[00:00:00] Krati: Thank you so much for being here. Uh, I know you’re you’re Super busy. So thank you for making time for doing this interview. I am super glad to have you here. And just so you know, I want to share with you how I found out about you.
[00:00:12] Krati: Uh, one of my friends, uh, texted me like my friends, uh, people close to me are usually recommending me guests like they, that they want to hear on my show. So somebody texted me and she’s like. What she said about you was, you have, you’ve got to call Ebony Denise on your show. I’m not sure she’ll come, but because she seems like one of those very like, uh, intellectually driven, but very passionate person.
[00:00:37] Krati: So I’m not sure she’ll come, but you’d have to really up your energy to get her on, I think. But she’s a star. You’ve got to get her on. She, because she’s also someone very driven, very, um, Dedicated to her beliefs and I think she loves that about you. A lot of people love that about you So again, thank you so much for being here.
[00:00:57] Ebonyjanice: I love that. Thank you for having me. Seriously. [00:01:00] Thank
[00:01:00] Krati: Okay. Can you please start with your mission and the impact that you are trying to create with your work? Because your work is very intentional. Every message that you put out there, it has intensity and it has intention. So I would love to know the impact you want to create. If all the brakes were off, what is the change you want to see in the world?
[00:01:21] Ebonyjanice: Yes. So my, my public work is called the free people project. And I feel like that, you know, even if I didn’t have a mission statement, a vision statement, even if, you know, that didn’t exist, just naming my work, the free people project is really reflective of what I, what it is that I want to do and see in the world.
[00:01:42] Ebonyjanice: I want to see people get free. My background actually is, um, ministry Christian. I grew up in a super Christian, um, Southern black Christian experience and have been preaching from a pulpit since I was eight years old. And so with this. You know, I have come [00:02:00] into my work as an educator or as, you know, someone who considers himself doing freedom work.
[00:02:06] Ebonyjanice: I come to it from a very religious spiritual background like that, that thinking of it as ministry, thinking of it as my purpose, thinking of it as this is why God created me. So that I could do this work. And the more I got clear, clear about it, even though I’ve had some theological shifting, the more I got clear about it, my mission statement really still remained the same that I was called to minister to the brokenhearted, empower people into truth and remind us of our internal capacity to do all things.
[00:02:34] Ebonyjanice: And so those are my, if I no limits, no boundaries, if I could just say, this is what I want to see in the world. I want to see people be free. And I’m doing that. I believe by ministering to the brokenhearted, empowering people into truth and reminding us that there literally are no limits, no boundaries.
[00:02:48] Ebonyjanice: We can do all
[00:02:49] Krati: Wow. That’s incredible. But may I ask what true freedom looks like to you?
[00:02:57] Ebonyjanice: True freedom. The first thing that came to my mind, [00:03:00] even though this isn’t necessarily my actual definition, but it made me think about Nina Simone when she’s talking about it in this old video that many of you, um, and your followers may have seen, um, she says no fear. It looks like no fear. And so I do love that definition.
[00:03:16] Ebonyjanice: I think for me, true freedom feels like, um, being deeply seated in my body and seated. I mean, like, think about the most comfortable seat that you’ve ever sat Sat your body down in whether for many of us that will look different. And I think that certainly even applies to what our freedom journey will look like that it will not all look the same for some people.
[00:03:38] Ebonyjanice: They love a more sturdy, firm hold for some people. They want to fall deep into the cushions. But what is the most safe seated version of yourself? That for me is what freedom feels like. The absence of anxiety, the absence of worry, the absence of fret is just I am here as myself and that is enough. [00:04:00] That is sufficient.
[00:04:00] Ebonyjanice: That is
[00:04:01] Krati: yeah, I’ve been spending time around little kids, so this is something that has been, that has really stood out to me is that these kids, they have no concern over how they appear to the world, what they’re doing, what they’re touching, where they’re jumping. They have like no fear whatsoever, and no social consciousness.
[00:04:21] Krati: Like they’ll put their fingers up their noses, they’ll put their hands inside their pants. They don’t because they don’t understand that that is like, should be embarrassed doing this stuff. And I was thinking at what point does society, you know, start, you know, adding all of that to their lives and changing all of this beautiful innocence to all of this.
[00:04:42] Ebonyjanice: right. Right. Mm-hmm.
[00:04:43] Krati: Just crazy anxiety, crazy self consciousness that makes it so difficult for us to even be human. So, I have to ask you, because you talk a lot about healing in your work, and, uh, of course healing looks different for different people, but I want to talk about healing that goes beyond [00:05:00] just, uh, like a self love that goes beyond just healing past trauma, but also what is ongoing in your life and showing up in a way where you can truly take off the restraints and indulge in free emotional expression.
[00:05:14] Ebonyjanice: Really, it’s you. I feel like that was the perfect transition, talking about children in the absence of like any kind of social filter. Um, And then, and then going to like, what is the ongoing healing journey look like? Number one, I, I was gonna say I just came from, um, taking my baby nephew, he just turned six today, to see Spider Man.
[00:05:36] Ebonyjanice: He loves Miles Morales. And so we went to see Spider Man and there’s a scene in this particular Spider Man where there’s this little kid on a train just licking back and forth on the window. And Spider Man is outside the window and he’s like, don’t do that, don’t do that, that’s gross. And so, But I, but I thought about that.
[00:05:53] Ebonyjanice: Well, you know, even while I was watching that, I will like tune into stuff that kids just do ridiculous. They’re like literal drunk [00:06:00] drunk people. They have no capacity to even add them that like, maybe this isn’t a good idea. Maybe this might not even be safe. And, but I was thinking about that. And I was thinking, you know, how do we, there’s some socialization, um, almost some brainwashing that has to happen.
[00:06:19] Ebonyjanice: Okay. For us to, to forget that, to forget, you know, or to learn, I want to say both to both forget some things and to learn some things because some of the things that we learned growing up is helpful is, you know, it’s beneficial and some of it is just so unfortunate. Like, I hate that I lost that. I, I’m glad that I learned not to lick the subway car, but I hate that I lost, you know, running around playing, just swinging my arms, you know, I hate that I lost that.
[00:06:46] Ebonyjanice: And so, yeah. I am connecting that to thinking about the healing, the ongoing healing journey, because A major tool in my ongoing healing journey is thinking about little ebony Janice at any time. I come to a [00:07:00] place that feels it isn’t even necessarily like I could certainly talk about healing trauma, but Khadijah and Sakia Abdul, uh, my team of unearthed and bloom this organization that I do some work with through my nonprofit organization.
[00:07:12] Ebonyjanice: It was Legacy Foundation. They they’re a part of their work is around intergenerational healing, and so they use the language of healing rather than healing trauma, right? Like we talk so much about healing trauma and that feels so violent to our body immediately, you know, but this idea of like this intergenerational, meaning me at this age, me, Ebony, Janiece at 40 in deep intimate relationship with me, Ebony, Janiece at four, me, Ebony, Janiece at six, me, Ebony, Janiece at 12.
[00:07:40] Ebonyjanice: Right. And so I’m in that deep intimate relationship with me that anytime 40 year old Ebony Janiece feels triggered, I don’t linger in that trigger. I just ask 14 year old Ebony Janice. What do you want to do right now? Or what do you need? Or how do I hold you in this moment? How do I make you safe in this moment?
[00:07:57] Ebonyjanice: And the major thing that I have been saying for myself [00:08:00] very frequently is sometimes I feel like I’m doing too much. I’m being too sensitive. I’m I’m asking for too much. And then I think about four year old Ebony Janice and she’s never asking for too much. She’s never, you know, mixed feelings. So I will always take whatever she’s feeling over anybody else’s judgment of what it is that I’m feeling so that I can make sure that she gets what she needs.
[00:08:21] Ebonyjanice: And by her getting what she needs, I get what I need. And it’s just a forever journey. I’m just forever in a relationship with little Ebony Janice at various stages, but forever, forever, forever. And little Ebony Janice is 20 year old Ebony Janice too. 30 year old Ebony Janice too, like what does she need?
