Quiet. But not silent.
Are you feeling it? This past week has been mega.
And I just about burnt myself out entirely.
I found myself getting caught up in a whirlwind of judgement – mostly towards myself. And while deep work is necessary, judgement will only lead to inaction.
In our Joy Club session last week, we talked about how everyone was feeling with the most recent events surrounding antiracism.
We talked about what our “go-to” strategies are when it comes to big emotional processing and hard stuff. And how we choose to turn towards the uncertainty and move through it all.
We also talked about the possibility. The opportunity for big change that comes from people being heard.
Which is why I came to: Quiet. But not silent.
At first I thought I had to act instantly – but I realised that was much more a reaction than a targeted and channelled response. The word “marathon”, not sprint, kept coming up to my mind and sat in my heart.
My tendency is to feel deeply, and those feelings often translate into deep surging charges to make a difference. To create change. And for it to happen instantly.
What I really needed was to be quiet.
So I could hear.
Reaction instead of responding dissipates instead of charges energy.
I want to respond with consistent and sustainable action.
The antiracism conversation and movement is one I stand wholeheartedly with. And, I have a long way to go in terms of education, learning (unlearning), speaking up, and integrating change.
I care deeply about people. I *thought* I didn’t “see” colour, or race, or cultural differences.
What I’m beginning to realise is that what I really thought, was if I was open and kind and believed in equality and inclusion myself, then that was the best I could do.
The more I’ve turned to quiet, the more I’ve been able to hear.
And the more I see what more I can be doing. As an individual, and as someone who leads people to create sustainable lasting change in their own lives.
And, it’s a journey. It’ll keep changing and evolving.
I know that my community are big feelers too. And you want to have an impact.
Black Lives Matter. The campaigns matter. The voices matter. The people matter.
There’s a power in quiet – it gives you the opportunity to truly hear what you didn’t think you were missing. So you can show up with more power in your response.
Silence is different. Silence carries an energy of forgetting, or pretending, or not wanting to feel uncomfortable.
Change is uncomfortable. Any change.
And systemic change of this nature requires deep discomfort.
But it doesn’t mean you have to forget your joy.
Last week, I forgot my joy.
I felt myself tumbling. Energy fried. Thoughts of fog.
I’ve been in similar places before, and I know if I stay there operating in the same way, it leads to inaction.
Burn out is of no use to anyone.
You cannot change the world, or your world, if you are burnt out.
We need strength. We need energy. We need a sustainable solution.
This quote from Ashlee Eiland really resonated with me this past week:
I’ve seen so many great lists of resources and reading lists and ways to educate myself further. (Send me an email if you’d like me to share any of these!).
They’re not there to overwhelm you into inaction – they’re there so you know where to start. To take one step. Whatever that looks like for you.
I’m committed to consistent and sustained education on collective healing, antiracism, inclusion and diversity.
I’m starting with reading Me And White Supremacy. And one of my business communities is running a series of antiracism, inclusion and diversity talks this month – so I’ve prioritised those in my diary.
And, I’m exercising. Sleeping lots. Meditating.
These two resources really helped me reduce overwhelm and switch my energy into a more targeted response and action in the past week:
- Barack Obama’s post on Instagram (swipe through all the images), gives explanation of the main policy blockages and practical steps for maintaining sustained momentum. I found it so helpful (maybe it’s my policy brain?) for capturing the key issues the most recent events have brought to light.
- Trevor Noah’s thoughts on the most recent events and the domino effect they’ve created (in the context of compounding crises). It’s about 18mins. Not only do I find Trevor’s comedy hilarious and his general demeanour so welcoming, I’ve also watched an interview about his life (I can’t recall right now if it was with Oprah or David Letterman) – and my respect for him was magnified even more. He grew up mixed race during Apartheid in South Africa, then moved to the US to run The Daily Show.
I’ve also interviewed incredible women of colour on my podcast, Let It Shine. If you haven’t already done so I highly recommend tuning into these episodes as a starting point, leaving a review and following the guests on social to amplify their voices even more:
- Marsha Powell Grace: Reinvention After Loss, Finding Grace & The Power Of Sisterhood
- Halima Salim: How To Have Your Own Back And Mindset Shifts
- Aisha Carrington: What Self-Love Is Really All About & Accessing The Big Kid Inside All Of Us
I’m far from sharing these resources as a way to “teach” here – I am sharing from a place of inspiration and a small drop of “hey this is what is working for me right now”.
This is a time of healing.
Healing requires consistency, moving through discomfort, and showing up with kindness and gentleness for yourself and others.
Healing requires you to prioritise wellbeing too – burnt out or helpless is of no use to anyone. Keep taking care of yourself.
If you’ve been reading this far, you might notice you’ve held your breath a little throughout this email too.
Take this as your invitation to take a deep breath. Right. Now.
And let it all out.
I love having you in this community.