Today’s episode is on presence & anti-racism as a means of collective healing, with presence-based coach, mentor & anti-oppressive consultant Ravideep Kaur. We also discuss the power of presence, how Ravideep takes care of herself when doing this work, and the importance of understanding our privileges and the power that we hold, especially in the context of coaching, or leading in any kind of business.
Listen to the Episode:
Ruth Poundwhite 0:06
You're listening to creatively human with honest conversations about what matters to us and how it really feels to build an online business, put our work out into the world, make an impact in our own unique way, and importantly, to get well paid for it. I'm your host, Ruth Poundwhite, business mentor to quietly ambitious humans. Hi, and welcome back to another episode of the creativity human podcast. Today, I'm chatting with racv, deep core, all about anti racism as a means of collective healing. Now, I want to say here, before we go into the interview that I know this is an uncomfortable subject for many, myself included, it's uncomfortable to delve deep into what it really means to be actively anti racist, and the work that needs to be done, especially for those of us who are white. And I just want to say before we dive in also that this is not going to go into the basics of what it means to be anti racist. So if you're not sure on the definition of being, like on the difference between not being racist, and being actively anti racist, then I would start your journey, I would definitely recommend that you read up on it. A book that really opened my eyes a couple of years ago was why I'm no longer talking to white people about race by Rennie eddo Lodge. And there are also loads of podcast episodes and people to follow on social media. For example, Rachel cargo is someone who I've learned a lot from. And yeah, there are loads of books out there. In this episode, rather deep, she really does invite us to ask some deeper questions, to help us dismantle systems of oppression both within ourselves and for our own benefit, and also within our businesses within our lives, for the benefit of the people we work with. And honestly, it was such a beautiful conversation. And she just has such a brilliant way of inviting us to go deeper, that I really urge you to fully listen and just take in what she's saying, Leave, leave any judgement at the door, and just be present. And we talk about what the power of actually being present in these conversations right at the beginning of the interview. And yeah, so we talked about how presence is a massive part of revenue to work with anti racism. We also talked about the importance of caring for yourself when you're doing such deeply reflective and emotional and difficult work. We also talk about the importance of understanding our privileges, different privileges and power that we hold, especially in the context of coaching, or leading in any kind, which I think I honestly believe that any of us with a business or leaders. So I think this work is very important for us. important questions to ask yourself and just, you know, rather deeps invitation for what we should do for anyone listening to this, what we can do to further our anti racism work. And let me just share a bit about revenue before we start. So she is a presence based coach, mentor and anti oppressive consultant who is passionate about owning and representing the wholeness of who we are. This means letting go of the deep social conditioning that no longer serves us, allowing us to build and embody a sense of self trust, so that we can move forward in our journey towards collective healing. Rather deeps work is underpinned by mindfulness practices and principles with the belief that presence allows us to access the conscious power that resides within all of us. She works with the power of the present moment relying on your consciousness and your presence to cultivate change, which means noticing the leaves blowing in the wind or grounding your feet on the floor in the midst of chaos, as Robbie deep says, is truly revolutionary. And she invites us to try it right now, as you're listening to this. Ravi deeps mission is to truly empower all women, but especially those with marginalised identities, to stand firm in our light and showcase real raw and diverse representation to support us to decolonize and deconstruct where and who we place value on, so that we can reclaim power through ancestral wisdom and unapologetically take up space. And one of the things also that we talked about in the episode is the fact that she is on this journey to she is unlearning questioning and doing this work herself to.
Yeah, this is a powerful, powerful conversation. And like I said, it's not it's not always comfortable to listen to. I was nervous about recording it, but the position that I found myself in lately is that it's important to have these conversations, it's important to be open to having these conversations. And this is a highly relevant conversation for anyone who is in business and who wants to help people in their business who wants to change systems of oppression and dismantle systems of oppression without businesses. So yeah, enjoy this conversation. Okay, so I'm going to dive straight in with a big question. And that is, why presence and anti racism?
Ravideep Kaur 5:33
Such a good question, Ruth,
Unknown Speaker 5:36
I have to add, he suggested But
Ravideep Kaur 5:40
no, but it is such a good question, because it's probably something I've questioned a lot as well. And it's something that's happened quite organically. With my own journey, we talk about this concept of presence, right being present in the moment. And to be honest, it's just a set of words. And I'd like to invite everybody that's kind of listening to this podcast right now. Whatever you're doing, just to take a moment to be present right here in this conversation with us. Because being in presence, allows us to take back power. It allows us to see what's really happening in the here and now. And our minds are so busy, kind of moving. So way forward into the future, or sitting way, way back in history. And once we come into presence, once we come into the present moment, once we're connected with our mind bodies and spirits, the things people are saying to us are only the truth. It's there truth in that moment in time, it is actually nothing to do with your staff. And this allows anybody that works with me with presence and anti racism or anti oppression, it allows to almost kind of get your stuff and put it to the side. And really focus on what needs to be dissected in that moment.
