A few days ago, one of my mentors asked me why I was sitting at the wrong tables.
Initially, I didn’t understand his comment. But I soon realized that his question was metaphorical and invited me to examine if I was spending time in life-expanding, soul-nourishing places.
So, being the thinker I am, I considered where I was spending my time to evaluate if I was metaphorically sitting at tables that were undermining or enriching my life.
I asked myself…
- Was I sitting at tables of complacency that kept me stuck in old stories, outdated paradigms, and damaging stereotypes?
- Was I sitting at tables where I could be easily un-seated if I disagreed with the group?
- Was I sitting at tables where my intellectual property was stolen or altered without consent?
- Was I sitting at tables that served stale religious dogma that demonized people with unique identities, realities, and expressions?
- Was I sitting at tables where people showed they were aware and cared about how society treated me based on my social identity and social location?
- Was I sitting at tables where people congratulated themselves for thinking about justice but failed to do anything for the sake of justice?
- Was I sitting at tables where diversity was celebrated, equity was prioritized, and inclusion was embedded in the organization’s mission?
- Was I sitting at tables where people had the maturity to disagree without disconnecting?
- As the late Dr. Katie Cannon said, I was sitting at tables that required “numbing and dumbing?”
I am not sure why those questions came so quickly to my mind, but since they did, I knew I had to look deeper into my soul for answers. I had to tap into my intuition to access my body’s wisdom to see beyond public personas, hidden agendas, and unspoken intentions.
Asking myself some tough questions, knowing that the answers could change relationships and alter my career trajectory, was difficult. But whatever the cost, I had to tell myself the truth, even if the truth was uncomfortable and inconvenient. And so, I journaled, prayed, and relaxed my mind to hear the small sweet whispers of wisdom from my Creator.
In less than 3 days, I received some sobering answers. Most of the responses were not shocking because my spirit never felt settled and embraced at a few tables where I frequently dined and visited. So, bolstered by integrity and courage, I moved and took my “plate” full of my talents, gifts, and love to new tables where I felt seen and supported.
What I know for sure: I want to sit at tables where I feel invited, appreciated, and respected. I want to metaphorically sit at tables where love, acceptance, kindness, and soul-enriching affirmation are lovingly served. I want to dine in places where everyone’s humanity is honored and their decisions respected. I want to be surrounded by various views, cultures, identities, expressions, languages, faith traditions, and ages. I want to dine where curiosity is abundant, clarity is pursued, and courage is celebrated. I want to sit where my soul feels safe.
What about you? Where do you want to sit? What types of tables are worthy of you? What types of tables will stretch your wings and help you thrive? What types of tables feel like life-giving elixirs and not death-dealing abuses? What types of tables make you feel safe, seen, and supported?
This week, evaluate the tables you are sitting at and determine what’s being served. Determine if those tables nourish and sustain you. Ask yourself if those tables keep you mentally well, wise, and whole.
And if those tables don’t provide the spiritual and emotional nourishment you need, find the courage to leave so you can dine at new places that warm your heart, expand your mind, and revive your soul.
Journal Prompt: Where am I being fed the spiritual, emotional, and relational food that I need to sustain me in this season of my life?
Have a great week, and remember to only sit at tables that nourish your soul.
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