Tami: Hi, Corey. I’m so happy you’re here.
Corri: Oh, I’m so happy to be here.
Tami: Okay. So I asked this question and sometimes people feel like it’s an existential question, but you take it as you will. Who are you and what do you do in the world?
Corri: Who am I and what do I do in the world? All right my name is Corri and by trade and education.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. I work in education. So my title in education is a mental health therapist. And in that capacity, I work primarily with the students whose mental health. Social emotional wellbeing behavior has somehow gotten in the way of their learning. And I work to support them.
To get back into general education as much as possible. What that often looks like is working with a very disproportionate number of black and Brown boys, who have been labeled as behavior problems, emotionally disturbed based on. They’re special ed designation. and so a lot of work is with the students, but also with staff in figuring out how to create more compatibility and understand the student that all behavior, excuse me, is communication.
And, and also working with families with parents. And, so that is by day. By trade. I also have been teaching yoga in the Sacramento community for the past, probably 12 years. I have recently taken a break. I’ve always maintained at least one class per week. and I have consistently taught the same class at the same time, different studios for about 12 years now, but I’ve recently taken a break.
I am not at this point in time, based on the pandemic, comfortable being in studio, they’ve opened up with, social distancing guidelines. I’m just not there. So I’m currently taking a break, but my hope was to create more space, to do the other part of who I am and what I do. .
So I’m also a mom to two kids and a wife to my husband. And, yeah,
Tami: I’m also a yoga teacher in the Sacramento area and I don’t offer public classes anymore. and it was pre pandemic is because I teach restorative yoga.
And if, tell me that isn’t a hard sell in regular times. but I do come at life from that vantage point as well. But how I, how
Corri: our worlds collided
Tami: is when you gave a talk at creative mornings. That made me think, Oh my God, I need to have this woman in my life. Can you tell my listeners about the talk that you gave at creative mornings?
Because it was so impactful for everyone in the room. I know this because I talked to many people in the room and I was like, okay, that was what we needed to hear. So what was the title of your talk and what was the information that you were able to. Give to the audience
Tami: really helped people understand where we are.
Corri: Oh, I will try to remember. It has been, I think, over a year now. The so creative mornings, typically each month globally, they offer a, specific topic that the speaker speaks to. And so the topic of the month that I presented was on symmetry. And so I focused on. Racial symmetry or the lack of racial symmetry that we experienced a lack of racial equity that we experienced in our country.
And the focus was specifically on ways in which white people, the dominant culture in the United States can that we can be more thoughtful about using our privilege in a responsible way. which includes just even recognizing that we have it includes listening and learning really trusting the expressed and voiced, lived experience of people of color.
it, I talked a bit about tone policing and our tendency is white people to. Have this idea that if only, this black person would present this information a little less intense or aggressive or measured, we’d be more inclined to listen. talked a little bit about, the ways in which.
In hindsight, we look at someone like Martin Luther King Jr. And we hold him in a very high regard. We eat him as the voice of reason in black leadership in history. We have, we hold him in deep reverence and ironically at the time, during the 1960s, Gallup. Hold many whites, presumably liberal or self identifying liberal Americans at the time.
Many of which said that they agreed with Martin Luther King Jr’s message, but they also disagreed with the ways in which he went about delivering that message. And so I just invited, folks. To think about ways in which we have that sort of experience. Now it’s an L there’s an element of tone policing in that.
So keep in mind, this was about maybe a year and a half ago. And just the ways in which we might say okay, black lives matter. I agree with that message, but I don’t agree with the way in which the black lives matter movement is going about. Expressing that voice. And so the way that we can be okay with the idea of a message, but still have strong opinions, just basically the essence of that is that white people have been criticizing, judging critiquing ways in which black people do their work.
too. Create more justice inequity, and the ways that white people judge that. And then also, the last thing that comes to mind that is the importance of action. It’s not enough to have compassion that we have to put that compassion in action to create change. So
Tami: yes. And boy it’s like you had a crystal
Tami: You’re like, your guys are going to need this later. So I’m going to link to that. That talk should be on the creative mornings website.
Corri: So I will link
Tami: to that in the show notes. So my, so this again, I’m like, but how did you get there? How did you, was it because of the work that you do as a therapist with predominantly black and Brown boys in the mental health, special education department?
Corri: Like, how did you. Get
Tami: to where you are now as someone who takes action and is an advocate for others taking action in the anti-racism space.
Corri: So I think I was raised by my mom is a justice and truth seeker. That’s just in her nature. She works in homeless, education. And so I think that it just was always modeled for me.
And, I think it’s in my nature to be a fairness monitor. Like I am all Eno is the only girl I grew up in a family of four brothers. I’m the only girl. And I think it was always like, I was just making sure that everything was fair. Everything was equitable. Everything was, So I think that is also part of it.
for me, I absolutely believe that my fueled that desire, because I have watched whether it was working, I worked for many years for about 10 years in outpatient, mental health, particularly with, funded by Sacramento County. So predominantly Medi-Cal. clients and families. And I think I saw just how inequitable, these clients and families and students were being treated.
And so I would go to what I found was that I would go to work and I would put on. This hat that was really this, myself as a mental health therapist. So my clinician hat, but also my racial social justice hat. And I would fight that fight there. But then I felt I hung up that hat, there.
And then I came home and I would be in my neighborhood and I put that on in my neighborhood and then I’d take it off. And so I felt The work for me was a bit disjointed. And to a degree, I was doing it a bit as a yoga teacher, but I felt like I was not consistently wearing that hat. And, this interesting thing happened in the yoga community a handful of years ago.
