a better world begins with a better you
Extended warmly, enthusiastically, from my soul to yours.
I am lovingly beckoning you into a forging in the fires of personal transformation. The same path I am walking. The alchemist's path. The path of the proactive creator of our shared reality. We who do all within our power—even if we do it imperfectly—to create rather than react to “what is.”
EMBRACE ALCHEMY is founded on the premise that matters of personal development, spirituality, society, culture, and race intertwine. Here we honor the deeper meaning of racial variance and of human differences in general. Here we discover the higher purpose race carries on our planet. Here we examine the powerful lessons the matrix of race carries for each of us.
I have a hunch that we humans are capable of doing a far better job when it comes to negotiating the differences between us. When it comes to how we are dealing with race on our planet, we've got it all twisted and upside down. It's time to get it right side up and step into who it's possible for us to be as human beings. The changes we seek begin with we ourselves. My writings and teachings provide pathways to get us closer to what’s possible.
To EMBRACE ALCHEMY is to insist less on "facing reality” and more on waving our very own wands. It’s to refuse to give our power away by presuming ourselves—or anybody else for that matter—not to have any. Our power lies in our very existence. We are already far more powerful than we are tending to realize, just by dint of being alive.
When we EMBRACE ALCHEMY, we authorize ourselves to sprinkle streams of our very own pixie dust. To ourselves be the source of inspiration and the beacon of universal love that might otherwise be missing. To beam our very own light rays into the world around us. To do whatever we can to generate, to catalyze, and to manifest the more wonderful reality that we wish to live in.
EMBRACE ALCHEMY is a forum for like-minded, like-hearted folks who wish to focus on—and thereby generate—solutions to race and racism. “What you focus on grows” is an agreed upon adage within various wisdom traditions. So focusing on the solutions and giving our attention to what we want as opposed to what we don’t want, is paramount.
EMBRACE ALCHEMY is a forum for people who embrace being the change and who get on board with the idea that personal development is the key pathway to societal transformation. Bring your racial brilliance or bring your racial ignorance. Bring your cultural savvy or your total lack of sophistication. There’s no time like the present to just start from wherever you are.
Bring your good will, your positive intentions, your open mind, your open heart, and a genuine willingness to learn something new—no matter your background. Above all, just bring your heartfelt desire to do your part to make this world a better place when it comes to race and racism. Bring your willingness to do your part to help generate more compassion. More understanding. More harmony. More equality. More justice. More peace. More freedom. And more well-being. For the widest possible swath of people.
To EMBRACE ALCHEMY is to walk shoulder-to-shoulder on a pathway to making the world a better place. Together let us undertake a passionately lived and deliciously experienced exploration of what it means to be the change.
Join me in my inquiry at the intersection of individuality, culture, and contemporary spirituality.
A catapult forward and upward, an education, and a flood of illumination. A set of teachings, mindset shifts, and action steps. They are designed to enable you to learn to honor, accept, respect, and embrace yourself AND by extension, to honor, accept, respect, and embrace others. Loved ones and strangers alike. Even if they are markedly different from you. Even if their beliefs conflict with yours, and no matter their positioning in the social schema.
If it's a fit for you, EMBRACE ALCHEMY fast morphs into a mode of being, a code of conduct, a way of life. Above all it's an on-going process, a commitment, an aspiration.
Here are the four pillars that form the base of the EMBRACE ALCHEMY infrastructure.
Setting ourselves free is an inside job. Every one of us would benefit from a healing and a reorientation when it comes to the role race has played in our lives. Every one of us would do well to expand our awareness and deepen our understanding of the complexities of race.
We must discover who we are. Allowing for race while prioritizing the content of our character. Living authentically, plugged into our truest truth and our greatest greatness. Living a journey of self-creation. Reclaiming our freedom, power, and quality of life.
Our differences can be navigated harmoniously, rather than becoming sources of irreconcilable conflict. Our differences are real, even as our similarities are, too. Let's up-level our communication abilities. Let’s listen more deeply. Let’s honor the fact of our interconnectedness.
Humans are connected, even across our differences. To honor our Oneness is to honor the “me” and the “we” equally and simultaneously. Every individual is on a unique path. Yet all paths overlap in an expansive invisible webbing. We are rays beaming off the same sun.
READY TO DIVE IN?
• . . . If you want to see real change in our world in the arena of race and racism: more reverence for each and every life.
• . . . If the overt, undeniable racism you see in the news and the world around you jars you, sickens you, baffles you, hurts your heart, and makes your head spin.
• . . . If you want to learn more about--and maybe even get into a position to do something about--the treacherous racial landscape in this society and in our world.
• . . . If you're pretty certain racism continues to be one of the biggest blights confronting human beings, even in contemporary times. You want to see a radical shift in the matter of "racism" itself, in the form of systems, institutions, social hierarchies, AND in the form of individual prejudices. You're quite confident that the appalling historical legacies upon which modern society was built can't help but to have been carried over into our present, causing people and groups untold pain, suffering, and oppression each and every day.
• . . . If you are of the belief that change begins with the person we see in the mirror. It’s not some elusive, projected, imagined "they" who need to change, but rather we ourselves. As the saying goes, “we have met the enemy, and he is us!”
• . . . If you are willing to at least consider that within every human lives some toxicity, negativity, and bias. These forces live within us every bit as much as they live outside of us. To be the change, we must cop to the existence of our own inner oppressor and then subject that part of ourselves to a gentle process of healing.
