Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) without Mindfulness (M) & Wellness (W) does not give practitioners the tools & skills to confront implicit bias or combat burnout.
In our journey to creating a more equitable world, we must maintain our own wellbeing while facing systematic oppression, confront biases that we notice within ourselves, and ultimately, seek liberation for all people. As everyone who does this work knows, it is tiring! It is not easy confronting our own behaviors that may be causing others harm. It is not easy supporting others in their journey towards a better life. It is not easy to always be “on” so that we can be a source of well-being for others. We must “fill our cup” and “tend to our own garden.” We must learn to look within and observe our mind so that we can learn how to work with it and not against it. Through an intentional wellness practice, we can increase our own wellbeing to support our DEI work. Through an intentional mindfulness practice, we can learn to be gentle and honest with ourselves as we work to unlearn unhealthy patterns and heal trauma.
Mindfulness without DEI and Wellness can be used to make people more efficient at the expense of wellbeing and inclusivity.
As mindfulness made its way to Western cultures, the practice was often stripped of the ethical component that is inherent in traditional mindfulness teachings. Today, many utilize the attention-training component of mindfulness to help employees become more efficient “cogs” in the machine of organizations. Mindfulness can certainly boost productivity in businesses, but mindfulness teachings must give participants the space to connect with themselves, regulate their nervous system, and experience a lasting sense of well-being.
Beyond reintegrating wellness, mindfulness teachers need a DEI-sensitive lens when teaching so that all people can benefit from these practices. Mindfulness is such a beneficial practice and it is essential to make these teachings inclusive to all instead of exclusive to a specific group of privileged individuals. Exclusive mindfulness teaching fundamentally defeats the purpose since mindfulness is a practice designed for cultivating peace and liberation from suffering for all.
Wellness without Mindfulness and DEI neglects a crucial component of mind-training and can be very white-centric.
Our individual wellness, the wellness of our communities, and the wellness of our businesses depend on a complex multitude of factors. For individual wellness alone, there are countless potential factors affecting each person’s well-being including the amount of sleep one gets, societal oppression that one may deal with, the overall quality of one’s food choices/access to food, and the state of one’s nervous system in each moment, just to name a few. To be able to effectively see what is going on clearly, it is essential to work with our minds in a healthy way through practices like mindfulness. Mindfulness can help us to have a non-judgmental perspective when noticing our inner dialogue, so that we can be more in tune and at peace with what is occurring within. For example, we can choose not to identify with negative thought patterns and realize the fullness of who we are. With this crucial component of mind-training, we can water the right seeds and take a better account of what we’re feeling so that we can make healthy choices in our life.
Further, In many communities and companies, the wellness programming that we see can be very white-centered. At Source Wellness, we know that participants feel more comfortable when facilitators look like them, and this is why cultivating relationships and sharing our platform with a diverse group of DEI, wellness, and mindfulness practitioners is at the forefront of our business model.
Source Wellness is excited to continue expanding upon the idea of DEIMW by hosting conversations with leaders in this field. We are launching our new webinar and podcast series The Intersection: DEIMW on Wednesday, May 25th at 3:30 - 4:30 PM EST.