On March 19, 2020, I packed my car with a box of files, two boxes of books, and my stack of sticky-notes. Driving away from The Candy Factory, my throat tightened as one of my trusty protectors held back tears. It is a freeze-frame moment in my life–visceral memory. I knew that COVID 19 would be a chapter end and beginning in the story of my life. I knew that I didn’t know what would be in the next chapter. I knew we all were entering a wilderness of liminal space.
I breathed deeply and my inner resources became more available. My mind wandered to something my chaplaincy supervisor would often say: Change=Loss; Loss=Grief. The parts of me settled with these words. Yes. This was a change. An unexpected and unwelcome change. It was initiating loss and therefore grief. These resources reminded me to return to the sacred ground that has steadied me through other liminal spaces. The container of grounding, grieving, gratitude, and grace–do not take the pain or the disorientation away, but they can help us re-orient ourselves, identify our inner resources, and cultivate the curiosity and creativity needed to thrive in the wilderness.
For the last nine months, I witnessed individuals, couples, and community find and identify resources within and around them. I’ve seen and heard how community formed in new and different ways, how individuals risked seeking support or help for the first time, or how people joined movements to advocate for justice. One of my takeaways from this year is that we cannot do this journey of life alone or in an isolated community. We need the collective wisdom shared from people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
As I sit with this takeaway, I knew that my vision for The Well shifted and expanded. The Well needed to be a place to begin creating a safe space for these deep conversations that matter. The first small step in this shift is a 4-week virtual book group for 8 women and those who identify as women. We will read Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski’s new book Burnout: Secrets to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, which provides practical and creative tips and tools to name the burnout and move through it. As this shift occurs, The Well looks forward to offering book groups, workshops, and events to help build community and assist you in recognizing your own resilience and resourcefulness. If you are interested joining us for this book group or learning more, register here.