This feels like a risqué subject to broach, as it calls us out, those of us who are trying to be “conscious” and self-aware and good stewards of this world ~ but who may be driven unconsciously by mindsets of **Privilege** we don’t even know we hold. But potentially uncomfortable as the subject might be, it feels like time to talk about it…

Even coming from a low-income bracket (self-chosen hippie parents), I’ve become painfully aware of how much entitlement I’ve inherited unconsciously by virtue of my ancestral lineage (white, European, conquerers, colonizers), and how much I carry coming from such an affluent and privileged (and mostly white) town (Boulder). It’s glorious that we have access to good air, nature, healthy food, experiences for soul-renewal, and a host of other incredible resources that are far and beyond what much of the world might wish for. But it’s a small part of the globe, those of us in Boulder in other “conscious” parts of the west, and I sometimes wonder how much I/we’ve become hypnotized by it…

So for the past couple years I’ve been struggling with questions like: does my work merely serve more privilege to the already-privileged? And if so, how can I step outside of the circles I’ve found myself part of in order to learn from and offer myself to the larger world? And how can I give back, especially to those cultures who have offered me so much, and so freely, rather than just taking from them and offering it back to my privileged (and culturally-bereft?) communities? For I practice yoga, sing music from the Middle East, Mediterranean and India, have studied Flamenco, Oriental and South Indian temple dance, and live upon land relatives of my ancestors took by force… What incredible gifts, if not all pleasant to think upon.

And what even of the privilege of mindfulness I was born into? Coming from a culture where soul-work and self-growth is so highly prized, what is the fine line between self-inquiry and self indulgence? Part of my reticence to offer workshops these days, for example, is my concern that I haven’t crafted them with enough emphasis on social awareness ~ and I don’t want to be part of perpetuating the merely self-reflective cycle when there are also so many important global issues at stake!

These are the kinds of questions I’ve been musing on as I wonder how to broaden my own scope of work and exploration. And so I figure I’d share and see if you’d like to join me in beginning to look at our privilege to see if we can step out of its thrall and into the wider world…

But in the spirit of **not** assuming you haven’t already, I’d also love to hear the ways in which you (or people you know) are reaching outside of yourselves and your small sector of people-who-agree to create dialogue and affect change in the world…

And by the same token, if you feel open enough to share some ways in which you are uncomfortable about the way you receive or wield privilege, that would be welcome too!

Thank you for listening, and considering joining the dialogue…

(And thank you Meagan Chandler, Cameron Powers, and Melissa Michaelsfor being catalysts of this inquiry in my life)

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