I’m sure you remember it. there was a yoga studio that was called out before cultural appropriation of a hip hop yoga class. And, it was, there was a white woman who would be teaching this yoga class. That was a hip hop yoga. There was a lot of appropriative language that was used. And so that person was called in initially, Hey, here’s some suggestions.
Kind of went away and then several months later it came back without any changes to that. And so it really blew up and it brought these worlds together. I had been interested in black lives matter a couple of years prior to that I’d done a benefit class in yoga, but it went away. Those worlds were separate again.
And so it just brought all of these things. I gather my interest in social racial justice, my work as a yoga teacher, and really having compassion for the woman who did that and understanding, what it means to be white and trying to do and be better, but also the, that. Sometimes we need to be held accountable.
And so watching those two things come together was really this pivotal shift for me, where I just thought I cannot keep taking these hats off and on. my work right now is to just wear this hat because this is inherently who I am or who I want to be. And it was not long after that I made the choice to leave the yoga studio where I taught for 10 years.
Because they were not upholding, the values, the anti-racist values that I was committed to. And that was a hard decision, but it really was the shifting point for me that like, I don’t want to do this work. I want to be in, I want to live this work, if that makes sense. So
Tami: 100% makes sense to me. One of the things that.
has resonated with me my entire life is you’re going to lose friends and acquaintances and relationships when you stand up for what’s. Because a lot of times we’re met with people who are like, you know what, I’m not quite there yet. And I’m like, okay, but I’m willing to work with you up to a point of I don’t want to take the hat off either.
Corri: That’s right. I
Tami: don’t want to take the hat. And I’m guilty of, I had, I started my career in politics and then I was an advocate teacher and people are like, what’s an advocate teacher. I’m like I spent my kid, I spent my days teaching kids. How to read literally. Cause I taught third grade. It was like, this is we got to get on the reading bus, everyone before everybody gets in trouble.
You me, everyone else. I taught them how to write. I taught them how to be in community with each other. I taught them how to advocate for themselves. Like we had a problem with a yard supervisor. One time he was
Corri: ineffective as the nicest way
Tami: I could put it in my class came to me and they’re like, can you, this do recess duty?
And I was like, no. I as much as an invitation to stand in the blazing sun and blacktop in the afternoon, sounds thanks for the invitation. No, thanks. I was like, what is the problem? And they explain the problem. And I said, this is a great time for us to use our voices collectively to bring the issues to the principal in a way that she will hear it.
And we need to have a conversation and I will be there to open those doors and I will be there to support you using your. Words and to work together. Like we can make change together
and people are like, Oh yeah. I was like, yeah. Yeah. that’s what I, that’s what I’m trying to get kids to understand that. Even when you’re little, you have a voice,
Corri: even when you’re little, you can create change.
Tami: Even when you’re little, you can stand with your partners and make even more change. That’s what being an advocate teacher meant to me.
and then working the other angle of
Tami: curriculum doesn’t address my students. I will teach that curriculum because I’m required, but I will also bring in material that is relevant to their lives so that they see themselves represented in their classroom.
Corri: That’s the work. Yeah. But
Tami: I felt as a teacher, that was the least I could do.
but I did have a couple of years where I was like, I’m going to put the bucket back on my head. I’m going to go to yoga.
Corri: I’m going to
Tami: learn some stuff. That stuff that was really
Corri: important to
Tami: making me actually a better advocate in the long run.
Corri: But I
Tami: did put my bucket back on for awhile.
Corri: Activism narcolepsy.
Tami: I’m like, I’m come back and it is not, it’s not that it’s been forgotten. I just needed a bit of a break and here we go. Okay. So do you work directly with
Corri: tell us how you work with
Tami: people. I know you’re taking a break from yoga. I know that you working in your school district, but do you work privately also with
I do not. So I’m private practice as a clinician has just never really been something I’ve been drawn to. I think, because by the time I’m done with my job, it’s nice to leave that here and to, be able to do things like teach yoga and over here. But something that I have been engaged in over the last few years is some.
Various types of yoga, excuse me, not yoga, social racial justice training. I have done, a training called let’s talk about race and the idea I’ve done it with, you white women who are my ally accomplice, activists, partners, accountability partners. And the idea is basically just activism one Oh one, really just front loading and introducing basic key terms and, just getting people prepared.
What I’m very clear about is that my role as a white person, Is not to lead the work, but to do the work. And so I am very, I try to be as conscientious as possible in the development of that material. all of it is created in partnership with. People of color, particularly women of color who are compensated for their work and their labor.
but that, my hope is in facilitating those types of trainings. let’s talk about race, to prepare people with a set of skills and etiquette. It’s almost provide some table manners or just some etiquette as they transition into engaging in a anti-racist work that is led by people of color, by the people who should be leading anti-racist work, which are folks of color.
So particularly black women, my mailman’s here.
Tami: Awesome. I’m glad you have a mailman announcer. That’s really nice.
Corri: So do you,
Tami: so have you been leading those trainings? In the summer as well, or is that work? That’s been put on hold with the pandemic.
Corri: So it has been put on hold. I have taught yoga at rod yoga center, which my dear friends Ramelle Antwan and Michelle Sweezey, they own.
And, I’m not teaching their studio is not currently open. They’re all virtual right now, but I’m hoping to be, Getting involved in some of that, through rod yoga center soon. And, the, where I came up, the point that I came to is I realized that I was doing these trainings with a few women, friends of mine, and there were three hour trainings or three hour sessions.
And it just was really short changing the conversation that we were having. And I felt like it was trying to cram so much information into one. I think it was two and a half hour block of time. And it just felt like it was not enough. And so I needed more time and I wanted to make sure that I was doing this work with fidelity.
and so I rolled back a little bit, but I’ve also been going through the Layla sods, me and white supremacy. Yeah.
