The last couple of months have been a wild ride, with the dismantling of Roe v. Wade, the ongoing Ukraine war, climate inaction, inflation, oppressive heat waves, ugh. Staying engaged seems especially challenging these days. Writing, even more so.
At the same time, how can we move forward if we’re not engaged? How do we stay resilient in the face of so much yuck? You might also be wondering if writing even matters when the world is on fire.
The Importance of Sustainability in Writing and Life
The past few years have been a doozy, and as we continue to navigate these deeply challenging times, I keep returning to the importance of sustainability. The only way I can affect change is to stay grounded, nourished and sane. When I fall into panic, overwork and depletion, nobody benefits.
But when I can stay resourced and plugged in to my truth, my vision, then maybe, just maybe, I can be a force for good. Or even just a grain.
No human body can be activated all the time. Your body’s abilities are finite. Like every other human body, it needs regular periods of rest. Listen to your body. Give it adequate rest, recovery, leisure, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Help it settle, over and over. Have a bit of fun now and then.
All of this is required, not optional … As you will discover, self-care will help you be a more effective activist—and a better human being. You will bring a healthier body and nervous system to your activism. You will also lead a happier and more balanced life.
… At its best, activism is a form of healing. Activism is not just about what we do; it is also about who we are and how we show up in the world. It is about learning and expressing regard, compassion, and love—for ourselves and for our fellow human beings.
— Resmaa Menakem
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
I saw Menakem’s quote in the most recent newsletter from The All We Can Save Project (which I highly recommend) and had to share it with you.
And of course, his words also hold true for art, writing, creating and living. Without sustainability, it’s hard to forge a path forward.
And we’re in a marathon at the moment, not a sprint.
So how will you create sustainability today? Which creative seeds will you plant?
And how will you nourish your heart, your soul, your body?
The world needs us now more than ever. So don’t forget to take care of yourself. You matter!