Justice as Instinct

As I delve under the visible lens of speaking up, I have been bumping into my sense of justice.  For where else would spring an illogical desire to put myself into uncomfortable social situations, than a richer and more valuable tool of self guidance?  Instincts are like that. They can purposely place us directly in the way for a valid reason.  In my body, this guide in speaking up, this particular instinct stems from a felt sense of justice.  This instinct I am describing is old and has no ties to my rational mind.  I have actually carefully trained my rational mind to take a backseat to the way I sense instinct.  When my body has tracked injustice and asks of me to stand up, I know she has my back.  When I act from this grounded instinct there is lightening clarity in my words.  Despite my rational mind offering me a host of valuable reason to keep my mouth shut, I eventually speak because I know this Lady Justice that lives in me is trustworthy.  She has proven herself and her value to me repeatedly over these 44 years.

Often when this justice instinct happens, I feel connected to something invariably bigger than my little body. As I breathe into this sense and ground down, it expands again and I further anchor myself in my connection to others and eventually to the biggest what is… This my grounded instinct of justice and I both belonging to Nature simultaneously is more powerful than rational narratives. From this experience of Mother, I learned about a type of justice that works in my body. The narratives I was taught of justice in America seem plastic as compared to my own deeper native truth. I am lucky this Lady Justice thrives in me and that I have honed my ability to hear and recognize her voice in my body.

Despite this initial powerful instinctive impulse towards justice, sometimes speaking up looks like a week long investigation into my own reactions before I utter another word about the situation.  I have no interest in adding damage to damage. Lady Justice doesn’t abandon me when I ask for time to be with my human reactions. This is mindfulness.  Sometimes speaking up looks like a deep and lengthy personal investigation that may have no end because who I am is dynamic.  Speaking up can be nuanced and clear all at once.  What I know is this, when justice comes from a grounded, instinctual type of knowing, it works in accordance to my body and my life and my relationships evidence this.  

There is a caveat I need to mention before I close this short blog.  There are people that do not like me.  Working from a inner sense of justice may piss some folks off.  Particularly, it angers those that want to hold power over others. Within me there is a joyful integrity flowing as a direct result of living in accordance to my own instinctual wisdom and THIS now serves as my beacon. My inner sense of justice guides me and my choices and attracts others who share the value of intact intuitive instincts.

Thanks to the skillsets I have learned, I am able to face the injustices of this world with greater clarity. Free from blaming and shaming myself for my privileges, I am better able to navigate and include them in my awareness as I work to create a more justice in this world. This is still my practice. When I look at the horrific disparity, I do still cringe and wonder how I got so lucky to be on the winning side of the divide this time. In my journey as I move toward elderhood, I work on knowing when and where socially I am included. As this place is as critical to powering social change as knowing when I am excluded.

How does justice move in your body? 

How do I better hold space for others to express their felt sense of justice?

For more on inclusion/exclusion in social change consider reading

Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

Book by Ruth King

For more information on developing skillsets to navigate boundaries and maturity follow Shanti on Facebook


If you’d like to read a gorgeous treatise on this topic and more, read Jean Jacque Rosseau’s Émile

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