[00:08:36] Ebonyjanice: So just this ongoing, forever, intergenerational, internalized generation, you know, intergenerational, generational relationship just forever and
[00:08:44] Krati: I love that. I really love that. First of all, thank you for taking the word trauma away from that conversation because I, you have to admit like trauma gets misused, abused a lot. I just did it. Uh, and I’ve been reading the book, the body keeps the [00:09:00] score and that, you know, just within the first few pages, you realize, dude, there is like, there are certain things that qualify as trauma, but we as a society have just been labeling things left, right, and center as trauma and they don’t qualify.
[00:09:14] Krati: And obviously you don’t want to invalidate anybody’s experience and anybody’s pain. But at the same time, I feel like as soon as. Trauma is a very big, very heavy word. And as soon as you use that, things are worse in your head than they have to be. And I love that you said relationship with that 14 year old Ebonyjanice or four year old Ebonyjanice because When I was going through my therapy work during depression, that was all we did.
[00:09:40] Krati: We talked about our childhoods, we talked about what went wrong when, what sort of narrative got fed into our heads so deep that it just, it brought us to where we are today, in this depressed, sad state where we’re barely able to do anything. So I love that. And that is how we, first of all, that’s very [00:10:00] beautiful that you are.
[00:10:01] Krati: Cultivating a relationship with your older self, your younger self, old self and younger self. And think that’s just a beautiful way of looking at it. And so constructive. How, how does that work? May I ask, like, how does that work look for you? Like from day one day to another, or if there is any intentionality around it, or do you do it as and when something comes up in your life that triggers you?
[00:10:25] Ebonyjanice: Everything you just said, all it’s all of those things, the intentionality around it is in the morning, I, um, and I don’t do this every morning, but most mornings when I’m sitting on my altar, I have this list of like divine beings that I speak to and I, but basically it’s all me. And so I will say, what, if any message do you have for me today?
[00:10:45] Ebonyjanice: And little Ebony, Janiece is the first entity that I asked, what, if any message do you have for me today? And sometimes little Ebony Janiece would just be like, comb your hair today. Do something with your life, put some clothes on, take a bath, like, [00:11:00] lay in a, you know, like, do something, look like something today, it could be as shady as that, or it could be as beautiful as You’re not asking for too much in that situation, like it’ll just, it was something like that will just come to me.
[00:11:12] Ebonyjanice: I’ll just close my eyes and envision what, if any, any message do you have for me today? Little Ebony, Janiece and and literally I may hear something like you are not asking for too much and I’ll instinctively just know exactly what little Ebony Janiece is talking about. Like, oh, I just had this conversation with my cousin yesterday and I walked about it.
[00:11:31] Ebonyjanice: from it feeling like I was asking for too much and then the next morning little ebony Denise reminded me that I’m not asking for too much. So here I am. So there’s the intentionality and there’s, you know, other ways that I’m intentional in that relationship. But like, uh, the random can be I’m in a, I’m in the shower and I’m thinking about, I’m thinking about somebody that I feel hurt my feelings and this is adult Ebony Janice, like they hurt adult Ebony Janice feelings and I, and I’m from [00:12:00] the generation of, you know, sending people love and light, you know, that’s like, I just, and so I thought, I think that I send you love and light.
[00:12:08] Ebonyjanice: And out of nowhere, I hear little Ebony Janice say, why, like, why are you saying that person like that? And I know it’s Little Ebony Janice because it’s, it’s kind of petty childish, you know, like why? And, and I start just having a conversation out loud with that version of me. Well, I’m sending love and light because I feel like if I, if I stay upset with them, you know, I will, I will be so angry I will explode.
[00:12:35] Ebonyjanice: And Little Ebony Janice says to me, has that ever actually happened? Have you ever actually exploded from your anger? And so, and so I say, you’re right. And then Little Ebony Janice says to me, this is a real situation I had before Little Ebony Janice says to me, I don’t feel safe with you when you do that when you send love and light to people that have hurt us, it makes me feel unsafe.
[00:12:58] Ebonyjanice: And so I say, okay, well, what [00:13:00] do you want to do? Little Ebony Janice? And she says, I just want to stay mad and play with my friends until I’m not mad no more. And here’s the mature translation of that. I want to feel my feelings and love the people who love me until I don’t feel these feelings anymore.
[00:13:16] Ebonyjanice: But both to vote to validate the feelings that I’m feeling because little Ebony Denise deserves to feel those feelings. And also she deserves to pay attention to the people who do love her, who she doesn’t have to magically, mystically send love and like to. And so there’s like I appreciate those That those moments that kind of feel like out of nowhere, little Ebony Janiece shows up and you know, I’m like, okay, there’s a message here.
[00:13:40] Ebonyjanice: And then, you know, just one other example that I’ll give is when I am feeling, you know, I just spoke to this when I am feeling super sensitive and I start judging myself, I take that judgment as a, as the moment. Like that is the indication to me that I’m not paying attention to some version of myself.
[00:13:57] Ebonyjanice: And so I, and so I always go to little [00:14:00] Ebony Janiece first, like. Oh, I’m judging, am I judging Grown Ebony, Janice? Am I judging 30 year old Ebony, Janice? Am I judging? You know, who am I judging here? Cuz there’s some judgment and I don’t know that it actually belongs to me. And so I’ll start with little Ebony, Janice, and be like, well, how do you feel?
[00:14:15] Ebonyjanice: And the very first thing is I’m always validated in whatever it is that I feel, even if I need to. You know, grow some mature, some change some things. I’m never invalidated little kids, you know, that little kids, you could be crying. I could be crying and my little cousin can walk in the room and be like, it’s going to be okay.
[00:14:33] Ebonyjanice: And like, you know, just touch you. And they never tell you quit crying. This is silly. They never, ever invalidate. However it is that you’re feeling, you’re feeling so little. Ebony. Janice never, ever invalidates my feelings. It’s like, it’s fine. It’s, it’s gonna work out. But. In the meantime, feel those feelings.
[00:14:50] Ebonyjanice: And then, so there’s some intentional and there’s some, it just comes to me and I just trust it. I just trust it no matter what.
[00:14:56] Krati: Okay, again, that’s beautiful. And now so many questions. [00:15:00] Of course, like what you’ve said that is super relatable that we always like anytime we have this, even if it’s a huge, huge fight, a life Like a relationship shifting fight. We always try to forgive the other person, but at some point you’re like.
[00:15:14] Krati: Why? Why do I have to forgive them? But I always feel like there are all of these ideas that are pressing at us, at our defenses, at our guard, at just our mental space where they’re telling us, No, this is how you should behave when your feelings are telling you, but this is what I actually need. Why do I have to go down this path when it doesn’t feel comfortable?
[00:15:36] Krati: So I would love to know from you how you’ve done this for yourself, establish clarity so you know how you want things to be, how you’re going to act and what you’re going to take in and what you’re going to reject because there’s so much cultural conditioning, so much societal conditioning, familial conditioning. How do we tell when we are taking on something that other people are throwing at us, the society [00:16:00] is shoving at us and when do we figure out this is what I, what actually works for me? I mean, I get that there are people. Who would absolutely send love and light, even when they’re at their angriest and they can do it.
[00:16:10] Krati: And it not just works for their relationship, but it actually makes them feel better. But then like, I am someone who needs to be angry for a while and even maybe call up that person and let them know, Hey, that was real shitty. What you did. Do you think you can not do that again? Because otherwise I don’t think this relationship will ever work.
[00:16:27] Krati: So how, but how do we figure that out? The right path for us. Yeah, Yeah.
[00:16:33] Ebonyjanice: Well, that is the answer that every single one of us has our own path. And I think that it will look different for all of us. One of the things that I think could be the same for all of us, though, is or could be helpful for all of us is. Learning to trust ourselves above all everything else. And that comes with learning to trust our instinct, learning to trust our bodies, learning to trust our gut.
