My brain is racist

Lately, I’ve been committing to a daily mindfulness practice – not just meditating, but doing my best to really notice my thoughts as they arise in everyday life. This helps me more consciously choose the thoughts that I actually believe and act on.

As I watch my thoughts more closely, I’ve been shocked and horrified at how racist, misogynistic, and otherwise prejudiced I – or, my thoughts – can be. Just walking through the grocery store, demeaning thoughts pop into my head without invitation, totally out of my control.



I have a long road ahead de-programming the many unconscious beliefs our society teaches us. I will probably never fully detach myself from them, but I can become more capable of seeing them and choosing a different path.


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Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA with his partner Sara, child Owen, and cat Winnie.

    2 Comments

  1. Michael Baker
    June 10, 2019
    Reply

    Peter,
    Hi, yes I choose to take conscious care in the choice of words I use to describe my thoughts and feelings. In my lifetime (Im 85). everything has speeded up exponentially. Its not simply explained as “Im slowing down”.
    The vocabulary we use is like a paint box. We can just use red, green and blue or we can colour our words with careful subtle nuances
    Consider is an example, it comes from ancient Greek meaning “to study with the stars”

  2. David Gallant
    June 13, 2019
    Reply

    Hey Peter, I like this paragraph. To paraphrase Pema Chodron, To the degree that we are able to calm the waters of our mind, we begin to see all of the carnage at the bottom!

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