Updated: 6 days ago
Does Racism Benefit Anyone?
When Will We Talk About White People And Suicide?
We don't talk about it or seem to recognize a connection, but white men aged 25-64 are twice as likely to commit suicide than men of every other ethnic group (except Indigenous men). As a group, white Americans have higher suicide rates than most other ethnicities (Source: CDC). Does the need for superiority actually contribute to the fulfillment of white people? Are they willing to learn how to cultivate honesty ☥ integrity ☥ benevolence ☥ cultural competence? Can they learn how to be happy and fulfilled without lying, cheating, stealing, raping, pillaging and killing? Whether we want to admit it or not, we are on this planet together and if we refuse to cleanse ourselves and take these elephants seriously, in one way or another, we will suffer.
A Few Ways To Unblock Our Healing
Actively Engage In Self-Awareness ☥ Love ☥ Empowerment
Take the time to learn more about your family, ancestry, history and culture. It’s true that some of your history will not be positive. I had a client who found out that her father was a Nazi who had committed terrible crimes. She hated anything German. As I considered healing strategies for her, I silently thought about the irony of having both German and Jewish ancestry. I had to remind her that while the past cannot be changed, the actions that she takes today could change her present and future.
I worked diligently with her to redirect her anger and shame away from "anything German" into positive actions that heal. Thanks to my family, my growing understanding of German culture helped me to quickly locate some German traditions that she could embrace and accept as a part of her healing process. I utilized my connections at the local Jewish Community Center to find ways for her to do good work in their community and learn about Jewish culture which enriched her life. She was able to heal and offer herself in service to the Jewish community because she faced and healed her past. The more you learn about yourself, the more you are able to face and take actions to heal what hurts so that you can create the space to love yourself and others. She is no longer haunted and tormented by her inherited past.
The Journey To And Work Of Loving Yourself
The more you love yourself, the less you’ll be triggered by other people’s actions which allows you to engage in contemplative thought and respond with heightened awareness to the events of the outside world. The Black and Latinx populations share similar histories:
☥ We suffered a historic catastrophic event which included ongoing violence, rape, cross breeding and pillage causing the altering of more than 20% of our genetic makeup and creating a new hybrid race of people currently identified as:
☥ Black, which is comprised of approximately 70-80% African + 20-30% European
blend or a combination of European and Indigenous blends. Many Black people in
the US have no idea what tribes make up their African ancestry and their languages
have been erased. My family had hundreds of acres of land that was passed down
on to the property to visit/tend a small slave cemetery where our ancestors are
buried, but we have no real way of preventing it from being destroyed.
☥ Latinx, which is primarily comprised of approximately 50% Indigenous + 25%
African + 25% European blend (mostly from Spain). Many Latinx people, that I
have surveyed, are under the impression that their ancestry is mostly (more than
60%) Spanish. While true for a minuscule percentage of their population, this
fallacy has caused a disassociation with their roots as many have no idea that
they are Indigenous, what tribes make up their ancestry and their languages
have been forgotten. Like Black people, they desire an affirmative and accurate
identity. I once spoke with a Latinx leader who said something that broke my heart
and put my own pain around my African ancestry in perspective. He said, "You may
not know exactly where to go, but at least you have Africa to go back to. Our ruins
and historic structures have been destroyed and our land has been abducted.
Where can we go to reconnect with ourselves and heal?"
☥ Black Latinx, which is mainly comprised of 70-80% African + 20-30% Spanish
blend or a combination of Spanish and Indigenous blends. I spent my college
and early working years in Miami and got a crash course on the complexities of
being Black Latinx. Black Americans, who have never traveled outside of the
U.S. and grapple with their own overwhelming issues of oppression, tend to run
being "Black enough" for acceptance. Even some Black Americans who have
traveled extensively struggle to crack this complicated code without a deep
understanding of the secret complexities of racial dynamics and its global
applications (another topic best reserved for a book).
Imagine that you and your family were kidnapped. Your sister was taken to Cuba, your brother was taken to Haiti, your mother, who was pregnant at the time, was taken to Brazil and you were brought to the US. No one knows what happened to your father. If by some miracle you were reunited a year later, how excited would you be to see them? Now imagine that you find yourself sitting at a table with people who are Cuban, Haitian and Brazilian. Do you become uncomfortable when they begin to speak Spanish, French or Portuguese even though all of them also speak English? You haven’t learned their language and discovered that they don’t celebrate some of your holidays. How do you feel about them? Are your feelings yours or are they a product of social conditioning? If we are serious about healing, we have to question our thoughts and change our behaviors to reflect the benevolence that exists within the truest part of ourselves.
