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A Collective Innermission

When I first started thinking about My Innermission, it felt like a personal journey that hit different people at different points in their lives. And then, a global pandemic hit us. We suddenly collectively found ourselves returning to our core needs [...]

When I first started thinking about My Innermission, it felt like a personal journey that hit different people at different points in their lives. And then, a global pandemic hit us. We suddenly collectively found ourselves returning to our core needs, surfacing a multitude of emotions like sadness and anger, and we found ourselves asking a lot of questions about our choices in work, relationships and purpose. And then George Floyd’s murder and the following movement to confront racial injustice was upon us. More questions. More self-analysis. More chance for reflection.

In this moment, I recognized that the notion of an Innermission—a deep quest that returns us to our identities, roles, purposes and plans—was bigger than one person’s experience. In fact, as I talked to others about their feelings and reactions during this time I realized that people who had already experienced a profound life change—a death of a loved one, a loss of a long-term relationship, a health emergency—still struggled with the current moment, but had strategies, approaches and experience that helped them navigate this moment of change and unrest.

This current political, economic, social upheaval is hard and confusing, but if we consider the variables that we can control, and if we are clear on our core selves (including how our race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language and economic status impact our lives and others' lives), then we can face what lies ahead with greater patience, grace, and resilience while planning for how we respond in a proactive way.

If you haven’t experienced an opportunity to pause, question, sit in the uncomfortableness, and really listen to your body, your mind, your emotions, and your heart, then perhaps it’s time for your Innermission to begin. There has never been a better time or a more important moment to dig in, invest in the hard questions, and to recognize the role you play in this world.

Innermission Invitation: Create a chart of a piece of paper that has the big concerns that you are facing in this global pandemic and movement of racial justice (e.g. personal health, school decisions, white privilege, etc.) Put each word in its own bubble, then create a web off of each bubble that responds to each of the following:

• How do these ideas make you feel (e.g. scared, frustrated, out of control)?

• What can you control around each of these ideas (my own learning, my kids’ routines)?

• What can you not control (e.g. when we will get put on stay at home again, other people’s racist perspectives)?

• What do you need to be able to dig into these issues in a productive way?