This morning I woke for some reason thinking of the yoga and racism article I recently read, shared on Facebook and all the comments it elicited. Then I thought of the diversity facilitator training I went through and thought what good does it do? Who benefits? Does anyone? Is it all talk? Do things remain the same? I suddenly wondered if for Black and White people diversity training meant the same thing and had the same results or did it mean something totally different?
For me, as an African Caribbean woman, diversity training and participating in it, became a piecing together of myself, my biography, the scars, wounds and joys that make me who I am. It has helped me to embrace the long generational trauma I have suffered and continue to suffer. I have been able to weave myself into a poem that only made fragmented sense, but now is a fragrance that I dare to breath in and even recognize – for all its good and bad effects.
Through diversity training the whole medicine wheel of myself gives me the healing potion I need to see the world through deeply compassionate eyes, knowing my anger can be a place for a deep river of compassion to flow and even deeper desire to see all sentient beings free from suffering.
Maybe, if we all embrace diversity discussions and training from the view point it is the weaving of self and stories, maybe there will be less defensiveness, but an acknowledgement that we carry stories deep within our bones that may be the cause of the true aching we experience inside. Maybe then our individual and collective pain can become the mud that we grow the blue lotus of rivers, goddesses, gods, ancestors and connecting fragrant stories of a love restored. Ashe, Aho, Namaste, Amen, Om mani padme hum.
Painting by Yeye Omi “Sister Love”
-YeYe Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis
Yeye Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis M.Ed, NCC, LPCA is often referred to as an old spirit in a modern world who travels to local and international communities sharing universal and indigenous ceremonies and wisdom teachings which nurture compassion, oneness, balance and a sustainable planet. She is an international award-winning author of several books, former national UK journalist, fifth generation Wisdom keeper, storyteller, and sacred artist of Afro Caribbean roots.
A mother of two she is also a licensed contemplative clinical mental health psychotherapist, a licensed school counselor, a trained SEED Facilitator, and an inclusion and diversity consultant. She, along with her husband, have co-founded several organizations and projects: YeyeOsun, the Institute of Four Elemental Mother’s Compassion and Wisdom in Action; renown international Humanity for Water Awards; and UNICEF Interfaith WASH Alliance (founded with other world and cultural leaders). Her work and strength of visions has been recently blessed and recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kuten La, the Tibetan State Oracle and United Nations. Omileye has also received several ancient distinguished African spiritual titles and roles including Yeye Osun and Crown of Osun, is the award winner of the prestigious Prince’s Trust Award, and has a passion for working with children, diversity, and the environment. She has just founded her own private integrative and contemplative diversity counseling practice and consultancy.