Unknown Speaker 7:13
Ruth Poundwhite 7:13
that is such a amazing answer. Thank you. I'm wondering now. It just made me think about, because it's not easy to put your own stuff to the side, right. And sometimes you like I think we you may have said this before we started recording, but we think we know what it means to be present. And we and when to still not being present. So I thought it might be interesting to dive into what it really means like how do you know that you're truly putting your stuff to the side? And how can you actually get to that place in the first place.
Ravideep Kaur 7:48
And let's do it now, Ruth, I'm assuming you're saying. So feet on the ground, but really on the ground. And I always talk about sensation. So sensation basically means touch, feel something, rub your fingers together, placing your feet on the ground, allowing your toes to wiggle in your socks, shoes, slippers maybe just allows us to come back into the body. And a question we should all be questioning ourselves with is how many times throughout the day, am I in my body. We separate ourselves from our body so much when actually when we bring these two things together, three, even mind body spirit. That is when we are fully present. And the beauty with presence practice. And I call it a practice because none of us are always present in every single moment. But when we continue to practice presence, that is when we already back in the present moment, because even thinking about the present moment brings you back. And this can be so useful in our work lives, but also in our daily lives. Whenever we're having conflict with somebody or when we are feeling distressed. It is bringing yourself back into your body. And even just those few seconds allows us to just feel consciously alive and safe as well.
Ruth Poundwhite 9:21
Yeah, and I'm definitely feeling into my body right now as he invited me to do that. So let's back up a bit. And I just want to ask you like how did you come to realise that this was key to the work that you do and to the anti racism work that you do?
Ravideep Kaur 9:42
Yeah, it's, like I said at the start, it almost felt like it was by accident. But more than that, it's just been an organic growth. And it's something that I talk about a lot just generally about owning your authentic self and your authentic voice. And just because nobody's doing it this way doesn't mean it's the right or wrong way. And I think we have to get away from the conformity of how we see others doing stuff. And especially as business owners, I think it's something we do a lot in terms of comparison, and conformity, and kind of going against the status quo. So for me, it was a mechanism to support myself in situations of racial kind of trauma. So when I was in, so when I back up a little bit when I've been in corporate settings before, so my backgrounds law, and the microaggressions, or the macro aggressions, there needed to be a way for me to hold myself in that situation. Although I'm being triggered, if I'm able to be present in that moment, I'm able to hold the duality of that experience. So hold the pain of what's going on for me as a personal as a personal attack on my identity, but then also to see and feel into the fact that that person, that individual is part of a system, which has allowed them, it's conditioned them to oppress people like me, women of colour, black women, people with marginalised identities. So when we are able to feel the duality of that experience, we are all able to heal. And that's what I'm talking about, I am talking about a collective healing experience, a collective liberation, for all of us to lean into each other's truth. presence allows us to do that. Because if we are, again, present in that moment, it's not necessarily about us the person, we're able to look at the wider system. And that for me is key.
Yeah, absolutely. And, yeah, I hadn't considered the importance of it from your side as like being able to separate that from you. And the people who are just doing or saying something that is making you feel is harmful, isn't it? It's violent harm. Yeah, violent and violent. And I think, you know, I don't want to take away from any black or person of colour or indigenous persons truth
that actually in those moments, it is hugely painful, it is hugely violent. And it's not minimising any of that. But for me to be able to do this work and show up in the world in the way that I do in my full truth, it is a mechanism for me to almost protect myself, but to also hold others accountable. And we can only do that through the lens of duality. And I think it's something that we don't do enough as a society. So when we look at the culture, it's almost so it is very black and white. And there's this huge grey area, the complexity that none of us want to sit in. But we're all part of this system, and we all sit within that grey area. So for people of colour, our own internalised racism and oppression shows up. And if we're not aware of it, we keep continuing the harm to ourselves or to others. And vice versa, if you're somebody who holds a white identity, and you are unaware of your own conditioning, and you want to hold on to this identity of being a good white person, or being, you know, even your politics might sit right. But in that moment, you forget the humanity of the person to be whole, this is what we're all looking for, in the work that both me and you do as coaches, we are all looking for connection. We are all looking for self actualization for purpose, Authenticity, all of these things. But these can only only come from being fully connected with your whole self. And if you don't know, you know, the history of where you've come from. How can you know how you are showing up in the present moment is 100%. Whole and you and it is not the conditioning of the dominant systems. How do you know that? Once we open up to not knowing that, to me is the key. And I will always start a workshop with I am sitting here and I'm going to be in full presence because I am going to take and soak up the learning that comes as me sitting in this position because I'm aware of the privilege I'm aware of the hierarchy is sitting as and I'm doing inverted commas, the expert or the leader, because as soon as you do that you close your yourself off to more learning The whole human experience is, should be to open yourself up to these different experiences. But our attachments to our own identity do not allow that our attachments, even to our expertise, or educational status, none of that allows us to be fully open. And in turn, fully whole.
