayers, stories, and give life to the Black woman's history and experience. It's mind-altering and soul-lifting! Check it out at blackhistorybootcamp.com.
Anywho, I was doing my walk and talk and realized I kept missing chunks of the conversation. Why? Because every time a car crept on by (the speed limit is only 25 in the neighborhood), in the side of my mind I expected the car to slow or stop and do or say something nasty, harmful, racist, or sexist.
I realized this because when I got back home I was like, "girl why do you come back from these walks feeling drained?" And my other self said, "because you on high alert most of the time!"
And it's true.
I don't get to take a break from thinking about being Black and while I LOVE being Black, that is exhausting!
When I am able to take a freeing walk, it's because I blast music with the intention of shutting things out. Knowing it takes that much effort. And it takes a WHOLE lot of effort. This is where mindfulness comes into play for me. I have to get really intentional about not thinking about other people's burden's of my Blackness. That's where mindfulness needs to A-teach white people to be more conscious and B-create the space to give BIPOCs (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) opportunity to take off racism's burden. Otherwise, what we become more mindful of is just how much whiteness invades our mental and emotional space.
Very different that what most white folx are afforded in their mindful moments.