Travel and learning are deep loves of mine, and I have only recently allowed them to become an informative part of my life again. Right now my choices have me staying put physically, but at the beginning of this year I decided I would travel via the incredible internet and technology we are blessed with. This has led me to disconnect from the #lifehack and clickbait culture on Facebook and dig deeper into the bones of the Earth to find where the real conversations are being held.
‘What I am learning’ is a weekly wrap up of the things (via podcast, conversation, reading, visual or anything else really) that have piqued my interest and are pushing my brain into a new area.
This week has been all about assumptions for me, where I am assuming things and where I can see assumptions being made by others. We are observing this at the moment through a group I am in, and it is so interesting to me how we construct our lives almost completely through assumption and where this leads to the structures we set up, how we react/respond to situations and how this opens us up to other people words harming us.
What I am learning about assuming is that I am still very much in the thick of the assumption game. I play without noticing and I cut my own hands off a lot of the time, just to keep my assumptions alive. The ‘rules’ of how it is on Earth and what we MUST do to be safe and loved here were implanted in me as a child and even though I notice them more than I ever have, I still find myself in a vice, held tight by my assumptions and my rules.
I am learning that everyone has such different assumptions about what it is to do it ‘right’ on Earth that there cannot possibly be only one way. Yet, we hold fast to them, assuming (there it is again) that others around us either have it completely wrong, OR we need to completely change because we got it wrong.
I am learning that to surrender to attempt to see the truth of a situation means to stay neutral to my assumptions, or to at least acknowledge them and then allow some other way to bubble up from the bottom of my being. To see many ways through something and not just one, to open my heart and see what I am making something mean, even when I don’t want to see that I created the meaning for myself.
I am learning that not all assumptions are wrong, but when they come from a reactionary space rather than a creative space, they will not be helpful. Unconscious living creates much more harm than it does good, unless you are working for the men at the top who need as many sheeple as possible to keep their factories running.
I have also been learning about the work of Mahzarin Banaji – a social psychologist from Harvard who wrote the book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Her work serves to learn more about our unconscious (although she would rather us call them implicit) bias’. I am going to be ordering her book in the next couple of weeks so I will update you more then.
I am learning from Ms Banaji that our implicit bias’ were there for a reason and our brains have not worked out that we don’t need them any more. I am learning just how harmful they can be, but that by beginning to identify them, we can make change in how we are showing up and who we want to be.
I am learning that everyone has implicit bias, and that it doesn’t make you a bad person simply because you do. It is the understanding of these bias’ that can help us create a better world for everyone.
This is also work that ties in closely with the anti-racism work I am and will continue to do for the rest of my life. Earlier in the year I participated in Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy challenge on Instagram, this was another huge wake up for me regarding my implicit bias’ and I know that from this there is so much work to do.
I am learning that I will be (and same for everyone) always having to work on my bias’ if I desire to change them, which I personally do. I am learning that not everyone does want to change their bias’ and I am learning what to do with that, on a personal level and whether I can tolerate views that support oppression, even in and from loved ones. I am learning that heart felt and true and powerful and gentle conversations are game changers in this work. I am learning here that at this point, there is no end game. We are playing for life.
What am I reading?
I have just finished reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. It is brilliant. It reawoke my desire to read fiction from a long and deep slumber and I am now on the look out for more books online.
This book opens a lot of questions around oppression and fear based ruling, some aspects of which I am still processing and thinking on.
I will say this ~ it is such a well written and powerful story. All the characters touch you in some way, and you can’t help but fall in love with most of them. Go and get a copy and read it!
An invitation for what you are learning…
I would love to hear from you about what is interesting to you at the moment? Where are you pushing your edges, what are exploring in your day to day life? Is there something that you have realised about you, or life, or anything, that you are feeling ready to share? Jump into the comments and lets have a conversation about it!