Let’s look at the common denominator of difference between some Black cultures:
☥ Black Cuban - abducted from Africa, colonized by the Spanish and forced to
speak/adopt Spanish language/culture
☥ Black Haitian - abducted from Africa, colonized by the French and forced to speak/adopt
☥ Black Brazilian - abducted from Africa, colonized by the Portuguese and forced to
speak/adopt Portuguese language/culture
☥ Black American - abducted from Africa, colonized by the British and forced to
speak/adopt English language/culture
My own personal research, and conversations with Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant (BII) psychologists who have traveled extensively throughout Africa/around the world, revealed that we fail to recognize that BII people from around the world have been colonized differently (including/within each country) and are isolated from these complicated dynamics so that we run in circles competing, pulling rank and distrusting each other instead of zooming out to see the common threads that connect us so that we can understand each other and cultivate community, real trust and healing.
A few other commonalities include:
☥ We were pitted against each other (i.e. through rape, the creation of and
preference given to lighter skin tones), forced into acquiescence to all aspects of
European culture, suffered through the mass abduction of our resources, etc.
☥ We were forced to adopt another culture's religion which was altered and
deliberately used to psychologically brainwash, manipulate, suppress and control
were forced to subscribe to European naming conventions.
Because of these commonalities, I refrain from assuming that I understand people of other ethnicities or even my own ethnicity. I've lost so much of my own history. I am still attempting to understand who I am while mourning/having to accept the fact that I am 26% European not because of love (which I would have happily welcomed/accepted) but primarily through rape and violence. I know that I must heal, transmute, integrate, love and accept all of who I am even though part of me belongs to a culture that dehumanizes and often despises me. This process must include cleansing my European ancestry by forgiving them and releasing the pain that they caused to my African ancestry so that ancestral trauma is not passed down to future generations. If I don't heal, I risk psychologically destroying myself from the inside out (something for us to consider the next time we see a mentally ill homeless ethnic person roaming the streets). Therapeutic movement and healing music has been my saving grace, and though I have much to learn about other cultures, I am committed to lifelong learning, exploration and engaging in practices such as walking in IRE.
In Brazil A Black Eldorado grew In Brazil When freedom's sun flashed through There glowed A light divine, Ọlọrun's fiery sun It showed Utopia, one for all and all for one Quilombo ☥ From the soundtrack of the movie ☥ Quilombo ☥
The ignorance that I seek to overcome is as real and runs as deep as the love I feel for humankind. We cannot love ourselves or others by remaining stagnant and refusing to grow. I actively and humbly seek to discover the truth about myself and about other cultures (regardless of how painful that truth may be to face). Even though I have been completely immersed in white culture since early childhood, (which is tantamount to eating vanilla ice cream for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all my snacks while watching TV, movies, listening to the radio and reading about vanilla ice cream all day/every day) I still continually question my views of white people, actively resist judgment and seek understanding to hold myself accountable to potential biases and fallacies. For this reason, I was especially annoyed by the college boy who didn't bother to understand even a little bit about Black history/culture before writing a story about us.
Ignoring It Will Not Heal It Or Make It Disappear
We cannot heal what we refuse to acknowledge. As an American, I am appalled, embarrassed and humiliated by our Declaration of Independence which refers to Indigenous people as "Indian Savages," yet conventional society still refuses to acknowledge that America was founded upon and deeply rooted in racism. In 1776, my ancestors were still enslaved so whose freedom do we celebrate on the 4th of July? Why won't we acknowledge the fact that my ancestors were a major funder for the freedom of white people and paid dearly with their blood, sweat, tears and free labor? How do we heal as a society if we are completely unwilling to acknowledge and cleanse ourselves and our past?
If we do not continually question and challenge our beliefs, we will not evolve personally or as a society.
When You Wake Up In The Morning Check In With Yourself First
Refuse to allow someone or something outside of yourself to be your first point of contact for your day. Instead, spend a few moments in gratitude for another day and for the opportunity to do your part to make this world a better place. Then, take a few slow deep breaths. This type of exercise brings you into the present moment and in touch with your true self.
Refrain From Engaging In Disturbing Activities At Least 60 Minutes Before Bedtime
The news consistently places its focus on issues that represent the lowest common denominators of our society and repeats it constantly throughout the day to increase their ratings (i.e. "breaking news" only happens once). Try skipping the news for a day and see if you truly missed anything of importance.
Make a habit of breathing and pausing before speaking or acting. Resist the temptation to be seduced into knee-jerk reactions.
Take the time to practice self-awareness and self-control through breathing exercises and practices such as Qigong, meditation and Yoga (or some other contemplative practice that nourishes you). These practices allow you to digest what is happening in the outside world (that may be awakening something painful inside of you) and help you to distance yourself and watch it from a place of detachment and stoicism until you are able to process the emotions, find balance within yourself and respond with awareness.