Tami: Yeah. I have the book.
Corri: Yes. So a few years ago when she rolled it out, I followed her on Instagram for a while. I did it on my own and I was like, this is fantastic. And then a couple of years ago, I did it in group with about six women and it was just really remarkable to go through it in a group.
Just to, there was something about you King those things out loud that I had often, those racist beliefs that I, kept hidden from even my inner most self. So it was one thing to put them on paper and journal them on my own and then just sit in a group and to be able to speak those things into the ether and to be validated, and so Layla saw it has a very particular. Sideline for doing the work in group. And so I did that a couple of years ago, but now I’m currently, moving through with two groups, separate groups of women. one of them, my very closest friends from childhood and the other group, some other very dear friends.
And so it’s just, it’s been really remarkable and it’s something that I’d like to. Continually be engaged in, moving through with groups of people as time goes on. Cause it’s just such powerful work.
Tami: And right now I know every one of my listeners is raising their hand like, Oh yeah, pick me. I need help with that.
Tami: So we will all of your contact information in the show notes and ways that people can reach out. And again, if you have recommendations. And you don’t have to come up with them now, but if you wanted to put them in the show notes, I’ll contact you after we record that, that can point people in the right direction.
So one of the, one of the, aha moments I had in starting the work with me in white supremacy was I was like, wow, this isn’t like a one a work. This is more like one-on-one work. I feel like there needs to be a precursor before that. Yeah. So I recommend people listen to, so you want to talk about race
Corri: as a way to
Tami: get that conversation going even with yourself.
Corri: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah,
Tami: because that is so deep and unpacking the invisible knapsack. I know that’s a really old resource, but it’s an eye-opener resource still very relevant. Yeah.
Corri: And I would say I’ve been through, the me and white supremacy workbook whistle. I’m on my fourth time now. And there are just layers that like I w what I’m clear about is I will never go through that workbook and be like, Oh, I’ve got it figured out now, this is the time when I get my certificate of arrival, that you just drop into
Tami: there’s no, there.
Corri: There, no, there
Tami: exactly. There’s no final destination. It’s like when people ask me about self care, I’m like, it’s what you do between now and when you’re dead, so there’s no reason to get upset if you fall off for a little bit, because you’re going to come back because you’re still alive and new situations bring up
Tami: ways that you’re like, Oh, I totally dropped the ball on that.
I’m currently reading, how to be non-racist no anti-racist and that book has been revolutionary in the it’s like in every moment, in every thought in every action or inaction, you vacillate between
Tami: racist and being anti-racist being racism. And it’s a continuum that goes on and on forever and ever, and to not.
Die from, Oh my God. Everyone thinks I’m racist. It’s can we just all accept that we are and move on from that
Corri: we are. I love, Ebro Mex Candy’s description. that, explanation for me from him was really profound in my anti-racist journey. When he talked about the fact that one of the worst possible things that could have happened for racism is making that term racist a pejorative.
And so we see it as Oh my God, it’s the equivalent of the worst possible insult and shameful thing that we could ever be called. And so we avoid it like the plague and the moment that we are, someone inferences, or causes that like, We immediately it’s as close to there’s a really great recent episode.
I don’t know if you’ve listened to it. Bernay Brown’s on shame and accountability and anti-racist work. And she says, like the actual visceral response to shame is actual pain. Is it actually feeling pain?
That if I’m racist, that I’m a bad person is where we went wrong, because we can be nice and we can be kind and we can be lovely and we can be an activist and we can be caring and still do racist things.
And so we have to take that judgment out of it. And just think of it like Ebro Mexican. He says, it’s just this main badge we take on and we take off, we’re either engaging in anti-racist behavior or racist behavior without judgment, just creating awareness so that hopefully more of our day is spent with the sticker on and.
Tami: I love that too, because it was interesting cause I just actually read that chapter. Cause I’m doing this book in a book club and one of the interesting things was it was like, There was a conservative talking point. It wasn’t, it said didn’t come out of thin air. this was a direct
Corri: PR moment
Tami: of Oh, we know how we can make this happen.
We’ll make all those people who want to do good in the world, feel bad about themselves. So they stopped doing that work because they’re over here tending to their broken heart because they, but I’m a nice person. You can, it’s you can be a nice person and
Corri: still. That’s right. And this is where that they’re not
Tami: mutually sitting.
And this is where I feel like a self-compassion practice comes into play heavily, which is speak highly of yourself, common humanity. We’re all making these mistakes and we’re all offering each other grace and forgiveness, including ourselves. And we pay attention to when we do it so that we can maybe have more actions we’re
Corri: proud of.
Corri: we have to recoil from. I think, the most, because when we go into that shame moment, when we go there, it really does trigger that fight or flight response. And so I, I, this is a very dumbed down version or model of the brain, our limbic system, that emotional center of our brain that’s right.
it just goes into full on, Fight flight freeze, cold, fond, whatever your responses. And so we do things like double down and become defensive or we recoil or whatever it might be. And one of the most important things that we can do in that moment is to just name it like, Oh, like actually identify it in our physical bodies and say Oh, I feel gray and heavy in my chest.
When that shame comes and sometimes the shame is not when we’re called out or in, by a person of color, the shame might come from saying the wrong thing or quoting the wrong thing. And another white person calls us in, to keep us accountable. I can’t tell you how many white women think that I am just.
Sensitive and, judgy and harsh because I have called out problematic behavior. And, and I also love what Renee Brown says about, being called out in anti-racism work and feeling shame. Is not the same thing as being shame. So we, as the receiver of it may feel so shameful for what we did.
