This is a Yard of Greatness milestone! I am so humbled to have my first guest blog post published on Dr Stacey Patton’s website. A feisty US journalist, who is an unapologetic advocate for black children who have experienced abuse from their parents. There is also a podcast to accompany the post which has more details. Its a tough read, but a necessary one for our healing.
In this episode, I share on the subject of codependency, which is the destructive form of self abandonment we adopt in response to living under the system of racism (white supremacy). Details of the show are as follows:
What is racial codependency within the system of white supremacy?
What is codependency in relationships?
The codependency 12 step recovery fellowship.
The characteristics and behavior patterns of codependency.
-Low self esteem
The power of detachment with love.
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Links, books and authors mentioned in this episode:
This show is quite a deep one so make yourself a herb tea, take a deep breath and have a seat.
This episode is the second part of a series on 4 layers of racial pain, our internalised white supremacist, the family of origin, our community, and the external collective oppressor.
Last week, the focus was on our internalised white supremacist. Today, I weave the other 3 layers into the connection between slavery, child attachment, and how ‘disciplining’ our children with violence enables white supremacy’s mission to kill the souls of our people, and destroys our ability to have healthy adult relationships.
Greetings Mindful Yardie’s, I hope the day finds you well.
In today’s show I share on one of four layers of racial pain, the four layers are;
1/ Internalised racism and the relationship with self.
2/ Recycled trauma within our family of origin
3/ Community pain and the silence, enabling racial codependency which feeds the system.
4/ Oppressive social relationship with the institutions that control and maintain our oppression
Today’s focus is on our internalised white supremacist. I talk openly about the trauma of being black, and the impact this had on my relationships and identity in early recovery with a white sponsor and fellows. There are also lots of tools and nuggets to empower you and help you begin to understand and manage the pain of living under this system. The other 3 layers mentioned will be covered in next week’s show.
Links, books and authors mentioned in this episode:
One of the most delicious things I adore learning is the powerful art of building relationships. When we lack self awareness, sometimes our connections can be a painful cycle of defensive reactions. However, as we learn more about ourselves, we can respond and nurture our relationships with a lot more emotional intimacy, awareness and clarity.
In today’s show I’m sharing 3 powerful ways to nurture your relationships today and beyond 2017. This holiday break is a great opportunity to begin nourishing the people and community that means so much to us.
I’m beyond excited for you today because it’s our first proper Yard of Greatness podcast show!
Today’s topic is about navigating boundaries, racism and the holidays. Most of us know that annoying person who drinks to much at this time of year, then thinks they can bring their fast self to you, asking for things that don’t belong to them (if you get my meaning smh!) Or you may have family members, pressuring you to engage in festivities you don’t like. With so many invites and celebrations to attend, it’s important to share how to practice good personal boundaries.
I also talk about why I flung Santa out of my yard, and all the epic stuff I do instead. Once you’ve listened to the show, I’ve included a downloadable empowerment sheet at the bottom of this post, to help you get clear on your holiday values and build a more authentic presence whatever rituals you choose to include going forward.
It’s my birthday today!!! Yay! My blackalicious, melanoid magnificent, 48th earthday! Yes, I did say 48, and yes, I know my melanin is on fleek and I don’t look my age! #mytoyboydaysareover lmao! Ok, ok, laughing aside on a serious note, I’m incredibly grateful for another colossal year of growth, opportunity, and abundance. Whilst i’ve experienced some incredibly painful shifts in my personal life and as I’ve built this business, the experiences have seeded some rich layers of vulnerability and strength which have allowed me to connect with my delicious little plantain (Zuri), and my community at a much deeper level.
I just want to have some fun with ya’ll today, so I’m doing a little personal Q & A which you may find interesting or scroll on past. Either way, it’s my birthday so I’m going to be talking about myself for a change, tee heee. That was my professional cue to start talking about the importance of self love, etc but no. Today, I’m feeling very cheeky so I’m just going to bomb some random questions and answers to amuse myself and entertain you for a few mins. 🙂
I will run from….
Cockroaches! When I was 7, I went to Jamaica with my dad. At my grandmas house, there was an outdoor toilet in the yard. The seat was a plank of wood with a hole cut into it, but as I sat down to do my business, I felt something touching my bottom. When I stood up and looked to see what it was, the inside was crawling with cockroaches. I ran screaming from toilet and from that day, I just can’t..
My funniest parenting moment is…..
On Sunday’s I like to do a Jamaican soul food roast dinner with rice and peas, plaintain, apple crumble etc (yes, I know crumble is British before you message me!). Anyway, this one Sunday I wasn’t feeling well, so the dinner was basic and stripped of the cultural elements with the peas etc. When I served it up, my daughter gave me her disappointed screw face, and proceeded to tell me that the dinner was ‘white’. I’m still cracking up as I’m writing this!
A secret folks don’t know about me is…..
I’m actually an introvert! It’s still a struggle for me at times to be visible and connect with people, but I’m challenging myself daily to take bigger emotional risks. I am currently working on some podcasts and would love to do some public speaking in the future. I’m starting to get asked to do this kind of work a lot more recently so watch this space!