Ruth Poundwhite 15:25
By so powerful, thank you. And I know that majority of people listening to this podcast probably identify as women. And I know that. So as a white speaking as a white woman, I know that when I first learned about, for example, everyday sexism, it shade it completely changed my perspective of things that had happened to me, or things that I tried to be and failed to be, or, you know, ways in which I had felt not good enough or too much. And it was just like, it was incredible. And I know that, because I think this is, this is what you're getting at, right? Like I didn't know what I didn't know. And I was viewing things through through a certain lens. And suddenly, like my mind was open up to this. And I know that a lot of the white people listening to this will have experienced some of this, especially this year, with everything and that the Black Lives Matter movement and all of this. And it's I mean, it's not a comfortable thing to say, but a lot of us will have only just even had our minds open to this stuff this year. And yeah, and it's just, it's so important what you say about, yeah, being open to that, and being open to the fact that the lens that we've looked through things for our entire lives, it shapes the way we respond to things that shapes the things we say, and we don't even know it, when we think that we're being present than that we're listening. And I know that you've been doing this work for longer than this year. And yeah, I don't really know what I'm getting where I'm going with this except to just say like, yeah, thank you for opening our minds, because there's just so much that I'm speaking as a white woman here. And I know that not everyone listening to this will be white, but a lot of the listeners will resonate with what you're saying as well. And I just think that I think it's so helpful that you have this different in the way you describe it as presence really, really speaks to me. That's just what I wanted to say, I suppose.
Ravideep Kaur 17:46
Thank you. Yeah, it and you can see where the anger and the rage is coming from, especially from black community right now, you know, with the BLM movement, you can see where that is coming from, and we can minimise any of that. But we don't, we cannot also internalise it to allow us to sit in shame, because shame freezes us. So physiologically, again, if we're not present in the body, how do we know that when somebody is saying something, or you see something on social media, or you see something even in on the news, or in a newspaper or whatever? How do you know your body is reacting in that way, if you're not present, that feeling that you get if you are not connected to your body, and we all have those trauma responses, all of us. And when we look at psychology, and everybody knows about the kind of fight flight or freeze moment that our bodies are physiologically kind of being tapped into, to to react in those situations, the trauma, the stress, if we're not present, how do we know that we're not perpetuating more harm in that moment. We have to be present to be and to be open and honest and be like, wow, I feel really embarrassed. Or I feel ashamed rather than I feel shame. You know, it's two different things because shame just allows us to sit within that with lots of lots of the types of work that we do. Shame will just allow us to kind of sit there but ashamed, or embarrassment or anger can be utilised to redistribute privilege and power. And that's where we need to go. It is not enough to do the reading or to follow a couple of people online but never Ever, critically analyse your own positionality. And I think this is where we, we are really getting it wrong. And I knew, you know I had, I don't have a huge following because my attachment is not to my social media, I think. And I've written a post about it today actually, because I have a very much kind of love hate relationship. Because it is a great avenue and vessel to allow truths that have been silenced, to be amplified. That is the great thing about social media. However, for me, somebody who lives their life through the lens of presence cannot be stuck to their phone. 24 seven, like it just, it's not, it's not my ethos, it's not the way I want to live, like I want to be in nature, I want to do those things I want to be present with my children and my family, and in my work situations as well. So again, that duality of experience, you need to manage it. The endless scrolling of anti racism resources does not make you anti racist per se. This level of consciousness has to permeate through your your daily life. questioning yourself in normal interactions, as you go about your day is what changes us from talking and thinking and reading about anti racism, to really embodying those things in our body, like we talked about embodying but I'm talking about, can we take it into our body, so that when you see or sense harm being caused, that feels like harm to yourself? That feels harm to your humanity. Because that's what we're talking about. We are talking about the dehumanisation of people, that we're not allowed to be humans. And we cannot pretend that that didn't and does not happen. Because the harm and the violence is still continuing. We're just pretending that we're not seeing it.
Ruth Poundwhite 22:17
so powerful. Thank you. And one thing that you touching upon this idea of social media is like a really amazing tool to bring things to light. But at the same time you're you've got to working on being present is not about being on social media all the time. Something I've noticed you posting about on social media, which I found really, you know, thought provoking? is this idea of like, Who are you posting for?