And we may feel like the person calling us in or out is shaming us, but that’s not necessarily the truth. Having to be accountable and being called out to be accountable for doing a racist thing may feel like shame, but it doesn’t mean that the person doing it is shaming. I get it.
Tami: I feel like it’s a gift.
it’s like when you step in dog poop and you walk around and you’re like, why does that smell like dog poop? And somebody is it’s you? And you’re like, Oh, now I can wash my shoe off and stop offending everyone around me. Thank you for letting knows me because I had no idea.
Corri: And yes, I was going to say the reality is it is a gift.
For me often in hindsight, in the moment it’s so prickly, I call it the steam. It’s so prickly and hot and my ears get flushed and my heart drops and I’m sick. And I’m that person who teaches Antifa or. Works through anti-racism work with other people and we’ll tell people all the time, grace, upon grace, we’re gonna mess this up.
We’ve never done this before. And my own internal dialogue is everyone except you for you. Can’t fuck this up. Real, I still don’t want to mess up and I still have such a hit in myself. like when I do, but those moments every single time are gifts, just as you’re saying. It’s
Tami: so thank you for bringing up my girlfriend, Renee, because I had to talk about her and every episode and it’s, so it was so organic for you just to bring her up.
But my favorite description that she talks about her, just her describing the visceral feeling of shame is
Corri: the wash. It
Tami: feels like a hot flash people where it starts at the top. And then I can feel like
Tami: lava just dripping down. And I’m like, I’m experiencing shame. It’s funny you guys bef at the beginning, and this is how easily it’s triggered in.
Corri: I would
Tami: say lots of people is I was having technical difficulties and Corey and I had to connect and reconnect it. This is like the first in-depth conversation we’re having. And I had that like flop, sweat, shame, feeling of Oh, I’m messing it up with my new friend. And it can be as simple as that.
And then what I did was in that thought, I thought, Oh, you’re feeling shame. And I’m pretty sure that Corey understands how technology works and that she’s not thinking I’m a terrible host. And when we connected, I apologize. I sent her a note said, thank you for your patience. And of course she gave me the grace to be like, that was hard and now we’ve moved beyond it.
Corri: We can, they register to me as anything. Because I just, every time I get on, I have a technical even, but isn’t it funny how shame works. And, but
Tami: that’s, I love when sh when girlfriend, Renee says it’s that wash and it doesn’t happen because her wash and my Mo wash matches. I’m like, Oh my God.
Yes. But it’s in those moments when you’re having any sort of conflict. Where do you experience it in your body?
Corri: Because those can be the
Tami: clues here
Tami: remind you that also we don’t die from those moments
Corri: and other people are more courageous.
Tami: Yeah. And other people can offer us grace in those moments.
And when they don’t offer us grace, we can offer it to ourselves.
Corri: Okay. So how does the thing that I want to share is he says, that shame is the tool of the oppressor. The language of shame is the language of white supremacy culture. And that she’s convinced that, no amount of shame. We’ll whip anyone into anti-racist sheep.
And that goes for, because there is a lot of I’ve noticed it. The activism, allyship community. There can be a lot of judgment and shame around the ways in which people are doing things. And I probably have been in that at some point, I’ve been all of the things I’ve been performative in my allyship.
I have been judgmental in my allyship. But for the grace of God. So I’m of the mindset that, are there a lot of people right now that are on the woke train because it’s like, cool. Yes, but I want to be here to welcome people with open arms because we need people. Are people going to mess it up?
Are they going to do, yeah, we’ve never done this before, but I am not, I don’t become a better ally by making somebody else bad or wrong, in their allyship. Now accountability is a different thing. If there is an opportunity and there’s someone I’m in partnership or relationship or connection with where I see something that does not look or feel, good allyship, I’m going to hold people accountable in the same way that I hope.
It would hold me accountable, but I’m just not of the belief or the mindset that it does any good to, be judgy and harsh and call people out. that’s just not my personal style. Because we need to create. We need to task this web far and wide, and we need people to stay, for this to be a pivotal shift.
We need people to stick around. Even if this is currently a trend, that people want to jump on the woke train. We need people to stick around. ?
Tami: I think that there’s. So I’m having conversations
Corri: with way more people. Like I’ve
Tami: been having these conversations for 35 years with my people. That’s why I’m only invited to certain people’s dinner parties. Cause I’m going to, I’m going to say something when you say something racist.
And then you’re going to be uncomfortable in your own house. So I don’t get invited to a lot of dinner parties, but that being said, I’m having these. And I’m like, Whoa, I’m having these conversations with all these nice white ladies that have never had these conversations before. And I’m super duper glad for it.
And I think if I could use my absolutely non-scientific. This is just what I think this is my opinion. Hello? Opinion alert. I feel like the pandemic is making people see
Tami: they’re not off at soccer practice, so they are seeing things. People are engaging in online in ways that they’ve never engaged in.
They are seeing things in ways that they’ve never seen. And everybody’s feeling the effects of a collective traumatic experience. worldwide at the same time where all of these things are coming together and people like I, people can’t look away. There’s nowhere to there’s no soccer practice to run to there’s no, over-scheduling, there’s all of these things coming together
Corri: and it’s wow.
Tami: we’re all going to get yelled at. By someone and we’re all in another, let’s talk about Brittany Marks more.
Corri: The story
Tami: I’m telling myself, one of my favorite sentence starters is that people are always doing their best with what they have in the moment. And when we know better, we do better.
Thank you, Maya. Angela. So how does self care affect your work? Corey?
