HISTORY as RITUAL
Some helpful tips for deconstructing history
Though this work is hard, it should never be disquieting or chaotic. You might feel some apprehension rise, or uneasiness. But if those feelings become turbulent or aggressively unruly, pause. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling threatened by history? What am I believing? Is it true?” And take a break.
History wasn’t made in a single day. In fact, history is always in the making. You are also always in the making. Don’t rush it. It’s weeks’ worth of lessons. Take each bit one day at a time, perhaps spending 10 or 15 minutes, max. Even if you can spend more time, there’s no need to rush. Baby steps help prevent us from becoming overwhelmed.
Get as comfortable as you can in your body as you do the day’s lesson. If you feel your shoulders rising, lower them. Breathe in and out. If you sense any tension in your body at all, release it. Physically shift your position, rolling your neck and shoulders, deeply inhaling and exhaling.
Should your mind wander, that’s okay. Come back when you’re ready. Decolonizing our roots is hard work. It’s fine to get distracted. Sometimes our brains are telling us, “Slow Down”. Give yourself permission to daydream. Make your wanderings part of the process.
When you finish a lesson, let kindness and gratitude guide you. Lament any distressing or sad revelations, but be grateful for your journey towards knowing. And of course, as Mother Dr. Angelou said, when you know better, do better.
Making history a ritual
Set literal reminders for yourself: use an app, sticky note, or phone alarm. Make sure it’s something you can’t miss.
Add it onto other daily tasks: Listen to the lesson during your commute or while working out. Preclude your daily spiritual practice with a few minutes of engaging in history. There are daily practices with each lesson.
Create a new rhythm: For example, perhaps every time every time you see a distressing piece of breaking news, take time also to complete a Mockingbird lesson as part of healing for yourself. Every Sunday afternoon, you might do a lesson to commune with our history – or have a tea or coffee break with your weekly lesson.