I’ve been wrong. Ignorant. Entitled. Privileged. I am so sorry for being this way, and for being so late to this work. I am actively changing. The world is changing. Why else are we here, if not to transform? If not to wake up to and for love? If you’re reading this, you are important to me. I love you, I hear you, and I see you as someone who is also devoted to love, pleasure, and the divine feminine. I need your fire and your passion now.
Two weeks ago I became more vocal on social media (on my personal page especially but also in our Free Your Feminine group and client groups) about racial justice and equity. Last week I listened and learned (and will continue to get educated), so that the voices of women of color could be amplified.
Now I want you to know where I stand and why this is so important to our community.
I invite you to stay connected to your body as you read this, and to stay connected to our group, even if this brings up “stuff” for you. Your relationships, and any meaningful connection, will always bring up your stuff.
So consider this an opportunity to get better at processing your emotions and reactions, which will help others feel safe around you and which will help all of your relationships thrive.
In the past five years, when black man after black man (and woman) was being killed, I stayed mainly silent other than a post here or there. While I believed my heart was always in a “good place,” intention isn’t enough. It took me WAY too long to wake up to the dangerous, racist system I am living in and benefiting from. Even if I didn’t design it, it’s still my responsibility to help dismantle it.
Why didn’t I speak out, stand up, get educated, and get involved sooner?
I was living in the shadow of “love and light” and staying silent. I mistakenly thought these were “random occurrences” instead of the everyday experience of black and indigenous people of color due to a system built on oppression and state violence.
And what disgusts me about my silence and neutrality, is that they are the exact same pattern I saw in my upbringing. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” said the person who overlooked me being sexually, emotionally, and physically abused. I had way more anger towards the bystander in my family than the abuser.
But I now see how I have been one of those empathetic accomplices, standing on the sidelines and not getting involved. How arrogant.
Everything I stand for — love, pleasure, relationships, healthy sensuality, femininity — cannot (and will not) be sustained if it’s only for a few people who happen to have white skin. Lasting pleasure and love require wholeness as a society and as a planet. Lasting pleasure and love require equity.
Equality is saying “we are all one.” And while spiritually that’s true, in this physical realm, the suffering is significantly greater in our communities of color.
Equity is saying “Certain groups of people started off behind because of systemic injustice and generational trauma. It’s our duty to bring everyone to a place of equal access and likelihood of success, love, and health.” (PS I learned about equity from Trudi Lebron — thank you Trudi).
Equality says we have no differences. Equity celebrates our differences and makes important accommodations so everyone can have love, pleasure, and joy.
Have you seen the movie “12 Years a Slave” (based on the book, the true story, of the same title)? There’s a point in it where Solomon is asking for help getting his free papers back, saying that seeing his wife would bring him unspeakable happiness. Bass replies that while for Solomon seeing his wife would be a pleasure, for Bass it would be his duty (to help Solomon return to freedom).
I BELIEVE IT IS OUR DUTY, ESPECIALLY AS WOMEN, TO CREATE JUSTICE WHEN THERE IS INJUSTICE, SO THAT ALL CAN EXPERIENCE SAFETY AND PLEASURE.
I BELIEVE IT IS OUR CALLING, ESPECIALLY AS WOMEN, TO LOVE DEEPER AND TO FEEL DEEPER, SO ALL OF HUMANITY CAN KNOW THEY ARE LOVABLE AND LOVED.
Note, when I say all it is not a nod to “all lives matter” — I am specifically talking about Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and other marginalized groups such as LGBTQ. Black Lives Matter.
What does this mean for you, in our community?
First, it means getting explicit about our standards and values. Inclusion, yes, but more importantly, access, dialogue, service, and integrity (along with love, pleasure, vulnerability, embodiment, and safety).
Second, it means advocating for pleasure for all, and especially for women of color. What if white women championed women of color? What if we took up the “fight” for a while and let our sisters rest?
Third, it means getting comfortable with discomfort. With anger. With shame. It means noticing when we check out and bypass our feelings and those of others. Love is the willingness to alchemize our pain and illuminate our blind spots, so others don’t have to go through more pain.
