Dr. Shelly’s SOULreflections
(Reflections that emerged from my SOULquote meditation)
We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.
Sartre wrote this in his forward to Franz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth”, one of several works where Fanon explored the damage and devastation of colonialism and internalized oppression. I’m traveling this week and will be presenting “soulfulness” at the Association of Black Psychologists convention. The core of the soulfulness approach is engagement in soul-level experiencing. This is facilitated through culturally-syntonic contemplative processes (i.e., meditation, movement, visualization, journaling, creative expression, deep dialogue, etc.) to optimize contact with the soulful essence of our being, the fullness of our humanity, our inner and collective wisdom, our interconnectedness, transcendent experience, etc..
Engaging in these practices– taking that “sacred pause” from the stress, drama, illusions, assaults, injuries, and distractions of daily life, can be healing and transformative. They help us in many ways: to gain clarity about what is happening in ourselves, our relationships, and in the world; to discern who we are from who we are told that we are; to live more intentionally and purposefully; and reconnect to our peace and our wisdom, to truth, to our strengths, to our joy, and to love.
To me, contemplative practices are radical because they are ultimately in the service of becoming more “woke”. There is so much in the world that hijacks our focus and attention, keeping us distracted by one “shiny object” after another; or so busy that we are drowning in demands and responsibilities; or so overwhelmed, disconnected, and checked-out that we are living on auto-pilot; or entangled in nonsense masquerading as one crisis after another.
There is a risk for all of us to “believe the hype”. Contemplative practices enhance our experiential awareness and critical consciousness so that we “don’t drink the Koolaid” that is designed to control our thinking, maintain the status quo, put us asleep, or (literally) kill us. We are more vulnerable to the hype and the Koolaid when we don’t make time for that “sacred pause”. Becoming the highest and best version of ourselves, individually and collectively, requires that we make time for meditation or other contemplative practices.
(For Contemplation and Conversation)
Are you living someone else’s script for your life? Are there aspects of who you have become that you are ready to refuse and release? Are you ready to live in your truth and fulfill your highest potentialities?
“I will make time to reconnect to truth and wisdom.”
(Close your eyes and repeat slowly and silently now.
Let the words penetrate your SOUL. Repeat this affirmation throughout the week.)
In Peace, Love, and Soulfulness,
Dr. Shelly Harrell