Unknown Speaker 22:42
Like, who are you?
Ruth Poundwhite 22:43
Are you trying to please someone? Are you trying to? Are you trying to fit in with these kind of this kind of social conditioning that we've all been brought up with? And I find that such an important question as well when it comes to I mean, let me know what you think about this, but it kind of connected some dots in my head about like, your presence is really important in order to just keep questioning, like, why am I doing this? Who am I doing it for? Am I saying? Am I saying the thing I really want to say or am I trying to fit into some system here?
Ravideep Kaur 23:15
Yeah. Yeah, no, Ruth, like absolutely 100%. And I want people to know that these are the questions that I'm asking myself as well. I'm not saying that I'm on some like, other next level where I don't feel those levels of pull, push and pull, because I feel it too. I feel all of the things that everybody feels, but I have the awareness, I am building the awareness through presence, I am posting and then questioning myself, I am posting and then logging off. I am all of the reminders that I do or reminders to self first, you know, it cannot be any other way. Because as soon as I don't put myself in that same position, I've moved away from shared humanity. So these are all questions that I'm asking myself, like, I and it's probably the reason why I don't have this huge following, which I don't care for. The thing that I care for is truth. Like I really care for truth. Because I have the privilege of a platform, I have the privilege of the English language to communicate, I have these privileges of education, I have these privileges of looking a certain way that almost fits into the ideologies of Eurocentric kind of conditioning, Western types of kind of beauty standards. On this standardised size that people see acceptable, I'm serious, I'm you know, heteronormative there's all of these things that places me in huge privilege. And then I have these modernisations as well as A woman of colour as somebody who's sitting up in the northeast of Scotland and doesn't have the networks to kind of push these conversations forward. So it's, again, have to go back to this duality. It's not either or it's both. We keep doing them both, in order to be whole. And again, Surely this is what we're all looking for. Everything we do goes back to that question. When you feel that unsettling feeling of not feeling enough, like you were talking about earlier, where does that derive from? Is that you? Or is that this one of the systems? Is it the patriarchy? Is it white supremacy? You know, these are the questions not, I don't feel good enough. So I'm going to put out another 100 posts, and I'm going to look at like everybody else's stuff, because they're doing much better than me. This is white supremacy at play, and the patriarchy. And we cannot separate that from what's happening. And I feel those push backs as well. But I'm able to disrupt it. And it's kind of there in the background, don't do that. And I've spoken about this really recently, as well about, I sit at this very unique intersection. And I've been talking very directly to the sick community, which is how I identify and the inability for the white community to step into some of those conversations. And it's not coming from a place of not wanting to learn. It's the discomfort of not knowing there's language, and there's culture there that they don't understand. But as soon as we say that's not for us, that's where you miss the learning points. Because how many other times are you doing that in your own life? How many other times you othering the mom in the playground because she looks slightly different? Or coming onto a profile like mine and being like, are that sick woman that's sitting in northeast of Scotland? Who's got three turbaned boys, that isn't a page for me. You know,
Ruth Poundwhite 27:14
something that you said about constantly questioning yourself. I mean, firstly, I love that you share that in your work. And it's something that I try to do in my work as well. I think this is the real power in vulnerability, vulnerability from a kind of empowered place, I would say, sharing the stuff that we're going through sharing the ways in which you're questioning yourself, kind of as part of, or even as a result of your work. And I think that i think that that's just so powerful. And at the same time, like my question for you is, how do you care for yourself during this work, because it's a lot, it's a lot emotionally to Firstly, not only share the stuff that you share, and and basically educate people on how to be anti racist, and dismantle these systems of oppression. And at the same time, constantly doing this work for yourself constantly digging in constantly questioning yourself constantly. And I would imagine also facing the systems of oppression yourself as well as a woman of colour, how do you care for yourself in this work?