Corri: I have had. Through anti-racism work. I’ve had a real, shift around how I define self care. And I’ve been really grateful for black women. Who’ve been generous enough to share with me a little bit about what self-care means to them for a long time. I was really. I’m going to use the word programmed in the yoga and wellness community to view self-care as that really indulgent expensive, lavish, stodge and the pedicure and, my, 10 day, the Pasana retreat and my silent meditation, and going up to the mountains on a hike.
And, I think that can be very much a part of the wellness industrial complex. And so for a long time, I was of that mindset that if I was not doing those things, I was not practicing self care. And I’ll never forget. I hosted a couple of times now I’ve hosted dinners at my house that are, the focus is on intersectional feminism.
So very diverse group of women. I think. Maybe between 40 and 45 women, I’ve hosted it twice now. And one of the times there was a black woman that talked about, we talked as a group about self-care and kind of smashing that, like. Unattainable definition that society tells us like, this is what self-care is.
And so one of the women, a black woman who had come to the dinner shared that self care for her, oftentimes looks like walking down the sidewalk. And typically when a white person would be coming her direction, that it would be in her nature to move off to the side. And which is a very white thing to do, not to say I own this space, but to be completely oblivious and not make space, that’s a sweeping generalization, but I have found it to be true for myself.
And so she said, self care for me looks like being unapologetic about. Not moving when I’m walking down that sidewalk. And so that was super profound for me. It was like, wow, I need to really think about ways that self care can look like having a firm boundary and being unapologetic about that.
It can look like making a choice that is the hard choice, but also the right one. It can look like for me, saying no, and period, the end without a, and let me explain to you why, so that I feel better and you feel better and we can con no, So that has really been a gift for me in terms of defining self care and looking for it in new ways.
And then I see that actually, I’m able to, I have so many more opportunities to engage in self care than I ever did before. When I had this, like I need to, go out and get my stuff. Hot stone massage, and I need to get on a hike and you know that there are actually a lot of really beautiful opportunities for me to engage in self care every single day model, but profound.
Tami: couple of years ago, somebody else, that was a weird noise. Somebody read an article about self care, being the ability to create a life that you don’t need to escape from. And it was unsexy stuff like setting the foundation for your life of being like I’m going to spend a long, however long it takes learning how to sleep so that I’m rested.
Tami: resting when I’m tired
Tami: saying no to like my kid playing, saying no to my kid doing traveling soccer, because that’s crazy talk
Corri: like w like
Tami: you can, here’s a soccer ball, here’s a field. We don’t have to have a hotel or a competition or a Jersey or any of it.
Corri: and self care being.
Tami: I, the way I look at it is it’s more defining what happens internally than what you do externally.
And it’s, again, it’s setting boundaries, taking care of those foundational needs, including your money, including your physical space. but I teach a class called deferred maintenance. For people who put self care off and we do that unsexy stuff. I’m like, let’s talk about sleep for a week. Let’s talk about, eating fruits and vegetables and where those come from and what are you going to do with them?
and all those things that are basic foundational things that people feel like are
Corri: optional, but they’re really not. Or that,
Tami: because I want self-care to sustain the life.
Corri: That you need in order to create the
Tami: kind of world that you want to
Corri: see, because you can’t have a bunch of
Tami: burnt out people. I was going to say you can’t have a bunch of burnout.
People doing activism work, you can, but they’re burnt out and they’re tired. And if we all like created that foundation,
Corri: we can all
Tami: help create the world that we want. Okay. So what did you learn about self care growing up? You’ve mentioned that your mom was an activist and works in homeless ness and education.
So what did you learn
Tami: from her actions or her words about self care growing up?
Corri: I think that was ever an explicit conversation. Like I just don’t think that’s something that we ever talked about. I think that one thing that I, that my mom has modeled for me, that I incorporate now into my life is the permission to rest.
And, there would be weekend days. My mom always worked full-time when I was growing up. Or the majority of my life. And she also had five kids. And so there would be Saturdays or Sundays where she would just stay in her pajamas all day. My mom was the furthest thing from a lazy person. My mom has to this day, she’s still working incredible work ethic, but she’s not afraid to rest.
And also she’s not afraid to. Say no to, she was not afraid to say no to her children. And, in some ways I think I may have at some points in my life viewed that as selfish, or as not engaged. And now as I get older, I feel. and now that I’m a mother of two children, I feel like I understand that completely differently.
And there are times, and I think my husband is very different and I think his mom was very different. She was at all costs. She is there for her kids. She could be hair on fire world on fire, but she’s going to be there for them, which is an incredible, gift to them. But I see this in my marriage sometimes that I am unapologetically not going out into the yard.
To play with my kids. And I’m just going to sit and fold laundry and watch a show in my room and I don’t feel bad about it. And I think that’s something that was modeled for me by my mom and my husband. Now that to him, just based on how he was raised in his constitution, haste makes waste.
Like he just, we gotta be doing something that for him is like, It’s just not who he is. And so part of our work and our marriage is me saying, I understand that for you, that is what drives you. And there are parts, that you’re out there working until you are like, hired to the bone and then you go play with them.
And that’s what works for you. And I accept that for you, but you. You are not going to be more bothered by my need to take care of myself and stay inside like that. it’s your being like not okay with me doing that is not going to change my level of okayness with it. I’m okay with it. I’m sorry that you’re not okay.
Or, that we see differently about that. it’s just, our constitutions are very different in that way. It’s
Tami: funny. I, so I have two things. One
Corri: once I leaned really hard
Tami: into my own self care
Corri: needs, I
Tami: decided that I would also advocate for my husband to do the same. He’s a teacher and I work with a lot of teachers in my coaching practice because teachers are known.
