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A Response: As Within, So Without

 


 

 

As I digest the collective response to injustice, the call for allies, immense grief, and the overwhelming longing to do better, I find myself in an all too familiar cocoon. I’ve put my ego in a formal time out, allowing the systemic shock waves to sweep through me like a good spring cleaning. In this cocoon, there are no alternative options to listening with more intention, metering my reactions with more sensitivity, and rooting deeper than ever into the guiding principle,  “As Within, So Without”. 

In a modern culture that has a death grip on dogmatic ideologies, we like to propose simple solutions to multi-layered challenges, often lacking depth and empathy for the big picture. But for simplicity sake, what is being asked of humanity is personal transformation that happens so deeply within and transformation that happens NOW. Finding ourselves at the threshold of something systematically monumental, we must start with our inner worlds, unlearning, remembering, and then creating something we are proud to reflect out into the world. This merging of worlds, the inner and the outer, within and without, is where I direct my focus when it comes to navigating matters of the heart and obscurations of our egos. 

With the intensifying global climate, I’ve struggled at times to grasp my own personal resolution, finding myself in a trap of overthinking and needing outside validation for my actions. I know this is because of my guarded heart, one that is tapped into subtleties by fault and feels the ripples of conflict with intensity. When it relates to using our voices for good, I’ll be honest in saying that I’m afraid to start a ripple and add more crimps to an already heightened sense of confusion and frustration. I’m afraid of watering down the voices that need to be lifted up. I’m afraid my reflections and actions are guttural, reactionary, and not grounded in the purity and transparency I intend them to be. And in regards to the racial dialogue, I know this isn’t my narrative and the privilege I stand upon only pushes me away from true solidarity and Oneness. 

As I continue to navigate the balance between contemplation and non-performative action, I keep returning to this idea that it’s not everyone’s dharma to hit the streets. We are all integral parts within the ecosystem of social change. Some of us are caregivers and guides, holding space and sending out love through our prayers. Others are called to be on the front-lines, acting as visionaries who weave together new ways of doing things.

The beauty in this system is that it’s variegated, multi-layered, and addressing the collective desires from all angles. It’s our job to find the authenticity in how we choose to show up and lean into the roles that allow us to be a steady pulse within the system.

As it relates to personal transformation and the deep work each of us is being called to do, it’s reassurance that there is no one right way to create a more sustainable environment within. I find peace in knowing that the most productive form of social change comes from words and actions that resonate and emanate from the heart. 

Transformation and healing isn’t intended to be a straight path or an ocean without ripples. It’s intended to feel uncomfortable and messy and it’s intended to crack open even the most guarded of hearts. It’s time to dive into the practice of returning home and tending to our heart centers with grace. As a collective, we have immense power to inspire an outer world that embodies the equanimity of our inner worlds. 

 

We really have no other option.

Love & Solidarity,

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