[00:16:59] Ebonyjanice: I always use the [00:17:00] example when I talk about this, uh, you know. They use the language of your instinct or your gut or your guard dog. Like those three things with like your guard dog, it’ll start barking, whatever, whatever. I have a dog. My dog is currently in this room behind me right now. I never worry about like taking calls or, you know, doing podcast interviews and anything in the same room with my dog, because he’s never going to make any noise.
[00:17:23] Ebonyjanice: He doesn’t make noise. He’s he’s about to be 14 years old. This is an old man and in the 14 years that he’s been in my life because I’ve had him since he was a baby. He doesn’t bark. He doesn’t make any noise. People have, it’s a, it’s funny, but even though it’s not funny, but it’s funny. People ask me, did you get your dogs?
[00:17:39] Ebonyjanice: Like voice box taken out or something because he never makes any noise. He does not bark but Occasionally some my dog will say like that’s it. Like that’s the most Mm hmm. And the first couple times he did it because the dog doesn’t make noise. I was like, what is going on with the dog? [00:18:00] Then I started paying attention to it.
[00:18:02] Ebonyjanice: There would be somebody like two minutes later knocking on my door Or three minutes later, somebody’s walking up the street and I always, always, always like I can track it now. Like, if I hear my dog’s name is puppy, if I hear puppy say, I know somebody’s either coming to the door or, you know, he just extremely sensitive in that regard.
[00:18:21] Ebonyjanice: This is this is my dog is the perfect example. I think of your gut instinct. Because it’s not a bark, you know, when, when people say guard dog, you think it’s going to be this loud, like it’s not that all the time. Sometimes it might be, sometimes it might be this blaring, like, get the hell out of here right now.
[00:18:40] Ebonyjanice: But very often your gut is just, that’s it. That’s it. It’s just a slight something you don’t, but we have been taught to not trust that. We have been taught to like make that, you know, not mean anything. But if you were to really start to track. Every [00:19:00] time you felt that and didn’t pay attention to it and things didn’t work out the way that you would have desired it to, you would see that there was never a time that there wasn’t at the very least, there was something always, always, always, I just, I remember when I was dating this guy years ago.
[00:19:18] Ebonyjanice: We had just started dating. We were riding, uh, this is a random, I remember random details. We were on 20 in Georgia, in Atlanta, Georgia, Metro Atlanta, riding down the highway, listening to Joni Mitchell. And he said, I was asking him something and he said, uh, Why don’t I actually ever see myself? Not living in Georgia.
[00:19:40] Ebonyjanice: I knew myself well enough at that time. I was in my early 20s. I knew I knew that I wasn’t going to live in Atlanta for the rest of my life and something inside of me said three years later When the relationship ended because his family felt like I was taking him away from them Because [00:20:00] of the travel that we were doing together that I will ever and and he you know Accepted more what his family wanted for him than what we what he wanted in our relationship I I went back to that moment where we were riding down 20 listen to Joni Mitchell and He told me and my body said My body told me three years early, this is how your relationship is going to end.
[00:20:25] Ebonyjanice: I stayed in a relationship for three years, three more years, and that is exactly how my relationship ended. And so it is seen, it could seem so tiny, it could seem so insignificant. You talk yourself out of it so much. So now my practice over the years of, you know, accumulating that kind of like, and, and paying more attention to it.
[00:20:46] Ebonyjanice: I don’t care what it is. It can be. Um, Ebony, Janice, I’d like to give you 30, 000 just to dah, dah, dah, whatever. And if my body says, I will say, um, you know, I either need some [00:21:00] time to talk about it, you know, with my team or I need to think about it or, you know, or it’s a pass for me. Right. And I just trust it no matter how good the thing, how much I want to try to talk once but just trust it.
[00:21:12] Ebonyjanice: And I think that when we learn to really trust ourselves. over everything else, you could show up with, with supposed facts, examples, details, and specifics, the proof, the evidence. And if my body says, I believe me over whatever it is that you’re showing me. And that’s, that takes practice. That takes some serious failure.
[00:21:35] Ebonyjanice: I had a, I 2021. That I ignored that cost me 35, 000 that cost me 35, 000 and in two moves in three months,
[00:21:53] Krati: no.
[00:21:54] Ebonyjanice: not small moves, New Orleans to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Brooklyn. I [00:22:00] don’t live in either of those places anymore. 35, 000 and, and a lot of headaches, chaos, a lot of other stuff. But before I did the LA move, I felt it and didn’t listen to it.
[00:22:13] Ebonyjanice: And so, you know, again, it could be like, it could be so tiny, like, Oh, I ended up stubbing my toe because I didn’t listen to that. Or it could be huge. Oh, I ended up getting, you know, in this unfortunate relationship because I didn’t listen to it. Or, Oh, I ended up losing lots of money that I really would like to have back, you know, if I would have listened to that.
[00:22:35] Ebonyjanice: And so that the other thing I want to say I learned to trust my feelings. That’s inside of that, you know, just I believe me above everything else and if and because I want to experience either the benefit or the consequence of my own actions, meaning if you tell me something and I do it and it’s wrong, I don’t want to be mad at you.
[00:22:56] Ebonyjanice: You know, I would rather. Oh, I made that choice. That was the [00:23:00] choice that I made. If you tell me if I decide to do something and it turns out great, you know, I want to be like, oh, here’s the benefit of me trusting myself. So I live in both of those. And the, and the last thing is the that’s inside of that to some of that question that you’re asking is the appropriate response.
[00:23:18] Ebonyjanice: What is the, what is an appropriate response to your heart being broken? You know, society has a judgment of what’s appropriate for you to do in certain moments, but it’s your experience. So what is the appropriate response? That’s that’s all up to you. People will handle things drastically different. I know someone whose mom transit transitioned and she was able to stand up in the pulpit at the funeral and read her mother’s, you know, eulogy and was perfectly fine.
[00:23:48] Ebonyjanice: Not perfectly fine. Like, you know, it wasn’t hurting her, but she didn’t have a public emotion and that was genuine for her. It was just, I’m okay right now. And then I know somebody who tried to climb over in the casket when her mother transitioned. [00:24:00] So everybody’s response is going to be different. Both are appropriate.
[00:24:04] Ebonyjanice: Both are appropriate to the experience and the, and the thing that helped me get to that. And I’m done with this sermon. Remember I said I was a preacher. The thing that helped me to get to that is. I was going through a depression after the breakup, the three year breakup in my early 20s. I was going through the Great Depression of 2011 is what I called it.
[00:24:21] Ebonyjanice: And I was feeling like, because I was super Christian still at the time, I was thinking, Does this mean I’m not saved? You know, what does this mean about me that I’m having this depression? You know, I had such a judgment of myself for being so sad because my boyfriend broke up with me. And this scripture came to me, uh, 1 Samuel 30, uh, uh, 1 Samuel chapter 30.
[00:24:43] Ebonyjanice: And basically what’s happening in this text is David King, he’s not the king yet. He’s just a warrior. And he, um, they come back from zig lag. They’ve won all these battles. And when they get back to their camp where their children and their wives were, and all of their bounty is, everything has [00:25:00] been pillaged.
[00:25:00] Ebonyjanice: Things have been burned down. Their wives and their children have been stolen. And the Bible says in 1st Samuel chapter 30 verse 4, And they wept aloud till they had no strength left to weep. That set me free. It was like, oh, that’s an appropriate response to returning to all of your things gone. Like, that is appropriate.
[00:25:18] Ebonyjanice: And whatever it is that I’m feeling right now, how I’m feeling is an appropriate response to this thing breaking in my life, and I’m going to feel every ounce of it so that when I’m done, I, I cried that out. I got that out the way. And then, because then after they weep aloud until they have no strength left to weep, David does get up and he puts on the garment of worship, and he goes to see God’s face and he says, What should I do?
[00:25:42] Ebonyjanice: And God says, Pursue. And so he knows exactly what to do. But he, but he does that after he, these are warriors! It’s allowed so they had no strength left to weep. You got to imagine what that looks like for warriors to be crying so they wear themselves out. That is like the appropriate response [00:26:00] to everything’s gone.
