It's dark and December and the country feels sad and drab. And yet I get to work HERE and I think one way of not letting the darkness settle in too much is to make a plan for sunny days. Mine will involve catching a few free concerts and seeing a few plays next summer in my hometown of Winona. If you are within driving distance OR need a little getaway, I can hook you up! My town shines in the summer- outdoors and in the theatres, we really have it all and I feel so lucky to call this place home. But what I really want to say, is make a plan to visit a friend, go see a live performance of something, book a camping trip. Planning for future fun really does help.
I am not in a position of power, nor have I ever really wanted to be but I do believe women are extraordinary in leadership roles. I found THIS fascinating. We don't have to compromise the essence of who we are, especially if who we are is simply kind. It was a refreshing read after all the bossy/lean-in talk.
Finally, I just have to talk to you about Molly Barker. She has created a movement called The Red Boot Coaltion. If you poke around on the website, you will find that Molly cares deeply about the world, the sense of helplessness we feel regarding politics and lack of meaningful conversations, and the overall sense of unrest in our country. She has tried many things to make an impact and what it has come down to is very simple. She wants to engage folks in a discussion about what matters to them. She believes that at our core we are more similar than different and to that end, she is seeking what she calls Red Booters to inititate conversations around the country. I am one of them! We talked on the phone yesterday and it was like talking to a twin (one who is a runner and has been around the country doing really important things while I am chubby and home schlepping kids) but a twin nonetheless. We are both sensitive, passionate, hopeful about the world and believe in the innate sense of kindness of the human spirit. And so, we talked and she told me how to get started and I smiled and I just simply could feel in my bones that gathering people in Winona to work the ELEVEN STEPS is what I am meant to do. I have gathered some interest and will hold my first meeting in January. I am so excited! And if you are remotely interested in doing one in your own community or joining me, please let me know. I would love to see you, support you, encourage you, listen to you.
And that is the key. One of the most important things Molly and I discussed was listening. I have said more than once on this blog that other people's stories matter. I have said people just want to be heard, and Molly's position is that the internet has given people unprecedented abilities to share but we have tuned out. We don't listen so much as react. And I know with my whole heart that the listening as we discuss what each of the steps means to us as inviduals is going to be key. It is not about being right...it's about gaining perspective through listening.
Can I tell you again how excited I am? It reminds me a great deal of my work with Minnesota's marriage equality and I have rarely felt more alive than when I was engaged in that work..
And finally, I want to announce that I am designing a workshop with the same women who worked with me at Camp Empowerment. This workshop will be for adult women and we are simply giving women two and half days to think only of themselves in THIS place. We will write and move and meditate and create a vision for a life we desire and support and listen to each other and ourselves. More details will be coming but clear your calendars for March 13-15th.
Enjoy your Friday. Plan something, read something, and revel in what makes you happy.