This is a challenge I am giving to our Refuge team for “getting radical in 2021.” I share this challenge with all of you too!
In 2020 we saw unprecedented levels of suffering, loss, isolation etc. Everyone across the globe experienced pain at some level. We have been resilient and strong and brave, beyond measure.
And yet, this does not come without a cost. We are not naïve. The body truly does keep the score. Our ongoing ability to persevere and remain a place of respite (for ourselves too- “inner hospitality”) will require some radical action. I am proposing that each of you get RADICAL in at least these 4 areas in 2021.
1. RADICAL GRACE- one definition of grace is “courteous goodwill.” Let’s offer ourselves goodwill. Let’s be gracious, gentle and tender with ourselves. We will have hard days. It’s okay! Tomorrow may be better. We don’t have to have all the answers. We don’t have to be perfect (even at self-care!) Go gentle. Go easy. All of our “windows of tolerance” have shrunk this year. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can. And offer that grace to those around you too.
2. RADICAL BOUNDARIES-in order to care for others in this type of “pandemic level” prolonged stress, we will need to have very strong boundaries in place. Our ability to sustain care long term, genuinely empathetic care is directly tied to our ability to set firm boundaries around our own needs. Brene Brown talks about some research she did that showed that the most compassionate people were the ones who had the strongest boundaries. Don’t hesitate to say “no” to others in this season in order to persevere your own well-being.
3. RADICAL ADVENTURE- through news and social media we have been especially attuned to the suffering of others this year. We hold the energy of this in our own bodies. We must make a commitment to movement. We must discharge the energy we hold in cathartic ways. And we need to go to places that make us feel small again- where we can see/feel/hear God’s great glory and majesty and remember his power! If and when you are ready, plan an adventure (or several) for 2021! Get out and hike in the woods, go sit by the ocean, ride your bike under the stars, challenge yourself physically, walk every day. Creativity is adventurous too! Perhaps your adventures this year would include painting, vision boards, soulful cooking, pottery etc.
4. RADICAL REST- When you take a nap, sleep in, daydream, you are engaging in vital, restorative processes. Not to mention, resting can be an act of repentance (from believing we have to do it all!) Rest reminds us that we are valued and cherished and “enough” even when we are not “earning” it through productivity. Rest gives us a chance to breathe, receive and heal.
So, there we have it! My challenge to us is to get truly radical in our grace, boundaries, adventure and rest this year.
As you try this on, let us know how it is going!
Blog written by Refuge Center Executive Director and Co-Founder, Amy Alexander, LMFT