52. A Civil Rights Movement June 9, 2020
Updated: Jan 26, 2022
For those of us who do not fear death when we encounter the police, we can’t fully grasp what this moment in time means. We can have empathy, we can educate ourselves but we’ll never know it in our bones. To shine a light on the history of Spiral Herbal Remedies, I thought it was important to share that my Herbalism practice exists because a Black Person chose to share knowledge with me. Something pointed me towards Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes Apothecary in Brooklyn. I asked to join and was welcomed to a group of black, indigenous, people of color who were also seeking knowledge and connection. I had a sense that joining this group would be more than just learning about plants. I joined a community that lived with the reality of knowing their experience of The American Dream was in sharp contrast to mine. I was surrounded by a population that lived in fear of the people who were supposed to protect them. I found a group of people actively working towards change. On a personal level, I’ve been asked to confront myself, especially in the last weeks, because these brave people trusted that I could handle it. It has not been comfortable but change is always accompanied by resistance and pain. At my age, I know this as truth. I also know that upheaval is a catalyst for beauty, growth, and a life full of meaning and depth. As a country, we’re asked to confront a system of laws that perpetuate the legacy of slavery, right under our white noses. We’re also being asked to confront the perception of malice that has punctuated headlines during this movement. I spoke to a group of policemen parked down the street from a drum circle two days ago. After days of a constant presence in full Riot Gear at Peaceful Protests, they chose to hang back. I thanked them for doing so. The white cop in front said, “We’re not all bad.” That statement underscores the irony of this situation. Can he give black men and women the same benefit of the doubt that he sought? This moment challenges us to be uncomfortable. Doing the work, finding resources for understanding, talking to our community, attending protests, contributing money, is necessary. What’s equally important is that we allow ourselves to be open to critique and stay in it. Even when a part of us wants to run for the hills, deny, or let someone else deal with it. We’ve all read the history books, learned about Martin Luther King Jr., and balked at the injustice we witnessed in those old TV reels. Distance allows us to see that time with critical eyes. Five to ten years from now, we’ll be looking backward with the same questions. Why couldn’t they see what they were doing? How is it possible for human beings to treat others so poorly? Why was there so much resistance when a change was so obviously needed? The question we should all be asking ourselves now is - Will I be able to look back in five years and say I was part of the change? It’s hard! We’re physically wired to resist change. Our nervous system informs us of change with pounding heart, contracted muscles, fear, and tears. This response servers us in many ways - the hot stovetop, the snap of a branch in the woods, sudden movement in our peripheral vision. Our fight or flight response launches us into battle or retreat. But fight or flight doesn’t serve us in every situation and we have to find ways to override it. So where do we go from here, now that the ball is rolling, conversations about change are happening? I know many of you are searching for information. I’d like to offer the Documentary, 13th, as a primer. It’s on Netflix and I’ve seen a few copies on Youtube. It will give you the whys and hows. How to Be An Antiracist, is available on Audible, and narrated by the author, for those who prefer to listen. Oprah Winfrey is offering a town hall meeting tonight with black thought leaders, at 9 pm on all Discovery Channels. The Women’s March is conducting a webinar entitled: Understanding and Transforming White Womanhood, tomorrow, June 10th at 4 pm. If you’ve been part of Women’s March, an email was sent today with a link for signing up. I’d also like to offer this resource guide for books. For those seeking physical support for your body’s resistance to change, Spiral Herbal Remedies offers organic, plant-based assistance. Please go to the section of our website for Anxiety/Calming. Overriding our nervous system allows us to be present for those who need us. In the midst of Covid, remember that stress also makes us susceptible to infection. It actively diverts our body’s resources away from the immune system and towards fighting or fleeing. Check out our resources for Immune Support. Spiral Herbal Remedies is in the midst of a fundraiser. Currently, through June 12th, I am donating 100% of all net proceeds to support Black Lives Matter. There is a link to other vetted ways to donate on the website if you’re looking for an alternative. Remember that I’m here for questions and support. Reach out through my website, Instagram or Facebook.