Because of the intellectual and emotional labor of Staci Jordan Shelton, Layla Saad, and other women, and the harm that I caused in this conversation, I realized I have a lot of work to do to dismantle white supremacy within myself. And I am canceling the Tame the Dragon workshop. I will be attending Abigail Rose’s program called The Skeleton Key: Dismantle and strongly urge my community of white women to do the same.
You can contribute to Staci Shelton’s PayPal for all of the work that she did in my thread. It provides scholarships to women of color to join her Unraveled courses, which I also highly recommend you all join. All of her courses can be found on her website under the tab pages here.
I am leaving this page here for accountability while I take time to step back and learn how to take accountability for the harm I've done and make amends.
tame the dragon:
a triggers workshop for white women who intend to do better
This page is not like the others because this workshop is different than the triggers workshops I’ve offered in the past. If this invitation resonates for you, join me beginning January 22nd to heal the old wounds that render us (white women) useless and often harmful in the fight against systems of oppression.
Last summer, my life was irretrievably altered by Layla Saad's open letter I need to talk to spiritual white women about white supremacy (Part One and Part Two). I am a white woman who makes a living teaching mostly other white women how to heal their heads, hearts, and homes. Most Unrulies already know that Black Lives Matter and that the justice system is broken as hell. We hate that people are suffering. We believe in equality. We vote. We sometimes even march. We are polite white women and we mean no harm but the truth is most of us are not doing enough and we can be incredibly harmful.
Layla's call to action activated me. As a spiritual leader, priestess, minister, and owner of a self-help business I've been blind to the ways I perpetuate the violence of white supremacy and racism by not addressing these matters in my own life and in my work in the world.
The response to her call to action angered me. On social media, some white women respond violently to posts like Layla's. Private messages are even worse. Combative defensiveness spreads like wildfire and "spiritual white women" cultivate some of the worst--profanity, name calling, dismissing, second guessing, spiritual bypassing, and more. Still others, some of the most powerful among us, meet this call to action with deafening silence.
On one hand, I get it. There's a lot here to feel. For me, guilt rises. Shame burns. Sadness aches in my chest. Anger consumes me. Hopelessness threatens to paralyze me. At times, I feel afraid to speak publicly on any of this--afraid I’ll unknowingly perpetuate racism, fail to properly hold safe space, or expose how ill-prepared I am to dismantle white supremacy. Sometimes I worry that speaking into this will cost me much needed business or maybe even the support of loved ones.
On the other hand, all of that is complete bullshit. Wallowing in guilt that my white son can walk down the street at any hour wearing whatever he wants carrying anything in his hands and run virtually no risk of being harassed, detained, or killed by the police does nothing to make his black classmates more safe on our streets. It is an obscene waste of energy for me to indulge the rage that rises when my peers try to rock powerful women back to sleep with their oneness lullabies and promises to meditate on the problem of men shot dead for the crime of driving while black. And seriously, what right do I have to allow hopelessness to come for me when I’m the one holding all of the power?
When faced with the facts of white supremacy and racism, we are bound to be triggered. It’s okay to feel those feelings, and even use them to cultivate healing, but if we allow them to drive our action we perpetuate violence against others, dissociate from that which needs our attention, or at the very least take action that is ineffective. Action taken from a triggered emotional state often reinforces the very system we intend to fight against.
My big feelings neutralize not a single educational, judicial, socio-economic, or other inequity. My white guilt does nothing to make it as safe for a black woman to give birth in this country as it is for her white counterpart.
Our old, untended wounds are of no use to people of color. Our triggers are holding us back, keeping us from using our voices to challenge the system. We spend our sacred resources emotionally overreacting instead of taking real action. When a woman of color tells us we are doing harm and we respond with defensiveness, we perpetuate the same exact violence we claim to hate. We have to do this work. We have to get over ourselves. We have to change the power structure destroying our country.
This is not a workshop about white supremacy. I am not remotely qualified to offer that kind of experience. I’m just now deep in my own personal work around all of this. I will continue to share what I learn. I will continue to share with humbling transparency my own journey through this awakening.
This workshop is about healing our reaction to the truth of white supremacy. This healing is essential in order to take more appropriate, purposeful, and effective action.
This experience is going to be much like the triggers workshops I’ve offered over the last two years, only this time instead of working on our triggered reactions to our parents, lovers, children, work, etc., we are going to learn to manage our unproductive reactions to white supremacy.
Tame the Dragon is a triggers workshop for white women who intend to do better. It's about learning to honor our discomfort without being ruled by it. It’s about healing heart and head, so we can get back to work.
We will explore how to recognize, process, and release triggers. Once that solid foundation is laid, we will journey through more than a dozen powerful blog posts, articles, and poems written by women of color about white supremacy, racism, and the ways that white people (even those with good intentions) continue to perpetuate these oppressive systems and do great harm. We will conclude with exploration of materials provided by participants.
Register for the TAME THE DRAGON Workshop:
- Weekly Group Sessions: During the 21-day Tame the Dragon intensive, the weekly group sessions will be by phone on Wednesdays @ 8:00 pm Central Time and on Saturdays @ 10:00 am CT.
- Virtual Support: There will be a private Facebook group for accountability, connection, and support on a daily basis throughout the journey. This space will be archived one week after this workshop concludes.
- Daily Invitations: The Tame the Dragon intensive is about intentionally exposing ourselves to material that will give rise to old wounds so that we may learn to recognize, explore, and release triggers instead of perpetuating violence within ourselves and the world. The conversation about our reactions to the materials will be held beneath each piece.
- Discounted Private Sessions: Every participant will have the option to add private sessions with their registration at a discounted rate of $75 (reg $125). This work is intense. Private sessions help personalize the journey as it unfolds and release barriers that will inevitably rise. You will be well served to have a session or two at your disposal if that is accessible for you. You can learn more about private sessions here.
- Fund Emotional Labor: Half of the basic registration fee for this workshop goes to the women of color who expended the emotional labor to create the materials we are using to trigger ourselves.