Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Thank you for being a reader!

 

Last week I shared on social media how surprised I was that so many people unsubscribed from my newsletter in one morning after my last post. I also acknowledged that I didn’t know why people unsubscribed. I received a tremendous amount of support, and some people emailed to let me know their unsubscribe was not related to that week’s post. But I did receive this email:

 

Rohini, I enjoyed your and Angus’s posts very much. But I resent your using the 3 principles platform to promote your political agenda. When I signed up to your emails, I haven’t given you permission to impose your political opinions upon me. It is with great regret that I make a decision to unsubscribe from your emails.

 

Often if there is one person who takes the time to share something, there are others thinking the same thing who did not take the time to write and voice their opinion.

 

So I want to clarify that my platform is not a 3P platform. This is where I do my best to be of service and point people to their loving nature. Being anti-racist is a natural extension of that and helping others see how to stand in solidarity, wake up to their blind spots and biases is part of me being of service. I do not believe the love in my heart and my spiritual understanding can be separate from social justice and human rights.

 

I am learning and growing. Finding my voice. It will not be perfect. I will make mistakes. I will offend people with my blind spots. I hope you educate me. I am okay if you disagree with me. I am also okay if you unsubscribe from my platform.

 

Here is some additional context, it was hard for me to speak up. In my younger life, I was exposed to overt racism. I was bullied. I was called names. I was ostracized. I went to predominantly white schools. I grew up with a white mother who could not fully understand my experience. I learned to cope by flying under the radar and not speaking up. I was very shy. That conditioning still runs through me and I knew when I have the queasy feeling in my stomach when publishing the post I was acting against it. I hope it encourages you to act against the limiting conditioning that gets in the way of you shining your light and expressing yourself in the world.

 

I know I do not have the same experience of black Americans, and I know that even with the racism I experienced in my life, I still have plenty of privilege. I experience name-calling and some threats of violence in my life. The kind of racism that victimizes black people, that keeps them from moving forward, or living decently or that gets black people killed is a whole other level of discrimination. Privilege needs to be understood.

 

I say this for the person who wrote to me and said all of this is over $20. I ask you to educate yourself. This comment is the result of the blinders of white privilege. I am sure the comment was not meant to be racist, but it trivializes what is happening. I have included a list of resources at the end for your consideration. I ask you to do your work to learn how to be an ally and anti-racist.

 

I also received an email about George Floyd having a criminal record.

 

“Gentle Giant” Or, who George Floyd is. His death certificate will be published someday, so we will know the cause of death. Not to justify any cruelty of the police! By far! And forged money is a federal crime…

 

Sent with an attached image alleging to be George Floyd’s police record.

 

My feedback is that this comment is condoning police brutality and no matter what crime someone may have committed, murder is wrong.

 

Some other feedback I received is that a message of love is synonymous with a privileged personal growth agenda. That is not what I am pointing to.

 

I am calling on each one of us to listen to the unconditional and impersonal love in our hearts and let that drive our actions. Looking within is the start. It is not the end. Murder, systemic racism, police brutality, social and racial inequality are the by-product of fear. We do need to bring this into the light. As Martin Luther King said, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

 

Love is required, and I do not profess to know what actions love will call us forward to do. Protesting from love. Supporting from love. Organizing from love. Activism from love. Love can be expressed in an infinite number of ways. I do not want my message of love to be lumped together with inaction.

 

Angus and I watched Spike Lee’s film “Do the Right Thing” with our eldest daughter this weekend. These two quotes appear at the end.

 

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by destroying itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self- defense, I call it intelligence.”–Malcolm X

 

The director Lee says in an interview “I did that so that people would think about these issues.” Lee believes that the lives and beliefs of the two men can somehow be meaningfully synthesized.

 

Both of these statements are true and can coexist.

 

Love does not necessarily mean without force.

 

For those who believe the only spiritual approach is to look inward that negates that we have an experience in the world of form. To pretend otherwise is a spiritual bypass. I do not purport to experience myself as formless energy. I experience myself as a separate self, and I have glimpses into the beauty of the impersonal love and the oneness of all things. But I live in this world as a personal self with labels such as brown, immigrant, woman, among others living in a society with other personal selves. Some who have privilege over others.