[00:26:00] Ebonyjanice: That’s the appropriate response to life is hard. That’s the appropriate response to my heart is broken. It’s appropriate. So I just trust myself. I give myself permission and I, and I, you know, believe my body like it’s the gospel truth.
[00:26:14] Krati: Okay. Wow. That was amazing. And thank you so much for taking your time with it because I think this is such a huge struggle. I will tell you something. My audience, every single member of my, like the, the community that is fully engaged and talks back to me and like we have discussions. This is an ongoing struggle, trusting your instincts.
[00:26:34] Krati: I speak to a lot of entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs who are building up their businesses, but they’re building up businesses that are very service oriented and very, um, Um, where they’re, they’re pouring their personality into it. So this constantly comes up. My instincts are telling me to do this, but the experts, the, how this other person was super successful, did it is very different from how I want to do it.
[00:26:56] Krati: How do I trust this? What if I’m just choosing the easier path? Questions [00:27:00] like that come up all the time, all the time. And I do know like what you said, I found that such a, such a. Relevant point does bit about self accountability. Like the moment you start taking accountability for your actions, the consequences, you accept them as your own. I think it’s easier to make that leap. Because you know that at the end of the day, I’ll be the one paying the price. So let me do what feels right to me, even if the whole world is standing against that. And thank you so much for sharing all of that because that is so hugely helpful. I think it takes a lot of practice, as you said, to do that.
[00:27:39] Krati: Uh, I know I struggle with it. Yeah, sometimes the struggle is so loud. And it’s loudest when it’s something super important, like, you know, you’re going to be facing the consequences of what you’re about to do for the, for probably the rest of your life. And it’s, it’s so loud, but, um, I’m always reluctant to talk about it, but do you think like [00:28:00] having faith in your life, believing in a higher power makes it easier?
[00:28:04] Ebonyjanice: Yes, but, but here’s, here’s what, here’s what it is for me though. I think that coming to the revelation that the higher power was not some far away entity, you know, I’ll come back to intimate relationship when I was younger and I have, you know, like I said, my background is super Christian. When I was younger, I.
[00:28:29] Ebonyjanice: I had this imagination of God as in heaven and heaven away from me. And so because of that, when I would think about my destiny, or when I would think about the path that I was on, when God coming to give me some answer or some rescue, I would, I had to think that God was coming, it was a journey for God to get to me, right?
[00:28:53] Ebonyjanice: So if anytime I would ask for something, even for help, even for. [00:29:00] you know, help to ease this anxiety that I’m feeling in my, because my imagination of God in heaven is external and it’s far away from me. I had already believed for myself that I would have to wait for relief, that I would have to wait for an answer that I would have to wait for redemption.
[00:29:17] Ebonyjanice: A part of my theological shift did take me away from the belief that God was some external experience and and so now I, and I want to say this because I don’t necessarily really flesh out my religious truth system publicly very often because it because it is miscellaneous sometimes, but, but.
[00:29:38] Ebonyjanice: Especially because I still talk about, uh, the Bible very often. There are a lot of things, the Bible is one of my sacred texts. It is not my only sacred text, but it is one of the texts that I do draw from for wisdom. And then sometimes the things that are harmful from the Bible, I use that as instruction for what not to do.
[00:29:56] Ebonyjanice: I will not have this mentality. I’m learning that from this text. [00:30:00] But one of the things that I love is in this time of my theological shift, when I needed to understand God as like this very present. Experience inside of me is there is a scripture for that. And it’s basically a Zephaniah 317. It says, God is singing and dancing all around us, even while we are unaware.
[00:30:19] Ebonyjanice: And because dreaming and imagination work is a part of my deep spiritual practice. And I needed to envision what that looks like. What does it look like for God to be singing and dancing all around me even while I’m unaware? Like I went through a season even of asking God, what is the song that you’re singing?
[00:30:34] Ebonyjanice: I need to know what the song is then because I’m gonna lose my mind. I need to hear that song, you know. I need to know what the dance looks like. And so I would, I would envision and imagine God singing and dancing all around me like an Alvin Ailey dancer just twirling and whirling just beautiful songs just coming just songs that just flowing from this beautiful dancer’s heart.
[00:30:57] Ebonyjanice: And the more I saw that rapping and twirling [00:31:00] all around me. The more I saw myself literally as the manifested portion of God’s grace, and no longer did I have to see God as far away from me. So certainly that helps me, knowing, believing that I am. If I am a creation of God of the divine, then I am a portion of the
[00:31:21] Ebonyjanice: divine. I am a manifested proof of God’s divinity. And so I, my divine personality, who I actually am is an expression of God. Therefore it makes it even more important for me to show up as actual ebony Janice, because actual ebony Janice. Is proof of God and is an expression of the goodness of God.
[00:31:45] Ebonyjanice: And is also an expression of, you know, how God maneuvers through really, really hard times. So what, so that’s again, why I continue to come back to this journey is very unique to all of us because I am one [00:32:00] tiny, I’m a big deal to God, I believe, but I’m one tiny portion of the proof of God or the manifestation of God’s divinity.
[00:32:09] Ebonyjanice: And so in, in, in seeing that and seeing God as not far away, but me as that proof, it certainly makes it a lot more easy. For me to say, what is that? Because that, that, you know, the guard dog sound, like that little sound, that little instinct, it’s not me left to my own devices. I make 35, 000 mistakes, you know?
[00:32:33] Ebonyjanice: So it’s not, it’s not even, it’s not even Ebony Janice, you know, this flesh experience. The, the wisdom is that internal knowing that hasn’t been squashed, that hasn’t been socialized out of me, that hasn’t been, you know, aggressed out of me, that hasn’t been beaten out of me. And so I trust that, like, like I said earlier, I trust my body.
[00:32:56] Ebonyjanice: I trust that instinct. I trust that sound like it is the gospel [00:33:00] because that is a part of imagine your body is a sacred
[00:33:03] Ebonyjanice: text, right? That I’m having to read this book to know what is good, what is right, what is holy. My body gets to tell me like, this is good. I experienced that in my pleasure. This is right.
[00:33:16] Ebonyjanice: I experienced that in the way that I’m leaning towards this. This is holy. I experienced that in the fact that I feel like a whole being, right? This body is sacred text. And so learning to trust it, it really is certainly helped by the fact that I don’t, that I do have deep faith in a higher power, but not as a higher power, like a way for me, a higher power that is.
[00:33:37] Ebonyjanice: Singing and dancing and and fleshing, you know, itself all around me all day long.
[00:33:41] Krati: Wow. That’s incredible. Thank you so much again for sharing that because I think that’s really helpful. I, when I was younger, I used to, uh, put like a bowl of chits in front of God and I would pray and I would ask my questions and I would play some chits there with a variety of [00:34:00] answers. So, pull those out.
[00:34:01] Ebonyjanice: I love that.
[00:34:04] Krati: I don’t do that anymore. I just. It’s I said, and I talked to him and I talked to him like he’s my, he’s my bud and he’s just like looking out for me. And yeah, what you said, the expression looks so different, but I love what you’ve shared because this is something that stood out to me so hugely. Um, when I was going through like workshops with so many people from all over the world who were learning to love themselves.
[00:34:31] Krati: And this thing stood out to me. Like, so blatantly, I am a, I am God, like I am part of him and for me, the highest form of self love, self expression is looking out for my needs because how can it be okay for me to hurt myself when I know for a fact that I was, I’m his creation or for me to hurt other people when I know for a fact that I am, they are his creation and then to do all of these rituals and all of these prayers, but then at the day, if I’m hurtful [00:35:00] to myself and to others,
[00:35:02] Ebonyjanice: Mm hmm. Mm
[00:35:03] Krati: Just all of that
[00:35:04] Ebonyjanice: hmm. Mm
[00:35:05] Krati: and all of those practices that I’m doing when I’m fasting or I’m kneeling or I’m doing all those things, do they even matter?
[00:35:12] Krati: So
[00:35:13] Ebonyjanice: hmm.
