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"2013/07/19 All Out for Our Babies March - Oakland, California" (cropped) by Daniel Arauz, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

After The Zimmerman Verdict: How To Channel And Transform Outrage And Be The Change

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

– Mahatma Gandhi 

Note: Although Ghandi never actually said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” which is a paraphrase of the above quote from one of his volumes (Vol. 13, Ch. 153, page 241 to be exact), I thought this quote was a great reminder during these turbulent times.

Ever since the George Zimmerman verdict of “not guilty” last night hit the airwaves, outrage and shock has taken over our collective consciousness.  How could this happen?  Have we really progressed as a people if our (in)justice system releases murderers like Zimmerman, free to live a life that he stole from Trayvon Martin and his family?

I, too, am enraged by the verdict, and the activist within me who’d attended rallies, demonstrations, spoken word performances (& performed at them), art installations, wrote/published a zine about social injustice for 10 years, had written to countless representatives and media on various social justice issues, and written about them, as well, has been reignited into action.

Thanks to our (in)justice system, I am reminded of our vitality here on this planet.  On this Earth.  The relevance of our lives.  The charge of our emotions ignite passions to make this world a better place.  And a reconfirmation of why it is so dearly important to raise the vibration!

NYC Rally in Times Square yesterday.

NYC Rally in Times Square yesterday.

Perhaps you went to one of the numerous rallies yesterday and today, to add your voice to the masses that are sending out the message that this type of response to a long-standing perpetuating violence, that is systemic in our country, is not acceptable.  Perhaps you networked and helped create awareness of the actions people are taking around this issue.  Perhaps you stayed home, and took care of your family, or yourself, as your way of acknowledging the honor of loving yourself and your loved ones during a time when people like Zimmerman clearly do not honor the lives of others.

You do not have to be a community leader to make a difference in this world.  Of course, you can choose to be, but you can also rest assured that you being in this world already makes the difference!

You do not need to be the one who rallies thousands of people in order create change.  Again, you can choose to be, but realize, as well, that you shifting your own mindset towards being the vibration you want to prevail in this world is enough!  Your intention to be the change, just that, is enough to make a difference.

As a young ‘un entering the activist realm towards social justice many years ago, I initially felt overwhelmed – there are so many injustices in this world, how can I possibly change all  of this?  So, I double timed all my efforts, I became queen of multitasking (easy for a Gemini such as myself!), and decided, as many young activists do, to do everything.  Behind the scenes, and in front of it.  Although I achieved many favorable results in doing so, I soon learned my first lesson of burnout.

Years later, when I had learned how to create a good balance with expressing myself for social justice, yet also listen to my needs and have them met, I also had learned a valuable lesson – that, although I couldn’t achieve world peace all by my lonesome, I certainly could appreciate that whatever I do, on my own, is a significant contribution towards change.  I realized that I don’t always have to be the one rallying, shouting the loudest into the megaphone, being as completely obvious about my alliances as I used to be in the past.  I accepted my complexity, as a human being, and realized that whether or not I chose to be physically present in a rally, I make a difference.

Initially, I thought, “How can I be involved in social justice when I’m now a healer?”  Then, I realized, I don’t have to make a choice to be either/or.  I can be both.  This became increasingly clear to me as I began to be more involved in my Acupuncture and Reiki work.  Nothing helps you understand that you’re making a difference in this world, or lifts you out from your own personal muck, as being in service to others.  This is only one of the reasons why I love my job!

And, so, when I perform Acupuncture to help someone heal their physical and emotional ailments due to injustice they may be experiencing in their workplace, or that is self-perpetuated (yes, many of us create our own injustices we inflict on ourselves, I will admit having been guilty of that!), or even helping the person to create that awareness in themselves, I am doing my part in making a positive impact on this world.

Same goes with Reiki.  Believe you, me, I was sending Reiki to Trayvon Martin’s family, and to those at the rallies, particularly in Union Square, NYC, as everything was going down.  Sending healing light to those who are hurting from the pain and the rage of yet another acknowledgement that our system has failed, and that has sent a message to our children of color that their lives are not meaningful, vibrant, acknowledged, important, relevant, cherished.  I felt my rage, but I also grounded myself in my Warrior Healer mode, and got to work.  Yes, even from home, I was involved.

So, how do you channel your rage, at a time when it is so fresh?  Transform it into something productive!  Depending on what speaks to you, you could:

  1. Organize – Facebook right now is chock full of organizing resources in your area.  You could help organize a rally where you are, or simply create a small gathering to give voice to what’s happened (spoken word, performance art, song, open mic, anyone?)
  2. Attend one of the rallies – A good resource is the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee
  3. Create art – Many artists are channeling their rage through art.  Check out BuzzFeed’s “25 Works Of Art Paying Tribute To Trayvon Martin”.
  4. Write – Whether it be via social media, through a blog, through a poem, through a journal entry, getting it down on paper can help you vent.  Perhaps you’d like to do one of those exercises where you write a letter and don’t send it?  Or, perhaps you can write a letter, and send it to your state representatives, expressing your outrage over the verdict, and demand justice be served.
  5. Sign the petition – Sign the NAACP’s petition to the Department of Justice asking them to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
  6. Serve with intention – Infuse your daily activities with purpose.  If you’re in a position to be of service, do so!  If your daily activities do not lend yourself to it, check out what your local communities are doing to address the issue, and get involved.
  7. Donate – You could make a donation to the Trayvon Martin Foundation, which was founded by his parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracey Martin.

How do you make a difference in this world?  Where do you notice your impact to personally infuse this world with a higher vibration?  I’d love to know!

Towards justice and peace,

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