What if one of the best ways you could be of service to the world right now is by doing your work?
This question came to me about four weeks ago when I was struggling with how I wanted (and needed) to be an active participant in the global movement for social justice.
I shared recently that I allowed myself to get into really unhealthy habits around news consumption after the killing of George Floyd, and just how much that spiral disempowered me. Rather than feeling empowered by knowing more about what was going on in the world, I cycled down into an anger and sorrow that didn’t support my being an active part of positive change.
Anger and sorrow were and are perfectly legit emotions to what happened, but I allowed myself to slide way below a healthy line. I felt frantic and completely leached of energy, causing myself harm instead of enabling myself to do the good I wanted.
I have been, and will continue to be, someone who supports diversity and inclusion through different organizations and using my voice and resources; however, I know for myself that one of the best ways for me to be an active part of positive change is to keep doing my work.
As business owners and leaders, we can make a difference by being good employers, creating places where all people can feel welcome, actively working to create a more diverse and inclusive community, creating and sharing content that helps others do their best work, and continuing to grow and evolve and learn.
If you’ve been with us at PF for any length of time you already know that we view work in a different way than many people do. Work is not just a paycheck. Nor is it just how you survive in this world. Work can be and is so much more than that.
Personally, I see work as sacred. It is something that allows you to become the best version of yourself. It is something that helps you and helps others. It is something that elevates the world. It is meaningful and worthy of being held above the mundane.
Because of my background and experience in sociology and mental health and social justice and human services, I will never be far from my roots of advocacy for social change. And it is also up to me to both accept the gifts I have been given — gifts that allow me to work with and around amazing people (yes, you) — and to sink deeper into this work of supporting you in doing your best work.
Each and every one of us has gifts that we bring to our work; our work serves ourselves and others. In fact, our work will help more people than we will ever know.
Really think about that, please. Your work helps your people, whose work in turn helps their people… the ripples go on and on… far beyond what we’ll ever see or know.
Each one of us has these sacred gifts, and we each have limitations. We must honor both.
When I allowed so much of my energy, capacity, and health to be depleted by my news consumption, which led to me floundering trying to figure out how to be part of positive change, I could not do the social justice work or the sacred work I was already doing. My work already supports social justice; I just couldn’t see it, and I wasn’t in a space to do it. But now that I do and am, I can strengthen and amplify its impact.
I’m sharing this with you today for several reasons:
- Doing so is another layer of accountability for me.
- You might be struggling with something similar. I have talked to many people over the last many weeks who are struggling with how to be as active as they want to be in the social justice movements that are happening, and I have noticed many that have lost their grounding. They are like me: not doing as much as they want to for positive social change, and frantic with that feeling, which makes it all the more impossible to do much good. That’s not where any of us want to be. Know that I see you, and you can do this in a way that is of the highest good without harming yourself.
- I want to remind you that you have limits and you must honor those limits to be of service.
- I want to encourage you to think about how your work can be, and possibly already is, part of making positive social change in the world. Might you be able to amplify that?
Your work matters. It is sacred. It helps you and others, and will serve more people than you will ever know.