Beautiful Lessons in Movement, Growth, and Change
Greetings lovely one,
As May is quickly approaching, and I’m gearing up for graduation and looking forward to mental health awareness month. I love the days and months set aside for us to celebrate, commemorate, and call to the front and center. It is a time to pause and reflect on where we’ve come from, all the work we’ve put in to get where we are in the here and now, and areas in which we still need drastic growth.
Graduation symbolizes the end of a journey: the journey of learning, of stretching out of comfort zones; the journey of endurance, persistence, and tenacity. Personally, I've had to constantly trek through thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, believing that I was below par, feeling out of place and out of element, and rarely, if ever, feeling enough. Still, I press on despite those feelings – certainly not out of sheer will power alone, but because somebody prayed for me and, yeah, therapy and peer support groups too. Similarly, my mental health journey has been full of stop-and-go moments. Feeling like I’ve sometimes made lasting change and progress … and then encountering new triggers, new incidents of trauma that seemingly come out of nowhere … forcing me to work harder than I probably should have to in order to stay afloat, keep healthy, and continue forward in my path towards love and wholeness.
Graduation also symbolizes the beginning of a journey. In institutionally-based educational settings, we often learn in a controlled environment while the world is constantly changing. You take a digital marketing course all about how to manage Vine (remember Vine y’all) and then TikTok takes over and reigns supreme. Because of that, there is the journey of unlearning the irrelevant. However, there are classic lessons to be had that really lay the ground for the start of passage in a landscape where there are no grades, no lesson plans, no one to try their darndest to steer you in the direction of ethical living and action in the world. Sure, there’s law, but the pandemic taught us that moral decisions that affect many lives and the environment are determined by just how much, or how little, people care about anyone or anything outside their own circles. So, the journey begins again.
The journey of taking theory and putting it into action in a world of factors not always accounted for. The journey of taking the tools and resources around silence, stillness, and solitude out of the desert experience – which itself was full of provocation and enlightenment – and back down the mountain into the places of hunger, desolation, unrest, grief, anger, injustice, pretentiousness … hope that’s been abused and taken for granted … weariness that has resulted from the onslaught of crisis after crisis … loneliness from not knowing who can be trusted to hold space for all of your space-holding...
Life lessons are ongoing and in the classroom of the world, it’s all too easy to forget about the foundational pieces that gave us our solid rock of grounding, our focused discipline to practice, to hone craft, our resolve to say “no” to anything or anyone that would have detracted us from making the grade. A mindset which then evolves into something or someone that attempts to detract us from our values, our standards, our boundaries, our ethical principles and the guideposts we develop to embody all of those attributes … and give our lives meaning and purpose, our courage to say “yes” to the places and opportunities that scare us and stretch our capacity to heal, grow, and transform.
I love days and months that ask me to remember what can sometimes get tossed aside, or back pocketed in the active pursuit of just trying to survive the mundanity of life. Sure, we strive to thrive and carry lessons in the daily ins and outs of our actual lived experience, but there’s something profoundly human about our awareness and acknowledgement of days and months that feel significant enough to want to share stories. In these stories we tell ourselves (and one another) we learn more about who we are, who we say we are, and the reality of what we hope to be.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
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Community Member Kudos
Congrats to Dr. Jessica Dreistadt, on the launch of Club Fruition, a collaborative online space where feminist leaders connect, learn strategies to create change in our organizations and communities, and mobilize to enact our bold visions for a flourishing world where everyone feels safe, welcome, and fulfilled.
Tales from the blog keepers
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“How people fall apart”: Yale faculty discuss the impact of burnout on the brain. Understanding the neuroscience behind burnout could help people accept their resulting behavior and thought patterns as natural responses of the brain. (H/T Windy C.)
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Kindness is more than just a good deed; it plays a critical part in our well-being. Research shows that kindness improves our physical and mental health – whether we’re giving kindness, receiving kindness, or simply witnessing kindness.
Muse of the month
Blerd’s the word
Repost of a repost. I know I’m a bit late with it (class paper deadlines and all) but…
::: Blerd Alert :::
And I’m here for it!
Until next time, Love Agents!