[00:35:14] Krati: that. I think that is something, the moment you internalize that, the world shifts for you. The moment you
[00:35:19] Krati: realize you are part of him, he’s constantly, or she’s constantly, or they are constantly, constantly, constantly, constantly looking out for you and they’re here with you every second of every minute.
[00:35:31] Krati: And there’s a prayer
[00:35:32] Krati: that
[00:35:32] Krati: I usually sing, um, that says that, you know, when you cry, you know, God is already crying in your pain for you. Even before you felt that pain, God was already sad and he was crying for
[00:35:44] Krati: you. So I
[00:35:45] Krati: think,
[00:35:46] Ebonyjanice: I love that. That God enters into my grief with me. And God enters into my celebration with me. Both. And that, you know, and the both is very important to me in this particular [00:36:00] season of my life, you know, that I, I had to learn that, that life is not one thing ever. You know, I, I grew up really believing that I would have like, um, like mountain season, valley season, you know, you gotta go through some valleys to get to the mountain top experience.
[00:36:20] Ebonyjanice: And it was just quite a revelation for me to realize that that’s not a real thing at all. That at the same time that the best thing in the world could be happening to me, awful things could be happening both to me and in the world at the same time. So learning to hold space for both is just like wisdom.
[00:36:40] Ebonyjanice: It’s like I, because I got disappointed, I did. I reached one of my highest goals a couple years ago. It was ease and I, and I got there and I, and I thought whatever story I thought, I thought that I would get to this goal and I would be like, Everything’s great now and I, and I got to that [00:37:00] moment and there were things like in other areas of my life just falling apart.
[00:37:04] Ebonyjanice: And I was like, wait a minute, everything’s supposed to be great. What’s happening? And it was just like devastation. It was like literally the best of times, the worst of times. And so the more, then I started just really paying attention to that, like, Oh, that’s the theme of life. That things are, things can be amazing and awful at the same time, and it’s our responsibility to both give ourselves permission to feel the grief or whatever it is that we feel about the awful thing, and to also celebrate and be deeply grateful for how, how generous life can be at the same, at the same time that life can be, I say, I call it life, you raggedy bitch.
[00:37:47] Ebonyjanice: At the same time, life could be a raggedy bitch. Life can Also, also also be so generous and so learning to both is my current major. Like that’s the path I’m on. Can I both [00:38:00] today, can I be both? Like, this is awful and this is amazing. You know, and hold space for both of those. That’s the, I think that that’s the, there’s some, you gotta mat mature quite a bit.
[00:38:10] Ebonyjanice: I’m working on that. You know, you have to, you know, mature to be able to hold both space for both. But that’s the goal I think is to, for us to figure out how to be both and be
[00:38:19] Ebonyjanice: with
[00:38:19] Krati: Yeah, I think we always try to be selective about our experiences, and I don’t think that works. I think you take away a lot of the beauty when you do that. That’s the beauty about being a human being, right? Being awake and aware of it all. Um, I do see, like, there’s so much, um, fear in the world right now.
[00:38:39] Krati: Of course, because of what’s happening, because of how the economies are shifting. There’s an actual war going on. The AI, all of it, there’s just so much fear.
[00:38:50] Krati: And the social conversation is shifting a lot, the conversations around equality, representation, all of it is shifting a lot. And on my best day, I’m [00:39:00] confused, I will say that.
[00:39:02] Krati: On my best day, I don’t know what to, like, there’s a lot of it that, because I’m, I feel like I’m not an active part, I think when you believe so much in God, you
[00:39:13] Ebonyjanice: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:15] Krati: I don’t know if I should be saying this or not, you kinda disregard So other people to a certain extent, like society to a certain extent, because I believe in God so firmly that that is almost a different world that I exist in when there’s too much going on around me.
[00:39:30] Krati: But I want to ask you, because I know you take an active part and you do like you try to make space for everyone and understand what they’re saying. The way the social conversation is shifting, taking that into account and understanding the fear that is almost constantly dominating the world. Where do you see all of this going?
[00:39:48] Krati: And, and what do you think we as individuals can do better? Like, especially the younger generation that is taking such an active part through social media in all of these conversations. And what do you have to say about [00:40:00] their perspective on things and the way they are showing up? Do you think there’s like a, they’re doing it right, or there’s a better
[00:40:04] Krati: way to go about it?
[00:40:07] Ebonyjanice: Well, I think I, I couldn’t necessarily speak to doing it right or wrong because there’s so much out there. Right. And so, you know, so I, so I can’t speak to that. But what, what I will say is that there is a lot that I do love about younger millennial and Gen Z. The, the, their resistance, you know, their, their.
[00:40:31] Ebonyjanice: Refusal to just accept the social construction of their realities as is, it feels very aggressive sometimes, because for me as an elder millennial, I feel, I know that I was raised both in, um, spiritual, religious, and non religious. Institutions and, um, even, even [00:41:00] professional institutions and, and additionally in, uh, activist spaces, you know, that there is a proper protocol, you know, I grew up in the era still of Roberts rules of order, you know, where you can’t even start a conversation without.
[00:41:18] Ebonyjanice: Having someone like, can we have a vote that we can start this discussion? And so I grew up in that era, but I also grew up in a hip hop era and hip hop is just this ever evolving, you know, being, and it’s a major part of my. Both my spiritual, religious and my socio politic, so impossible for me to separate my ethic or my praxis from hip hop in the way that hip hop started and what it is today.
[00:41:53] Ebonyjanice: It has evolved so much. There’s a lot of it that I don’t love, but there’s a lot of it that I still really, I feel very proud of, you [00:42:00] know, I really love that. There is still this radical voice and message that exists in this space. And I’m, I’m putting these things together. I say all that to build too. I, I believe that there is a generation now and after me that knows something that I don’t know.
[00:42:20] Ebonyjanice: I, I, I have been able to stand on the shoulders of my elders and I can see further than them because I’m on their shoulders.
[00:42:29] Krati: yeah. Yeah,
[00:42:30] Ebonyjanice: So that’s the point. That’s the reason why they ran to as far as they could run and then lifted me up here on their shoulders so that I can be up here seeing what it is that I see.
[00:42:41] Ebonyjanice: And I see something different and I see, uh, I see a new way to do things and I see a new way to consider things and I, and I’m making that hip hop, you know, connection. There’s, there’s new sound. There’s new. You know, there’s new technology. There’s there’s new ways of thinking about, you know, the craft, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:42:59] Ebonyjanice: [00:43:00] So I see things differently than what my elders did. But I am doing this work so that I can lift a generation on my shoulders. And it’s my job to trust that they’re going to see something that I cannot see. That’s the point. They lifted higher than me. And have more access, certainly both as a result of me and the elders that came before me and our ancestors, but it’s not my job to dictate to them from here.
[00:43:26] Ebonyjanice: Hey, this is how it should be done. It’s my job to hold them steady to support them so that they can hopefully, hopefully we’ve all, you know, up to this point, done the job, done the good work of you. You know, instilling a deep moral compass, or I won’t even say moral compass because morality is, you know, constructed time to, but deep integrity, deep integrity in oneness with, with the all right, that, that what I’m doing, that it will not cause harm to others, in fact, that it will do good [00:44:00] for others.
[00:44:00] Ebonyjanice: And, you know, so what that looks like. And so, I don’t, I don’t have like the, this is exactly what it should look like, but I think a major part of, and I’ve introduced this in fact in, in the book that, um, of mine that’s coming out July 11th, um, all the black girls are activists, a fourth wave woman is pursuit of dreams as radical resistance.
[00:44:19] Ebonyjanice: This idea of fourth wave womanism really is asking us to consider that our, our actual activism is deeply spiritualist in the. It’s, it’s using those tools to move us forward and not necessarily only assuming that our activism should look like marching petitions, you know. Um, protest. And that isn’t, excuse me, that isn’t, that isn’t not at all to suggest that those tools are not still relevant because we need both, you know, like the dreaming and the praxis we need to be able to implement it.
