We are living in rapidly changing times. How can we take radical action to better create social, political and environmental change, while also caring for ourselves and our communities?
In today’s world, we are learning more about what can help us to create truly thriving lives and societies, and many people and projects are working towards more positive visions of the future. Yet alongside this, there are so many social, political and environmental challenges facing us that it can feel overwhelming. It can be hard not to become frustrated, demotivated and feel like all hope is lost.
In Still I Rise, I explore;
- How can we sustain our activism in the long term?
- How can we maintain the strength to confront the problems of the world, and build new ways of doing things that are better for people and the planet?
- Do practices and topics such as mindfulness and happiness have anything do with activism and changing the world?
- How can we understand lateral violence?
- What is the difference between self care and community care?
- Why should we reflect on the systems we are working within?
These and so many more topics will be explored in Still I Rise.
I am creating an activist journal on self care, that hope to launch on the 10th of December 2020. (International Human Rights Day) Here you will find excerpts of the journal and a link to our fundraising campaign to publish the journal.
The Art of Self Care Survey
What is the best practices of self and community care for activists? I have my experiences and some research to speak to, but it is important to hear from grass-roots activists. What has worked and not worked? Please fill in the online survey and share your experiences.
What other activists say
“Big topic! For me I would first say that self-care is not only mental health but also physical, I need to learn to listen more to my body, and stop pushing it to its limits (well it broke already). So radical self care for me is now learning to say “No” to work opportunities or projects, learning to recognise situations that will put me at risk, and sharing also with people around me what my needs for self-care are. It’s a long process which demands a lot of efforts at first, but for my part, it seems to pay a little after 3 months” – Celine Martin LGBTIQ+ rights activist.
“Hmmm it is actually something I’m not very good at. I try and find snippets of time where I can just be by myself to read, listen to music or watch content that I love, I find that a great way to decompress and something that I can usually fit into my week, however, it is definitely a short-term solution that doesn’t deliver long-term benefits. More concrete, holistic care strategies I find hard to maintain – so unlocking that would be fab!” – Chantel Keegan LGBTIQ+ and First Nations Community Worker + Activist.
“…you asked about activists and self-care for your research. That’s a great question and very relevant in my neck of the woods right now as we enter the first anniversary of the marriage equality postal survey. For me – at the back end of a fifteen year campaign – self-care is about ‘containment’; odd word perhaps, but that’s the one that keeps coming to mind. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and your question is an opportunity to put pen to paper (so to speak) and I always enjoy doing that. My life right now is a series of concentric circles with me in the middle. Sarah and the kids are in the first circle. Managing my narcolepsy is in the second. My regular paid work – Rainbow Tick and inclusive practice is in number three. In number four is ‘Other Projects’. That’s the tricky one and requires discipline. But these days I have no problem saying ‘I’m sorry I can’t do that right now. I don’t have space.’ Outside that circle is a light sprinkling of social activities. That’s it. Nothing else gets in. What that means in reality is that I don’t engage in anything peripheral to those concentric circles – either in real life or on social media. There is much to be done for our community still, and there are many bad things going on in the world, but I scroll past them. I know there are great advocates out there with more passion and energy for those issues than I have right now, and they don’t need me. They’re doing a great job. My mental health requires that, where possible, I avoid spending time with people who irritate or stress me, and spend time with people who add, rather than deplete, my energy. I tidy a lot, and organise and sort things. Creating order and neatness is relaxing and makes me less stressed. I walk the dog every day. I bake banana bread. I do jigsaw puzzles. SBS on Demand is my friend. I have a comprehensive knowledge of Scandinavian and European drama. The writing is really very good, and I’m partial to all that landscape-as-character stuff. There. That’s about it. All very ‘contained’.” – Jac Tomlins – Australian LGBTIQ+ and Rainbow Families activist.
I respectfully acknowledge that we stand on what always was and always will be, Indigenous land. I acknowledge that it is stolen land, and that Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders are the rightful sovereign custodians of all these Lands and Seas. I acknowledge that the genocidal practices and discrimination that have been waged against Indigenous peoples since white invasion continues still, and for this I am deeply sorry. I unreservedly apologise for and express my shame over the dispossession, marginalization and attempt genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. I thank the traditional owners of this land for continuing to allow me to work, play, campaign and conduct my activities here.