Ravideep Kaur 28:29
appreciate the question, Ruth, and just the awareness as well, that it's not for anybody who thinks that this work is easy. You know, it's not easy for me to talk about these things. Sometimes I still feel those levels of pushback. The way that I care for myself is knowing who I am. It's knowing about those privileges, but it's actually also doing all of the things that I'm requesting other people to do. So coming off of my phone not being attached to these levels of success, like I just I don't, I'm disowning them more and more, because the more work that I do on myself, I see it part and parcel of me being able to show up with this work. But the more that I do the work on myself, and decolonize from even practices of wellness and spirituality. The more that I do that, the more that I feel like I know who I am. And I know what's important to me, I'm able to switch off so even a system like capitalism, once you start to see how capitalism allows us to basically feel like we're never doing enough. It's just another system that keeps us shackled in place. And as soon as you unshackle yourself, as soon as you disrupt it with awareness and presence and you go and do Something that really fills you. That is when you start to understand what your purpose is in life. And my connection with my spirituality is like, that's where it's just a cup, my cup can never be empty. When I believe in something higher than myself, when I believe that, I would I have heard from a lot of kind of educators or consultants, or anybody that's kind of in this line of work, I wouldn't say that you choose this work, it's more the other way around, you are chosen. And in order to sustain it, in order to sustain this level of activation, we have to understand why we're doing it. And really, really practice what we preach. And I think this is where the white community are not allowing themselves to be activated to that same level, after the murder of like George Floyd, I knew this frenzy would die down. And I think a lot of people did. Because this work is hard, is painful, you are going to the roots. And anytime you go to the roots, and you try and pull them out, you're gonna get so much pushback. So you have to be honest about what you really want from this, like, how are you going to look after yourself. And if you are going to be sustainable in work like this, it means you preserve your energy that is at the top of anybody's list. And I've actually written I've actually written a course. And it's a free course available through my link tree for black women, with women of colour, indigenous women, but also any white women that are activated in this work about why we need to protect our energy over and above anything else. Because otherwise we just go, we just tend to burn out. And that's what capitalism wants. That's what white supremacy once it wants us to be like, this is too hard. But us doing that continues these systems of violence and we keep upholding them. And we've got to start looking at violence and systems of dominance internally as well. That how do we uphold these things internally? How do you talk to yourself when you mock up? How do you when you haven't finished a deadline? Or you've written or said something that wasn't? Again, inverted commas? Perfect? How do you talk to yourself? How are you kind to yourself? How do you hold compassion for yourself? And I think these things, the healing that goes inside on inside is how we heal outside as well.
Ruth Poundwhite 32:55
Yeah, thank you for that. And I think, yeah, what you've said about the whole thing, Black Lives Matter, the murder of George Floyd and how everyone was really talking about it and locked, putting a lot of energy behind it, and then it dying down. And this whole thing about protecting energy being in it for the long run. I think that is so important. And I'm going to make sure that I link to that course that you've got in the show notes for anyone who wants to sign up for that. I'm curious as well, like, this is just a question that was coming to me, as we've talked as we've been talking because I I can see that, you know, coaching in general, and working with people in that kind of way. It's it's a huge part of that as well. Isn't it like leaving your stuff behind being really open being really present with your clients? Not not pushing our own, like, biassed things? And obviously, we're humans. And but you know, I mean, and I was wondering, like, talking from a perspective of like, anti racism and privilege and all of this, like, what are your thoughts on kind of the work specifically that that, like, could not just coaches but anyone who works with people in this kind of capacity, where you're really, you're really talking to people personally one on one and where your own privilege and your own biases can really get in the way or can really affect what you say? What would be your kind of thoughts and advice for people who work with people who are people who are with others in that way to make sure that they're, they're not perpetuating harm, that they're, that they're able to be there for their individual clients as well as like, helping to dismantle the systems of oppression as a whole. It's That's a big question. But yeah.
Ravideep Kaur 34:41
So, so important, and it's actually the reason I What is the reason why I began coaching because when I was looking for alternative therapies or support, there was nothing for somebody who holds my identity who's sits at these really important intersections. And I think the main thing is, is being open to the fact that you probably are perpetuating systems. And you need to be aware of that, when you're going into clients, whether you're a clinician, a therapist, a coach, is understanding where you hold privilege and why it matters. And how privilege is connected to power. And being, like, being really sure of like the power dynamics. So, you know, I've kind of touched on it, but the power dynamic of anybody being in a leadership position. And then when you are there, one to one, the power should be back and forth. And I often say it's like table tennis, isn't it? The power should be back and forth, back and forth. If you have no awareness of where you hold societal power, how can you bought it back? You're basically sitting with societal power. If we do not know where and what is going on in the world, and what is important to that individual. And when we talk about a person centred approach, if you don't know about their cultural heritage, you don't know about their spiritual practices. How do you know what's important to them? And then how can you hold space for them? I don't think very, you know, and I'm, I'm gonna say this, but I don't think very many white practitioners are able to hold space. For people of colour, women of colour in particular, that's been my experience. And the last, what, four years, I haven't really seen any improvement apart from performative kind of activism. People are not willing to get into the really nitty gritty of how they hold up, or perpetuate systems of oppression, it's always easier to call out somebody else. But to sit with that yourself. And I wanted to mention today, Ruth, because there's a huge protest going on in India. And the Sikh community is very much involved. It's a farmers protest, 250 million million people are protesting in Delhi. And mainstream media are not covering this news story. If you've got a client who's got family or lineage, and that is going on, how can you hold space? If there's stuff going on, and you're a Muslim, or you're a black person, and people do not understand the ancestral wounds that are opened up by these worldwide events? How can you hold space? You can't 100% hold space. And it isn't about again, blaming, it's being open. But it's asking those questions. It's decolonizing, your feed? You're following these people to diversify a feed. But when you see somebody who doesn't look like you, how do you other than by not sharing or amplifying or continuing to silence those, those people? That is you part of the system. If you hold white skin privilege, and you see something on someone's feed, especially if they don't have a large following, and you don't feel like this is something that I should share, because I'm going to alienate my audience. It's something that we really need to think about, like, what are we building a community for? Where does capitalism prioritise us our needs? Who is being harmed by you not showing your privilege and then redistributing it? And these are the really, really important questions that we need to get, not just sit on the surface, but we need to get under doing it in a way that holds space for people like I'm working with clients, six months plus 12 months and some of the revelations that they are now bringing to me
have been amazing because they are checking themselves. They are understanding how white supremacy is so pervasive, it's almost fixated into people's personalities. The confidence that they've got when they walk into a room, they're now questioning Is that me? Or is that Some of the societal privilege from my skin. And it's again, if you are able to ask yourself those questions, you can then disrupt when you are maybe silencing somebody or you are not passing the mic. Yeah, really? Oh, that was quite a long answer.