As givers and givers and givers, and I’m like, you can’t be okay. There’s only so much you can give because you don’t have anything left. And so I liken our family, to a stool cause there’s three of us, three legs. And here’s the thing. If one of the legs on your stool is wonky.
Corri: The whole stool doesn’t really work.
Tami: So we need strong stools.
Tami: that made it sound like poop. We don’t eat sure. We need strong poop too, but we need strong
Corri: stools on our
Tami: legs, on our stools so that the, that it’s solid for everyone. So one of the things that we do is every Saturday we have a family meeting. I literally asked my family, what do
Corri: you need this week
Tami: in order to do your best?
And we’ve been doing this so long that my nine-year-old is able to say, I need this kind of support. This is what it looks like. My husband, we’re able to articulate that because we freely give, because we’re
Corri: all full.
Tami: Because you can’t give what you don’t have. Yeah. Yeah. My mom taught me about rest.
Also, but it was this like, go tell you, can’t go stop, go tell you. Can’t go stop. And, but she also verbally said to me so much through my life, don’t do what I
Corri: do what I say. I
Tami: was like, that’s confusing. And thank you. it’s really hard because kids don’t typically do what you say they do what you do, but I did learn that lesson.
So the things that, how do you create your life currently so that you are supported to do the work that you’re meant to do in the world? So how do you practice self-care as a grownup? You say, no, you rest, you take your alone time. And
Corri: I think those things. I think, I just, I think part of what has expanded my self care, engaging in self caring behaviors is my willingness to trust myself when something just feels like too much.
I think previously in my life I would have questioned when something felt like. So for example, if taking one more thing on felt like too much for me, My internal dialogue would go something like you just back out don’t, this is your tendency, you take it on and then you don’t give up before the miracle happens, got to stay the course you got to do,
Tami: like an
Corri: internal quitter talk to Oh, it’s and then I exhaust myself on top of already being exhausted by taking the thing on.
And now I am just at a place in my life where I just trust myself a whole lot more. Like I have this very crystal clear sense when I say yes to something, or no to something, or when I’m offered something to be like, that’s out of my comfort zone right now. And I might be to, stringent with that boundary.
But. Oh like the, I’m just less afraid to say no at, because I trust myself more. I just, I’d rather not take something on and not become overloaded because the reality is that working full time as a mother to two kids who for many years taught yoga and then, had a social life and tried to invest in my marriage and all of those things, I had very little actual literal capacity to take anything else on.
And now I’m just at a point where it’s I’m not, I. I used to say yes to so many things and feel resentful for the dinner that I had at seven o’clock that night. Like, why did I say yes to this? And I just realized the energy of having to carry not only going out and having that dinner, but the mental gymnastics of like, why did I do this?
I know this comes at the expense of. You know my marriage because I’m not giving enough there and my children because I’m ditching out on them. And my physical exhaustion that now I realize that the cost or the benefit of saying no far outweighs the cost of having said yes. It’s
Tami: also just understanding that.
So cache and I have a yearly challenge where we do the no and November challenge, but it’s all about saying no that so that we can say yes to things that really matter. But
Corri: in that
Tami: little tiny course, we also give you like, here’s a script how to say no. And the idea is when we say yes to everything, our, yes, doesn’t mean as much.
And that moment when you learn that sitting in the discomfort of a no is way less labor intensive than doing the thing you don’t want to do.
Corri: That is some
Tami: friend, Rosie Molinari who wrote a wonderful book about self, radical self-acceptance is called. Her book is called beautiful you. But in that, she talks about like the revenge cookies or somebody asked her to make cookies.
And then if she says, yes, she’s like stirring, poison, like energetic poison into the cookies. And she’s wow, I don’t. I just say no to baking the cookies and buy some cookies because kids don’t care about your poisonous energetic cookies. They just want the sweet, so just get them what they want. And she’s but sitting in that momentary discomfort of saying no is a practice, how did you get comfortable with that? Is that a yoga thing?
Corri: You know what? I actually really do believe my yoga practice in many ways. Created. And also years of therapy created an opportunity for me to sit with what was uncomfortable and get curious about it rather than run away from it.
So like the physical, the Asana practice of yoga sitting in an uncomfortable pose and being like who I ha re growing my ability to respond, rather than react
Tami: over here, turning internal cartwheels of yes.
Corri: Yeah. The yoga works.
Tami: Did the yoga. It’s funny because a lot of people, when they think yoga, cause guys, we’re not just talking about the Austin, which is the moving you’re like, put your foot here, have your hand be here.
But it’s sitting in that, what is my mind doing? What is my mind telling me about the situation? I’m probably not going to die from doing pigeon, but in pigeon, I might think I am, but really. Probably not, but being able to sit with it and be curious about it, and it’s like, where is this coming from?
Where is it going? And am I going to actually die? Oh, wait, that’s that wash? I was talking about earlier that shame feeling somebody sad wants me to do something. And then I want to say
Corri: no, will they hate
Tami: me forever? Oh, just you guys, as you’re listening, I want to just tell you a secret about saying no to a lot of times people just want a yes, they don’t need your yes.
Yeah. If you say no, they’re like, cool. I’m going to go to the next person on my list. Or you could say no, but you should try this other person. And then you are absolved of all things because they just want a yes. From someone, but at your personal, yes. They don’t actually care about your personal. Yes.
Unless it’s your best friend in which case that’s between you guys. But most people aren’t
Corri: tripping on your note.
Tami: Anyway, that’s something we should,
Corri: for them, you might be able to be leading or teaching by example. And saying, no, I know that I’ve had that experience with people where they have said no to me.