I’m not asking you to be a martyr. I’m asking you to do your work so you don’t get defensive about white privilege. So you don’t say “but I had my trauma too.” We’ve all had trauma. This is a both / and situation. Your history doesn’t preclude you from becoming more aware of others, and it shouldn’t prevent you from caring about the liberation of all.
The bodhisattva in Eastern traditions is one who has reached enlightenment but who has chosen to stay on earth until all beings are free from suffering. This is the time of the bodhisattva. If you’ve ever seen pictures of bodhisattvas, they aren’t peaceful looking. There’s nothing about them that’s just “love and light” because they know it takes more than just love to reach enlightenment. Love without fierceness is impotent. I think true bodhisattvas aren’t white women like me, but black women who are healing the planet with their leadership. I’m talking about women like Rachel Cargle, Layla Saad, Adrienne Maree Brown, Alisha McCullough and so many more. Please follow, like, promote, and buy from these women. Please elevate their voices.
Your flavor of bodhisattva / activism may be quiet conversations with your family. Or it may be protesting. Or it may be calling government officials about important bills. You get to choose — but learn something and then DO something.
Below is what I’m doing to change myself and my communities. I’m totally open to feedback and how I can be better.
The divine feminine is the eternal activist. She doesn’t let her children suffer. She goes full-on mama bear to protect those she loves. I’m asking you to expand your circle of love beyond you and those who look like you, for the good of all.
Are you with me?
Here’s what this means for me.
I’m not looking for kudos or praise, this is so I can stay accountable to others and to myself and incase it’s useful for other white women reading this who want to change:
I’ve committed to learning about racism and my own biases, and unlearning those subconscious fight/flight/freeze behaviors. I’ve taken the Implicit Bias test by Harvard and I am doing the activities in Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad with a group that meets every week.
(Full transparency, in that test I have a slight preference for African Americans over Caucasians (which is the same result as when I took it 8 years ago), and a moderate preference for Caucasians over Asian Americans. I haven’t taken the other tests yet but will do so this week. My work to heal and grow clearly extends beyond BIPOC. This is lifelong work.)
I’ve committed to learning about, and leading other white women on, white racial trauma; especially our microaggressions, which are unconscious ways our bias plays out and directly harms people of color. A group of my clients and I are reading and discussing My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem and doing his five day Cultural Somatics training. I’d like this to grow into an ongoing celebration of people of color and specifically women of color and their unique expression of the divine feminine.
I am in dialogue with a woman of color educator to do a virtual meeting for our community and my clients to talk through these things. I know this is just a start, but I want to elevate, and compensate, women of color. I am not the expert. The details will be announced in the next two weeks about this training/meeting.
I am also in dialogue with my clients who are women of color. I don’t expect them to lead me or do my work for me, but they know my programs and me, and are showing me my blindspots. What I’ve heard over and over again from these women is how important pleasure, feminine energy, and healing is, and that they would like to see more women of color in my programs. And I am changing my messaging and my approach to be more inclusive and appealing, while also adding new tools in my programs for people who are different from me.
I’m creating a list of women of color who do love coaching, so I can refer people to them. I may not be the best coach for everyone, if someone is specifically looking for a coach who is a woman of color. If you have someone you’d like me to add to this list, please let me know.
I’ve started to get involved on a local level in LA, going to West Hollywood protests last week and virtual LA gatherings for AWARE, the local chapter of Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
My courses will now have sliding scale pricing for Fabulously Feminine, Sacred Sexuality, and Win in Online Dating so more people can have access. And I will be offering one scholarship a month to a woman of color or LGBTQ for my Queens of Pleasure signature program. This is not reverse racism by the way, this is about equity as I described above.
I am donating 5% of revenue to BIPOC organizations which uplift women of color such as Pretty Brown Girl.
Lastly I am changing my hiring practices when I build my team again to broaden the application pool to include a variety of people.
This is a time to get right as a humanity. We can’t evolve when we’re complicit in systems which kill and oppress people of color. And we can’t create healthy relationships when we’re not in healthy relationship with ourselves.
I believe white women can make a difference in changing ourselves and our relationships. Will you join me?