I swear this is true: when the weather is nice, it makes everything at least a little better. Such was the case this weekend when I got to do some DC engagement photography with a proposal and engagement session, in this absolutely gorgeous spring weather!
I’m like a broken record at this point, but I’ll say it again: the collective energy has been really heavy over the past two weeks with the continued atrocities within the black community. Actually, within the collective community of the United States. I’ve been taking my time to learn, listen, and take aligned action. It’s been about finding balance between connecting with that heaviness in order to learn, and taking breaks to give my mind and body a rest. I assert the former cannot exist without the latter.
Here’s the thing – I used to avoid talk of racism because of its heaviness. I knew I was actively anti-racist (to my point of consciousness) and didn’t think those discussions needed me. (Oh, Rachel…) What I’m seeing now is that being anti-racist is a beautiful part of spiritual growth. It’s one step closer to mental, emotional, spiritual freedom; it’s an essential part of awakening. I’ve shifted my perspective from avoidance in the name of my well being, to understanding that being anti-racist is essential to my well being. It’s unfortunate that this awakening (for me and many others) has happened due to so many atrocities. All I can do now is keep going in order to honor the lives lost. And if you’re a white person reading this who has been avoiding the conversation for whatever reason, I hope this is encouragement and permission for you to jump in. You’re needed here.
I want to acknowledge, this discussion thus far is about me; it’s not raising the voice of black people, it’s not offering support for their businesses, and it’s not about justice for them (I have taken action towards those ends; that’s a different discussion). I’m offering this information as a way of sharing about my experience as a white person who has taken it upon herself to learn and grow, with the intention of inspiring others to do the same. Without education, we can’t grow – we can’t make different decisions (like with our vote…), and things can’t change for the black community.
Being that I’m excited to be doing this inner work, I wanted to share some mediums through which I’ve been learning. I encourage you to connect to any that resonate with you:
- How to Be an Anti-Racist – I’m listening to this book on Audible, which is cool because it’s read by the author, Ibram X. Kendi. He has a steady, calming voice that really resonates with me. He. also has a children’s book coming out too! He literally has made this information accessible for all. I’m listening very, very slowly because every sentence is jam packed with nuance, and what I relate to as a mix of psychology, spirituality, and philosophy. I want to really let it sink in – it’s such helpful, resonating information!
- Watching YouTube (a fav has been Dave Chapelle’s 8:46) and IG live videos
- Listening to podcasts
- Brene Brown has had a couple wonderful guests on her podcast, Unlocking Us, including Ibram X
- My fav so far was hearing Natalie S. Burke from CommonHealth Action on NPR yesterday morning. She speaks truth, and does so with understanding.
- Reading Instagram posts by badass black women who are keeping it real and graciously educating us on systemic racism, what it means to be anti-racist, and genuinely sharing how racism has impacted them. Rachel Cargle is on fire! (Also, she and I have the same first and middle names, so obvs she’s brilliant!) Danait Berhe-Gaber is also wonderful.
Aside from my time learning about anti-racism, this weekend I got to do some DC engagement photography! First up was Friday night with #REHPlovebirds, Vicki and Alex! It was wonderful to finally meet them for their engagement photos on Capitol Hill. You’ll see more of them on the blog this week!
Saturday was a special day! I got to visit with my family for my stepmom’s birthday. I haven’t seen my family in months, so it was great to see at least some of them. My stepbro has access to a private beach on the Chesapeake Bay, so they hosted us there. It was beautiful! Milli, especially had a blast! (I left my real camera at home, so we have to settle for cell pics. Sorry!)
After the day at the beach, I cruised back up the road to do some DC engagement photography once again with Quinn and Ayesha’s proposal at Meridian Hill park. More of these two newly engaged love birds this week!
This weekend I also met up with a sweet family of three (plus cat, Wingnut) in Maryland, for their first ever family photos. How cute is this little munchkin?! The baby’s cute too… haha
I hope you have a wonderful week ahead and have a productive Monday!