In this week of gratitude, I have been reflecting on the many things I'm grateful for: my family and friends who nurture me, my body and health that sustain me, my colleagues and clients who inspire me and change the world every day. I'm awed by and deeply grateful for all the people who are doing amazing, exhausting, HARD frontline work for justice and peace and safety and towards a caring and equitable world every day. I am grateful for the earth and the many ancestors who have cared for it - and people who continue to care for it- so that it continues to care for all of us.
As a part of my gratitude, I also acknowledge that I reside on occupied Piscataway Conoy and Nacotchtank territory. It’s important to me to continue learning about the indigenous ancestors that cared for these lands and pay tribute to and reparations for what was stolen. You can learn more about the nations that inhabited and cared for the land you reside on at https://native-land.ca/ and give to organizations like the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples.
I'm also grateful to lean into complexity. As we head into Thanksgiving, when some celebrate and others mourn, and in the wake of the Chauvin and Rittenhouse trial results and the ups and downs of the recent elections, I’ve been sitting with the life-and-death urgency of the change that is needed AND the need to sustain that work with joy and healing because it is going to be a long road so the work must be part of the reward.
The complexity also shows up in the day-to-day issues, such as the exhausted teachers and school administrators dealing with MORE challenges of managing classrooms and schools AND children who need extra care and support returning to more social settings. I find myself all the time saying, AND YES, BOTH ARE TRUE! It’s a reminder that compassion and care are needed. Here are a few additional complexities that I am appreciating this season:
The history and narrative of Thanksgiving are hugely problematic and we need take powerful steps to recognize and reject ongoing systems of white supremacy and colonization (see below) AND holidays when we can cook, eat, appreciate, spend time with family and friends, and rest are so important.
We are a society built on systems of racism that continue today AND the community that understands and works to dismantle those systems grows every day.
Anti-racism work is hard AND can also be compassionate, joyful, and loving.
Communities have been devastated by COVID-19 (disparately Black and Brown communities) AND so many people are leaning into more ways to support and care for each other as a result of this heartbreaking and challenging time.
The road back from the pandemic will continue to be hard and complicated AND YAY FOR KID VACCINES!
Employees are exhausted by having to juggle all the things AND are demanding and receiving more and holding more power to be treated as they wish by employers. AND organizational leaders are juggling more too!
Hiring is hard AND fun! Having thoughtful, inclusive search processes is so important AND people are beautifully complex and messy and things will never go as planned.
We can urgently demand better AND know that the road ahead is long and winding and we're in it together, because none of us can do it alone.
Perhaps most importantly, you can be totally full from dinner AND still have plenty of room for pie. 😊
So amid the hard complexities we experience as part of our work and struggle, it’s important to appreciate (and treat yourself!) to something sweet. I hope you find sweetness and rest and joy this holiday season! Thank you for being in the work with me and for all the beauty and complexity you bring to the world.
With gratitude and love,