Discover What You Have to Offer the Movement and How it can Enhance Your Mental Health
What a devastating, stressful, scary time we are living in. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery (and countless others in the past) have ignited a long overdue uprising. I say this with the acknowledgment that I am a non-black person and that we are all experiencing these times and recent events differently. I do not pretend to have all the answers but I do know that as a wellness coach and future therapist, there is much work to be done right now when it comes to mental health and personal empowerment.
I have had a few conversations in the past week with people who feel discouraged by not being financially able to contribute to various causes or take to the streets and protest. If you are also feeling this way, I suggest redirecting your focus on what you can do as opposed to what you are not able to do. We can center our energy in a more productive way if we use our imaginations and focus on actions we can take. For some, however, especially those most personally affected, if you are feeling too sad, angry, exhausted, heartbroken, or devastated to take any direct action right now, your self-care is your action and that is plenty.
Everyone has a place in the fight for equality and everyone’s contribution is valuable and needed. If you cannot afford to donate to a cause or safely go out and march, yet you feel you have the mental, emotional and physical capacity you may be able to contribute in other ways. In addition to efforts like contacting representatives, posting on social media and supporting the causes you believe in, I encourage you to discover or create your unique offering toward change. If you are able to find that right something, it has the potential to feel really damn good. It can energize you, allow you to feel more deeply connected to others, inspire you to stand a little taller and maybe even deepen your love and pride in who you are. Most importantly, there is A LOT of work to be done for creating lasting change and collective healing.
To use myself as an example, I have thought a lot about what I am uniquely qualified to offer others right now. As a mental health professional, my main message is to empower people to fall deeply in love with their WHOLE damn selves. I use guided meditation and journaling prompts to spark ideas and remove mental blocks and excuses. That is my offering.
What is your offering? I created the following journaling prompts to help you discover it:
*I say all of this with the most gentle and compassionate encouragement. Take care of yourselves first – we all have different needs and capacities right now.
Writing Exercise #1: Find and Embrace Your Offering
What is your thing? This can be what you do for a living, a hobby or a special gift you have. Take a few minutes to list out all the things you are skilled at or simply just enjoy doing.
Writing Exercise #2: How You Can use Your Offering to Create Change and Support Others
How can your thing help frontline workers, the people taking to the streets or people most deeply affected by recent events? Use your imagination!
*For example, if you’re an artist, create something! Write the protest songs, paint the murals, or make something to sell and give away the proceeds to a great organization. If you like to sew, make some masks for protesters. If you have a large social media following, leverage it to spread awareness and encourage others to take action!
Writing Exercise #3: Notice the Distractions and Excuses
Have you noticed any distractions, excuses, or voices in your head telling you that you have nothing to offer or that your offering is not enough? Take a few minutes to write them all down. When you’re done, acknowledge them and tell those voices that you’re not going to let them stand in your way anymore!
I highly recommend closing these exercises with this 5 minute guided meditation for creating a plan around conquering your goals with heart and resilience www.youtube.com/watch?v=cni4bt3a8N4&feature=youtu.be
Join me for a special Meditation & Journaling Workshop on Grief, Emotional Regulation & Action During Trying Times Sunday, June 14 at 11am PST.