If you’ve been here for a while, then you know this: you can’t divest the topic of racism from the topic of capacity. They go hand in hand. It’s BEEN part of the capacity conversation, always.
The ability (or inability) to dismantle systemic racism IS a capacity issue. The ability to have the hard conversations, hold the space for and respect the rightful rage around this global issue IS real capacity in action.
You either have the capacity for the conversation or you don’t.
You either have the capacity to examine yourself and root out where systemic racism is subconsciously indoctrinated into your system (I’m talking to you if you’re white or a light skinned person of color like me) or you don’t.
You either have the capacity to SHOW UP for this conversation like a TRUE leader and create healing by doing the work of dismantling this within you (instead of furthering damage by centering yourself, staying silent, performing allyship or getting defensive) or you don’t.
You either WANT the capacity for all of the above or you don’t. There’s no such thing as a “little bit pregnant”. You’re either pregnant or you’re not.
But here’s what I want you to know.
In case you didn’t hear me years ago, in case you didn’t hear me months or weeks ago: the times have changed. The world we existed in in December 2019 is gone. Dead. OVER.
That world, where systemic racism, abuse and murder of our black and brown brothers and sisters was dismissively ignored, whitewashed and spiritually bypassed is in its death throes.
The world where you get to ignore and keep on posting perfectly branded images about your business on your filtered, curated Instagram feed to sell your $97 course while the whole world burns, is over.
The world where you could do one “woke” post about it, make one big donation to an organization and send your email showing everyone what you did before you wiped your hands of it is also OVER.
The time of putting your head in the sand, going silent, or posting one black square on your social media feed and it being “enough” is OVER.
The time of not prioritizing your capacity to lead with integrity in this world and getting by on your privilege and people making excuses for you is over.
The time of thinking your “funnel strategy” is more important than how you show up as a leader for your community and what you do and don’t stand for is over.
The time of remaining “neutral” and playing “devil’s advocate” so as to not lose money from customers who you know are problematic and racist is over.
The time of posting words in solidarity but not actually DOING anything about it, is OVER.
The time of PERFORMING capacity is over.
The masks are all falling to the ground. As one of my mentors says, “these times are a great unveiling.”
SO many clients and members of my community are writing to me in shock at what “leaders” they followed, clients or friends are revealing about themselves. All the blind spots, the covert racism, the willful blindness and the abuses of power are out in the open for all to see.
This is a time to use our Discernment and really SEE who’s been PERFORMING capacity as a leader and who’s been doing the work. Those who see, can see it clearly.
And if COVID-19 didn’t reveal this to you, then the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery & Breonna Taylor and the subsequent rightful outrage flaming from our throats has.
Are you happy with how you’re showing up in this crucial moment?
Is it nagging at you the ways you want to hide or are staying silent because you’re afraid of “messing up”?
Are you showing up in a way which facilitates change or are you doing the bare minimum because you’re hoping to fly under the radar?
Are you looking within and looking at the hard things in the mirror or are you avoiding it?
How do you feel about how you’re showing up right now? This will reveal to you the truth about your current capacity and with who and what you’re actually aligned.
The word “leader” is trendy and a lot of people like to throw it around as part of the performance. But the word “leader” carries immense responsibility. And in order to have the honor and privilege of calling yourself a leader, you must have the capacity to back it up.
You don’t get to call yourself a leader and not prioritize your capacity to educate yourself on racism. You don’t get to call yourself a leader, have light-skinned privilege and not be doing the anti-racism work every day of your life.
Leaders with capacity HAVE BEEN educating themselves and doing the work. Leaders accept getting uncomfortable is not only part of the process but NECESSARY and the LEAST they can do.
You don’t get to call yourself a leader and then get defensive when you get called out, go into hiding or silence the voices of black people when the conversation gets too uncomfortable for you.
You don’t get to call yourself a leader and then check out of the conversation because “you have too much going on in your life”. You don’t get to call yourself a leader and then “ask for a little grace” and not want to listen to the rage of people you’ve harmed for years with your unconscious sexism and racism.
