2020 provided both the time and the reason for me to focus on healing to ensure my self-preservation. Experiencing a double pandemic––both the virus and the prolific televised oppression against Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)––has required a different kind of healing for people of color. I came to the Ashram as a form of radical self-care, to build the tools for sustaining my wellbeing, at the same time as providing me with the emotional, mental and physical strength to keep on existing under racial injustice.
My time at the Ashram showed me that I have the responsibility to take care of myself before I take care of others. This is something I have to continue to learn and unlearn, as it is built into women – and especially women of colour – to carry the weight of everyone around them. Healing should not be a privilege but a practice vital to our own survival.
This quote kept reminding me of what I was doing: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” — Audre Lorde
During my time at the Ashram I was able to focus less on pain and injustice and more on joy and the path to justice and what that can look like for me to maintain my wellness. I shifted my focus by divesting from whiteness in the form of decolonization of thought and by instead investing in community building so that I can be in safer spaces where I will be seen, heard and valued. My biggest lesson of 2020 was that we are the Global Majority and we do not need to fit into an oppressive system. We need to create our own spaces that do not mirror those structures of exclusion.
Humans of the Ashram
Charm // Bundjalung, so-called Australia