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MeditationBeing an Ally

Being an Ally

Practicing allyship can bring up emotions of compassion, anger at injustice, or even the discomfort of confronting your own privilege. Take a moment to process your feelings so you can show up fully ready to support others.

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Stress and obstacles are a natural part of life. We all face different obstacles but if we show up for one another, it can be both supportive and transformative. And when I say showing up for each other, in other words, I mean being an ally. Allyship is defined as an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and revaluation in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group and recognizing that everyone is in a position of privilege in some way or the other. Being in allyship promotes community development and personal growth. And there's almost always an opportunity for everyone to practice being an ally. Today, in every country of the world, there is some form of oppression, discrimination, and injustice that's present, from gender and human rights violations, to political violence and oppression. And then there's racism, ageism, and every other type of ism in existence. And also appreciating the intersectionality of privilege across these platforms. As a cisgendered black male with two daughters and a wife, I'm particularly sensitive to oppressive behavior that's directed towards women. When I bear witness to laws that directly take away the rights of women, it motivates and inspires me to step into a role of allyship to the best of my ability. As an effective and intentional ally, it's our responsibility to first bring intentional awareness to these injustices, then accepting that these injustices are indeed present, and then purposefully responding in appropriate ways for change and recognizing that allyship work is not always easy, it will often push us out of our comfortable spaces of privilege, and honestly will also feel exhausting. Because of this, self-care and compassion are of the utmost importance. And that's where our consistent practice comes into play. So with this in mind, let's now gently and intentionally drop into practice. Remembering that sometimes with practice, feelings of overwhelm can come about. And this is perfectly okay. If at any time you feel overwhelmed or just too uncomfortable, allowing yourself to maybe pause for a bit, take some deep breaths, or perhaps even stepping out of the practice for a bit, knowing that you can always come right back and join in. And so adopting a comfortable and dignified posture of awareness. If sitting in a chair, allowing the feet to be flat on the floor, or if on a cushion, the legs comfortably crossed. Letting the hands rest on your knees or in your lap, whatever is most comfortable for you. Noticing your sit bones grounding on the surface beneath you, your back nice and straight, but not too tight and not too loose. Perhaps shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, rounding them back, and then gently dropping them, and allowing your eyes to establish a soft open gaze, looking slightly downward but not really focusing on anything in particular. Or perhaps it may be more comfortable for you to close your...


Duration14 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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