Radical Listening for Queer Women
Radical Listening for Queer Women
For over eight years, I've been teaching yoga both for pay in New York, Los Angeles, and Portland; and for free at places like the LGBT Center in Los Angeles. Because businesses often cater to those with the greatest ability to pay, I've practiced for years in spaces that did not represent the queer population; and were not friendly to oppressed groups in general. It took me a long time to listen to my gut and finally make it to Portland where I felt brave enough to cater all of my classes towards my own community; and to believe, "You are not crazy for wanting your own safe space to practice and teach in."
I believe in pushing my own edge; I draw from yoga; meditation; 5 Rhythms practices; and anything that teaches me to be present in my body. Also, I believe in the importance of safe spaces; and having your own experience mirrored back to you. Right now in history, queer women need safe spaces; we need them to heal deeply so that we can rise up.
Radical Listening for Queer Women is a transparent, creative meditation series rooted in my own experiences teaching yoga and meditation and studying embodied practices like 5 Rhythms Dance.
It is rooted in my experience teaching Dyke Yoga this year; and a small Radical Listening series over the summer.
Radical Listenining will be weekly meditation classes for Queer Women and Genderqueer People that are rooted in Buddhist meditation practices; and witnessing practices that provide safe spaces for people to practice generous listening, and to practice really being heard as well. Every two months, the theme will change. For February and March, Radical Listening will look at Forgiveness and Anger; and we will go from there.
Meeting my goal assures that I have the money to rent a space where I am free to follow my own creative judgement; and meeting my goal means that I will get paid a $60 wage for every 1.5 hour class.
I would like to be spending my time devoted to my own Radical Listening practices rather than worrying about how many people will be able to show up.
Your money allows me to put my time towards creating creative, embodied meditation practices that will benefit queer women rather than worrying about gathering a huge 'following'. As we all know with this recent election, having a huge following does not always mean you are the right duck to chase.
I am crowdfunding right now because I really believe in what I’m doing; I believe my community needs it; I believe we can’t focus only on the positive aspects of Gratitude and Joy without looking at the Dark Knight of the Soul. We heal by acknowledging the pain we’ve come from; how we’ve been disenfranchised and left out and made to feel less valuable; and by coming together amongst those who understand firsthand what we’ve experienced. And doing spiritual work that is based on the premise that everyone needs to be listened to; and that those of us who are queer need safe spaces to see our real truth, our real angers, and to move through them.
I also have a couple other principles that I operate by:
1. Mirrorring matters.
2. Transparency is essential.
3. People who support you should know specifically where the money is going and why.
Supporting this project means the world to me. I am raising money to teach a regular class for most of 2016 because people need time to do this healing work; and we need reliable spaces to go to. My final deadline is Friday, January 6th to raise the money for this meditation series. If we make more than the goal, I am currently brainstorming where I will send the money. For each of you who is generous enough to say "Yes" to small business and safe, creative, smart spaces, thank you from the tips of my toes through the crown of my head. For each of you who chose to donate, I will send you a simple, transparent breakdown of how the money will be used to support Radical Listening and to support my own business.
Here is how the money will be spent. If it's confusing and you want clarification, please do email me.
How the money breaks down:
$ 840.00 goes to renting SomaSpace in NE, Portland for 21 hours in 2017. I will be renting SomaSpace for 12 hours total from January – June 2017, and then will rent Soma Space for 9 hours from September – November 2017. Each hour at SomaSpace costs $40.
$ 1,080.00 to pay me to teach eighteen meditation classes in 2017 to Queer Women and Gender nonconforming folk. I’m paying myself $60 per class for both the 90 minute classes and the shorter 60 minute classes.
$165 to pay the 5% GoFundMe fee and the WePay fee of 2.9% combined.
So the total I am now raising is…. $2,085.00 all going towards Radical Listening for Queer Women.
If you want to understand the GoFundMe fee (5%) and the WePay fee breakdowns (2.9%), please see the equation below. 0.079 represents GoFundMe and WePay combined. $1,920 is the cost of renting space; and paying me.
X = total I need for Radical Listening
X – 0.079X = $1,920
92.1X = $1,920
X = 2,085.00
Namaste y'all, Renee
I need also to rent space for September - December. Raising another 600 would cover space rentals for next fall. What is amazing then is I can take all the money I make and put it to renting 2018 space....... All good. Would love if you passed this on to someone who might want to help queer ladies set up healing spaces.
These classes will be open to Queer Women and Genderqueer People. Healing happens when we are mirrored. And seriously every single dollar and repost is appreciated, Renee