Disclaimer: I’m putting this baby right up top here. This is my blog; this is me unlearning. I want to make change, and I want to help. But first — I need to unlearn some massive concepts, things that have simply been my way of life until now. So if you come to my blog, and if, while here, you see something that I’ve written that is offensive or blatantly wrong, please help me to unlearn. Yes, I understand this is my own duty, ultimately, but if you find yourself here on my blog, please help me to unlearn.
This is the second post in my Unlearning series. If you’re interested in following my entire journey, please start here: “Yes, I am a white woman.”
Since trump’s inauguration, we’ve experienced a deluge of increasingly worrisome news about his administration. Recently, trump issued an executive order that curtails the refugees and immigrants that are allowed into the United States. The ban targets seven Muslim majority countries and Syrian refugees. (This has since been blocked.) So… I went to a protest, my first protest, last Sunday, January 29.
In less than 24 hours, a group of four local, Detroit women mobilized an estimated ten thousand plus people to protest trump’s Muslim ban at the Detroit Metro Airport. There were protests in cities and airports across the country, and we were just one of them. It was beautiful, and large, and loud (and cold). There were people from all sexes, races, and ages. There were uplifting posters, angry posters, and one massive papier mache Donald Trump head. The crowd would intermittently erupt into cheers of “no fear, no hate,” “no ban, no wall,” and “this is what democracy looks like,” among others. Except for one guy from a group of anarchists who got tackled by Homeland Security Police, it was very peaceful.
I felt proud to be there, among so many people who were standing up for what is right. I am happy that my introduction to proper protesting/activism was part of such a successful, local movement.
But… It’s not enough to stop there. This is just the beginning. For one, I will begin attending meetings of the Showing Up for Racial Justice — Washtenaw chapter, the first one being February 19. The group’s mission statement is below.
SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.
Until that first meeting, I’m working to balance educating myself on what is going on in this country and distancing myself from the rampant toxicity. Earlier this week, I read this article (via Little Red Tarot) about staying outraged without losing my mind. It gave pointers like take a break from the news, make activism fun, and a list of ways to take care for yourself. I nodded along with the article, but kind of pushed it to the side. (With self-care that’s so easy to do… am I right?!)
Yesterday, I pulled a card from the Slow Holler Tarot and the Okanagan Oracle: the Ten of Branches (wands), and Mindful. The collective message here was to be mindful of our energy and where we’re directing it. It’s so important to build up positive habits, to take time for self-care. Even working non-stop to educate ourselves, or fighting 24/7 for social justice issues can be harmful and constricting. That heavy feeling, that angst and outrage? Self-care is what is going to combat it: take a walk, draw a bath, stop reading the damn news, get in some yoga flow. *sigh* I’m trying.
Today, my partner pointed out to me that I’ve generally been in a foul mood for the last couple weeks. I can’t exactly pinpoint the source, but I know that trump and his shenanigans are not helping. Either way, I know self-care needs to become more important. I wrote a recent post about my resolutions/affirmations for 2017, and holy crap if January wasn’t a bust on all of these fronts. In January I did set up everything for my tarot shop, so it wasn’t a complete waste, but self-care was pretty lacking. But, hey, my word of the year is practice so, I’ll try again in February and….I guess I’m off to a good start to 2017, then.
On February 1, the day before Imbolc, I took a long walk outside. The weather was mild and it was a bright day. Spring was on the air. It was a tangible reminder to plant seeds for the coming season, to prepare for blossoming, to dream and plan, and begin co-creating — what Imbolc is all about. I feel that this sort of mindful, directed self-care is a kind of protest in it’s own way. Do what you enjoy, make the magick you believe in, embrace your weird and fringe qualities, and give trump a big fuck you by living the life of your dreams.
So, I’m trying. Not all of my efforts will be successful and grand, but I’m trying. I’m thinking and processing, and — hey — just opened my tarot shop, which while not “self-care” exactly is something for myself about which I’m so excited.
How are you faring in this new world? How have you been doing with self-care lately? Are you getting more locally involved in protest/activist efforts? Let me know in the comments below.