Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.
I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.
Today we get to meet Pip Bennett!
Pip, take it away…
How are you changing the world?
(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)
I have always felt that my purpose in life is to help others. For the last ten or so years, I have worked with young people, both internationally and locally here in New Zealand, to grow their capacity and voice. During my time working across the social and environmental justice sectors, I’ve seen the effects of the way we work, both on myself and on others. We strive to do good for others so much that we leave ourselves behind in the dust. So I also provide support to women changing the world to help them have an impact without burning out.
What challenges your heart in that journey?
There are so many challenges! Life is full of them – when you pass one, there’s always another one coming around the corner. Some of the biggest things that stress me come from within myself – my perception and worries about things. The more I learn about myself, my body and my mind, the more I am able to accept the challenges and focus on working through them rather than obsessing over them in my head.
What inspires you to keep going?
I know that there is work to be done. I can’t save the entire world but I can make little things better. I see that when I’m present for people, to accept them as they are and listen to their stories. It helps that what I work on are my obsessions – I’m always looking to learn more and grow myself too.
How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?
What nourishes and replenishes you?
I try to make regular time to do things that feel good, such as reading, listening to podcasts, spend time with loved ones. When things are really tough – when I am swamped with work and responsibilities – I have to force myself to make time to look after myself, as it is always put at bottom of the priority list. Making time to spend time alone is important for me, to unwind and get back to myself after spending my time caring for and about others.
How do you experience care within community?
How do others support you in your journey and practice?
Collaboration is a huge aspect of my work. I love connecting with others who are passionate about the same things as me and working together on a project. Working in community means that by combining your forces, you can share not only your resources, but also your energy and challenges.
What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?
I hear so many stories from people who want to go overseas to help, like all of the bad things in the world are “over there”. It’s easy to rock up to a foreign country and believe you are helping, simply because you don’t understand the complexities of the context. There is SO much you can do at home. And that counts. You don’t have to do good things far away for them to count as making a difference.
Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.
I’m hoping for a world where people take action where they can – that they care and are mindful about the way they live their lives. This includes companies. I know that money speaks and we vote with our dollars, but I do wish that more companies would purposefully pursue sustainable options without having to first be pressured by consumers.
Pip is a youth development worker, writer and professional supervisor. She supports women changing the world to have an impact without burning out at Hermosas Chispas.
How to connect:
You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!
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