Always start with Gratitude
I shared this in my Bootcamp this morning. I shared it because it is true. I know it's been an extremely heavy time for so many .... starting with gratitude helps me believe I can make a difference.
When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I went through my usual morning routine. I always plan my day, write out 10-12 affirmations and some I am statements. I then finish with a minimum of 3 things I am grateful for. When I start each day this way, it is nearly impossible to have a bad day. The reason is simple. The entire process of thinking about those little and big things I am so incredibly grateful for flushes my body with this wave of happiness - how do I have a bad day when I am happy? I don't.
After I did my usual morning routine, I hopped on Instagram to share my morning routine in my stories and I started seeing these black squares. One led me to another. I watched stories and IGTV videos. And then I immediately reached out to a very good friend of mine - let's call her Lucy - a woman whom I respect deeply and who I believe is one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever met.
In my message to her I shared that I knew what white privilege meant; I just don't think I fully grasped (and quite possibly I still don't fully grasp) the severity of it. Another friend shared on here social media about a week ago that never - not even for one day in her life - did she wake up thinking of the colour of her skin. That was like walking in to a wall for me.
My head was spinning and I thought of Lucy immediately. "Did she wake up in the morning thinking of the colour of her skin?" And so I asked. I also shared with her that I refused to take a day off of social media and just sit here ... I needed to learn, I needed to immerse myself that day and I needed to use my social media as a way to amplify black voices. Lucy's response shocked me.
She shared that as a small child she would put baby powder on her skin to try and be "whiter". She's been asked at the border "how did you get here?" and she had friends who couldn't be her friend anymore because of the colour of her skin. The rest I don't want to share out of respect for her. This is so wrong - a child should wake up every day and wonder what adventures they will have that day and who they will play with - NOT the colour of his or her skin. And the fact that I didn't see this .... that we have almost been "programmed" to not see this is also SO wrong.
I then reached out to a childhood friend of mine whom I recently reconnected with via social media and in tears shared with her that I always saw her colour, I just love her for who she is and I always have. I asked her for any resources to help me educate myself and my kids on how we can help. She shared with me an article on why we have to stop saying all lives matter (I will share here as well) because the movement doesn't diminish the value of any lives. Please read - it explains so well!
The reason I share all of this is because I realized yesterday how grateful I am to have people in my life that will share their stories, share resources and help me OPEN MY EYES. I watched a video yesterday with Trent Shelton where he said - "Don't think you can't make a difference. You will create a ripple effect. And that ripple effect will create more ripple effects and those combined together will create a movement of change."
So I am grateful my eyes have been opened to things I was blind to before even though they were right there. I am grateful for friends who are willing to share their experiences so I gain better perspective. And I am so incredibly grateful that these same friends are so willing to share resources and ways I can help. I will be a ripple effect in this movement of change - and I hope you'll join me too.