And I’m almost an envy of their know, wow, they did that in a graceful kind way. I want to get better at that.
Tami: Yeah, totally. Yeah. And I will say it’s a practice, much like yoga and that I have gotten. So good at saying no to the things that I don’t want to do that now I’m saying no to the things I actually do want to do, but still don’t have the bandwidth to do them.
And I’m like,
Corri: wow. So this is what they’re talking about.
Tami: When they’re saying, choosing amongst your darlings, that you’re like, that’s why my yes. Means so
Corri: much if
Tami: I say yes to you. It’s because I actually want to do it. The thing.
Corri: Yeah. That’s quality.
Tami: Yeah. Like my, yes means a lot. My nose or a diamond doesn’t at this point,
Corri: but it, but
Tami: again, it took a long time to practice that.
Corri: So Corey, what’s your morning
Tami: routine because everybody’s got one,
Corri: but some people are
Tami: like, I don’t really, and I’m like, no, but really what do you do?
Corri: So I am going to, Share the two sides of Cori, morning rituals. The one where I am in my energetic spiritual group, Corey, and then the one that might presumably be my self-care.
We were both, laced with self-care, but they look very different. The first is, I guess maybe my ideal morning, I go let me start with the night before I go to bed at a reasonable time, I don’t stay up and read or watch something on Netflix. I go to bed at a reasonable time. I get a decent amount of sleep and I wake up by alarm, at five in the morning.
And then I sit in meditation maybe for 15 minutes. And my, my mantra in opening, my meditation usually looks something like, So God, I invite you in my life today. And I ask that you guide me and show me where it is that I should go, what it is that I should do what I should say and who I should say it to.
And may the bottom line. Always come down to love. I also invite you into all of my relationships, my husband, my children, my family, my dearest friends, my colleagues. I invite you into those relationships. And then I sit in meditation. And once I’m done with my meditation, I read some sort of spiritual texts or anti racist texts, or I just, before my kids wake up and I enjoy a cup of coffee in my, in contrast, I buy by nature.
I am a slow morning kind of person. Like just, it is in my makeup to take my time in the mornings, which is why a shelter in place has been so lovely. I love not having to get up and get into the grind. In fact, I’m probably more inclined when I’m in my day at day in, day out to do that 5:00 AM meditation because I’m getting up and getting moving anyway, and then going to work shelter in place.
I’ve been more inclined to sleep in. I’m often the last I’m awake when my kids are awake and my husband gets up, he usually makes the coffee, but I’m still in bed reading. Looking at my phone, seeing what messages I need to catch up on emails I catch up on. So I like to take my time. so those are the two sides of my morning ritual coin.
Tami: love hearing that, but they’re, they both exist because yes, because again, self care is between now and when we die,
Corri: we don’t have to do it every day.
Tami: We just have to know that there’s no, there, and what you said about. Calling in
Tami: you need to learn, what you need to hear, who you need to experience that with some people most people are like, I’m terrible at meditation.
I’m like, everyone’s terrible at meditation. Just sit. I hope to be better at it someday, but the reason I keep coming back is I have had those moments where. It’s usually like in a 15 minute meditation, I’ll be like minute 13 and 46 seconds. I hear some internal knowing, and I don’t know if it’s from inside insiders, but it’s exactly what I needed to hear that day.
And I’m like,
Corri: Oh, I
Tami: just needed to sit still. So that idea that thought that whatever right. Could come to me so I could hear it clear as day. So I know what I need to do next. There’s no amount of chasing an idea that’s gonna, that’s gonna make that happen. it’s in the quiet that it’s like,
Corri: ah, this is where it’s
Tami: all of my good ideas have been birthed in Shavasana or meditation.
Corri: Yeah. And
Tami: I like to call it Shavasana. Just super comfortable meditation.
Corri: Yeah, yeah. That’s right. I, I do love that, as a yoga teacher, I can’t tell you how often they hear Oh, meditation isn’t for me, I’m really bad at it. I’m like, Oh, just so you know, I’ve been doing it for. Over a decade and I’m awful at it, the miracle happens just like you’re saying, this is very much like therapy as a therapist.
I have experienced this with clients and also as a client in therapy that you might have a 50 minute session where you might have a 30 minute meditation and the magic happens in a moment. I’ve been meditating for a long time now, and I will sit down and meditation and there are some mornings where I’m clear and it is wow, this is nice.
I feel peace. And there are mornings where I wake up and it is it sounds like just chaos in here. And I am just like almost making myself crazy, but the magic happens. Just the moment that I’m able to recognize it without getting completely lost and entangled in it. And just come back to the moment, having recognized it.
That’s the miracle, that’s the magic. And so I think it’s important that. And that’s actually where those, neural pathways are being built is when our brains are just like, and we have the ability to recognize that they’re doing that because there are other times where I’ve sat for three minutes and my brain, and I am just lost in thought, and I’m having this conversation with this person, and then I’m going to, there’s, I’m going to wear this outfit.
I’m going to go here. And the 30 minutes rough and I didn’t even get present once in that whole 30 minutes. So I tell myself that if I am able to, in the midst of all of that chaos happening in here, because I always say that our mind will continue to think thoughts in the same way our body will continue to breathe breath.
It’s our mind’s job. If we’re not thinking well, then, that’s just what our minds are here to do. But the magic, the miracle happens in those moments where I am in recognition. the chaos that exists within my mind.
Tami: And I’ll just, I’ll take it a step further. The mind, my mind likes to lie to me.
Like it’s all lies in there. Like you’re going to die. If you don’t scratch your leg, you’re going to die. If you don’t look up that if you don’t Google this thing, this second, all you’ll be lost.
