Rest. Recharge. Renew. Revive.
Preparing myself to navigate 2021 in Community and with a whole heart.
Supportive networks kept me grounded. Reflections and connections keep my heart whole. I’m launching two opportunities for you to connect and reflect. Scroll to the end to learn more and sign up!
My first two drafts of this newsletter started with a paragraph describing the grim feelings and layout of 2020. But it made me tired and sad reading it. So in the words of my dear friend André, let’s just say that 2020 was “a dusty, ashy, mother-f*@!er!”
2021 is a new year and will undoubtedly bring about change, but I’m real with myself that this isn’t going to be some magical swift shift. I know that 2021 will require me to be just as aware and responsive to my needs, health, and wellness as I had to be in 2020.
Supportive networks kept me grounded last year.
I transitioned out of one position, moved across the country, and started a new job during the pandemic. Whenever I doubted myself, was worn from exhaustion, or was in need of suggestions and resources, help was but a text message, Zoom, or Marco Polo away. When I had things to celebrate, wanted to bounce new ideas off someone, or was seeking joyous company, I never had to wander too far to find good company.
I also heard from you all how powerful supportive networks were throughout such a heavy and turbulent year and not just networks for which you had deep connections. You all shared how impactful it was to gather with educators beyond your own school community for shared purpose, conversation, and to do equity and anti-racism work in Community. The Summer WORKbook Meetups were a testament to that and I’m grateful that the Summer WORKbook was a catalyst for so many educators being in conversation and shifting to action.
As 2020 closed, I partnered with Chéleah Googe to build a new network; a network for Black womxn who wanted to rest in the presence of other Black womxn and spend time imagining life beyond the existence of white supremacy. Daydreamin’ with Black Womxn held its first meeting in November and we’re excited to offer up another opportunity to gather this month, on January 25 at 6p EST.
Regular reflections and check-ins will continue to keep my heart whole this year.
I started 2021 journaling according to the cycle of the moon. That was a routine I didn’t keep up with when the pandemic hit. All of my routines went out of the window except for making my daily morning tea, if I’m being honest. I “showed up” for work via Zoom each day and just plugged away at being reactive to the most recent concerns and tried to be responsive to the ever-changing and growing needs of our school community. Nothing about the end of 2020 was sustainable.
One routine that did stay in tact were the monthly “Mastermind” check-ins I had scheduled with my friend André. We calendered them in December 2019 for the whole year. Those steady moments of reflection helped me take stock of accomplishments when it was easy for my brain to only focus on what wasn’t going well. It was also dedicated time for the two of us to ask each other, “How are you,” and actually be present for the full and complex feelings we needed to share.
I don’t want to fool myself that I’ll switch into some elaborate routines in 2021. What I am committing to, is prioritizing regular reflections and check-ins. André and I just scheduled our 2021 monthly check-ins. And I’m launching a new collaboration with Lori Cohen called New Moon Meetups; a monthly grounding check-in for educators. These meetups will center educators health and wellness, provide space to reflect on the past month, set intentions for the month ahead, with built in time to connect with other educators.
Rest. Recharge. Renew. Revive.
You deserve it. I wish for you moments of rest, recharge, renewal, and revival in this new year. If you’re doing deep personal and community work around equity and anti-racism, supporting students and colleagues on a regular basis, all while continuing to process the complex feelings and events of 2020 that will linger, you need to rest. We risk acting in ways that are not in alignment with our desired intentions and values when we’re serving from a depleted state.
And to my BIPOC family members, I drew inspiration from The Nap Ministry this past year and I encourage you to get into their work!
Sign up and stay connected!
Black womxn register for Daydreamin’ with Black Womxn. If you can’t make it, still sign up. We’ll send you our graphic organizers (and playlist!) so you can gift yourself some radical reflection on your own time.
Educators learn more about and register for New Moon Meetups. Even if you can’t make it, you can download our full year graphic organizer on the info page. Don’t block yourself from the blessing that is taking stock of where you’ve come from and getting clear about where you’re headed.
Please take care and stay well you all.