Updated: May 24, 2022
On January 25, 2021, having spent months trying to tame an overload of energy jolting through my entire being, I wrote a journal entry. I was receiving guidance from a friend and fellow plantation escapee on how to ground my newly founded start-up, Stone and Grace. Stone and Grace is all about pushing forward my ideas for a better world, but I didn't yet know how to articulate its purpose. At the time I was less than six months into a brand new full-time job in the middle of a global pandemic, and American insurrection. He suggested that I write to express myself and describe what Stone and Grace is; describe what I craved through starting this enterprise. The following is what came through.
Stone and Grace Journal - 1/25/2021
Shaunda – the meaning – “stone; God’s grace.”
To know Stone and Grace is to know the essence of Shaunda.
Shaunda Caroleen Davida Lewis.
For the past few days I have been seeing the number 411 often. I didn’t pay it any mind until today. I was in the kitchen heating up my coffee (of all things lol) and I was thinking about what it is that I should do. Should I follow my intuition and gut and just move forward with what I know Stone and Grace to be, free my time (leave my job) and have faith that abundance will flow my way, or play it cautious and do what is out of alignment with what my heart is telling me? Play it “safe?” I then turned around to look at the microwave and staring back at me was “4:11” on the clock. Of course, I needed to research what this meant. 7 potential meanings. All were relevant to my current thought patterns and state of being, but one deeply resonated for me in this moment: “Your existence is your signature creation.” It goes on to say that when you see 411 repetitively, “you are being reminded to think about what you care about, what you are driven by, and what change you want to create in the world for the better. This can be your highest passion or anything that is meaningful to you.”
Other kernels that I picked up from reading through the meanings of 411 are:
“Success is created when you take action and hone your craft, and it requires patience, consistency, and hard work to progress forward on the path that supports your higher purpose.”
“Remember, even though you make a living by what you get, you actually make a life by what you give.”
“…create a peaceful and harmonious society for the future of mankind, and use your imagination to build everything the new earth could be.”
“When you are in alignment with your soul’s purpose, manifestation happens more easily. Always remember: you are a hero on a mission to serve humankind.”
What I crave most in this world is peace; harmony. Not in an artificial way, but in a real, authentic way.
What I crave most in this world is enlightened consciousness, not just for myself, but for humankind.
What I crave most in this world is genuine connection that benefits all.
What I crave most in this world is the space for all to be their true, authentic selves, realize their versions of success, and thrive.
I don’t believe this comes through avoidance of conflict, this requires going head on into conflict over and over and over again. And doing so exhibiting strength, courage, faith, love, persistence, and perseverance. It’ll make us evolvingly resilient. True growth and eventual learning only happens through discomfort; pain. To address fear and overcome it is painful. But when pain is embraced because of a desire to want to achieve what is on the other end of that pain, there is no distress, just momentary recognition of feeling; emotions.
Our comfort zones globally are toxic and oppressive – to ALL – ourselves, others – and causes us to behave in unhealthy, toxic, and dangerous ways, driven by fear, jealousy, greed, and hate.
It is rooted in and perpetuated by white supremacy – from our individual minds and interactions with each other, to our organizations, communities, institutions, societies, and overall systems. “White supremacy isn’t the shark, it’s the water.” – Kyle Guante. Our collective cultures and ways of being have been tainted over the past 500 years by a Western European (mostly British), and eventually American desire to enforce a white way of being and engaging – culture, values, religion, language, beliefs, white-skin and appearance superiority complex, and dark-skin and appearance inferiority complex onto the whole of the world. The colonizers have succeeded in conquering the world. And they have conquered the world in such a pervasive and insidious way that the majority of the world’s population (people of color) have no conscious sense of how they themselves are perpetuating and enforcing their own oppression. They have no conscious sense of all the ways they are committing psychological, physical, and spiritual violence against themselves. Poor white people have no conscious sense of how they are perpetuating their own oppression. ALL people have no conscious sense of how white supremacy culture hurts them more than helps them. Racism harms everyone.
White supremacy is like a virus that has infected us all. It is so insidious that it is near impossible for any new soul incarnating in human form in this moment to not catch. In order to rid ourselves of the effects of this virus, we have to consciously attack it; fight it; and check it (because viruses never truly rid our systems, we just learn to live with them without active symptoms). This has to happen – intentional conflict and healing – in order to be able to effectively forge a new and better path forward for humanity. Decolonize from this millennium’s most effective oppressor – white supremacy culture.
I believe that the new and better path should be rooted in authentic connection, valuing of each other, multi-culturalism, courage, and love. This doesn’t mean that there won’t always be enemies to battle, and evil to defeat, it just means that Black people globally (African, Asian, Australian, European, North American, South American, Caribbean) will be conscious, closer to unification, and empowered. And I believe that when Black people collectively are empowered, all people globally will have a better chance of living harmonious lives.
To know Stone and Grace is to know the essence that is Shaunda.
Shaunda Caroleen Davida Lewis.
Shaunda – the meaning – “stone; God’s Grace.”
With Love, Shaunda