Ruth Poundwhite 40:22
really powerful questions. And it just, it's such an important. I mean, it's for any, it's for anyone listening, but especially those people who read because, yeah, there is power at play. As a coach, as a therapist practitioner, there is power play. And I just wondered, like, what would you recommend for anyone listening to this? Because I know, I know that I've read about this. And I know that there's so so much more like, I need to go so much deeper. I know that too. What would your advice or recommendations be for anyone listening to this? Who want who wants to go deeper into this?
Ravideep Kaur 41:04
I think there's, you know, the one thing that the BLM movement has done is this has become a mainstream conversation, so you can find resources. And interestingly enough, like I've got an online course, and loads of people bought this. And again, it was a really difficult position for me, somebody who holds light skinned privilege, I don't want to benefit off the back of black violence. That is just not okay. So, again, the way that I deal with that is not be like, Oh, my gosh, let me just hide under a bush. It's like, right, I have benefited financially, how do I redistribute that? How do I know I keep this for myself? Because to me, that's not mine. How do and, and you know, I may not have been, quote, unquote, successful at that time, you know, there was loads of things, that there was a lot of resources going out. But it's taking a step back and being like, well, whose voice needs to be heard right now, because it's not a light skinned brown woman. It's maybe it's passing the mic to black women, allowing those voices to be amplified, and redistributing what you can resource wise, for people who really want to go deeper. You've read the resources. It has to be part of a long term strategy, especially as a business owner, What are you getting at? You know, we do these things, at the end of the start of the year, like what what are going to be my goals in this business? You cannot say that you're inclusive, when you're not actually doing anything. Like these are just words. It's so easy to intellectualise a topic like this. But it isn't a topic. This is lived reality. For loads of us. Yeah, I could like name 10 times that on social media alone from white women that follow me of how they've been violent. I choose not to engage with that, because it's not my energy, it's not my thing. And it's almost like I'm doing this subconscious thing being like, right, that's your staff. If you really want to invest in this, it is paying paying people for their time and energy, and actually valuing that work. Seeing how it benefits your practice your business, you as a person. Our humanity is on the line. We are talking about what so many years of oppression and violence, the stuff that's going on in India now is connected to colonialism, the British Empire. Learn about your history. It's a collective history. And it is the reason why we are in this position. But invest not, you know, and we have to be honest about what has been going on we are in we've been in a pandemic this year. It is it has been highly stressful for so many of us. And I know I've had to check my privilege so many times throughout this time, and I hope, you know everybody listening to this podcast has also been in that situation. But then how do we move past that? Because our struggles are our struggles. And we can't take that away from anyone. But it's starting to understand that there's some struggles that you will never have. And what are you going to do about that? Are you going to keep I say this thing about like, it's almost like putting on, you know, on an air mask on a gas mask for yourself and then you just keep breathing the air for yourself. You know, on the planes it says put your mask on before anybody else. Yes, you do that. Then at what point do you start distributing that that cleaner helping somebody else? At what point? But then it's also analysing from a critical intersectional lens. Why is that person not breathing? Why is that person not successful? Why is that person not being amplified? And how do I keep supporting that same system?