[00:44:50] Ebonyjanice: But that is to say that there are so many of us, I think me, what I called out in this book, me and my peers are really saying, if we could like help us to heal [00:45:00] and to evolve and to grow this, my generation at the very least, if we can help us to heal, evolve, to grow. Or to be on our healing journey, to be on our evolution journey, to be in our growth journey enough that when the, when the next generation that does climb itself up on our shoulders is looking out into, into the future, into the, this is what is coming, that we know that we’ve done this deep work that has equipped them to, to be able to do hopefully what is right.
[00:45:28] Ebonyjanice: And when I think about my generation and what, what we were taught and how much of that we’ve rebelled against and, and how far that rebellion has brought us even further, I just trust it. I trust that, like, at some point, at some point, my nephews will be like, Antia, that’s cute, but that’s not going to work anymore.
[00:45:50] Ebonyjanice: And I tell them that often. I tell them one day you’ll be smarter than me. Sometimes I tell them today isn’t that day, but. But one day you’ll be [00:46:00] smarter than me. That’s my ultimate goal that at some point you will know more than me and I will look at you and wonder and be like, I don’t know how you even thought that with your brain, but okay, let’s see what, let’s see what happens.
[00:46:10] Ebonyjanice: So yeah, I, I don’t have like the concrete answers other than I think that we need to be prepared to do the deep work of, of continuing to evolve so that the next generation has firm and steady You know, shoulders to stand on to see what it is they see, and I just believe that we can trust them because our elders could trust us for the most part, you know, they could trust that.
[00:46:37] Krati: But I, I would love your opinion on where do you see conviction fitting in with compassion and making space for all of humanity because activists, especially activists work, especially work that’s all about changing, making, or at least changing social structures, making the world better in however, Um, like in, to whatever extent you understand it, [00:47:00] it all works on conviction.
[00:47:01] Krati: You cannot create change unless you are convinced that you’re walking the right path because that takes so much energy and so much force. So where does conviction fit in with, because at the same time, the wisest man is the one who knows that he knows nothing at all, right? That’s, that’s what we believe that there’s always, always, always, always a perspective that you have not considered.
[00:47:21] Krati: But taking that idea on board and at the same time also doing the work that needs to get done, you need conviction. Do you think those two ideas can coexist
[00:47:33] Krati: peacefully?
[00:47:35] Ebonyjanice: Yeah, I think that conviction is a seed, and that’s all, that’s my responsibility, that my conviction, like, whatever it is that I believe deeply, passionately about, I have to trust that I am, again, a portion of the manifestation of God. So I come to earth convinced, convicted, empowered, equipped to, to [00:48:00] sow the seed of this thing.
[00:48:02] Ebonyjanice: That is me. That is my work. That is my responsibility. And, and so that’s it. Now, you don’t, I would love for you to get on board. But you don’t have, unless it’s causing harm to someone else, you don’t have to get on board. You know, you could decide that you don’t agree that, you know, all the black girls are activists.
[00:48:24] Ebonyjanice: That’s okay. That’s, that’s a choice, right?
[00:48:28] Ebonyjanice: But I’m convinced it is. I’m convinced this is the truth. I’m convinced this is right. And so I’m planting my seed and what I know from deep ancestral work that I am something that my great great grandmother fathomed.
[00:48:45] Ebonyjanice: And there’s some iterations of me that she couldn’t fathom.
[00:48:48] Ebonyjanice: But I’m something that she fathomed. There is two, three generations from now that will look back at this moment of Ebony Janice, their ancestor, [00:49:00] and they will be like, that lady, how did she think that for us? How did she imagine that for us? And, and they will get to actualize the seed that I planted.
[00:49:13] Ebonyjanice: That’s my job. I am. My conviction is the seed for what is to come. I want to see in my lifetime more ease. I want to see in my lifetime You know, policies change. I want to see in my lifetime. You know, people feel loved. You know, I want to see those things in my lifetime, of course, but the reason why I just see it as this is my seed.
[00:49:38] Ebonyjanice: This is my seed to so is that also helps me to not roll around in the floor. If you ever disagree with me. Okay. I wasn’t talking to Union.
[00:49:47] Ebonyjanice: I’m a Sonya Renee. Sonya Renee Taylor said this to me a while ago, and it set me free from arguing about my purpose. Sandra N. Taylor said, I only want to have conversations with the people who are having the same [00:50:00] conversation as me.
[00:50:01] Ebonyjanice: I don’t want to have to convince you to be a part of this conversation. You could come along if you want to or not. I really would like for you to, I do feel deeply passionate that you do because my conviction is that this is
[00:50:15] Ebonyjanice: true, but if you don’t want to come. There are lots of other conversations to be had, and you will be safe there.
[00:50:22] Ebonyjanice: And you will make me safe if you go have them, instead of trying to force me out of the thing that I am convinced of. And so, as long as, as long as your conviction, the seed that you’re planting isn’t a seed that is of, of discord, that causes harm to others, right? There’s this saying, I have better language for this but it’s not coming to me right now, but there’s a saying that basically says, don’t just not cause harm,
[00:50:48] Ebonyjanice: do good, you know, and so it’s that, right, I don’t, I don’t want to just leave it at, as long as your conviction doesn’t cause harm, because that’s not enough, your conviction, also do good, you know, [00:51:00] you know.
[00:51:00] Ebonyjanice: So, so, so as long as you’re sowing, like, seeds of, like, this, this will do good, then we can, we can trust the, the harvest of it, maybe in our lifetime, but at the very least a generation or two from now, we can trust that, you know, that’s, and so that’s my responsibility. My responsibility is just to planting the seed of my conviction, hmm.
[00:51:23] Krati: Yeah. Okay. That was amazing. It was so beautiful. And I wish the world could internalize the ideas that you shared because I think I would feel a lot safer trusting my leaders and trusting the systems that I exist in if I believe that the people who were leading in that moment had love for everyone.
[00:51:40] Krati: But the way we see the political debates, the way we see people who are at cross purposes talking to each other, it really looks like they’re actively hating the other side. And that makes I think that makes me feel very unsafe and I’m sure others share in that experience because you could disagree and maybe you’ll win that particular fight but I would like to [00:52:00] know that you have love for your fellow humans even if they stand on the
[00:52:03] Krati: opposite end of things
[00:52:05] Krati: and
[00:52:06] Ebonyjanice: right. Agree.
[00:52:07] Ebonyjanice: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm
[00:52:08] Krati: And yes, this is really helpful because I think this younger generation, these young kids, um, when, whenever we talk, I always try to remind them that you have experience and maybe you have experienced that I don’t, but at the same time, you also have. Like, you’re, you’re 20 years old, so maybe there’s still so much more that you have to experience.
[00:52:30] Krati: Let’s, let’s remember that. But congratulations on all the conviction you have, because that’s not easy to come by. But as you said, plant the seed, be careful of the execution, like, have love, do no harm.
[00:52:45] Krati: Be very careful of how you go about it, and maybe you won’t see it through, maybe
[00:52:48] Krati: someone else will. And,
[00:52:51] Krati: yeah, that’s, okay,
[00:52:53] Krati: I love how you’ve,
[00:52:54] Ebonyjanice: hmm. With that, I, I certainly, this a part of my, when I used to teach, um, [00:53:00] graduate school courses, I will always introduce a major part of my teaching methodology, my praxis, is that I, I come in the door and I know that I know a lot. I do. I know a lot. But I also know that you know a lot. And so I’m not the only person in the room that knows a lot, and it would be good for all of us if we all brought the lot that we know into this circle and, and shared it with each other.
[00:53:31] Ebonyjanice: And so that, you know, when I think about how I am either mentoring both from afar or hands on, you know, generations behind me, I, I always, it’s, again, it goes back to what I tell my nephews, one, one day you’ll know way more than me, you know. Today might not be that day, but, but what I’m also affirming in that is I know that, you know, something though.
[00:53:57] Ebonyjanice: So you have the great [00:54:00] benefit as my nephews that you get to not just have what, you know, You get the benefit of access to all that I know. So don’t throw all that I know away just because of what you know, take everything I know, add it with what you know, and then you make something even more amazing than what either of us know by ourselves.
