In Presence and Solidarity


I believe unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What do we feel?  What do we say?  What do we do?  How do we support?  How do we serve?

These questions have become prominent in many conversations I’ve had with leaders, students and clients in the last 2 weeks.  As a white woman, I can’t begin to know the lived experiences of Black and Brown communities in these moments of horror and inhumanity as the racism in this country is graphically displayed for all to see in the recent murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia.  I feel the pain, the injustice and the outrage at what’s occurring (and has been occurring for centuries in this country).

My hope is that this moment in history is where our hearts and eyes will open and stay open to what’s happening.  To wake up to the difficult truths of the limiting systems in which we are embedded.  These truths that some of us have so easily ignored because it didn’t seem to be affecting us directly…oh, if that were only the case!

Let us remember we are all deeply connected, and if one of us is hurt, attacked, senselessly killed, disenfranchised, it affects us all.  In the Presence-Based® Leadership work, we understand that we are all a part of the complex systems of our society and are impacted by them. The enormous cracks in our systems in this country are being revealed (once again).  It is also true that every act, no matter how small, has the potential to change the system.  What perspective will we take?  I see these cracks as opportunities to apprehend more of the whole picture. To be able to sense in and know what’s truly important, what resonates with us inside and to take whatever action that is in alignment with that.

Some of you are working on large system changes; some will take small and quiet steps that ease another person’s difficulty.  Each of us, with our unique gifts, can support the bigger change that is opening up as a possibility right now. You get to choose who you will be in this.

Our individual and collective challenge, and our inner and outer work, is to be able to face fully in.  To become present to and stand in and with the pain of others, our fellow humans who have suffered and are suffering, ourselves included.  To take compassionate and skillful action against racism and systemic inequalities.  To not remain silent.  To bring our own awareness to bear on how we are colluding with the broken systems.  To bring care and love, and our capacity for Presence into these substantial challenges.  Presence can enable us to open our hearts, to feel, to speak up, to serve, and to do what’s needed, whatever our sphere of influence.

I am a stand for Black Lives Matter. What are you a stand for?