Growing up in a small town on Vancouver Island, Canada, I wasn’t acutely aware of racism.

Despite going to an elementary school of approx 400 kids, and being 1 of 7 that weren’t white, it wasn’t an issue.

Unlike the other few kids whose parents came straight from India, mine were born in Canada, and were just as western as everyone else. So my brother and I hardly noticed being ‘different.’

Plus, we were both super outgoing, independent, leader types, so we didn’t really feel the disparity or get picked on.

My dad coached our teams, my mom packed us ‘western’ lunches for school, and it seemed like nobody really noticed that our skin wasn’t white.

My brother had more challenges with the white hockey player jocks (rednecks) when we got older, and I always believed that a white boy wouldn’t like a brown girl (media definitely contributed to that) but all in all, we fit in and flourished.

As for knowing and befriending black kids, I never had a chance. We didn’t have a black community in the town we lived, and unfortunately, didn’t have the opportunity.

Sadly, I went through high school and university without even meeting black people. 

I even remember my younger brother seeing the Aunt Jemima bottle on the table as a baby and saying, “look, it’s Michael Jordan’s mama.” That was our reference.

Along with my parents favourite artists, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie. It’s all they listened to, and my big brother was a huge basketball and reggae fan, so our view of black people was TALENT and entertainment.

Of course we also listened to rap, hip hop, watched the movies (all-time fave Boyz in the Hood) but this was outside of our lives, and wasn’t reality to us.

It wasn’t until I moved to NYC at age 26, that I began to see it. 

I noticed soul that I’d never seen before, depth that I’d never felt before, and energy, rhythm, charisma, judgement and attitude — that I’d never witnessed before.

Fast forward over a decade, and some of my closest, deepest, most authentic friendships are with black people — and I am HERE for this civil movement, supporting what’s right.

Showing up, with my past experiences, and commitment to do better ❤️.

That’s all we can do. Today, we start a new history.

Don’t judge your past limited experiences or feel guilt, shame or embarrassment.

Instead, be grateful. 

You are now evolving to see the world with more love. There’s a shift happening within you. And you’re creating space to move forward with inspired action.

You’ve noticed that the world you’re in, that you created, doesn’t reflect the truth of who you are.  Today you have the power to change that.

Thank this moment for allowing yourself to SEE more. 

Ask: “How am I being called to show up differently?”, “What is being revealed to show me the truth of who I am?” and “What is my new way of being in the world?”

From a space of gratitude, we can collectively manifest something great.

We are entering a new level of accountability. This is the key to cultivating more good in the world, and eliminating what’s not.

You currently have a choice to be part of change and your decision today is what matters.

Your voice matters. You are not defined by your past. It brought you to where you are NOW and this is what counts.

 The world is ready to hear YOU speak up and take inspired action for what you believe in. 

What’s ONE step you’re choosing to take with inspired action today?

Share below, I’d love to hear.

With love and support,

XO

Tonia


P.S. COMMENT BELOW, what’s ONE step you’re going to take with inspired action? 

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