• . . . If you are not sold on the "blame game" or the finger-pointing. If you feel there is too little actual dialog, too little engagement, too little listening across lines of difference. Too many people, of all backgrounds, sharing in common the certainty that when it comes to race, they have the answers, and moreover, they are right! Others are wrong!
• . . . If you have come to know that “grievances” and “miracles” are in direct conflict with each other. In EMBRACE ALCHEMY we proactively position ourselves as “for”—aka focusing on what we want—and not “against”—focusing on what we don’t want. We emphasize, embody, and take on the energy of the solutions more than dwelling on the problems. In this way, we align ourselves with the possibility of generating miracles, breakthroughs, and spontaneous shifts.
• . . . If you are committed to cultivating a deeper understanding of self and others. Obviously it’s impossible to be an expert in the infinite range of cultural specificities. But well within reach is a general understanding of “difference” itself. Achieving that understanding will enable you to navigate the very real differences between yourself and others with ever more sophistication, grace, and aplomb.
• . . . If you are concerned that, whatever your own background might happen to be, even as you're certainly not a racist, your very own thought processes on race might not be the healthiest and you'd like to learn ways to conceive of race more fruitfully, in a way that liberates you and is thereby a blessing on the other people you encounter in your life.
• . . . If you're pretty sure that even as institutional racism is a problem the magnitude of which should not be underestimated, it isn't the only problem when it comes to race. You suspect that there might also be a glitch in our racial logic to begin with, a flaw in the very way we perceive of ourselves and others. Something intrinsically questionable about the idea of a fixed, firm “us and them.”
• . . . If you have a hunch that the way we coral people into races and then uphold these categories unquestioningly over decades and centuries, is problematic. As if people truly belong straightforwardly in discreet, neat categories. As if "we" and "they" divides are real. And as if continuing to view things in this rigid way will actually lead to any sort of liberation for anybody.
• . . . If you suspect that the best kept secret about race and racism is that they are a matter of thought, of the mind, after all. You will often hear it said that it’s “the system” that is generating the most impactful forms of discrimination. And yet that very system, as we know, began in the mind. Someone—a collective of someone’s—thought it up and then successfully manifested race and racism into a centuries-old structural reality. In precisely the same way, the solutions will now need to be thought up and the process of change will need to begin in our minds. I submit that rather than “fighting the system,” we instead courageously mastermind, design, strategize, and build the future we want. To generate true transformation, we must start by being bold and proactive about thinking up, dreaming up, imagining, and envisioning the precise future we want.
• . . . If you can get down with the idea that if we learn to embrace, know, accept, and love ourselves, we will then be better equipped to embrace, know, accept, and love others. Choosing to love rather than to fear one another. Choosing to accept rather than resent one another. Choosing to honor and celebrate one another rather than judging, hierarchizing, criticizing, and "othering" each other. To evolve beyond our notions of who is inferior and superior. Toward this end, let us learn how to see ourselves in other people, and other people in ourselves.
it’s about the integration—aka integrity—of society, self, and spirit.
Into the big questions that lie at the intersection of culture, spirituality, and individuality.
Who are YOU?
Who are you meant to be?
Who is it possible for you to be?
We ascertain your unique formula for being your best self and living your best life.
We ask what can YOU do, what are you meant to do, to make this world a better place? What is your unique call to action, what is your one-of-a-kind sacred assignment, what is the difference only you can make?
Here we take into full account how the "me" overlaps with the "we." Here all cultural backgrounds are warmly welcome. And here we take cultural contexts and social forces into consideration on our path to developing ourselves.
Here the mastery of the self is its own reward, and it truly is that. Because self-mastery is the pathway to true quality of life and a key stepping stone on the journey to realizing our dreams for our lives. Whether those be in the arena of health, relationships, career, finances, or the deepening of our spiritual journey. Here the mastery of the self is the journey that's being offered.
Equally so, here self-mastery includes the ability to relate harmoniously with others. To truly be able to SEE and HEAR and honor others. It includes mastering the art of relating well with others, of communicating effectively, of being able to connect with others in meaningful ways. Here self-mastery is in great measure a matter of being able to navigate the bumpy minefield of human differences--differences that do matter--and to do so with aplomb, finesse, and dexterity.
Here self-mastery is about you actualizing yourself and rising into your highest potentials while also actualizing your skills as an adept and creative navigatrix of our current cultural landscape. You self-realized means you having mastered our cultural landscape AND your inner landscape. It means truly understanding your inner workings. It means truly knowing who you are. AND it also means you having mastered the art of truly GETTING other people, even those who are different from you in some key way.
Self-mastery means having discovered the tools and actions steps to live lovingly, gracefully, and harmoniously, even while immersed in a sea of diversity. A vast collective of your fellow human beings, all of whom are bringing to the table their own unique understandings, outlooks, backgrounds, values, opinions, and cultural lenses.
Self-mastery means you living with an enhanced understanding of the great variance among the people of our planet and the great variance even within our own cultures. It also means you--where necessary and appropriate having deconstructed some of the things you've been taught along the way. You loosening up on some of the presuppositions you are coming to the table with. Re-examining some of the truths you take to be true, but aren't necessarily true afterall.
Self-mastery means you unlearning and you un-becoming some of what you've learned on your unique life path. It also means you discovering how to transcend certain socio-cultural norms, expectations, and mindsets for the sake of living out your very own unique version of freedom.
For EMBRACE ALCHEMY is ultimately a journey to a powerful version of freedom that can only be found within you and bequeathed unto yourself.