As I write this blog, I would like to acknowledge my positions of privilege as a settler (descending from 3rd generation mixed European to 8th generation Canadian Acadian), cis, hetero, able bodied, and middle class woman. Pertaining to social justice, patriarchal systems are immensely vast and pervasive. I do not know all the answers; nor will I ever know all the answers in my lifetime.
In my journey towards allyship everyday, in both personal and professional spaces, I strive for equity, diversity and inclusion. As part of this honouring I recognize my human nature. I bring love, compassion and open curiosity towards the mistakes I have made, and towards future spaces of inevitably “missing the mark” as I continue to do this important work.
This piece is dedicated to all folkx who are called to hold space and listen deeply as we strive to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive world.
The World Pauses
As the pandemic started in Winter-Spring 2020, the world paused, and we began to listen. We were literally forced to stop doing, producing, delivering, and moving, to simply be. From my lens at this moment, I see this global pause as the beginning of Mother Earth’s awakening. She began to grow, the skies cleared, animals began to speak more freely and openly. The Mother was able to share her wisdom with us as she’s been trying to do for decades. But in many ways, we still haven’t stopped to fully listen.
At the same time as the earth started to whisper into this pause, countless social justice movements surfaced – Black Lives Matter, Anti-Asian racism in connection with COVID-19, Every Child Matters, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women stories, anti semitism of the continuing Israeli Palestine conflict, transphobia, homophobia, and unfortunately the list goes on. In addition to these injustices which have received extensive media coverage, there are likely an unimaginable number of important stories and world events that have not been brought to active attention. As I type this list I feel heavy, sick, unsettled.
As a part of Dr. Gabor Mate’s The Wisdom of Trauma movie premiere release, I watched his interview with V (formally known as Eve Ensler). They spoke about how for many it is easy to actively disconnect from these challenging world events because we naturally want to feel more joy in our lives. Amid our own pain and triggers, it can become difficult to hold space for the trauma of others. In addition, we actively disconnect because most of us don’t need to revisit those stories as we had no personal active participation in these tragic world events.
Lack of participation, however, does not minimize the impact. It’s important for us to pay attention to the cumulative consequences of these events. Present social justice stories are rooted in decades of patriarchal systems… genocide, slavery, racism, ableism, ageism, transphobia, homophibia, colonialism, sexism, all the -isms!
We are the beneficiaries of all the violence and trauma that came before us.
Our privilege and power today is directly connected to historical and current stories of pain, trauma and violence towards our marginalized brothers and sisters.
This new world is growing in many of us – V (formally known as Eve Ensler)
Find Your Voice Music Therapy Listens
When we truly stop and listen, the truth from The Mother comes forward… With her healing energy and restorative wisdom, we can continue to do the work and reconcile.
The Find Your Voice Music Therapy team has collaborated on our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement. This statement is active in our learning within our own personal spaces, as we hold therapy spaces for our clients, and in how we think, act and exist in community.
- May we answer the summons to support the social justice issues that we are called to.
- May we acknowledge and forgive that we can’t be fully knowledgeable in all areas during our limited lifetime.
- May we show ourselves grace as uncomfortable triggers naturally arise that are most often rooted in systemic oppression and multigenerational trauma.
- May we listen with self and recognize that our stories are our sole reference point in relational connection.
- May we listen ever more deeply and with more compassion.
Dr. Thelma Bryant-Davis states we won’t be able to fully identify with a client’s experience, but validating their pain can be an equally therapeutic experience coming from someone not from the same cultural background/ oppressive experience.
As a team, we strive to create a space that is safe, open, and loving as we do our learning together. Currently, I am reading Jason D Brown’s Anti-oppressive Counseling and Psychotherapy: Action For Personal and Social Change. I imagine that future reflection pieces will follow in connection to this book and in additional areas of exploration. Stay tuned for these stories from myself and members of the FYVMT team as we journey forward together!
For today, I would like to extend hope towards the new world that is unfolding. The truth is rising and I believe that we, as a collective, can turn these patriarchal systems into heart centered, loving spaces. I invite you to reflect on how you would like to plant a seed of equity, diversity and inclusion. Through conscious actions in teaching, therapeutic practices, art, and community connection, may we each do our part to create the loving world that will unfold.