Everyday, every week, more and more I’m connecting today’s current events as metaphors about ourselves and our place in this world, identifying them as our “moments of truth” . For instance, this summer the gruesome killing of our young princess, Nia Wilson gave me the most clear message about what this tragedy is telling us about ourselves. Let me break it down for you, based on what I experienced here as an Oakland resident:
A couple of days before her killing, a local restaurant posted a call for a community counter action march from their venue to an expected meeting by a right-winged group, The Proud Boys. As the the hype intensified and community began answering the call to hold a counter, peaceful celebration of unity, I felt a sense of sadness and disappointment. Because what I actually saw were people in the streets screaming in anger towards the police and the flared up rage against the system being played out once again here at home. The sadness and disappointment was really rooted in my fatigue of all the death and violence happening here and questioning when will we actually stop resisting and be still to think about an actual way forward? I’m tired of seeing the resisting, the fighting, and the clashing. I’m not empowered by that anymore.
Then as I woke up the next morning to the horrific news that another young black life was violently taken at a BART station by a white man, I realized that this became the real moment of truth. Because as the day progressed, speculations and headlines in media questioned whether there was a connection to Nia’s murderer and the visiting Proud Boys. “Word around town was that he was one of them”, some of the posts read. But what we would soon learn about the killer was that he actually was a local resident who’s spent many years in and out of jail and had some mental health issues, unaffiliated with the right-winged group. So presumptively,
racism wasn’t the justification. It was mental illness.
(AND side note: I believe racism is a mental illness)
So can we even blame mental illness for this attack? It can’t be blamed AND serve as a way forward! Where does that blame lead us to anyway? Another hurt or attack on another, probably. So, the big takeaway for me, with respect to this particular story, was that we as a people HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO THE RIGHT THING. We aren’t listening to the core of the issue and taking action in the right way. Blame is NOT the name of the game, but the STILLNESS, finding the humanity of the situation is where we must be to open up a path forward with healing that leads to a solution.
Treyvon Martin’s parents spoke about what they’re advocating for isn’t a race issue, it’s an issue about right and wrong and that ultimately it’s about not hurting each other. When Nia’s family spoke during the press conference shortly after her murder, they gave us clues as to what we should be paying more attention to. At least, that's what my deep listening was telling me. They said, “stand down, don’t react”. They called on community to stand down and be still [while the suspect was still out there].
My intuition’s bottom line from all this? Well, since I'm an intuitive connected to Earth, the way I'm seeing this is...
The more we pay attention to REACTING to these incidents as we have been doing in resisting, the more and more gruesome the next incidents of violence will be
And violence in every form; whether between people or in the extreme violence of Mother Nature onto this planet. The pains and hurts caused by humans onto each other are not separate from the Earthly destructions happening on our planet right now. That the more we continue on the way we have been with each other, the more vicious our environment will respond with its own destruction. It's all connected, I believe.
So when will we as a nation, as a community realize that we need to be present with these realities and awaken to it FIRST before taking action? When will non-resistance be the expected next step after harm? To me, being present means going INWARD to “see”, to “listen deeply” to what our community leaders are telling us, requesting of us even, to do. Going inward means really opening up in a way where you can see these heinous crimes and the people who commit them as sharing something in common with you. Going inward means seeing the destructive natural events as connected to your own rage or exploitation of resources.
Because if we can't reach that connectedness with ourselves, the people around us, and the land we live on,
There will be nothing left of ourselves to justify our actions towards one another
There will be nothing left of this planet to justify our misuse and disconnection to our planet and all its beings
There will be nothing left for us to LOOK TO, to justify why things happen the way they do
There will be nothing left to look at but each other
So in conclusion,
what are the first steps in your awakening or awareness of our interconnectedness of ourselves and our place in this world? I realize its a journey, as it has been for me. That some of the beginning steps include
taking that difficult look at yourself and asking where the hurt exists?
what kind of hurt is it?
and what's available for me to begin the healing process?
Because when we begin to heal ourselves, we begin to heal those around us and the land in which we walk on.
The time is NOW, to understand our world more deeply. The time is NOW, to understand ourselves more deeply. The time is now because the world in which we know it is having its veil lifted. The systems and ways of thinking that are misaligned with the laws of nature are being broken down, so are the areas of land that have not been cared for sustainably.
I truly believe the way forward begins with YOU.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY STORY. IF YOU ENJOYED THIS PIECE, PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS AND JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION BY COMMENTING BELOW!
MEET THE COACH
Raynelle Rino, CPC
A long time social sector professional, Raynelle began her career in the sciences as an ecology field researcher then moved onto environmental education and social justice at the grassroots organizational level in the Bay Area. Her love for nature and youth development brought her to teach in unique settings like alternative high schools, environmental justice neighborhoods, parks, and juvenile justice facilities.
In 2016 Raynelle started Rino Consulting Solutions, a nature-based consulting firm that provides coaching and consulting services for professionals and other businesses. It’s mission is to support and inspire the leaders of today to live in the confidence of their identities as they move through a world in the midst of social, racial, and environmental transformation. Raynelle is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BS in Biology, a Rising Leaders and 2042 Today fellow, and lives in Oakland with her husband and daughter.