Part VIII: Compassion and Hard Conversations

by Tahnee McCrossin June 16, 2020 6 mins read

compassion

It's read of biblical times, has 2020. Now globally, we face a new challenge...

 

To catch up on the series from Tahnee, see below:

Part I: Our General Thoughts on Immunity
Part II: Relevant Tips for Immunity
Part III: Sourcing and Words of Reassurance
Part IV: The Sun Will Rise
Part V: No Silver Linings
Part VI: Have We Actually Slowed Down

Part VII: Put Yourself In The Way Of Beauty


Now, to today's download:

 


"...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind." John Donne

Obviously we are devastated by what is happening in the USA, here at home and in other countries are around the world. We are all enraged that racist behaviours persist; the dehumanisation and criminalisation of people of colour (or anyone different) should not be normal, and yet it is. We acknowledge that for some of you reading, this uphill battle has been the story of your life. Doing it hard because the colour of your skin has demanded it. We offer our deepest respect and compassion, and we are watching, listening and learning.

We have been responding slowly, deeply working through what we see, think, feel, and know (and presume to know) about equality and justice. To see what we could offer that would be meaningful, that would contribute something beyond the obvious platitudes that we stand together in solidarity. Of course Black (and Blak) Lives Matter (if you want a crash course in why this even needs to be said, read this). Indigenous and immigrant lives matter, no matter what country we are talking about. We empathise deeply with the rage. We are angry too. But to assume we (and I’m talking about Mason and I here, as we do have coloured skin folks on our team, and I don’t want to speak for them) could possibly know what it’s like to live and experience life in a black (or blak) or any kind of non-white body is naive. 

What we do know is that we have a platform and we are committed to doing whatever we can to elevate our community, locally and globally. Health sovereignty is not about what herbs and supplements you take, it's about your ability to choose what is most nourishing for your body, mind and spirit based on your unique individual needs. That is not an opportunity most people of colour have, and that's not OK.

We want to do more than use a hashtag or ask you to donate to a cause. We are stoked to give money and herbs; we have, and will continue to, because we think it’s important. But this is bigger than the contributions of a few. Really, it comes down to our economic structures, our political structures, the ruling class, the distribution of wealth, the entire structure of our society...

The only answer I have right now is that we need to rebuild the whole system. But I also understand that it's not as simple as rethinking how things are structured. Our heads can't really help us through this kind of stuff. We can all use our noggins to understand that racism isn’t cool. But to feel, in an embodied way, that we are living from a place not marred by prejudice or fear, and then to act from that place, to create a heart-led community that operates from individuals ruled from their deepest centre instead of their darkest motivations, that is what we can do. We need to have bigger conversations, broader conversations, deeper conversations. The inner work will lead to the shift if enough of us commit.

 

“A country is only as good…
only as strong
as the people who make it up
and the country turns into
what the people want it to become…
I don’t believe any longer
that we can afford to say
that it is entirely out of our hands.
We made the world we’re living in
and we have to make it over.”
James Baldwin

Nicole, from our customer service and warehouse team, put me on to this wonderful interview with Resmaa Menakem on On Being. It’s powerful listening in these times. Talking about how we measure everything from the white body in our society (“diversity from what” was a good part!), the genetics of trauma, and how trauma in a people looks like culture. It’s a beautiful and big conversation.

“This is why I say, white people,
don’t look for a black guru.
Don’t look for an Indigenous guru.
Find other white people,
and start creating a container
by which you can begin to work race specifically;
not race in this and race in that
and break bread together
and do all that — not that;
not a book club.
You specifically deal
with the embodiment of race
and the energy that’s stored with that."
Resmaa Menakem

This podcast is powerful. The legacy of what he discusses is our current society, our right now. It’s time we get out of our heads and into our bodies. Into expression and community. Into empathy and compassion. This is the always-work, obviously, but to have some context and information, and to place our attention in this way, to understand why it’s so important to direct our attention and energy in that way, that is meaningful.

Here are some other practical things we are doing:

 

  • I’ve signed up to do this course; if you’re a wellness professional maybe you’ll be interested too.
  • Even though Resmaa said not to, we’ve started an internal book club at SuperFeast HQ (thanks Sophia!) - some of our favourite books or books we are excited to read are: Under the Quandong Tree by Minmia, Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, White Supremacy and Me by Layla F Saad, The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage, Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton, Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta, The Yield by Tara June Winch...any others we should read??
  • We are continuing to build relationships with our local indigenous community. Mase and I were lucky enough to attend a walkabout while I was pregnant and we've been meaning to take Aiya up to Currie Country to learn more about our local area. Time to do it!
  • Continuing to talk to mob living on country who are fans of our herbs about how we can further support them (at this stage it's free herbs, but we're open to other ideas!). Shout out to the Murray Island crew in the Torres Strait. We also admire the work of people like Helen Padarin and we hope to hear from other wellness professionals serving in this space. Let us know what you're up to and how we can help.
  • We are having awkward conversations with people outside the bubble. I forget what an echo chamber we live in sometimes. We just hear our own voices, ideas, and beliefs thrown back at us. But we love and grow from the hard conversations and the feedback, and we don't hide from it. Let us know if you have some.
  • I am looking up the resources on this list.
  • Initiating a long-term plan to Pay the Rent - we admire the crew at Milkwood Permaculture for educating other businesses on how to make contributions like this a permanent part of their offerings. Our ongoing work with Rainforest Rescue (which keeps native land in the hands of its rightful owners) is another way we are doing our bit.
  • We have donated here and I (Tahnee) wrote to the ministers regarding the proposed changes to legislation ending the fine enforcement regime in WA. In WA, you can be jailed for unpaid fines (which costs the taxpayer more than the fines are worth) and disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (especially women). You can read more about this here and here.


I don't know if we will end up on the right side of history, but I hope that the catalysts of COVID and now Black Lives Matter can begin the alchemising our society and culture need to shift into the next stage of evolution. That's what we are working for, and we hope you'll join us.

x Tahnee



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