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© Mindfulicity 2022

🌈 Happy Pride Month!

Before we get going on our topic, here is a little background on Pride Month.

The first Pride Parade was not a celebration like the one we see today. 

The first Pride Parade was a protest held in 1969 by members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community at the Stone Wall Club in New York.  The woman attributed with leading that protest is Marsha P. John, a Black trans woman who advocated for gay and trans rights. 

Closer to home, the first gay rights protests in Canada began in 1971 in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. 

In 2016 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the first Pride Flag in Parliament.

Justin Trudeau raising Pride Flag
First Pride flag raised in parliament.

Although we have come a long way in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the journey continues. The 2SLGBTQ+ community is at higher risk of poor mental health.  A recent study found that 32% of 2SLGBTQ+ Canadians consider their mental health to be poor, compared to 16% of heterosexuals who answered the same question.

Forty have seriously contemplated suicide, and 41% have been diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorder.

(https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210615/dq210615a-eng.htm)

Members of this community still find themselves not fully comfortable being who they are in their workplaces. Everyone has a right to come to work feeling safe and accepted. 

In this blog, we will discuss how mindfulness promotes inclusion.

Read on to learn:

“What could be the difference that makes the difference?”

Lana Bentley – Mindfulicity’s Director of Program Strategy

Based on a recent Mindfulicity webinar featuring Lana Bentley

I said the wrong thing:

We all avoid being blatantly offensive but have you been in a situation where you didn’t even realize you’ve said something with bias?

For example, when you notice a wedding band on a new female colleague, have you asked, “What’s your husband’s name?” You are automatically showing your bias by assuming your colleague is heterosexual. In doing so, this can inadvertently invite them to feel like they don’t belong.

Cultivating inclusion and belonging means that we are aware of our bias and judgmental thoughts that we are having before acting on them. 

What are biases?

We all come to the workplace with our own set of biases.

Picture of brain neuropathways
© Mindfulicity 2022

Biases are quick assumptions our brains make to help us navigate information. Unfortunately, they are not always based on facts.

“The path from having a judgmental thought and acting on it is quite short.”

Lana Bentley,
Mindfulicity’s Director of Program Strategy

Awareness of thoughts is the first step in slowing down the process of acting on them.

Use Mindfulness to check your personal bias:

By simply being more mindful, you give your brain time to let your logic and reasoning catch up with your judgmental thought.  Mindfulness invites awareness, and it helps us to rivet ourselves to the present moment without borrowing from the past or the future.

The difference that makes the difference:

Approach situations with a Beginner’s Mind, meaning that you are approaching a situation as though you’ve never seen it before. The Beginner’s Mind accelerates acceptance by inviting us to become open minded and curious in each present moment.  When we are open and curious, we are less likely to say things that put people in a box.

We want to acknowledge that employers play a key role in creating affirming, supportive, and inclusive workplaces. Practicing mindfulness will not address systemic difficulties, but it will help you change your relationship with stressful events. 

Try:

  • Breathing exercises 
  • Meditation
  • Being aware of the signs your body is giving you that you are not doing well.

If formal mediation practices aren’t for you, try informal practices instead. 

For example, whatever you are doing, do it fully.

“You can use Mindfulness to better manage your own mental health and wellness to the degree possible.” 

Lana Bentley

Key takeaway:

If your wellbeing is struggling because of prejudice or the discrimination you face, remember to give yourself permission to admit the impact your difficulties are having on you.

Be aware of what you need to restore your mental wellbeing.

Be aware of what you need to recharge your own battery so you have the resilience to bounce back from adversity.

List of resources to take back to your community:

➡️ Pride at Work Canada – www.prideatwork.ca

➡️ Black Femme Legal – www.blackfemmelegal.com

➡️ Calgary Pride – www.calgarypride.ca

➡️ Rainbow Railroad – www.rainbowrailroad.org

➡️ Voices – https://lnkd.in/gdH6_2vU

Catch the latest LinkedIn here:

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Mindfulicity provides practical tools everyone can put into action immediately, every day, to drive better relationships, communication, and decision-making both at work and at home..

Would like to know more about us 👇🏽

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