Updated: Jun 10
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It’s embarrassing to say out loud, and yet I recognize there is a deep transmission with the story of growing up in a racist family living beside the black community.
I lived in a small neighborhood that was a mix of low income and medium-income housing. My friends within the neighborhood included two females, one white, one black, and three males, white, Chinese, and Lebanese. And myself, mostly white (a story for another time).
I felt very at home within the homes where English was not the first spoken language, even though I was not fluent in Chinese or Lebanese, the sounds of a non-english home made me feel like I was not the only one. At home, we spoke French, listened to french music, tv, watched french movies, and read french books. My accent was definitely something the other kids made fun of since there were no other french families around, and worked very hard my whole life to sound like the others.
I remember at the young age of seven, begging my parents to call my friend
Stephanie by her name. When they spoke of her it would sound something like, “you’re going over to the little black girl’s house.” Yet they would address the white children by name. I had no idea at the time why this made me so angry. Every time I heard it, my blood would boil. I asked my parents every time if they could use the first names of my friends. They would get angry with me for constantly correcting and saying, “yes yes, you know we know her name.”
Her name is Stephanie! I screamed, what seemed like a thousand times over the course of our friendship until she moved away, years later.
I remember the feeling I had when correcting my parents as if I were rebelling in some way that felt good. I also had the understanding that I was standing up for my friend but was not fully aware of how. As a child, I was extremely sensitive and had insight beyond my years which I learned was very frustrating for my parents playing catch up from a lifetime of conditioning. I was continuously calling them out on many topics, which leads to lots of frustration and elevated conversations.
Her name is Stephanie. Has been echoing within since the stance of the Anti-Racism Movement, which inspired me to pause, reflect, and dig deep.
How can a child understand these complex issues? I wondered.
It’s simple in a way.
We should truly observe children as we shift and open ourselves.
Learn and unlearn.
At seven years old I was able to recognize the dehumanization of my friend, stood up for it, and called out my parents over and over, for years.
It blows my mind that someone this young can observe such a thing.
I am not a physiologist and if you are and would like to explain this further or have insight, please reach out.
I am sharing from my own perspective and conversations within.
The reflection I am inspired to share on this is that we are born open-minded, without judgment, racism, sexism, or any of the other isms…...we are born with such good intentions and are capable of change, some of us hard-wired to lead ourselves through the unlearning of our entire conditioning. For me, this journey began as a child. Recognizing something that did not resonate with my truth and not be swayed. Standing with all of my friends as equals and demanding their names spoken with the same and equal respect. I remember as a teen I was envious of my friends with open-minded parents, but only now can I truly appreciate the teachings.
In time I have witnessed incredible shifts in my parents and so proud of how far they’ve come. Their efforts to shift their way of thinking, and of course my mother still gives me the look when I let her know that she said something inappropriate or offensive. My boundaries are that I have a zero-tolerance for this behavior, so my parents have been unlearning and also want to see all humans treated equally. They of all people should understand this journey, as my mother has done quite a bit of activism work that reshaped our community. For years the judgment and treatment between french and English is a very divided relationship. This was reflected in how we were treated in our communities; and my mother was acting within the fight for equality for the French. We now have french schools in the area so that french families that move within and around the city for work will have the option to send their kids to a French school. This also offered more options for international families coming to the area who also speak this language. And of course now thirty years later we just opened the doors to English children whose parents want them to learn french; as it is now seen as an opportunity to have two languages.
I’ve witnessed huge changes. From the inability to address someone of colour by their name to naming and speaking highly of all humans no matter what colour.
So I guess you could say that I was always anti-racist, standing strong beside my friends.
Her name is Stephanie.
Thank you, Stephanie, for the soul’s lessons woven into the lives of myself and my family.
These are the things you can also do within our everyday lives that bring change.
We cannot change others, but we can continue to stand up in our truth and become the change we wish to see in the world. We can continue to stand alongside as ally’s with an open heart and deep listening. I mean really listening to the needs of the BIPOC, educating ourselves within the perspectives, and how others experience the world we live in.
We can continue to share stories, conversations, and connect.
This is the work as individuals. Calling us inwards to see, feel, and act within our embodied truth.
Her name is Stephanie.
It is time Stephanie. I’m still here, always.
With love and compassion,
If you enjoyed this conversation and story please feel free to continue the dialogue on Instagram.
It truly takes all of us sharing and walking each other home to see the ripple and waves of change within the world.
Where there times you experienced standing up for someone?
Maybe you witnessed something and you wish you would have spoken up.
Feel it, see it. Learn from it.
When we begin to understand that the focus on our "wrongdoings" actually takes us away from our intention, a new way of being; we begin to open ourselves to unlearning + learning.
Yes, we must see it, and feel through it, but be careful not to live there. Mindful of where the dialogue is taking you, and the lens in which we see through. Inviting a deep breath in as we practice sitting with these conversations through the lens of the observer. The attachment of our perceived mistakes will harvest guilt. Trust your path and all actions. Every moment was and still is serving as an offering, keep your focus on the resonance of your heart. We will always find clarity when continuing to nurture our relationship to self and our sovereign being.
To heal it we become the change we wish to see in the world.
This moment is your opportunity.
No matter what happened in the past.
How do you want to show up moving forward?
Hi, I'm Natalie!
Passionate about guiding you into embodiment and deep transformations. Love working with change-makers and shifters on the transition team of a New Earth. If you feel the calling to do the inner work and would love the guidance of an anchor and steadfast spaceholder I am your gal!
When co-creating you will connect even deeper to your truth, clarity, medicine + gifts. Truly strengthening your foundation, so that you can confidently stand in your process, integrate the wisdom offered throughout your life, and connect to the depths of self.
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