So it's like, Yes, I've got all of these things going on. And it's being practical, sustainable, but honest about what you can manage in your day to day life in the next six months, in the next 12 months, like, what are you going to do? Like, some of my clients want accountability every week, this is how much they're invested in it. Every week, they want an accountability. And it's like, it's not about Okay, they're great, but it's about they're seeing the end, it's, you know, it starts and it's the ripple effect that actually, once you see the oppression, you start to see it everywhere, everywhere you go. And you see it in yourself. So I think it's just starting with these baby steps that you've done the reading. Now, like I yes, I'm sitting here as somebody who does this as a business. But this is not, this is not the only way to do it. It is dependent on who you are, and what you want to gain out of this, how much you're willing to invest, not just financially because we can buy the books, we can buy the courses. And I'm now sitting here wondering, I wonder how many people have actually completed that course. There's five modules in that course, how many of us have managed to actually complete it? And once we complete it, then what happens? This is an ongoing journey. And I think just being open to that, that I'm not going to get this fixed tomorrow. Yeah. But I am committed to doing something every day do something, whether that's like writing in your journal, that this is where I saw my privilege show up. Because once you start to do that, again, you embody it. And you have to do something else your body tells you, you need to show up better when you can.
Ruth Poundwhite 47:22
Thank you. That was such a, such an important answer. And I just wanted to share as well, that that that, for me has been a real what you said about it's not like there's not an answer tomorrow, it's an ongoing thing. I mean, it sounds incredibly obvious. But actually, it's been an important shift for me. And I think it's very important in the conversation in the context of building a business because you know, as a business owner, you have a certain amount of power in certain, in certain situations, especially as it grows, like, I know that I know that there's a whole range of businesses listening to this, and some of you will be in the thick of it, and then struggling and some of you will be thriving. And especially, I mean, having that long term vision for how you want to use your business as a tool to dismantle systems of oppression, I think is so important. And knowing that it is a long term process that you start working on now and keep working on every day. And and like you You mentioned actually, like, you know, it's the at the end of the year, you know, we take stock of how we hit our goals and what we got done and what we achieved and what we want to do next year. And I think a simple shift for me is including this stuff in our goal setting, including this stuff in our big picture, thinking. And I'm I'm saying this because I've been working with a coach, Jane Ashby, she's a diversity and inclusivity coach, I never know if I say the right presser. But yeah, she's brilliant. And she's really gotten me thinking about this. And I can see, it's just it's so powerful to as business owners, because I know that we're talking about all kinds of areas here, but I just wanted to mention as business owners, putting it into our kind of business planning, making it part of the literal work we do in our business. And I found that such a useful way to approach it as well.
Ravideep Kaur 49:15
Absolutely, absolutely. And I think just owning up that if it isn't something on your list, then you are actually part of the system and we all are, we're all perpetuating it. But it's like, you know, just holding a little bit of space for Okay, it's maybe something that I'm not prioritising it doesn't have to be huge things. And I think sometimes social media will say to us, it's always about these big things. Yeah. But I'm inviting people to look at the smaller things. Look at your own community. Look at the weather that's online or in real life. Where is it lacking of other voices? Who's been silence and who's being raised and why. And that power thing for me is huge. Understanding how you hold power through privilege, and not shying away, but just kind of laying it out and being like I hold privilege here. And I'm going to redistribute it in this way, because it's about giving everybody what they need to thrive, rather than giving everybody the same. So this notion of equity over equality. And it sounds simple. But people struggle with this notion, because it seems unfair. But the unfairness comes from decades and decades of oppression. So some people no matter how hard they work, and this is another thing you just hear these, like blanket statements of I've worked really hard for this. Yeah. And it's like, yes, nobody's taking that away. But where did you start? Like, where did you start? And conversations that we're having like, with our children, or other children, and just how even putting this these subject matters into conversations, is the start of that kind of stone in the water and how it ripples out. And people may feel uncomfortable, but if you don't say it, or you don't start the conversation, you know, where Christmas is coming up, and people are going to be maybe with family dependent on what they're what they're feeling just now in and around with family or friends or what have you. And if these aren't the conversations that are happening in your communities, but you're there on social media, talking about it. To me, there's a huge disconnect there. And actually, why are you talking about it on social media, when you are not showing up in the same way, like in integrity in your real life? And really kind of asking yourself some of those questions like, where does the pushback come from? What am I afraid of? And what system is telling me to be afraid?
Ruth Poundwhite 52:17
Yeah, such powerful questions. Absolutely. Thank you. This has been like such an don't know, like, I want to say like a brilliant conversation. But I don't think that's the right word. But yeah, it's been really wonderful talking to you about this. And I could talk to you for longer, but I think we're gonna have to wrap it up. But thank you so much for just sharing so openly about this, and for the work that you do. And I think, you know, we touched on it earlier, but this is clearly this, this work, take like takes a lot and and requires a lot of work from you. And I I can't imagine what it what it takes to do it. But thank you so much for sharing.
