Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not a solo activity. It’s not selfish or individualistic or even solely the responsibility of the individual. If we want to create movements of people based in compassion, we need to orient self-care in a way that doesn’t further isolate ourselves, our comrades, our students or our loved ones.
If you’re working to create a more compassionate world, you probably came to this work because you are a sensitive soul, on some level. You care about this world. This is what makes our work potent – and what makes us prone to burnout.
Believe it or not, those around you are feeling this deeply, too. Which means that in difficult times, we can’t afford to push each other away or to discount our collective need for self-care.
We can’t bring shame to our collective table.
Instead, we need to learn to nurture one another, in addition to rising up together.
We need care that brings us together instead of driving us apart again.
We need Collective Care.
What is collective care? It’s a new approach to self-care that is community-focused, that includes practices that are collaborative. It relies on our innate and unique genius and healing capacity, rather than outside forces or consumption. It’s a way of approaching well-being that is grounded in mutual aid and compassion.
Building a more compassionate world will take all of us.
That means that, in the same way that we build social movements, we must build movements of care. It’s time to take self-care out of its silo. It’s time to stop making it a solo practice.
My freedom is bound up in yours.
Which means that your self-care isn’t only your responsibility. It means that it’s in my best interest too for you to be well cared-for. Not only does it make for stronger, more effective movements when all of us are well and thriving, but in fact, it models the world in which I want to live.
I want to live in a world where we cook dinner together and make art and meditate and share skills. The world I envision is one where we share resources and knowledge and go for walks and talk all about our feels.
You are not alone. You don’t have to do your self-care alone, either.
It’s time for Collective Care.
In this spirit, I’m so thrilled to introduce a new interview series, Collective Care. In this series, you’ll get to meet incredible change-makers, healers, creatives, and caregivers who will talk about what care means to them, what it looks like in their lives, and how they resource themselves.
It begins December 1, 2016 – and my goal is to interview 100 incredible people and to share their stories with you over the course of the next year.