Justice in January

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. Injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience at the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
— MLK Jr. Letter from a Birmingham jail 1963

The health and wellness world often veers away from tough and political topics. Because there is a notion that tough topics cause tension. In the healing and wellness world must not do anything to aggravate tension. In fact, as a wellness practitioner we are looking to significantly reduce tension. As with our political tensions, we hold physical tensions in our bodies, as MLK Jr. says this tension is merely bringing to surface a hidden tension that is already alive.

Companies that make money promoting health and wellness do not want to appear partisan or too radical. However, when we ignore the radical, we are ignoring the root.

 
Photo by George Alexandru

 

 

The term radical often has a cultural understanding of extreme or 'out there'. If someone identifies or acts radically it appears to be away from representing the middle. But the etymology of the word suggests otherwise. Radical is similar to radish and the meaning of the word means "of or having roots". In a political sense it means "change from the roots.". Change from the roots, doesn't that sound powerful?

If a plant has a disease on it's leaves, can we treat only the leaves with a simple spray and cure the disease? Or are we simply masking the symptoms or tension while ignoring what may be at the roots?

 

This is important because in Chinese medicine we are always seeking the root cause. Yes, one patient may have headaches - and maybe there is a simple Chinese medicine diagnosis like... Liver Qi Stagnation (basically stress). But WHY do they have the headaches? WHY do they have the stress? Perhaps they are eating a food that causes a chemical stress reaction which causes the headaches. Or perhaps they are deeply unhappy with a job and that brings stress which brings a headache. 

However, we are doing a disservice to all when we are not able to have an open discussion with someone we do not agree with.

I am a firm believer in tough conversations at the right time. We can obviously always push off a tough conversation... with the reasoning of it not being the right time. That's not what I mean. Both parties have to be willing enough to be there to sit, and talk and listen in whatever form this conversation needs to happen. Even ending with the same thoughts, opinions and feelings the act of coming together to hear one another out is a form of healing. 

Tough conversations can be messy, painful and very uncomfortable. Practice that. Practice sitting with what is messy, painful and very uncomfortable. When you need breaks, take breaks. When it's absolutely not the right time, don't do it. When you regress and cannot put yourself in that situation, let yourself regress. Then, when you're ready enough, time and time again, keep showing up. It's Winter, it's time to do the shadow work, dig in and let the messy, dark, painful, uncomfortable happen. 

First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
— MLK Jr. Letter from a Birmingham jail

Reposted through Women Empower www.allgirlsempower.com