[00:54:26] Ebonyjanice: But that’s the great benefit of like having, having elders and ancestors. who have done some iteration, maybe not, maybe not the full manifestation, right? Because neither have we, we still haven’t seen the full manifestation of how good it can get, you know, but, but I know that I take the wisdom of the elders and I don’t throw it away even when they go left.
[00:54:50] Ebonyjanice: And, and some of my heroes have gone left in there and when they’ve gotten older and they’ve been like, I don’t, I am against this, or I’m against that. And I’m like, Ooh, I wish you [00:55:00] would have never said that publicly, but okay.
[00:55:03] Ebonyjanice: I don’t, I don’t throw away every wise thing they said to that moment. I take that wisdom and I say, if this is where we part, I thank you deeply for all that you taught me in this moment.
[00:55:18] Ebonyjanice: I walk away with that. And now we’re going to keep moving forward. So I think that, you know, using my nephews as the example, I, you have the benefit, you have the privilege of an aunt who happens to know a lot
[00:55:33] Ebonyjanice: and you know, a lot,
[00:55:36] Ebonyjanice: take my access, knowing resources, whatever, combine it with your little imagination and make something even more amazing than we could ever think on our own.
[00:55:47] Ebonyjanice: And so that I think, you know, is certainly something that I, I really would love to. Say more to younger generations, not from a haughty place or a place of arrogance. It’s just don’t throw [00:56:00] away what the elders know. Take what the elders know and add to it. And you know, that’s how we will go into the future and be better.
[00:56:09] Krati: I love that. Okay. So, but I have to ask creating from a place of resistance versus creating from your dreams when you are no longer
[00:56:17] Krati: holding yourself back.
[00:56:19] Krati: What does that look
[00:56:20] Krati: like? I have to ask.
[00:56:22] Ebonyjanice: So I had this revelation several years ago that particularly for so many black women, I would certainly say people with marginalized identities, but black women exist in a very unique if you just understand intersectionality, then you understand, you know, like all the at the intersection of being both raced and gendered, being both black and an anti black society and women in a misogynistic, you know, sexist society, being a black woman can be interesting.
[00:56:50] Ebonyjanice: You know, yikes face insert, insert the yikes face emoji here. And so, although, although it’s a very beautiful existence to live into, but so I was [00:57:00] thinking about this, I was thinking about the fact that so much of how I have created, how I’ve created my. Businesses have created, you know, even my art have created so much of the work that I’ve created in the world was really from a place of resistance.
[00:57:14] Ebonyjanice: Um, we shall overcome someday, or I’m creating this because I want to talk about freedom, or I want to talk about liberation. I want to talk about You know, what, what will it look like for us to, you know, see the other side of this and our freedom journey, whatever. So, so much of it is from resistance or so much of it is from a place of, um, being sick and tired of being sick and tired.
[00:57:35] Ebonyjanice: Oh, I’m tired of this not existing for me. So let me go create this or even programming that we have to create because if we don’t create this supplemental programming, then we won’t have access to that or whatever. And so when I thought about that, I, it took me back to Little Ebony Janice. And when I was a little girl, there is a version of me as a very young girl who’s super conscious, you know, who knows that [00:58:00] she will be an activist.
[00:58:01] Ebonyjanice: And I’m a small, small girl when I, when I know this about myself. But there’s also a version of Little Ebony Janice who was so innocent, who just wanted to be a ballerina. Who wanted to be the mascot for the Cleveland Indians. I’m from Ohio, you know, who wanted to just be a dancer who wanted to be an orthodontist who had these very.
[00:58:19] Ebonyjanice: innocent, non activist, justice related dreams. And that that just really hit me like I thought about that, like, oh, my dreams as a little girl are drastically different than what they ended up having to be because I grew up in a cis hetero patriarchal, you know, white supremacist society. And so that all of those, you know, identities marginalized, you know, created a new story for me about who it is that I could be and or what it is that I would need to do in order to survive, not thrive, just survive.
[00:58:53] Ebonyjanice: And I and I thought, okay, I wonder, I wonder at this big age, cause I was in [00:59:00] my thirties at the time. I wonder at this big age, what would happen in my life if I stopped creating from resistance, if I stopped teaching the thing, the subjects that I teach, if I stopped, you know, letting my public platform be focused on anti racism education, if I stopped doing that, because so much of that is the burden of everybody’s, you know. isms, you know, the burden of everybody’s violence towards me and my multiple identities has been put on me. Okay, let me see what this looks like. And so I started asking the question to my, some of my girlfriends, some of my friends who would, if you could do anything, if there were no limits, no boundaries, if your race, your gender weren’t keeping you, would you be doing what it is that you’re doing?
[00:59:49] Ebonyjanice: And 99. said, hell no, they would not be doing the, I’m talking about people’s faves in various industries, tech, fashion, education. Everybody [01:00:00] said, hell no, I wouldn’t be doing this. And so I started to just explore that more for myself. What is my actual dream? And I would, and so I would start doing something.
[01:00:09] Ebonyjanice: And then I would get to the end of it and realize, Oh, this isn’t my actual dream either. This is, this is like commodification of my talent. This is still capitalism. Okay. So let me, what is my actual dream? Oh, this isn’t my actual dream. This is just the highest imagination that I had at the time. So I would stop doing that.
[01:00:28] Ebonyjanice: What is my actual dream? And the more I began to pursue my life, like, what is my actual dream? The more I got to, I would get to some dead ends and just give myself permission to pivot, but I will also get to some wonderful spaces and be like, I never would have saw this if I kept being an anti racism educator.
[01:00:46] Ebonyjanice: Even though I didn’t mean to be doing that, right. I never had time to actually fathom or imagine my life as something other than trying to tell people to stop oppressing me. I never would have imagined it. And the, the [01:01:00] example that I use as I close that is, there is a line in The Color Purple, uh, Alice Walker wrote The Color Purple, but the movie, You see, uh, Miss Sophia, who’s played by Oprah, Miss Sophia stumps up to Celie, who’s played by Whoopi Goldberg in this old movie that came out in the 80s.
[01:01:15] Ebonyjanice: And Miss Sophia says to, to, uh, Celie, she says, you told Harpo to beat me. And Celie says to Miss Sophia, you know, life won’t be hard, always heaven will be here soon. And so she’s basically telling her, you won’t have to worry about all this pain once we get to heaven. And Miss Sophia says.
[01:01:35] Ebonyjanice: You ought to bash mister over the head and worry about heaven later, which is basically her way of saying we’re not going to let the future dictate for us. Oh, when we go to heaven, we’ll be better. We’ll understand it better by and by, which for a lot of, um, black people, particularly descendants of slaves here in the US, we have had to use heaven as this.
[01:01:59] Ebonyjanice: [01:02:00] Hopeful place of like, well, we won’t see freedom in this lifetime. So we’ll see it when we get to heaven, when we all get to heaven. And so what I’m ultimately saying is what Ms. Sophia said to Celie, we ought to bash Mr. over the head and worry about heaven later. We have the right to right now in this body experience pleasure, bliss, joy, ease.
[01:02:19] Ebonyjanice: To, to think about our wildest imagination, to think about our highest imagination and that our, that becomes our actual justice work is to continue to pivot. Every single time we walk up on a place and realize, Oh, this is just capitalism. Oh, this is just, you know, this is me just perpetuating more isms.
[01:02:38] Ebonyjanice: This is me just perpetuating more violence towards myself. Every single time we arrive there, we have the right to pivot, and that pivoting is equally as valuable as if we were to march to Selma tomorrow. It is equally as valuable because ultimately what we’re saying is, I deserve heaven now. I should not have to wait until I go, [01:03:00] you know, at the end of this life.
[01:03:01] Ebonyjanice: In this lifetime, my body is very worthy of that. And so, I’m using dreaming as the language of, what is your actual dream? Not this thing that you feel like you’ve been… That you have been forced into because of the multiple identities that, you know, are marginalized. But what is the actual dream and what if the pursuit of that actual dream was the thing that would actually get us closer to freedom than we’ve ever been?
