From the pandemic to police brutality to the call across the nation and the world for widesweeping reforms, this is a time of change…
What we are seeing in the United States has much to do with voice: who is heard, who is listened to, and how do our voices impact our bodies—and our bodies impact our voices?
These are the things I often talk about in this space, and today I want to talk about them in relation to race.
I also want to invite you to join me in some upcoming free and discounted events (see below) that help set the conditions for change.
Like almost everyone I know, I’m sickened by the murder of George Floyd and of so many black people in the US. It is time—far past time—for real structural change. Black lives matter.
It is time—past time—to move away from a culture saturated with racist assumptions and institutions and controlled by violence. It is time for equity, more justice, respect—the conditions for overall health.
And it is time for each of us, in our own way, whether it is by going to protests or by engaging in deep listening, to do our part. For each of us what that means is different, but there is certainly work for each of us to do.
We live in a very volatile time—there are very dangerous forces with a lot of power. The President is using his power to fan the flames of divisiveness.
But there are also immeasurable powers for good, love, care, equity, health—most people are, at root, good and want a better world.
This is a moment for each of us to call and cultivate that good and to help it grow, to stand up for what is right, to call for real, system change, and to help bring about another story, a different outcome.
So how do we do that? There are really millions of ways—as many ways as there are people.
I am still learning, of course, and listening. I am not an expert on race in America, and I am listening to people who are. But I have done a lot of work around change–personally, professionally, and as an activist, and I have seen that for real structural, positive change (personally and collectively) we need a few things: voice, body, community, deep listening, spiritual connection, vision, nonviolence, perseverance, direct action—and, for political change, votes.
Below are a few upcoming events/ opportunities that I’m happy to be offering that in their own way help develop those qualities–
I truly believe that mindful, embodied writing can be one of the most powerful tools for any time and any crisis. When we become aligned within ourselves and in touch with our own peace and our own moral compass and voice, we can become the change–and an agent of that change– we want to see in the world.
1) Leading into summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and at this time of so much struggle, I’m holding another Free 5-day mindful writing challenge. This is a beautiful way to cultivate both peace and voice, stillness and change, and to come together in community.
I haven’t shared these recordings since last summer; they’re a set of recordings that I find particularly effective in helping clear out old stories and make way for new ones.
The challenge starts Monday, June 15th and will be available through Monday June 22nd, and I’ll be there to support you on the private facebook group. I’d love to see you there! These have been a lot of fun in the past—very transformative and energizing!
Save the date and sign up for free here.
Please also invite friends and family to join us.
2) My signature online class Align Your Story for Women is now open for early bird enrollment.
I created Align Your Story after a difficult period in my own life in which I was uncertain that real change could be created. I had felt stuck, blocked by difficult parts of my own story. But when I was able to bring my mind and body in better dialogue with one another and when I learned to listen deeply, I found a level of alignment, peace, happiness, and energy that I had not felt before. And from that alignment, I not only wrote better and more easily but was also able to lead a more public life as a writer, teacher and activist.
Align Your Story is designed to help other women come into this alignment with their own story and voice. So many of us feel silenced in one way or another. Align Your Story gives you the tools to overcome this silence and come to trust and love your own voice. It’s can to help you get unstuck in your story—tohelp you see the possibilities for real change, and bring your writing to a place where you feel good about it!
I love this course and the wonderful community of women writers around the world in it! I’d love to see you in it 🙂
I offer this course only once a year; we’ll officially be starting again roughly September 14th.
If you sign up now, you get a $200 early bird discount.
You also get access to the first module June 21st so you can start with it on your own pace (if you want) this summer.
The first 20 people who sign up also get a free one-on-one coaching session with me.
I understand that this is a hard time financially for many people. That’s why I’m also committed to offering free resources (like the challenge above) and I offered special covid pricing last time enrollment opened for Write From Your Center.
**For this early bird sale of Align Your Story, I’m offering 5 half priced scholarships to women of color (to be paid in one or two installments) and 3 full scholarships to women of color who couldn’t afford the course otherwise. If you feel that you would benefit from one of these scholarships, please write me a letter (over email) telling me a bit about yourself and how you would use the course to help cultivate your voice—and also, perhaps, how you would share your voice and story with others.
You can see more about the course here: https://nadiacolburn.com/align-your-story-for-women/
The course comes with lifetime enrollment because the work of aligning our story is an ongoing, lifetime practice.
3) I know that I am always changing, learning and growing (and also making mistakes, at times, falling out of alignment and then coming back in…)
Certainly, as a white person in America, I know there is more I can do to listen and learn around the topic of race. Here are some other resources that have inspired me and helped me learn and re-imagine the stories we tell:
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks (try to get this book out of your local library or find it another way—not sure why it’s so expensive here..)
Bone Black by bell hooks
I’m also inspired by Moral Revivalism work of William Barber and his Poor People’s Movement.
This list is very incomplete! There is much more that inspires me, and I hope to share some of that work in the upcoming weeks and months.
I also want to give a shout out to the work of Native American writers and teachers whose genocidal treatment–and also wisdom– is also part of this country’s very foundation.
Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass is one of my favorite books of all time and offers a compelling image of a different world.
Our personal and our collective, historic stories go hand in hand, and if we are willing to look at ourselves with curiosity, compassion, and openness, real growth is always possible.
Please take care of yourself at this time. Be at once gentle and fierce. Do what you can do—and not more.
Don’t forget to breathe. Have compassion for yourself and for your neighbors—and let us build a better world.
As always, reach out with any thoughts, questions, or just to say hi.
With love, solidarity, and hope,