I am a list maker. I write and regularly up-date “things to do lists” and “things I’ve done lists”. The things I’ve done lists was a personal admin innovation I tried last year to help me track my progress on personal learning goals or projects/work.
I liked this innovation and I am carrying on with it, and one of my “things done lists” is books I have read.
minful of race
The other day I opened my 2019 list to review it and then click on “new” to start my 2020 list and “Mindful of Race: Transforming racism from the inside out” by Ruth King caught my eye. It was a really good book, so I thought I’d tell you about it, though I won’t say much because the book says it all so much better.
One of the things that has made the book special for me is how it keeps on guiding me. I found the book moving and personal and because I have found the practices (meditations or other tools) so helpful I go back to it often in my mind as well as actually picking it up and re-reading bits.
As the title suggests the author brings together the inner and outer realms of political action to help the reader understand the complexity of racial divisions. This ordinarily is enough for a book. But this one also offers practices and stories of action to support the reader to do something.
Want to know more, here is Ruth King’s website.
bring an ancestor with you
One aspect of the book that really touched me was on page 13:
Bring an ancestor with you. In the work of racial healing, we soon discover that we have inherited what’s unfinished from our parents and ancestors.
We do “ancestor work” in some of the courses I facilitate at Ulex and Ecodharma and over the years I have developed some of my own traditions and practices, but it was the first time I ever read a book with an ancestor.
I was partly successful, though I think I do better riding a bike, taking a walk or cooking with an ancestor. I was a bit clumsy keeping up my end of the relationship (which is to say both) but it was a delightful exercise and I’m currently playing around with the idea while reading another book, “The Language of Emotions: What your feelings are trying to tell you” by Karla McLaren.
And that’s it really. I highly recommend it. It is one of those books that, for now at least, is a point of reference for my inner work. Because of spending time with her words, Ruth King feels a bit like a friend, and definitely a wise teacher. So a little shout out to celebrate her and this book. And heaps of gratitude to her for how her writing keeps on nourishing me. Take a look, I think you might find it so too.