Racial Justice & Healing: The Call for Soma-Embodiment Practices
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I imagine that one of the reasons that people cling to their hate and prejudice so stubbornly is because they sense that once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with their own pain.
Let us stop what we are doing and take give collective breaths together (remember, Spirit moves beyond time or space). Now allow yourself to shift your attention inward to scan the sensations of your body. What do you feel? Buzzing, numbness, expansiveness, joy, sorrow, pain? Pause in your presence, to honor your story.
Our bodies hold stories and patterns of moving based on life’s interactions and our human design to survive. Generational survival patterns—trauma—gets passed down in our DNA to keep future generations safe and out of harm's way. This leads one to ask, what and whom are the threats that our past and current society or family view as dangerous? And how has my body and mind been shaped by the power of survival? Does it serve, did it ever, and is it blocking my flow of love in relationships and the world?
Such personal inquiry needs to be enveloped in our work in racial reconciliation and justice as trauma is inherently an embodied response. What is stored in our bodies creates reflexive responses to life events that externalize unconsciously when we are detached from our bodily experiences. Such reflexive and unconscious responses to pain Resmaa Menakeem describes in his book, "My Grandmother’s Hands," as dirty pain. Dirty pain perpetuates division and harm to oneself and others. To stay present in one’s body during a triggering event allows for agency and choice in how one will respond. Such consciousness allows one to rewire neurological patterning and is the clean pain Menakem speaks of. Healing is lifework that requires the fortitude to continuously return to ourselves and the understanding that we are living bodies of the Holy Spirit.
Join us at the ECMN Racial Justice and Healing Summit to learn more about our bodies' trauma responses and how to build lifelong embodiment practices that soothe our nervous systems and anchor us in the present. There will be experiential learning opportunities as we move through Resmaa Menakem’s five anchors to staying embodied during triggering events, to move through them from a place of clean pain.
There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.