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June 2020 HBB President Update
"Lotus, Fire & Light" - Photo by Cat Miller
June 2020 President Monthly Ezine
This isn't the ezine I planned to write this weekend.
What I was going to write about were the ways in which we as a global community of healers have connected with each other over the past two and half months during the pandemic. However, the events of the past week in the U.S., and particularly this weekend, give me cause to write something different.
Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, my country has been inflamed and in flames in response to systemic racism that continues to rear its head through police violence. Protests in cities across the U.S. have led to police brutality and riots. And as I check in with friends in colleagues in the cities affected, as well as my African American and black friends, students, and colleagues who are reeling from the collective trauma, I have been thinking about what I can do to affect change.
Enter this ezine.
I take these ezines seriously knowing that our full email list has tens of thousands of subscribers worldwide. I try to be judicious with my words and work to strike a global tone and not be U.S.-centric. But right now, what's happening in my country is the best example of why the Attributes of the Heart and our global healing presence is so desperately needed.
The U.S. is not alone. Folks have been rallying globally to affirm that black lives matter. People rallied in Toronto this week because of the suspicious death of a woman of color. Populations in developing countries continue to struggle in an unfathomable way to respond to the pandemic, the legacy of colonialism showing its scars. The Rohingya refugee crisis continues. The climate crisis continues. It's all enough to leave one feeling hopeless.
Enter Healing Beyond Borders.
I don't know about you, but our global community of students, practitioners, and instructors is one of the things that gives me hope. When I turn to the news and encounter the darkness of the world, the knowledge that I'm part of a community of people who care, truly care about the wellbeing of others gives me hope. I don't feel alone, that I am working toward a collective purpose. Now is one of those times that I need to focus on the hope in the midst of the carnage.
I have no idea what it means to be a person of color. No concept of all that comes with that given the history of the U.S. But I cannot turn my eye away from it. To do so, to remain silent and ignore it is to, in effect, condone it. To view it as too political, too harsh, too much...well, that would be the easy way out that my privilege as a white male affords me.
But I choose to leverage that privilege, in any way I can for equity and social justice. Too political? I would argue that in today's world, the Attributes of the Heart - compassion, unconditional love, healing presence, innate harmony, and joyful service - are political acts. In a world that often seems bent on capitalism and survival of the fittest, those qualities of the heart are a gracious act of defiance.
So, as we continue to ride out the storm of the pandemic and all the other things that make us all too human, please join me in intention and meditation. Focus with me on the Attributes of the Heart. Sit with me in discernment so that when the pandemic passes, we do not merely return to normal, or even a "new normal." Let us set intention to return to something better.
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders