Our right to access our own humanity exists in all spaces: in organizing, advocating, working, enjoying, living. We have more than a right to exist, we have a birthright of dignity, grace, growth. In spaces challenged by lack of empathy, racism, sexism, ableism, dehumanization we shall no longer suffer! In this last year of listening circles, we listened as we redefine professionalism, speak of truth and grace, trust our intuition...What have you learned about your own right to humanity last year? Let us name in totality our abilities to invoke dignity and growth in ALL spaces.
February 7, 2022 Learning by Julia
OK. So here's what happened. As usual, I began our circle with a land acknowledgement, a word from someone else, and a dedication of my learning. As I prepared for this circle, nothing I could have done would have adequately prepared me for the result of dedicating my learning to myself. I dedicated my learning of calling upon our humanity to Julia of years past: the Julia who regretted not saying something when something needed to be said, to the Julia who thought it was my fault, who simply didn't have the practice of living in her power. I dedicated my learning to the Julia now who freely walks the planet in her agency and self-love. It was a journey and I look forward to where I go next.
What I didn't expect was interruption after my dedication to self. An interruption of the best kind. "Excuse me, Julia. I can't let this opportunity pass to let you know..." Then, a flood of love. I was thanked for my (B)rilliance, my ability to make a virtual space that is spiritually satisfying, a truly safe place to listen and be heard. I am an inspiration to others and others' others. Instead of introducing our circle topic, I listened again and again in tears to those who know me and love me. I GOT MY FLOWERS, and while I'm still alive I witnessed the ripple effect of my own love on the world. To all those who shared your love of me with me, I thank you for your public shower of gratitude for my work and life. Thank you.
I was so shook, I can't even understand my notes. All I know is that sometimes, we don't have the capacity to interrupt. We numb ourselves, self-induced fog to escape the reality of weight. Sometimes, we navigate the fog-spells cast and that's enough. (i.e. "Not my problem!"). We intellectualize, and contribute to the fog that society makes so easy. When our (Black diaspora) humanity is at question, the starting point is at times irreconcilable. Therefore, we invoke humanity in large and small ways. We find alternatives that meet our needs (yo - sage scented oil diffuser is Fire Department friendly!), we recognize the role of capitalism (consequences/employment) and find courage to leave or lead when needed. What I learned so intimately though in this time together, is the power of spoken love. The easiest avenue of humanity to call upon is appreciation. "I see you, I appreciate you, I love you." are the most powerful of all spells.
Next month, we continue with "Normalizing Love", stay in tune.
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Julia Ismael hosts monthly Listening Circles for the masses as a way to stay informed and to find new and meaningful ways to create connection. Julia is the founder and Head Architect of Aspirations of The Equity Consortium. Monthly Listening Circles are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month, and what is learned from these circles is shared here. Please enjoy our stories.