[01:03:23] Ebonyjanice: From my own lived experience, I’m, I’m going to say with certainty that it has been hard to do that. Cause I’ve had to, I ended a lecture series. Midway through. I had people that had already paid for the full year. I gave back close to 75, 000 worth of money for a lecture that existed because when I came to myself one day and said, this is not my actual dream.
[01:03:49] Ebonyjanice: I don’t actually want to talk about this anymore. I had to give up a lot of money. That was hard. And I and I not financially. I didn’t just have [01:04:00] 75, 000 to just throw away. So that was a huge Decision for me to say, I’m going to refund these people this money and maybe three weeks later doors just open for me that I, that I never would have been looking for.
[01:04:15] Ebonyjanice: I couldn’t, I wouldn’t have even had time to look in that direction for those things. If I hadn’t made that the sacrifice, the sacrifice, it feels like not even the appropriate language, this, but the sacrifice of that money and that project to give myself the spaciousness. I cried. It was hard. But to give myself the space to even look like what else is there?
[01:04:37] Ebonyjanice: Because this can’t be it. And it was, it was something so amazing and epic sitting there for me that
[01:04:44] Ebonyjanice: I’m not saying that every single time we make those choices three weeks later, something shows up for us very often. In fact, it’s harder and more laborious than that. But what I am saying is that when we give ourselves permission to shift and to pivot and to continue to pursue the dreaming, [01:05:00] there’s something liberating.
[01:05:02] Ebonyjanice: And, and powerful on the other side of that, if we just trust, you know, going back to the beginning of this conversation, trusting our gut, trusting our body, trusting our instinct as the gospel truth.
[01:05:12] Krati: That was beautiful. Now, usually towards the end, I ask like a fun question and I think this is perfect for you. I would love to know from you, like, if you could pull any historical figure who is no longer in the world with us and bring them to the present time and share particular pieces of your social human experience.
[01:05:34] Krati: And ask them, help me out here, buddy. Who would those people be? And what would those experiences be? Like if you could have them just manage it for you. Or just have like an ongoing conversation with them on
[01:05:48] Krati: it.
[01:05:49] Ebonyjanice: Okay. Um, this is hard and, and it’s, my answer is really funny to me because what? [01:06:00] But I’m gonna go with my first thought because I trust my instinct. My first thought was Jesus Christ. And that’s funny to me because I don’t identify as a Christian any longer. But I really, really love Jesus. I really, really like Jesus a lot. And I think that Jesus comes to me instinctively because I think that Jesus had really pure magic. And… And I’m very interested in my own, um, journey, something that I, something that I do is I think about, um, spiritual archetypes. But who were in flesh and so I, so, uh, funny enough, one of my spiritual archetypes is Beyonce because she’s my contemporary.
[01:06:51] Ebonyjanice: And so I think of her and I think, how does Beyonce keep her magic pure? And, but I will also think about that, about, you know, Jesus Christ. And I [01:07:00] might even think sometimes about Cleopatra, um, which feels very random, but I think about Cleopatra because she had these huge rulers, like trying to fight to.
[01:07:12] Krati: Yeah.
[01:07:12] Ebonyjanice: Give her anything it is that she wanted. And so I wonder like what kind of power, like what did, how does she exist in order to call that into being? Right. And so I think about Jesus Christ, because I feel like Jesus, my favorite version of Jesus Christ, or what I imagine as true Christ is has such pure magic and, and, and was thinking about. How to walk this earth as the manifested flesh that is God, you know, that to me is the purpose of the story of Jesus Christ is what does it look like when God wraps itself in flesh and walks the earth. And so Jesus is such a perfect example of like, oh, this is what it would look like now. I don’t want to die on the cross for anybody’s [01:08:00] sins at all, but I know, I know that Jesus has so much wisdom, or if I could just sit down and have a face to face conversation with Jesus, that, that there’s so much deep wisdom, you know, look at Jesus meditated, Jesus fasted, Jesus grieved, Jesus, you know, felt, you know, deep disappointment, Jesus felt, you know, the, the betrayal of life.
[01:08:27] Ebonyjanice: Jesus felt very proud. Jesus felt, you know, Jesus as an educator. There’s so much that does feel in alignment with my own personal journey that I really identify in so many ways with Jesus Christ. So if I could bring this historical figure to today and just be like, What would you do here? I’m, I’m certain that there are a lot of things that Jesus would say that I would be like, I’m not doing that, but, but there, there are so many things that I, that I [01:09:00] really would reach to and just really marvel at, you know, how did you, how did you look at nothing and turn it into something, you know, teach me that type of alchemy, teach me the type of patients that you had to have to experience the experience that you had in this question.
[01:09:18] Ebonyjanice: So I, I think that since that was my first thought, I’m gonna go, Jesus Christ,
[01:09:23] Krati: Every answer you’ve given me is so like it’s beautiful and we need to sit with those answers and we need to think about them and hopefully then adopt a version that works for us and go out and maybe like have a better day and hopefully a better life after that.
[01:09:40] Krati: So this was. Incredible. Thank you, Ebony Janice. This was amazing. As I said, I’ve not even, I’ve got like the questions and questions. My list is huge here, even though I’ve not had you in my life for very long, but I’ve been consuming your content like obsessively, like how kids are consuming
[01:09:58] Krati: Netflix. [01:10:00]
[01:10:00] Ebonyjanice: Mm-hmm.
[01:10:00] Krati: I have to say, you’ve shifted a lot of, uh, my ideas.
[01:10:04] Krati: Uh, I want to share one with you. Uh, I am really someone who believes that, Oh, okay. Maybe God has a bigger mission for me. If something doesn’t work out in my life, that is the attitude I take. But it was in one of your posts where you said, don’t have that kind of arrogance in you where you can actually make assumptions about what God wants and doesn’t want for you.
[01:10:21] Krati: If you want something. feel bold enough to dream about it, be brave enough to dream about it and be blatant and open and let God know this is what I want. Make it happen for me, please.
[01:10:32] Ebonyjanice: Mm-hmm. .
[01:10:33] Krati: I love that. I love that. idea that we all like you talked about with the resistance, um, the dreaming, like creating from a place of resistance.
[01:10:41] Krati: If we all just had that kind of unconditional courage and that kind of belief. where we felt free enough to just ask for what we want and then make it happen for ourselves and hopefully have God intervene on our behalf. That would be a really, really beautiful
[01:10:56] Krati: world. Uh,
[01:10:57] Krati: and
[01:10:58] Ebonyjanice: Mm-hmm. [01:11:00] .Because if you just keep living, if you, if you want something, if you, if you live long enough, you’ll, if you just keep living, just don’t die. You know? Meaning, meaning.
[01:11:11] Ebonyjanice: That sounds funny, but I mean that. I mean, don’t put a flag in the ground when you feel defeated. Don’t say, I give up right here. If you just live long enough, you’ll either see the thing that you desire or you’ll outlive it.
[01:11:24] Ebonyjanice: You’ll just, you will come to a place at some point where you will realize, I don’t even want that thing anymore. Here’s what I actually want. So those are the two options that I give myself. I, if I have a desire for something, I just, I just, even when I come up on harsh nose, they never mean, this is the end of this story for me.
[01:11:46] Ebonyjanice: They just mean keep living ebony Janice. And if you live long enough, you will either see this thing in flesh in your hands. You will see it. Or you will realize that you didn’t even have sense enough to want something better than that. [01:12:00] And that will be revealed to you. And I’ve seen that. I’ve seen the huge manifestation of things that I thought I would never see in my life.
[01:12:08] Ebonyjanice: And I’ve also seen myself roll around on the floor crying for things, and then one day wake up and realize I’m glad God said no,
[01:12:18] Ebonyjanice: you know, I’m glad I didn’t get my way with that. So just now I but I never accept No as the like that’s not the end of this story I will just keep living and either I will outlive the desire or I will see it and that’s it
[01:12:34] Krati: beautiful, beautiful. Everything you’ve shared has been so amazing. Thank you.
[01:12:38] Ebonyjanice: Thank you so much for having me.