Black and brown people have as much trauma as you going on and then on top, generational trauma from centuries of slavery and abuse AND daily micro and macroaggressions…yet they still manage to show up and lead (when they don’t have to.) There is zero excuse for your lack of capacity.
If you’re having trouble with how you’re showing up as a leader right now, then congratulations, you’re seeing the hard truths. And I say congratulations because within the space of radical honesty with ourselves is where the true transformation can begin. Not the faux performative transformation. The true one.
We don’t do Capacity Work for the “wealth and the success”. Capacity work has an effect on these things, sure. But this isn’t why Capacity Work exists.
I’m not here to build the capacity of people who have no desire to do actual good in the world nor address systemic issues harming our fellow humans and planet. Capacity Work was created to build up our next TRUE leaders of the world with compassion, integrity and the CAPACITY to effect real change to wipe out incidents like the murder of George Floyd forever.
This work is for leaders who want the capacity to eradicate the abuse, shame and evils our world’s foundational systems have been built on.
We can’t change the world if we DON’T have CAPACITY. It’s literally impossible. We need capacity to look at the horrific evils of our world and NOT freeze or stay silent. Silence is complicity.
We need capacity to look within at how we perpetuate these evils through unconscious belief systems and behaviors, especially if we are in positions of privilege.
We need capacity to be able to say “shit, I’m wrong” and then we need CAPACITY to do the HARD WORK of shifting ourselves internally so we AREN’T contributing to evil in the world unconsciously.
We need capacity to STAND UP and SPEAK OUT when it feels intimidating to do so because it’s the only way we can effect change. We need capacity to not just sit posting on Facebook all day about injustices but to actually put our money where our mouth is and DO something.
The era where you have the luxury of shrinking and playing it safe is over.
Funnels, strategies, blueprints and templates don’t teach you how to SHOW UP and LEAD with power, love and FIERCE compassionate justice during times like these.
So what are you prioritizing? Is it still your “ad spend” until this “all blows over”?
Then you’ve got work to do.
Are you choosing teachers who will stretch you and hold space for really looking within? Who will challenge you in the places you feel defensive and fragile? Do all your teachers look like you (aka are they all white)? If so, you’ve got work to do.
Are you continuing to use “hacks” and strategies to avoid the real work you need to do so you can actually be a “changemaker” (a very trendy, yet unbackable word lots of people like to use in their performative marketing)? Then you’ve got work to do.
You’re either going to do your work or you’re not.
The time of PERFORMING capacity is over.
Do the work or go the way of the dinosaur. Cause this new world? It’s asking more of all of us. And it will not tolerate performing capacity any longer.
This is my challenge to you today. Be with this, if you dare.
And in the meantime, if you want to DO something and expand your capacity to lead on these important issues, here are some excellent resources and teachers you can learn from and DO THE WORK with:
Lynn Hurdle Price (a dear friend who has 40 years experience in conflict resolution and is a guest mentor for my clients every year. She just opened up her incredible anti-racism course yesterday and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The clients I’ve sent to it have experienced profound transformations.)
Rachel Cargle (recently featured on Red Table Talks, founder of the Loveland foundation and teaches several courses on unpacking racism. Her Instagram account is a treasure trove of resources.)
A full google doc of resources and incredible teachers for you to dive into and learn from.
A full google doc of bail out funds in virtually every state (it’s important to contribute to the bail of protestors wrongly arrested as well as black men and women who get arrested for very small infractions and yet because of not being able to afford bail end up spending years in jail.)
To anyone who reads this and thinks “you’re taking such a hard stance”– I am. That’s on purpose.
And if this feels “intimidating” to you, or you feel defensive or triggered by it, I want you to pay attention to that feeling. There’s a reason for the line in the sand here. Because what ‘s been “enough” is no longer enough. The world is calling you UP and it’s demanding more capacity from you.
If this is the first time you’re speaking up, more is being asked of you than what used to pass for acceptable first time actions a few years ago. If a black man can’t even ask a white woman in a park to put her dog on a leash without having the cops called on him, we don’t get a pat on the back for posting one “blackout tuesday” post. The times require more from you. And will continue to. Especially if you want to collect money from others and call yourself a leader. Level up or step aside.