It is of no surprise that many humans of all races are sitting with heavy feelings of discomfort, loss, confusion, sadness and anger. Black Lives Matter (BLM) - period. As the 2020 BLM movement meets the era of COVID-19, it is being demonstrated worldwide that human rights are more important to most than social distancing, and as such, the need for action often outweighs the fear associated with COVID-19. Though the virus is undoubtably concerning, we will need to learn to live alongside it in order to maintain mental, emotional and social stability. However, I refuse to live alongside the virus of racism that has plagued this country for far too long. We can refuse to be victims of the disease that we, white people of this nation, have created. After reading, listening and watching black people talk about what white people can do for the past few weeks (have you seen Oprah's "What's Next" Series? If not... watch both parts and educate yourself) - the one trend has been clear - start with me, myself and I. Black people don't want to and shouldn't have to tell white people what to do or help them feel better about this - they are exhausted. Would someone who has been abused over and over again want to make the abuser feel better for acting inhumane? The answer is no. Including myself in this, we as white people need to stop asking for help in understanding our own white history and the racism we have been complicit to. Instead, we need to start taking ownership for our own whiteness and dig into the raw emotions that exist within ourselves. We need to ask questions like how do I feel about what has happened to black people in our country for over 400 years? What do I know about that history? What do I know about how that history has affected black people's everyday lives in my own communities? What don't I know about all of this? What do I need to know more about? Are there things I can do to support our marginalized black brothers and sisters? How's my ignorance? Where am I at with my own implicit biases? Am I reacting out of shame, guilt & embarrassment? Am I reacting because there is an overwhelming feeling of 'I need to do something?' Or am I reacting because I truly care about humanity? We need to reflect about all of it. We need to reflect on how we've handled different situations in our lives where our white privilege got into the way of us acknowledging human rights.
This work is life-long and it directly relates to the well-being of ourselves, black community members & the entire nation. No business should be moving forward without bringing attention how important our current times are, and we all need to be responding. The BLM cannot be "dealt with" or "handled" in a day, a week or even a year. Centuries of enslavement cannot be eradicated.
Spending time reflecting and offering space for your body, mind and spirit to connect to all of these layers is vitally important to any restoration process. Having healthy conversations with people about deep rooted topics relating to BLM is what is necessary for change. Raising anti-racist children needs to be part of our future.
As I am writing this, I would be remiss for not addressing who I am, and what that means for me. My name is Moira and I am a white privileged female sharing these heavy feelings with you. I was raised Catholic, am bi-sexual and married a woman. I work with children of all races, teaching wellness in public schools. I am raising a one year old daughter, running this small business and trying to process all of this just like you are. While you are navigating these issues, feelings and everything that comes along with them, Hike and Heal Wellness would like to offer all humans looking for support shared and meaningful experiences to help find steps forward.
Now more than ever, we need to focus on our health - and that includes mental, emotional, social, physical and spiritual. Humans are social beings (some may prefer animals and plants, but we all still thrive on connection!) whose nervous systems depend on sensory input to maintain health, grow and evolve. Sensory inputs are physical. Not virtual. This pandemic is forcing us to go against our natural way of being, staying 6 feet apart, socially distant & in front of screens more than we likely have ever imagined. And now people are coming together to protest basic human rights. The heavy stressors afflicting all of us right now, especially black people, takes a toll on our bodies and brains.
So, what does Hike and Heal have to offer?
We have half-day, full-day and multi-day experiences that can support you on this journey. Groups of people who already know each other can customize their own wellness programming.
100% of profits from the Mindfulness in Nature Retreat will be donated to the Madison chapter of NAACP.
I'll end with some personal questions I've been asking myself in all of this -
1) white people stole the love and connection to the land from black and brown people alike. We literally stole people from their homes, from their families, from their lands, from their trees, from their animals and plants, from their neighbors. Trees are living and breathing beings just the same, working hard for the health of our earth. Why did white people think they could take away such an important thread of life from another race of people? Why did white people think trees would want to be an accomplice to mass hatred, suffering and murder? Where do I begin to process that grief?
2) black people have marginalized access to wellness in all of its aspects because of systemic racism that's engraved in our country. How didn't I fully realize this sooner? Why did I allow myself to be complicit for this long to racism? How did I? In what ways did I just ignore it? What kind of person does that make me? If I were to go back 10 years from now, would I have done anything differently as it relates to building positive relationships with all humans?
Read, learn, reflect. Repeat.
Change is possible.
Hi, Moira here. When I'm not playing with my dogs, listening to music, enjoying nature or being with my friends/family, I'm probably writing. Read these blogs for wellness opportunities we offer at Hike & Heal, ones I know that are awesome or just some tidbits about living a healthier life.