Pursuing your dreams in a culture of capitalist white supremacy
Our dreams need each other. Capitalist and colonialist structures have created a world where some people are held up while others are pushed down. But our dreams need each other. We all NEED everyone's dreams in order to succeed.
We ALL need a level playing field.
Remember: Your dream is how your soul calls you towards your True Self. It's bigger than you and it comes from the place where we're all connected. Our dreams were meant to grow together.
The other day as I was working on new plans for my marketing systems I kept getting SUPER STUCK.
There were layers and layers of stuck, so I got un-stuck and then stuck again and then un-stuck and stuck again. This is just how it is some days, when you allow the Inner Work to inspire and direct the Outer Work.
This was the BIG STICKY STUCK that I found at the bottom of all of those layers:
A blue baby monster that cried "You're being TERRIBLE AND GREEDY!!!!!!"
That familiar old story that I'm not allowed to want more, I should be grateful for what I have.
(And I am - grateful that is - but that doesn't mean I don't also see MORE in my future)
Which is followed by a sense of SHAME for even wanting more.
As I make space for the shame I do start to feel just deeply wildly grateful. It IS amazing that I get to do the work that is more interesting, inspiring and fulfilling to me, AND that I have 100% freedom over HOW I do that work. AND I have an amazing family. I am loved. I am safe. I am healthy. I have my dream home and a kick ass bike. I have everything I need to feel my best.
Honestly, I feel like a 1%-er.
I do totally believe that I am probably HAPPIER than a lot of the 1%-ers. But obviously I am nowhere near a 1%er. Though I am very good with money, and live well without spending tons.
But I FEEL LIKE one. I feel how much more I have than others.
I feel how my path has been EASIER.
Now - it's not as easy as people tend to THINK.
Some people hear about the work I do and assume I am bankrolled by a parent or spouse, which I have not been - I got married after I had been 100% self employed for 6 years. I built my business on my own. I worked REALLY hard and overcame a LOT of obstacles.
I am an extremely privileged person.
I had a lot of savings because I had a good job, which was fairly easy for me to get. I have a university education which my parents paid for and forced me to have (I did try to drop out at one point and they wouldn't hear it). I had enough food my whole childhood so my brain could develop properly. I live in a country with free health care.
I owned a home with a low mortgage payment because I used an inheritance I received from my beloved aunt who passed away. Which never felt like a privilege because I would have preferred to have my aunt of course. But now that I understand how many people who pass away and instead of leaving a little money leave a debt for their families to pay for end of life expenses, I see the privilege.
My parents grew up with absolutely nothing and managed to put themselves through university and create a beautiful, stable life for their children.
This left me with the idea that anyone who works hard at it can do the same.
My parents faced a LOT of adversity. And, especially my mother, sacrificed a LOT. But as white people, they ALSO had a lot of privilege.
Now I understand the truth: LOTS of people face adversity and work hard. But some people, no matter how hard they work, continue to have new obstacles placed in front of them, while others can use that hard work to propel themselves into a different economic class.
This is capitalism and colonialism and white supremacy. This is the world we live in and this is the world we DREAM in.
This FACT - that I have privilege which has made it easier to make my dreams real, is making it really hard for me to think about DREAMING BIGGER right now. Which is where that shame comes from.
So I am holding both truths. I DO feel inspired to keep moving forward with my dreams and I DO feel really conflicted about it.
And I DO believe that our dreams connect us with our PURPOSE and POTENTIAL and that we need all the purpose and potential we can get to change this world.
I believe that collectively our dreams will lead us to a better world for all.
AND some days I wonder how me, a privileged person, helping other privileged people make their dreams real really helps the world.
I mean every time I say this out loud to someone, that person quickly responds to remind me of all the things I do that help others.
And I do know my work is valuable, I am not questioning that. I am questioning it's place in the context of the whole - and I think it's an important question to sit with and not rush to answer.
I am actually making space for a new and more inclusive approach.
And yes I know the easy answer to this question: some people serve by holding the higher vision of what we are moving towards (which is me, the visionary) and some people serve by helping those who are in the most acute need (my husband, the social worker).
And both are needed and valid forms of help.
But there IS a bit of a stench of spiritual bypass in that it feels like an excuse to stay away from the harder questions.
My husband is an Indigenous social worker. Living with him has opened my eyes to how systemic racism functions in Canada and it breaks my heart. It's like I always knew it was there but now I live with it.
In my city - where I leave my MacBook Pro and iPad Pro sitting out in coffee shops when I go to the bathroom because I feel that safe here - Indigenous women and girls are NOT SAFE. They are trafficked, kidnapped and murdered at rates that would have the whole city on alert, if it was happening to white women.
I remember when I was growing up, everyone was against Apartheid in South Africa. We couldn't believe that was happening in our world.
But it was happening in our city too. And it still is happening. It's just a little more subtle so it's easier for white people to look away - which allows it to continue.
I cannot pursue my own dreams while ignoring this framework of racism and white supremacy that I grow my dreams in.
I am one person living in a broken system, I can't change that system.
But white privileged people IGNORING the system actually nurtures the system. So I know that I need to NOT just carry on with my work and ignore what's happening in the world around me.
I don't know what else to do right now.
I'm not supposed to have the answers.
All I can have right now is a commitment to keep exploring this. And a willingness to sit with the questions without rushing to answers.
And I will do so publicly because I would like to encourage YOU to explore with me.