My 15 mins of fame is……
I worked as a professional model for 5 years and loved it! I had the opportunity to travel, do catwalk, magazines and music videos. It was an awesome experience, but what I also learned is that external validation is temporary and self esteem can only be built from the inside. That said, it’s still really cool looking back at my 15 mins. Recognise anyone?
I am most proud of……
My recovery journey hands down. Most of my past relationships were addictive, codependent and very destructive, but as I worked through the layers of shame, denial and rage, I found and rebuilt my broken self. In finding the courage to now practice racial intimacy, not only do I have more self esteem, but I am able to connect with my daughter and others in a way I never thought possible.
I got into this work because…….
As a third generation Jamaican slave descendant (born raised in the UK), I inherited an inter generational pathology of unexpressed, recycled trauma. After I passed my Psychotherapy foundation year, I hit another rock bottom after writing my dissertation which explored the consequences of slavery, attachment and intimacy in my life. Whilst the paper gifted me with a distinction, I was overwhelmed with the reality of how much racial trauma was still destroying my life and those I love. My rage at white supremacy and the pain of feeling powerless is what got me started.
What drives me is…….
Every time I feel like I want to give up, my daughters delicious brown face reminds me of what needs to be done. Seeing her grow, learn and thrive is what drives me. When I crawl through the grief layers of leaving those still committed to acting out their pain, I remember the importance of service, compassion and wisdom. I must pay my sobriety forward to those who want it and stop torturing myself trying to rescue those I think need it. What motivates me, is seeing the benefits of teaching counter racist behavior and practicing racial intimacy. What drives me is seeing my people win!
My shero is……
Dr Francis Cress-Welsing. A third generation physician who devoted her life to understanding the system racism (white supremacy ) through her book The Isis Papers. My work is about honouring her theories and building a safe platform around it for people to understand and process the difficult feelings which accompany living inside this abusive system. I hear alot of people saying that the answer to our liberation is self knowledge through studying our history, many say that it’s economic empowerment. These are valid pieces to the puzzle, but I believe our authentic freedom begins with facing AND feeling the truth of our traumatised history. We must find the courage to process the loss of our blackness, so we can rebuild our self esteem which will in turn nurture our communities at a deep level as a natural consequence.
I am now working on……..
The Isis Papers book study course which will be released in 2017. I can’t wait to share it with you. Register for updates at www.theisispapersbookclub.com
My vision is……
Black people have absorbed so much racial pain over the years, that our very blackness has become the trigger that disconnects us. My vision is to build something that will help us find each again and love fearlessly the way RA intended in the beginning.
Thank you for sharing my birthday and being part of my journey. Please pray for me as grow and continue to live in my purpose. I pray that you will also find the courage to become an active part of the movement for our healing through emotional empowerment, racial sobriety and fearless change to produce justice in our communities.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Till next time, your Sista in truth,
P.S I’d love to stay in touch so if you have not done so already, join the email list below for weekly inspiration, tools, and updates on services to help you shine in your blacknificence.
The true meaning of wealth has been lost under the guise of cash hustle, generational assets and shiny, big ticket trinkets. In our aggressive pursuit of wealth, we can get stuck in the fantasy that having more, means that we are more.
Emotional wealth on the other hand, is a deeper level of understanding and ownership of our emotions. When we’re emotionally wealthy, our life has meaning. We can love fiercely and grieve deeply. We stand in our truth, even if it sometimes means standing alone. We nurture our sense of worthiness and receive abundance in all its forms.
As a consequence of our abusive racial history, many of us did not inherit healthy tools for nurturing our emotional wealth. Instead, we were passed down dysfunctional legacies of shame, disconnection and anger. We were robbed of our ability to be happy in the enmeshed expectations and demands of others.
We all deserve the right to thrive in an environment which mirrors our commitment to abundant personal growth. In our culture of denial and avoidance, many of us are afraid to feel our feelings, but sharing in a safe space can help us understand our pain, and open the door to relief, wisdom and clarity. When our inner circle is emotionally broke, we can give ourselves permission to detach with love and move forward with those committed to change.
Emotional wealth is the root where all riches are seeded. To be happy, we must protect and nurture it like a savings account. Regularly deposit positive emotions and cultural experiences to build racial esteem. Be mindful of any people, systems or things trying to make unauthorised withdrawals. We cannot control the behavior of those trying to get access, but we have full control over how we respond and take care of our account.
Fearless ownership of our emotions means that our happiness becomes a magnet for abundant financial wealth in its purest form. When we commit to taking better care of ourselves, we also create a legacy of racial serenity, strength and empowerment within our family and the community.
Today, I claim my right to happiness, just as I am. In this moment, I own my feelings and choose some loving actions to nurture my well being.
And so it is.
