* Eventually this page will be converted into a workbook I’m creating for personal and social change. Please feel free to read and share, but for copyright reasons please credit my name and website. Thank you.
* Add more about the concept of Symbiotic Awareness
The point of this website (and workbook) is to help you begin internalizing social issues at a deeper level so you can see how the ones you notice and are most passionate about pertain to your personal life. Understanding the ins and outs of who you are, how you tick, and why you’re so passionate about a cause helps you transform your traumas into triumphs and move from victimhood to a leadership. By being able to look at the full 360 degree of your life you’ll soon develop wisdom of a leader who can empower themselves and others toward social change.
Many people struggle to look at their shadow side, or dark side, but every trauma and struggle you have been through is a clue to your personal power and triumph. For instance, many people have experienced living in poverty either short or long-term. People who have lived through this have keen knowledge on how to survive in the craziest situations. Some people have been through much darker things, like being victim-survivors of traumas such as abuse or war, or personally witnessing horrific things. With these traumas, great and small, we each have a story to tell that can empower others and bring our communities and nation closer together.
This kind of power is double-fold because each person’s unique experience lends a personal account and validation of a situation, but also, when these individuals come together to speak out about an issue or take action against a tyranny or oppression, their power becomes unstoppable.
However, more people than not don’t come forward, don’t bond with others, and don’t find the liberation and healing from channeling their pain into something worthwhile for a community. We are, as a nation, still being held back by social norms and stigmas that keep us hypervigilant about social acceptance. Whether we choose to isolate from others or become tight-nit with a group, we are still committed to the social behaviors that keep our social status intact just as we prefer it.
These are the invisible walls that keep us apart. These walls are built up by ideas and beliefs that are polarized by our media and backed by government and corporations who need us to stay compliant, obedient, and willing to run the country the way they see fit with little of our voices and opinions included. Instead, they give us polarized options, neither of which have any effect on the direction and sanity of our country or world. Both of which give American citizens the false notion of respect, patriotism, and power.
Yet, we can’t fully blame them because we, as a nation, continue to allow it to happen by not taking the risks necessary to bond and unite together. It becomes a “catch 22.” We either face the pain of social ostracizing, or face the pain of refusing our freedoms and rights and stay compliant with the social norms. But it wouldn’t have to be this way if we would decide to change and work together better.
Each day we are making decisions in our personal and social behaviors that commits and recommits us to these social norms holding us in place. Road rage, constant criticism on social media, always complaining, seeking out surface relationships so we don’t have to actually work on the hard stuff. Avoiding emotional subjects with others so we don’t have to face ourselves. Allowing the walls to grow higher between us because we refuse to learn how to get along.
These are the subtle, trivial, and powerful dynamics of social skills that lead to social norms that support a consumer culture and the corporations that need those social norms to exist so they can profit. Most people dismiss these sorts of things as ridiculous to consider. But if we’re not being genuine and sincere with people then who are we being? What kind of people and nation are we? If we’re willing to let some things slip by and sacrifice for the sake of a false peace, what other things are we not being honest with ourselves about?
This workbook will aid and guide you in answering these questions. You will learn to align your beliefs in such a way that you feel more freedom to be yourself, follow your passions, speak out against oppression, and still live a life you love more than the one you have now. You can transform your traumas to heal yourself, protect your children and/or family, and do good for the world.
Right now, we need leaders who are passionate about teaching a kind of ethics that works for everybody. Many people are weighed down under oppression and have succumbed to additions, depression, anxiety, and stress to such degrees that they can no longer thrive, but only survive. The more people we bring together to truly heal ourselves and support each other, the greater stability we have to fight unethical corporations and governments, and oppression at large.
Many of us who are interested in social change have had enough trauma in our lives that it drove us to find answers. Already, this is a clue to where you can begin participating in the transformation of society. Your traumas gave you gifts to share with others. It is the gift of sight that is unique to you but also connects you to many others who also have unique but similar insights to this problem. Together, you all contribute to the bigger picture society is dealing with. Together you can shift and transform awareness in a culture to help end oppression with truths that would otherwise stay in the dark out of fear. Your truth, your perspective, is valuable as a part of the network of information your group shares with the dominant culture. This is how you’re both unique and the same as everyone else.
As you work through this workbook (or website as it were), you will be working to release negative thoughts and emotions that block you from accessing your personal power. Your personal power is your key to social change. Please note that by negative, I don’t necessarily mean bad in the normal sense. A negative thought is something that holds you back from doing what you feel compelled to do. It puts you in fear or a state of doubt. For instance, sometimes anger is very useful. Anger can make us take action when we otherwise are feeling too weak in a situation. If we feel comfortable in our anger, and use it wisely, anger isn’t necessarily bad. It is bad when you use it to hurt others, intentionally or unintentionally, but not when it is getting you to take charge in an area that is being neglected. This is also true in society. Our anger is useful when we see outrageous and horrific things going on. But again, we need to use this anger wisely and not subject other people to it through judgment and criticism. If we channel our anger well, we can make great strides in society and in combating oppression.