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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Uncategorized

Returning to Art Making, Creating Representation & Taking Up Space.

So here’s a thing… Over the past few months I’ve been hibernating, incubating and immersing myself in my own creative processes. Deciding to shift my focus from solely expressive arts workshops/events to dedicating more time to my own art making practice once again.

This is something I haven’t done fully in around a decade, as my focus has primarily been on working with others. Although, I keep an ongoing reflective art making practice, this has been a purely personal process. Both, I have learnt are necessary for my self care & survival.

Born in the UK as a queer woman of Goan heritage and raised Catholic, there are limited sources of positive representation & role models for me. In most spaces, I must hide parts of my identity to fit in. In most spaces I am seen as different, Other. It is often quite challenging to exist fully. However, this lack of visibility has propelled me to stop hiding, to create representation for myself, and to take up space through existing platforms.

The themes of my work, as ever, include Feminine Power, Sexuality, Identity and Inclusion, as these happen to be very close to my heart. There are several pieces that I have been working on which I will look forward to sharing when they are ready!

Unrehearsed

In my latest piece and first piece, I had set out to visually portray two differing parts of self: one which I experience to be highly functional, able and very capable, and another in which I experience in my depressive & anxious states which restrict my ability to function ‘normally’.

What began as an image of me dissolving & disappearing became one in which I actually felt more a sense of emergence, showing up and building strength. What resulted for me, was a personal shift in perception, from experiencing difference negatively to being much more empowered to exist more confidently, through creative expression.

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Mental Health & Therapeutic Arts

My journey with mental health has been tightly woven with my identity as a creative person. For me, art is a tool and a survival strategy, which I have utilised since childhood. Diagnosed with depression in my teens, it wasn’t long before I discovered the limits of biomedical interventions and have since used more holistic methods of healing. Inspired by the therapeutic benefits of the arts, I trained in Creative Expressive Therapies, and now facilitate workshops to nurture others in fostering personal transformation & growth.

You can see my work as part of the upcoming Invisible Illness Behind the Smile Exhibition, 26th Feb – 23rd March, 2018. The opening night and a chance to meet the artists will be on 3rd March, 2018 5.30pm – 8.30pm.

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