Till next time
June. aka Mindful Yardie
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Now that the school summer break is in full swing, how’s it going? Are you tired and fed up yet? I’m sure a lot of parents on social media saw the meme’s flying around at the end of term showing teachers jumping for joy, and parents already counting the days till their children return to school in the autumn. As much as we love them, caring for our children over the summer can often be emotionally exhausting. Many of us are left daunted by how we can enjoy the break and hold onto our last frazzled nerve at the same time.
A couple of summers ago beneath my fake, ‘strong black mother’ cape, I secretly dreaded the holidays and buried my shame around not really understanding how to bond or connect with my child. To avoid these feelings, my default was always to lean on the summer clubs so I wouldn’t be emotionally overwhelmed, or disrupted by the changes to my term time routine. Then last year, it hit me how fast my daughter Zuri was growing up. I felt ashamed and guilty about not enjoying the break, so I decided to plan a more strategic approach last year and use the space to love bomb her with cultural events and activities to make memories, focus on our relationship, and build our racial esteem as a family. This compassionate space was so powerful, that Zuri cried a lot when it was time to go back to school. I also missed her terribly which had never happened before.
Some of us may find this level of parental intimacy uncomfortable, because we’re not use to engaging with our children in this way. Our work responsibilities may create limited time, or maybe you were raised in an environment where parental play was not a priority so this feels awkward. If this is your story then it’s important to really be gentle with yourself. It might feel hard at first, but little and often works, and this is also a powerful opportunity to upgrade your pathology, and begin building a deeper legacy of connection with your child. Today, I am excited to serve you by sharing the tools and ideas we now use every year to slay our summer.
Create the space to build closeness.
In order to be more present for our families, scheduling space to have fun and hang out is crucial. This will not only be used to spend more quality time with family, but also to give yourself permission to rest and be more emotionally available during the activities. Book and schedule whatever time you can get off work (even if it’s only a few days) and reschedule anything in the family diary where possible, that doesn’t support this commitment.
Use these bullet points to build your family bucket list.
I love this part of the process because everyone gets to be involved in building the program of fun activities. Set a time and call a family meeting to brainstorm the following……
Write a list of how each of you wants to feel about the holidays.
Ask each family member to contribute activities that are connected to how they want to feel. (this tool helps to build a child’s emotional intelligence, as they not only learn how to define their feelings, but also how to articulate what actions will meet those needs.)
Research local events, music festivals, and museums etc, for any activities to explore. Include some same gender specific activities also to nurture the male/feminine energy.
Choose some cultural s/hero’s you can research and learn about together.
Have a good list mix of scheduled events and chilled home activities, this way no one gets too overwhelmed with all the organisation and running around.
Plan how and when you will spread the events across each week.
Set some gentle boundaries around daily screen time, so you can all be engaged and committed to the activities.
Capture the summer experience in a creative way.
With most of us posting and storing our memories on social media these days, a hard copy family diary or scrapbook is a refreshing way to record our feelings, joys, challenges and events with good old fashioned paper and pen. A trip to the local pound/dollar store will provide plenty of scrapbook crafts to bring the joyous family quotes, pictures and stories to life. You can still post your fun on social media, but it’s always wonderful to read the diary entries at a later date and relive the warm fuzzy feelings that accompanied them.
Teaching life skills, feeds empowerment.
Teaching is so much more powerful than rescuing, but sometimes our busyness keeps us caught up in checking off our lists, instead of empowering our children with what and how things needs to be done. Cooking a simple meal, growing something, or sharing some easy financial literacy, are simple suggestions to get you started. As your child practices and perfects her new skill, you save valuable time as she’s now empowered to complete it independently. As a natural consequence of sharing this energy, The relationship will build between you as your self esteem and confidence grows independently. As a side note, it’s also important to say that this is not only about practical tasks, but also a chance to review and teach the family values. I have an earlier post on this with a free ebook, which will help you define and implement them as a family. www.juneallen.net/values
Build racial esteem with cultural education.
The summer break is now one of our favourite times of year to work as a team, (hopefully with some sunshine) to explore, educate and celebrate our identity. What could be more irresistible to our black children than having a cultural learning experience within the community with engaged parents who adore spending time with them. In this month already, my daughter and I have attended our annual African storytelling festival which honoured the late Jamaican poet, Louise Bennett. We’ll be highlighting Marcus Garvey’s birthday on 17th August and also attend the annual steel band competition on 27th August at the Notting Hill Carnival. The African presence is not always taught appropriately (if at all) in ‘mainstream’ European dominated education. However, our cultural S/hero’s continue to provide a rich hue of flavor and black brilliance around the globe so we must continue to absorb and re-tell their stories as part of our legacy.
I know this piece has focused specifically on the summer holidays, but including more time for family to play during term time (even if its a hour at the weekend) is a great way to nurture and maintain your family self care. If your summer break has been a disaster up to this point, I hope this piece has provided some value to give yourself permission to restart and reclaim the joy in your family space! When we make the time to prioritise and implement these tools, our children will not only experience our love for them, but also how much we actually like them and adore being in their. I’d love to know you spent yours in the comments below.