June 2019 – It’s been 22 months since Kent and I intentionally upended our lives and moved to DC. After 20 years as a tenured professor at a university in rural PA, I am now an executive director of a nonprofit. It’s been a wild ride, by choice, presenting us with new challenges, joys, and ways of being in the world. House to apartment. Rural to urban. Prof to ED. Conservative to Progressive communities. Car to Metro. It’s been a great lesson in letting go and embracing change. An advantage of living here is the opportunity for programs focused on professional development and personal growth. In service to those goals, I’ve relaunched my website and returned to blogging as a tool for exploring and articulating a model of feminist leadership at the intersection of feminist values, mindfulness, allyship, and some wild women wisdom. All of these pieces fit together. Writing will help me figure out how. Want to follow along and join in the conversation?
Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute 28-day challenge: Day 1 (Got Superpowers?)
“Mindfulness and meditation are superpowers.” That definitely got my attention at the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute training last week. It also inspired me to resurrect this website and blog about the SITLI 28-day challenge as a means for holding me accountable and developing a mindfulness practice. The goal? To become a mindful badass. And a compassionate leader in service to social justice.
Day 1 of the challenge was simple, to complete one full cycle of breath and consider how it felt and how it impacts the state of mind. I’m combining this with instructions found in the book, The Mindful Day by Laurie Cameron. While I struggle not to judge meditation as a bunch of woo-woo weirdness, the SITLI training presented empirical research to back up the benefits. In addition, the practices we engaged in over the two days were actually quite centering. At this stage, as a beginner, it’s really just about sticking with it.
Today I am particularly drawn to Laurie’s suggestion for invoking loving kindness. She suggests spending five minutes bringing to mind individuals or groups of people and “Then offer good wishes to each person by repeating the phrase: May you be healthy, may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy.”
Imagine the power of this when we include people we are different from and afraid of, or at odds with, or we don’t like. As another SIYLI workshop participant expressed to me, “This is hard work!” Yes. Indeed. Breathe.