self-determination isn't optional; it's necessary

as i experience more and more of the world and myself, i’m increasingly convinced of this: self-determination is not optional; it is necessary. in order for those of us who are working for liberation to get there, self-determination isn’t one of many paths: it is the only path.

obviously, this is not new information. friere laid this out in pedagogy of the oppressed and even he wasn’t the first. but i’ve added a new layer to my own thinking here recently.

as i learn more about embodiment, embodied practices, and desire-based frameworks and research, it’s clearer to me than ever that our bodies contain information from our communities that our heads don’t. our intuition is powerful and it is multi-generational, ancestral. our bodyknowledge is immense beyond words. and necessarily so because some of it predates language as we know it.

so there are things that our bodies respond to that we don’t even know how to process consciously. when you feel someone else’s feelings, that isn’t a conscious process. your body just knows how to do that.

so there are people who are in and from places whose bodies contain intimate knowledge about the history of that place. there’s a great quote i saw this summer at knoll farms:

“Each landscape allows or inhibits perspective, and that creates the culture. Views like you get out here, these make their own people.” — Tom Windes, as quoted in House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest By Craig Childs

and that makes deep sense to me. there are people who have been in a place for so long that their bodies contain knowledge about that place that our western intellect may never “understand.” their bodies have memories of that place that are unique.

and so when communities are moving towards change, if people from the communities aren’t in the lead, decisions are much more likely to be made in ways that don’t actually support the community to do what it needs to do.

there is a way in which savior complexes can be blind, harmful, and dangerous. saviors of that nature is not who i’m talking about here. i’m talking about the wokest of the woke, the downest of the down, the folks who have all of the knowledge and understanding of how power, privilege, and oppression function.

even those people are deficient in the bodyknowledge that is of places of which they are not. and if you try to lead with insufficient information, it seems clearer to me now more than ever that you actually can’t make the right decisions. or at least it’s up to chance.

whereas the body of someone who is in and from a place has a much highly chance of making decisions that are good for the community and place and planet because their body can sense (assuming they are listening to it) what feels right and wrong.

anyway, there’s more here, but i’ll leave it for now because i need to get to work… so much work…

words / writing / post-processing
464w / 13min / 9min