Last week I went to a yoga workshop. The title…Race, Trauma & Well Being: times that call for love led by Angel Kyodo Williams, Hala Khouri, and Kerri Kelly. Hearing the actual level of wealth inequality between black and white people in America (the numbers are staggering even with Oprah, Beyonce sports and entertainment folks in mind) made me angry. Not just angry…livid.
I already knew the impact of slavery…but seeing those numbers written out… I’ve never actually looked at the numbers….seeing those numbers written out pissed me the fuck off big time. I had to leave the room and take all my anger and tears and hug a tree. I cried releasing all that shit into that strong oak so big I couldn’t reach my arms around the entire trunk.
I felt better. But, my anger isn’t gone.
Driving back from North Carolina I ruminated on my anger. This anger has been ever present in my life and is so clever, if I’m not constantly mindful…it flares up and causes havoc in my life every time.
Being the person who “acts happy” in order to hide the anger is a complete mind fuck on people who come into my life expecting this happy go lucky acquaintance to be something I’m not as a friend. And even though my anger is not directly aimed at them, friends see the possibility of what the impact could be and back away.
Walking down the street in NYC I put on my gladiator face and imagine myself protected in Armor.
Earbuds in, sunglasses on, face determined, fast pace ignoring all the comments… and stride to where I need to be as fast as I can. Walking angry that, as a woman alone in this world I must have armor to protect myself to just walk down the fucking street and get to my location unharmed.
I kicked and punched my anger. I danced it in classes and outdoor festivals pounding my joints, I stretched it out in the hardest yoga classes, fought it out in capoiera. Now I walk it, run it, train it in HITT classes.
My physical body seems unharmed but after so many years carrying this weight…my soul is weighed down.
Anger is displaced fear. Anger is disappointed hope. Anger is a delusion.
At the workshop, it became clear, systemic racism will not end in my lifetime.
Love is a disruptive radical act.
Transformation is hard work and takes mindful effort.
Anger causes me to react and push away everyone who loves me to the point that now, the only person who calls me regularly to see how I am doing…is my Mother.
I am a part of GirlTrek, a national black women’s health movement. During our trekking season, GirlTrek has a specific monthly challenge. June’s challenge is to Get Free.
This is the challenge:
#GetFree is GirlTrek’s new Juneteenth tradition that encourages Black women to create their best lives by riding themselves of the things that hold them back and to replace it with 100 miles of walking during the month of June.
This month, I need to become an anger alchemist.
After years of self study, I know and have the tools I need to deal with my anger… now is the time to be disciplined. Now is the time to think before action. Now is the time to reflect.
The seed of negative action is anger. For the June GirlTrek #getfree challenge, I am identifying, naming, processing, transforming, and eliminating my anger.
There. I said it. Now is the time…to just do it and embrace my natural state…joy.