It means buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye. ☥ Cypher - From The Movie, 'The Matrix'
Choosing to read this entire blog is a test - a sort of rite of passage. If you've made it this far, please know that I recognize you may have found this blog to be unsettling. If so, congratulations! I applaud you for hanging in there and beginning/deepening your beautiful process of spiritual awareness. With open eyes seeing the truth and an open heart, the work of healing our world can begin ... with the healing of ourselves.
Will we face the elephant(s) in our room(s)?
There can be no growth inside your comfort zone.
God is in the rain. ☥ ☥ Evey ☥ From The Movie 'V Is For Vendetta'
I invite you to continually question your beliefs and sit with the discomfort that you may be feeling in silence for at least a few minutes each day. Some days/seasons will be more challenging than others, but if you continue to cleanse yourself and stay the course through the peaks and valleys, you will tap into a tranquil state of deep peace within you. You may even find that you'll laugh out loud when you come to realize the simplicity of what you thought was so complicated.
Wake Up ☥ Be Well ☥ Be Radiant
Thank you for taking the time to actively engage in your own self-care. If you have ever spent time at a hammam ☥ steam room ☥ sauna, you will notice that it is a comfortable space because you are wearing minimal or no clothing and you can just be yourself. However, after a short time, it starts to get hot, and you begin to sweat. This is a good thing because you are helping your body to eliminate toxins. If you want to detoxify your body correctly you will:
☥ Breathe slowly and deeply to help your body adjust to the intensity of the heat.
☥ Sip water every 15 minutes to stay hydrated.
☥ Have a piece of fruit ☥ pumpkin seeds ☥ favorite healthy snack available.
☥ Take a shower after excessive sweating.
☥ Go into a cold room/take a cold plunge/cold water rinse off to cool down before doing
another sweat and to stimulate your lymphatic system.
☥ Go for a walk in nature, spend time in meditation ☥ contemplation, have a healthy meal
and give your body some time to complete the healing process (which could include
sending you messages through your intuition about your next steps).
As you journey through ☥ interact with the blogs ☥ other content on phyllishubbard.com, you might have an insight that causes you to suddenly feel mentally ☥ emotionally “hot” -- which could show up as:
☥ “Ah-ha” moments
☥ A hop-in-the-bed-and-cry-yourself-to-sleep or fetal position crying time of intensive
☥ Intense feelings of anger/regret about something in your past
☥ Disorientation caused by the realization of truth
☥ Strong reactions such as heightened senses, vomiting; an urge to release emotions
such as yelling/screaming, going outside for fresh air/to take a walk, punching a
boxing bag/pillow; a feeling of tightness in the chest, etc.
If you find yourself having a strong reaction, I encourage you to flow with it while helping your body to release mental ☥ emotional toxins by using the same five self-care strategies listed above for releasing physical toxins. Your body talks to you all the time, but unconscious adherence to social conditioning can mute its messages.
Strong reactions are your body’s way of letting you know that there is a deeper issue requiring your attention.
Keep revisiting the content ☥ utilizing the five self-care strategies until you no longer experience the strong reaction, release fears and have identified ☥ transformed ☥ removed the root cause of the issue. You will find additional strategies throughout this website that you can add to your mental health self-care toolkit.
Self-Care Sustainability Suggestions
☥ A Cross-Cultural Healing Haven – read this blog to understand the purpose of
phyllishubbard.com and the meaning behind its organization ☥ symbols.
☥ Revisit the content periodically and make a note of if/how your perceptions have
☥ Check out the other pages on phyllishubbard.com:
other spiritual practices.
☥ Home - watch the videos. Click on the images in the Spiritual Guidance
section. Each image has a story that might assist your self-care journey. Learn
about other spiritual practices.
☥ About - Learn about my background ☥ reasons for co-creating
with Spirit. Explore healing through the image carousel and videos.
☥ Reclaiming Our Humanity - Help us develop and disseminate video courses.
☥ Rise TV - Practice breathing and movement exercises and deepen your
understanding of healing through the experiences of community members.
Check back periodically to discover new/re-experience the content.
☥ Journey - This is your invitation to own the journey to radiance. Experience the
journey and download healing resources to share with your friends, family and
When you share healing, healing comes back to and flows through you.
About Sharing ...
During my first presentation to an all-Black audience, I introduced 20-year-old research on the hazards of sitting. I presented the research because I noticed that people sat for way too long at convenings and realized that the information was not disseminated to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities. I was determined to intentionally include this research, often surprising participants by getting people up to stretch. After more than 13 years of intentional work, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People are just barely beginning to normalize conscious movement. We still have a long way to go, and it is important that we share what we know as much as we can to prevent the disenfranchisement of wellness information to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities.
Please do not keep phyllishubbard.com to yourself. We will not co-create a better world until we heal our current, past/childhood traumas. We will not love others until we learn to love ourselves.