Corri: I have to check the clock to see how much time is left.
Tami: Okay. I have, but I have Google emergencies whilst meditating, and I’m like, Hey frame, I’ve been doing this for again over a decade.
I know that’s that Google emergency, that’s fake
Corri: not having
Tami: there’s no email emergencies or Google emergencies. And even if I forget it wasn’t my thing to have. I just have a trust that if something comes up in meditation, That, what I need at the end will still be there and I don’t need to make out with it while I’m sitting there.
Corri: That’s right. Yeah.
Tami: Yeah. and again, because I have this story about being a quitter and what is hilarious is that people that know me are like, that is such a funny story because literally no one else on the planet has that story about you, but you, and I’m like, that’s okay, I’m carrying the water for the, I’m a quitter story.
So me showing up every day,
Tami: for myself for this moment of maybe quieting something in my mind, is showing me that I’m less of a quitter. That I have been led to believe by myself, but I’m like, you keep showing up. That’s not the actions of a quitter. You got their friends.
Corri: So true. I relate to that very much
Tami: Oh, perhaps a news story is in order and then I’ll stop meditating for a month.
I’m like, Nope. Still quitting. But it’s funny because one of the mantras in my coaching practice, especially in my group programs as quick quitting on yourself, Just keep coming back.
Corri: Like for
Tami: whatever practice you’re doing, just keep coming
Corri: back. Yeah.
Tami: And maybe over time you will be less mean to yourself about the break that
Corri: you took for
Tami: 17 years.
About that thing that he said he worked in too, but it’s Hey, we’re not dead yet. There’s always a chance for, your internal redemption to show up for yourself. So please
Corri: do. Okay. What else
Tami: do you think people should know about you or would you like people to know about you and where can they find you online?
Corri: All right. So what would I like? Gosh, I just feel like I’ve shared my life story here. what do I want people to know about me? Something I’m really present to lately in my activism. Anti-racist work is. That so fun fact about me or something that I’ve used as a fun fact about me for ever is that my great-grandfather on my dad’s side, was a man by the name of Charles Nora.
And he authored the novel mutiny on the bounty. Among other books. Yes, I know. And so wow, this is amazing. His heritage was, he was a German and British descent I believe came to the United States with his family was educated at Harvard and Stanford was a writer, wrote for, publication or journal in world war two, but then he, spent time down in Mexico, was able to travel a bit and ended up ultimately going to Tahiti.
And in Tahiti he met my great-grandmother and so he showed up on the Island. And so his time. On the Island of Tahiti really informed his novel mutiny on the bounty. And so for many years, so all of that backstory to say that for many years, I have been telling the story of my white great-grandfather, who had the fame and the success, and ultimately went to an Island.
And was a colonizer and it came to me a couple of years ago, I was in a yoga training and we were, it was like such a yoga training. It was a social racial justice yoga training, but, they had drums going and the meditation was to call upon your ancestors. And what came to me in that meditation was.
That my pollen, my Polynesian ancestors needed for their story to be told now. And my great-grandmother who was a full Polynesian woman, met and married this white man who. Then, my grandmother born and raised in Tahiti, like I have photos of her on the beach, writing tortoises, her life and everything she knew was in Tahiti at 16 years old, he uprooted their family and brought them to California.
And my grandmother’s heart was broken and really in many ways, never heal from that. And so I feel like in part, my activism work is. Is giving voice to my ancestors voices who were lost or not heard. And, so I feel like in internally I have one part colonizer and one part colonized. And so I’m just really in the process.
And maybe for many of us, we have that my husband is native American and white. And that internal dialogue for him is very strong. Similar about feeling like these, this internal, I sometimes feel like I want to speak to the manager and I own everything. Where is that coming from? And also this part of me that has, a lot of compassion and drive for justice for those being.
Colonized. So yeah, that’s, that is something that I’m really present to these days. Maybe something that will help to inform a bit of my activism. Yeah. I, of course am like that. I
Tami: feel like that we
Corri: white people
Corri: we are
Tami: swimming in whiteness in the dominant culture. Like it takes a lot. Do you have to step out of the dominant culture and be like, wait a second?
What, what is whiteness? And I think that’s something that I’m working on because I have a degree in African-American studies, from UC Davis and.
it’s just now at age 50 that I’m like, let me, I need to like, let’s construct whiteness so that I have something I don’t want to
Corri: other people
Tami: anymore. And that’s what we’re like when we’re looking to do anti-racist work. Like we need to also look at how race is created and how white supremacy has been treated and how whiteness has been.
The default. I think that there’s gonna be a lot, like rubbing up against that thing of like the fish in the water. Like they don’t know what’s there and breathing air. Like you can’t see it, but it don’t be there. And and I also think that with the, like I don’t have, I’m sure I don’t in my current awareness, I don’t have what my background is.
Other than I know in German. Half our time, I went to Germany. I was like, clearly my people are here because I love that. When you got quiet, you’re like, aha. This is there’s two sides and this is free. Can people find you online, Corey? And then we’re going to have 10 quick questions.
Corri: All right.
Okay. So you can find me on my Instagram account. My personal account is at little neck for L I T L E N T a R. And I have recently started with two dear friends of mine. It is called act talk to your white friends. And so we got that up and running and we realized we pump the brakes a little bit on it because we really wanted to make sure that our guiding principles and our mission was Casey from the rage project or in Sacramento.
And she is a black woman who is helping to. Guide us in the creation of our mission and principles and those sorts of things. So once we do that, our hope is to maybe podcast as well as online content through Instagram. So you can find me there as well. And I also have a blog www.littlenectar.com.