Activism, Reflection, Reflections, Uncategorized

When ‘Sending Love’ is not Enough: A Look into Dismantling Power Structures which Reinforce Hate, Violence & Exclusion.

So, I’ve decided once again to put pen to paper or more accurately finger to keypad to share my two pennies with you. Why? Because these things are important to me and I believe they will be to you to.

More specifically, I’m talking about the spiritual/wellness groups here and following reading this awesome article, as well as conversations both offline & online. However, this can and should be applied wider.

If you’re a healer, light worker & spiritual leader, and you’re spaces are not open to marginalised identities (including but not limited to: women, children, gender minorities, poc, LGBTQIA+, working class, carers, poor, homeless, refugees, asylum seekers etc), as in truly open, than willingly or unwillingly, you may well be upholding power structures which actively reinforce, and legitimise hate, violence and exclusion*. Really.

These inadequate power structures won’t just disappear by themselves and they definitely won’t by just ‘sending love’. Put simply, its very much ‘prayer without action is dead’, ‘deeds not words’, ‘be the change you wish to see’ etc.

I’m not saying don’t send love, please do. Whether you’re trained in an energy healing modality like Reiki or not, this IS powerful stuff and YOU can do it. I heal myself and others through it plenty personally. No, what I am saying is still do that. For your own benefit, and for the benefit of the planet. Really. Do this and also seek ways that you may be participating in upholding these corrupt power structures and seeks solutions within your capacity where possible.

For example:-

  • Are your spaces wheelchair accessible?
  • Could someone who was deaf attend?
  • Is it clear in your language that ‘all genders’ are welcome?
  • Can parents bring their children, is there a creche option?
  • Can you offer a sliding scale, solidarity tickets etc?
  • What other barriers might exist and how can you help, honestly?

Just showing you have thought about these things is a step in the right direction. Sometimes you do have to spell it out and say who you mean by ‘all welcome’ because people within marginalised groups may not assume that means them if they are typically excluded, underrepresented & misrepresented. I speak this from my own truth and from dear ones who feel similarly.

As healers, light workers & leaders, (which I believe we all are/have capacity to be in our myriad of ways) it is our role to include and love ALL beyond that just being for able bodied, cisgendered, middle class white people.

All means all.

If all lives matter to you, what are you doing to even the playing fields of power that exist in our world and that exclude many marginalised groups in our society?

I would also like to add that this is not about shaming anybody or ourselves but it is about calling out the internalised/external messages that have trained us to think of ‘other’ as lesser in any way. Find those messages and replace them with love within yourself, and then use that love to inform how that plays out externally, as in with others.

It is simple and I’d like to think that through regular practice of this we will gradually even out the playing fields. One step at a time. You can do this. I believe in you.

This is a channeled messaged that has been infused with Reiki and I truly hope it serves you well.

Did you find this useful? What works for you? Feel free to leave any questions, comments and share your thoughts & recommendations too!

 

Big love,

Em Desouza,

Expressive Arts Facilitator & Intuitive Energy Worker

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*Please do your own research on misrepresentation, mental health, hate crime & lack of support for these groups. Alternatively get in touch for my training fees, or I can pass you onto other practitioners/trainers if I can’t help.

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Reflection

A Story of Paint & Taste: Autism, Pica & Expressive Arts

Saying that I love my job is an understatement, I get to run Expressive Arts Sessions for a range of people and so often witness them moving from fatigue, low mood, lack of motivation and low confidence to fully engaging, radiating smiles & laughter and heaps of confidence to go around. Overall, offering activities that improve quality of life and enable growth & development by focusing on what individuals can do, rather than what they can’t.

One particular example comes to mind is Al (name changed to protect identity), a young autistic person that I work with with a condition called Pica. This is a condition in which a person typically puts non-edible objects in their mouths and/or eats it. In a session, a potential object could be anything from glue to paint, to glitter, all typically essentials in my world of Expressive Arts.

So how do I make my session accessible & safe?

A very good question. So first & foremost, as a practitioner I have developed trust & understanding with Al as I find this to be a good solid foundation for all following work. I make all efforts to source materials that are non-toxic and often edible. I use a range of non-verbal communication methods to discourage them from consuming non-edible objects if the situation does arise.

My top tips for discouraging the consumption of non-edible objects:

  • Stay calm
  • Be gentle
  • Make every effort not to shame them
  • Reduce demands and pressure which may cause panic & stress
  • Use body language such as putting your palm out or role model taking an object out of your own mouth to demonstrate the ideal behaviour
  • Give lots of praise & encouragement throughout
  • Be patient

In my experience, there is a balance between responding promptly & consistently but also remaining light hearted and relaxed. This has proven successful but each person is different, so I mostly recommend patience – this never gets old, do not give up!

Favourite Activities so far…

Playdough Art

I used non-toxic homemade play dough and used food colouring for the paint and pulses & herbs for natural decorations. I have also tried making my own paint from natural sources too – this went down a treat (figuratively speaking!) though not all colour were as strong. This way if they were to try any of the materials, they would be safe too although not encouraged.

 

Autumn Tree Sillouettes

This is such a simple concept but it brought so much joy, which I could tell by their smiles throughout and eagerness to work on. The tree outlines were pre-drawn beforehand and the leaf shapes were cut out ready too. This works best if I alternate guiding them with the glue (which they often prompt me to do throughout) and leaving space for them to try for themselves to build up confidence. The next step with this activity would be for them to use the glue without my guidance.

 

What Next?

I’d love to keep experimenting with making our own paints which we could make together before using. They seem to love sticking & puzzles, so I will also incorporate more work with alternate backgrounds and collaging I think – so lots to potentially experiment with!

 

Big Love,

Em Desouza,

Expressive Arts Facilitator & Intuitive Energy Worker

Follow Em on Facebook

Tweet Em on Twitter

Did you find this useful? What works for you? Feel free to leave any questions, comments and share your thoughts & recommendations too!