Thoughts on Organzing & Healing

I’m listening to this episode of Irresistible over and over and over again. Finding strength in this wisdom and in this truth.

Authoritarianism is on the rise. We are losing our rights while at the same time, Trump is making public claims that he can do anything. The Asian community has been put into the spotlight and is being violently targeted in order to divert our attention away from 1) the ways in with our government is FAILING to respond to this crises and 2) the ways in which the Trump administration is consolidating power.

Now is the time to organize and gather strength from one another. I’ve been witness to a lot of people with all kind of privileges turning inward during these times under the guise of healing and self-care. The dialogue in this podcast around healing and action is spot on. The two are not mutually exclusive and actually they are both absolutely necessary in this time. We need to be actively organizing against fascism. And to do that we need be creating space for healing to happen and to do that in ways that supports collective, community healing. Our healing and self-care cannot be individual and cannot come at the cost of other people’s oppression and suffering.

“Ejeris said something along the lines of, under fascism, people get really interested in good wine and good cheese. And the reason that statement stuck with me is because I understood it as saying something like, when things seem incredibly overwhelming and inevitable on the outside, at scale in the world or in our country, there’s the risk of turning our focus to small pleasures that are within our control as a means of tuning out that overwhelm or that sense of pending doom. And an important part of healing and organizing with our whole selves is really to turn and face what is happening.”

Facing reality is tough right now. Facing reality means recognizing that we’ve been complicit in a system that targets and commits acts of genocide on black, indigenous, queer, trans, low-income, disabled, immigrant people. Facing reality means recognizing that this virus is wiping out our elders, our keepers of knowledge and ritual. Facing reality means recognizing the privileges that we have to work remotely, to not want to volunteer or organize in order to be able to protect ourselves, to have access to a comfortable space where privacy exists. Facing reality also means coming to terms that you and your loved ones don’t have those privileges and that every day you are gambling with death or witnessing the losses in your communities. Facing reality means recognizing the pain and struggle that we are collectively embodying.

We’ve seen the numbers of this virus. Black people are the most impacted, with Native* and Latinx communities closely following.And as white supremacists push to reopen under the guise of “freedom”, I want us all to ask ourselves, particularly folks who consider themselves “liberal” “lefty’s” “radical” etc, what are we doing to ensure that more Black and Brown people do not die? What are doing to stop the continuous genocide of these people? What are we doing to ensure that Black and Brown communities are not further disrupted by the loss of their community members? How are we working collectively to shift power and fight for justice? How are we collectively supporting and healing ourselves and one another? How are we leaning into discomfort, but also leaning on community to guide us through this discomfort? “The goal is not individual neo-liberal, healed people. The goal is bigger, badder, more resilient, stronger movements with more of us in them.”

What really hit home hard for me in this podcast was the discussion on the importance of connection right now. Ejeris says, “But when I am most afraid or confused, from an organizing perspective, I return to base-building ‘cause it’s never wrong.” In all of my time as an organizer, I cannot express enough how important base-building is. The role of organizing to pull people together in a container that supports the building of relationships that heal, support, educate, and build power. Base-building is real communal care. It’s working with our community members who may have challenging personalities, who may be at different places in their growth and deeply, deeply caring and loving for them because they are a part of our community. “This is a time to both go deep and go broad. So we need to be having those intimate conversations with the people that we are sharing zip codes and/or real present needs with. And it’s also the time for us to be raising up our heads and looking around and looking out and connecting community to community to community and beyond.” Who are your community elders? Who are your community babies? What are the needs of your community? What are your needs? Knowing these things can be deeply healing.

Take the space and time that you need to heal. Practice self-care. Let the results of those practices not only benefit yourself, but our collective liberation. Know what it is that you need and ask for help from your community. Stop externalizing your internal fears. Stop putting the labor of working through your existential dread on others without their consent. Engage in dialogue. When you’re scared, ask your community to work with you through your fears.

* In the screenshot grabs I’ve been seeing float through Instagram and Facebook of news media outlets reporting on Black and Brown people there has been an INTENTIONAL leaving out of Native data. The lumping of Native infection rates and deaths into an “other” category is a practice of erasure that perpetuates genocide. We must demand that our public health agencies list & release data on the impacts of this virus on Native communities. I recognize my own oversight of this in my initial post as I work to be a stronger ally.

Who is Leilani Magsasaka?

Hello friends! Thank you for choosing to join me on this journey of growth and healing. 2020 is a year that I will be putting a lot of personal and collective power into manifesting dreams that I have been cooking up for a few years now. This is my spiritual journey. I invite you to witness, encourage, and engage with this journey. I hope that in some way the writings, learnings, and teachings here will encourage you to embark on your own journey of self-love.

So, who is Leilani Magsasaka? I’m a mixed-race, Pilipinx & Polish, queer, trans earth worker. I am navigating my way through this white supremacist world in order to come into my own divine power. My journey towards collective liberation begins with healing internalized racism and resisting colonization by reweaving the threads that connect me to my ancestors. Atsuete Healing is both a documenting of my journey and guide for other Queer and Trans Pilipinx-Americans who are working through diaspora identity.

I want this journey to be interactive. Feel free to comment or email as we build community together. I will make mistakes and I welcome gentle dialogue on accountability to self and community. Hate and intentional hurtful behavior towards myself or others will not be tolerated. This is a space for nurturing growth. You can expect content on healing practices such as tarot, astrology, herbalism, poetry, movement and mindfulness. I will also use this space to share political & philosophical ponderings and analysis.