Wednesday Missive: What Does Social Justice Have To Do With Morning Routines?

 I just finished  this beautifully-written and haunting novel  by Tomi Adeyemi. She wrote it as a response to grief she was experiencing over so many young black men losing their lives in socially-condoned ways. It's HarryPotter-meets-Black Lives Matter, emotional, political page-turning young adult literature at its best. 

I just finished this beautifully-written and haunting novel by Tomi Adeyemi. She wrote it as a response to grief she was experiencing over so many young black men losing their lives in socially-condoned ways. It's HarryPotter-meets-Black Lives Matter, emotional, political page-turning young adult literature at its best. 

Hello Loves,

Over the past month, I’ve shared resources to help you build your dynamic morning routines.  I’ve shared the messy-yet-workable reality of morning routines and motherhood, an interview on morning routines that work, and last week, my AM Routine Troubleshooting FAQ.

Whew, it’s been a lot!  I hope these resources have been helpful for you in building more self-care into your mornings, and hopefully watching it spread into the rest of your day.

But why?  Why I am talking about morning routines?  Why do I think we should be focusing on our self-care right now?

When I work with clients, I always ask them about their bigger “why.”  This is because I don’t believe we should be practicing self-care to be good at self-care.  I believe we need to be practicing authentic self-care because it gives us the fuel to do the other complex, deeply important work of our lives.

For me, this means using self-care to show up for social justice.  Honestly, it wasn’t always this way. At first, I wanted to practice self-care because I was suffering in my life.  I always felt behind the mark and not good enough. The negative voice in my head would tear me down ruthlessly when I made a mistake.  Although my life looked totally fine on the surface, underneath my self-esteem felt weak.

Self-care helped with those things, immensely.  After becoming more intentional in my self-care, I felt stronger, more resilient, and like I could be my own friend.  But then, as I kept practicing self-care, something magical happened. I noticed that my self-care was helping me serve others and I noticed that my clients were also stepping into deeper levels of service.

Self-care was not just healing, it was empowering.  I saw that it could be a tool for changing the world in positive ways.

Just as I wrapping my mind around the vast scope of this self-care work, two shocking things happened back-to-back:

  1. Donald Trump was elected president.

  2. I found out I had gotten (surprise!) pregnant

I was, and continue to be, deeply changed by this period of time.  Trump’s election showed me how much healing work we have to do as a nation around racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and ensuring religious freedoms. I thought things were getting better when for so many vulnerable populations, they weren’t. I preached about self-care as the answer to complex problems, and I left so many people out of that equation. My ignorance of what was really happening in our world is still hard to admit.

Finding out I was pregnant added an extra weight to this painful awareness.  Not only was the world struggling, but now I knew I would be personally handing down this world to the next generation.  Becoming a mother has made me feel connected not only to my child, but to all children and all the people in our world who struggle against systems that don’t care about them in the name of ensuring a better life for their family.  To me, this is the deepest of the deep vulnerabilities - both dignified and heartbreaking.

Thus, I’ve committed to doing better in my work to stand up for the self-care of all people.  Next week, I’m going to share a list of actions I’ve taken to stand up for social justice in my life over the past two years.  I know my efforts are imperfect. However, I know how much perfectionism can trap us into inaction, so I’ve chosen to move forward anyway and do the best I can.   

I want to note that none of these actions make me feel like a better person.  Actually, now I’m a lot more uncomfortable about the troubled state of our world and my compliance with the status quo (because it does benefit me).  So, I don’t stand up for social justice - what I see as the self-care of all - because it makes me feel better. Instead, I take these actions because I want to be in alignment with my values.  I know how painful it is to be out of integrity with myself. Now that I know better, I am doing better and commit to continue doing better.

For this, I am steering the direction of Beautiful Life Self Care to the place where self-care and care for all intersects.  My bigger “why” is my belief if we take better care of ourselves, we will find the inner courage and ingenuity to stand up for the care of all.  This is the movement from scarcity to abundance. This is the reclaiming of our humanity, which is the beginning and the ending of every self-care journey.  Our liberation is tied up in the liberation of those around us, especially those who don’t look like us.

(Do you feel stirred by this too?  If so, I hope you can join The Beautiful Life Collective, an affordable, accessible community where we will tenderly practice authentic self-care and courageously stand up for our deeper values.  Join the waiting list here and be the first to learn when enrollment opens next month.)

As I write this, my heart tells me I am on the right track with this work.  My fear, however, tells me that I might lose clients or receive harsh criticism for bringing up these uncomfortable topics or not doing it well enough.  What I’ve learned over and over in my life is that I must move with my heart. I can be strengthened by sacrifices as long as I feel intact in my interior.

In closing, I want to share the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement that I’ve crafted for Beautiful Life Self Care.  I was inspired by to do this after taking a wonderful training on building equitable organizations by the Adaway Group. I highly suggest taking one of their trainings, strengthening your bigger “why,” and continuing to show up in our world.

(Note, although I am a “soloprenuer,” I wrote the following from the “we” perspective so that everyone associated with Beautiful Life Self Care can share this values statement.)

***

Beautiful Life Self Care Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Beautiful Life Self Care is here to help all people authentically care for themselves, care for their communities, and care for our world as a whole. We are here to teach effective and transformational self-care practices and perspectives that can be utilized by people of all body sizes and abilities, gender identities, races, ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, and/or religious affiliations.

Beautiful Life Self Care is here so that all people, especially those who are marginalized in their ability to care for themselves because of the damages caused by the dominant culture of white supremacy, can use self-care to practice resilience and access the power within themselves. We believe that as the self-care movement awakens a critical mass of people to practice authentic, accessible self-care, we can create a cultural shift toward cooperation, compassion and true equity for all people in our world.

To make these goals a reality, we at Beautiful Life Self Care are actively creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable wellness business.  Particularly, we are learning from women of color who are able to understand self-care from the deeply important perspective of marginalization.  We are learning from them by reading books written by women of color, enrolling in workshops led by women of color, and by ensuring the ongoing place of women of color in the Beautiful Life Self Care leadership council.  

Beautiful Life Self Care is an explicitly anti-racist and body-positive wellness business.  Unfortunately, we have fallen short of these values in the past, particularly in the lack of representation of women of color and women of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations in our programs. Additionally, in the past, we have produced and published materials that have been body shaming by praising weight loss as an ideal.  Further, we have not created materials to specifically support men in their self-care growth. For this, we issue a standing apology and commit to doing better.

As part of this commitment, we offer part and full scholarships for our self-care programs for those with socioeconomic need. If you identify as a person from a marginalized group with this need and have a desire to study self-care with us, it would be a gift to have you in our community. To express your interest and learn when these opportunities open up, please contact us here.

***

With care,
Gracy