 

Looking in the direction of our true nature does not mean we don’t engage in the material world. As the Bhagavad-gita points out:

 

Everyone must engage in some sort of activity in this material world. But actions can either bind one to this world or liberate one from it.

 

Just because the material body is temporary does not mean we can’t take action and stand for love.

 

The Bhagavad Gita is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of Bhishma Parva). The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. At the start of the Dharma Yudhha (righteous war) between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is filled with moral dilemma and despair about the violence and death the war will cause in the battle against his own kin. He wonders if he should renounce and seeks Krishna’s counsel, whose answers and discourse constitute the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna counsels Arjuna to “fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty to uphold the Dharma” through “selfless action”. From Wikipedia.

 

In the Gita, there is no clear line between good and bad, right and wrong. The discourse dwells beyond the pairs of opposite. In the end, Krishna simply says to Arjuna “do as you wish.”

 

My question to you is what do you choose to do? How will you do as you wish? What is your right thing? I can’t help but think of Edmund Burke’s words:

 

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

 

Resources:

From Ester Perel, follow these Instagram accounts

 

 

Plus my addition of:

 

 

From Everlane Black Lives Matter | Resources

 

From Airbnb Activism and Allyship Guide

 

Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free eBook Relationships here. Rohini has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, rohiniross.com.

21 Comments

  • Debbie J Crader

    08.06.2020 at 06:19 Reply

    Rohini,
    I can not say I understand how it feels to be hated for the color of my skin but at the same time I can identify with being bullied, descimiated and beat up. It wasn’t until I went to school became a Life Coach that I started my journey to self-respect. Then it wasn’t until I came acrossed the 3 Principals that I really understood how life is. Rohini I appreciate your voice I stand with you and all people of color. I want to be apart of the healing of America and the world.

  • Brenton

    08.06.2020 at 06:25 Reply

    Thank you Rohini for such clarity
    However ‘spiritual’ and 3P oriented we are…we are all conditioned beings. We all have our shadows. Thank you for sharing them
    Brenton

  • Caroline

    08.06.2020 at 06:32 Reply

    Thanks for this post, Rohini. Keep shining your light please!

  • Eileen LeBlanc

    08.06.2020 at 06:49 Reply

    Rohini,

    I’m with you in your support of Black Lives Matter. I do hope and pray that George Floyd and many others death and fear of authority will not be in vain.

    The quote of Edmund Burke says it all!!

  • Lisa Farrell

    08.06.2020 at 07:36 Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful post and your courage to speak out. We all need that courage right now.

  • Annat

    08.06.2020 at 08:15 Reply

    This is a truly excellent article, Rohini. Deep bow 🙏

  • Cathy Scharetg

    08.06.2020 at 08:20 Reply

    I love the way that you love the world. Thank you for going through the scrutiny of differing opinions while still maintaining your love, wisdom, and innocense. Deep Breath, small steps, and a heart centered in Love.

  • Linda Hummel

    08.06.2020 at 08:31 Reply

    Just want to say that I experience a rush of love, aliveness, sense of your courage and clarity and strength, and inspiration for ever deeper exploration and thought and action from this post, Rohini. Huge thanks for your expression here. I am very loved. Much love, Linda xxx

  • Linda Hummel

    08.06.2020 at 08:32 Reply

    Moved, not loved. But hey! 😊

  • Merrily Talbott

    08.06.2020 at 11:38 Reply

    Thank you, Rohini, for standing up for what is right and good and loving. Keep doing what you do!!!

  • Eleanor Howard

    08.06.2020 at 12:22 Reply

    Beautifully articulated—importantly shared. This is not the time to be silent or to pretend that anything about the principles condones passivity, complicity, hate speech, police brutality, or even just ignorance. We are being called to wake up, educate ourselves, and show up. While your point of departure here is not explicitly 3P, but even broader, it is deeply informed by the deep humanity of the principles, and a message of love. It is hard to understand how anyone can find that offensive.