Ravideep Kaur 52:58
Thank you, Ruth, I appreciate that. But I'd also like to say that, again, I don't feel like this is my work or my credit to take because there's ancestors before me that have made huge sacrifices, which allow me and my family to be here and show up in this way. And I almost feel like I'm a vessel a messenger, and I am being pushed from a higher force. So I can't take that credit. But thank you for holding space for that. And yeah, it's been it's been, it's been amazing just to have have an open conversation about these things. And I think the more we talk about it and normalise these conversations hold space for all of us to come together. I think that's how we move towards kind of collective liberation.
Ruth Poundwhite 53:45
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I, when we because we do a bit of back and forth before we record to get the topic and some talking points. And one of the questions that you posed was, what would it mean to liberate yourself? And I think that that's a very powerful question like art. So I just want to invite everyone after having listened to this conversation, potentially take that question away journal on it, really journal on it? Because I think, after listening to this, that question has a whole new depth, what would it mean to liberate yourself? So I'm going to include that in the show notes as well. And just to just to wrap things up with a random question before we finish random icebreaker question, which is obviously not an icebreaker because we've been going deep. What are the top three things on your bucket list?
Ravideep Kaur 54:37
This is really interesting, actually. Because Yeah, I it's an interesting question. Because all of the things that I've spoken about, like had you have asked me this a few years back, I would have easily been able to answer it. And I'm probably going to have a really boring answer. But to be honest, I just think three things on my bucket list, like my son came out the other day out of school, and he was like, what's your biggest wish in your life. And again, a few years back, I would have had all of these like things that I wanted to do. But I think our attachment to not just material things, but places people, and I am really trying to through like spiritual development, detach myself from anything, because none of us know really how long we've got. And I just, I just want to be able to, like live my best life and to be to be able to live and work in integrity and just be content like to truly be content with what I've got, and not look to others. This level of like, external validation, like I'm just really trying and pushing myself towards finding everything within myself. So to be honest, for me to answer that question and integrity right now would just be just to carry on as I am, because I think I think the human experience makes us want to do things. And when we look towards like, privilege and power, it's like, I feel like I'm in a really, really privileged and amazing situation. And if I just feel really content, Ruth to be honest.
Ruth Poundwhite 56:26
Oh, well, that's a beautiful answer. Thank you. Thank you so much. And if you want to find out more about Ravi deeps work or you want to follow her, then go find her on Instagram. She's at racv deep core underscore. She also has all her links there to her Thinkific website where you can find her courses and ways to work with her. That's at racv deep hyphen s hyphen school.thinkific.com. And yeah, follow the links on Instagram to sign up to her beautiful newsletter conscious whispers. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of creatively human. If you have a moment, I'd be so grateful if you could rate and review the podcast, it really does make a difference. And if you'd like to carry on the conversation or ask a question for a future q&a episode, there are three ways to connect with me on the Facebook group on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite or my personal favourite, my behind the scenes newsletter. Just go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash newsletter to subscribe and keep doing what you're doing because your work really does matter.
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Today’s episode is on presence & anti-racism as a means of collective healing, with presence-based coach, mentor & anti-oppressive consultant Ravideep Kaur. We also discuss the power of presence, how Ravideep takes care of herself when doing this work, and the importance of understanding our privileges and the power that we hold, especially in the context of coaching, or leading in any kind of business.
Ravideep invites us to ask some deep questions, to help us dismantle systems of oppression both within ourselves and within our businesses. It can be uncomfortable to delve deep into what it really means to be actively anti-racist, but this was such a beautiful conversation, so I really urge you to fully listen without judgement.
Note: this episode does not go into the absolute basics of what it means to be anti-racist. If you’re not sure what that means, then I recommend that you read up on it. See Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and follow Rachel Cargle and others on Instagram.
“Being in presence allows us to take back power” Ravideep Kaur
Some of the things we talked about:
- The importance of presence in anti-racism and dismantling systems of oppression
- Understanding our privileges and power that we hold (especially in the context of coaching or leading)
- Important questions to ask yourself in this work
- What we can do to further our anti-racism work as business owners and humans
- How Ravideep practices self-care when doing such deeply reflective, emotional and difficult work
- Journal question (posed by Ravideep): what would it mean to liberate yourself?
Links from this episode:
- Ravideep's Instagram
- Ravideep’s courses and offerings
- Ravideep's free mini course, Soulful Activism
- Ravideep's newsletter, Conscious Whispers
- Rachel Cargle's Instagram
- Book: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Other episodes you might like:
“It’s always easier to call out somebody else than to sit with that yourself” Ravideep Kaur
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