Intellectualism itself is a white colonialist pattern. It’s only natural that whiteness can’t be solved through brain wrangling. Usually what happens is that the intellectual quality of systemic analysis often leads people to burn out, usually with their micro-aggressing behaviors intact.
This is a shame to me because I think the solution can be a whole lot simpler. From my experience of working with white people, some of them with very little systemic analysis, the simple key to unlocking deep healing of whiteness is cultivating a spiritual practice that can directly address white culture’s impact on white bodies. Once this is in place, the rest, including systemic analysis, comes naturally.
But in order to cultivate such a practice, white people usually first need to understand something that many people of color (POC) know implicitly. That is ‘cultural somatic context’.
Simply put, cultural somatic context is how bodies move, breathe, think, feel, and know themselves within a culture. If a spiritual practice can be seen as a plant, cultural somatic context is the soil it grows in. And it is impacted by everything we consider representations of culture, from rituals, customs, language, furniture, food, to clothes.
Understanding cultural somatic context is important because it shows that practices cannot be separated from the bodies that practice them and the cultures these bodies are embedded in.
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