  • Amanda

    08.06.2020 at 12:51 Reply

    Thanks for the blogpost. I love reading your insights. I was not enraged but felt a deep sadenss- grief- when I heard about another brutal abusive of power and racism. I sensed that something struck a chord when I read your last post and was inspired by your poise and passion. With this post, I am even more humbled by your ability to stand clear and share your insights in such an eloquent, direct and humble manner. May you continue to share your light and hold it for others to see.

  • Erika Obulo

    08.06.2020 at 16:26 Reply

    Thank you Rohini, I am grateful for you shining a light on the fact that people choose to unsubscribe when anti-racism is discussed. This helps clarify how deep the systemic conditioning is that people can see justice seeking for all lives but in this case black lives as a political position. The fight is on and this time , I hope for the best now with allys can finally able to see the wood for the trees, racism on a global Centre stage.
    # itsnotjustourimagination

    Best wishes and love,
    Erika Obulo ( your old acquaintance)

    • Rohini

      08.06.2020 at 18:41 Reply

      Hi Erika,

      So wonderful to hear from you!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. That is a key point that justice for black lives is seen as a political position.

      Glad you are feeling hopeful and glad it is on the global center stage not just here in the U.S.

      Sending you love,

      Rohini

  • Bhanu Patel

    08.06.2020 at 20:19 Reply

    Hi Rohini, so beautifully written. Thank you. I look forward to reading your posts every week. What a coincidence you mentioned a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, I just finished watching all 95 episodes of the Mahabharata last week. ❤️🙏🏽

  • Hilda Rhodes

    08.06.2020 at 21:24 Reply

    A beautifully written and wise piece. I am in awe of your depth of knowledge. When I first came across the 3Principles, the following came to me and I put it in my email signature. Being spiritual is easy, it’s being human that is the challenge.

    Love Hilda

  • Cate

    08.06.2020 at 22:11 Reply

    Rohini, I applaud you for speaking your truth and standing for justice in the world. Your piece has been very thought-provoking for me – not because of the content, but because I recently unsubscribed from a newsletter because I did not share the same view as the author. I also gave the feedback that I had not subscribed to the newsletter to read the author’s political opinions, but, in truth, I held the opposite opinion to the author and was just plain angry that she said what she did. It was a different matter – this time about governments issuing stay at home orders. I am reflecting on how hard it is to allow someone to have a different opinion, particularly when it’s a subject that we feel passionate about. Particularly when it feels like a threat to our safety, our wellbeing. These are such confronting times, whether we are dealing with a potentially deadly virus or loss of income or the violence of human beings towards the planet and each other. Some days it feels overwhelming, and I wonder if we can ever find a way through this. I guess the question is, can we allow the other to have their own feelings, their own thoughts, even when they are so far away from our own? It seems to be both the problem and the solution. But I don’t see how we can move forward towards peace without listening and striving to understand the other. Thank you for speaking out, even when I know it is hard.

  • Susan Bigelow

    09.06.2020 at 04:00 Reply

    I wrote in support of your post Rohini and got all intense and wordy. But lost it all. 😩But really, you opened up an opportunity for us to form our ideas, or at least, have a voice, form an opinion. It’s all about having conversations for this is so needed to produce change.

  • Howard

    09.06.2020 at 04:37 Reply

    As usual I thank you for putting yourself and your words out there. I’m not expecting you to put yourself out there without someone not liking something. It’s the gentleness and wisdom that comes through along with your humanness. Keep it going. Appreciate you and Angus. H!

  • Carmen Alston

    09.06.2020 at 14:14 Reply

    Hi Rohini,

    Thank you for adding your powerful voice to the growing chorus of those calling for change, it is very welcome and appreciated!

    Carmen

  • Mike Rasar

    09.06.2020 at 19:12 Reply

    Hi Rohini: I thought I would comment in support of you. While the post was a change from the typical I find here and expressed a political bias I find no offense there. A sentiment that guides my life is “you only know the world by your relationship to it”. Those who find offense to your sentiments need only examine their relationship to that which has offended them apparently to the point of shutting your commentary out of their lives. Of course that indicates they mean not to make that introspection. The world today is highly divided. George Floyds death has only divided us further. The story isn’t really about the man who died so much as about the distance between us all that your work from as far as I can see is about trying to close.
    All the best to you in your quest.
    Mike Rasar

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