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Join us on 7/6 for a Reimagine Rest Pop-Up

Fred

Join us on July 6 from 12 PM to 2 PM at Minnehaha Park for our Reimagine Rest pop-up event, featuring paletas from La Michoacana. 🌿✨

This is your open invitation from ROOT to hang out, practice, and discuss rest with other community members. Our pop-ups are designed as spaces where you can “pop-in” without a set agenda. It’s all about creating moments to experience rest and meaningfully connect. 🫧💬

ROOT (Reclaiming Our Own Time) community events are open to all BIPOC folks. These gatherings aim to confront oppressive systems that hold our rest, healing, and wellness captive. Together, we can shift from a production-centered mindset to one of liberation. 🖤✊

We hope to see you there, creating a space for rest and reflection.

#ReimagineRest #CommunityHealing #BIPOCLeaders #RestIsResistance #WellnessJourney #Liberation

📍 Minnehaha Park – Pavillion Wabun F

 

Dear Community,

Welcome to the first Reclaiming Our Own Time (ROOT) Care Package. You are receiving this inaugural edition because you are on the mailing list for Nexus Community Partners

This ROOT-specific newsletter focuses on rest practices, stories, and resources centering the Black, Indigenous, and people of Color experience. Two ROOT Care Packages could land in your inbox every quarter – only eight newsletters a year!  

Sign up to continue receiving these bi-quarterly care packages!

 

Rest is a deeply personal and yet communal endeavor. As we unpack the harmful narratives that have prevented us from restfulness, and we re-learn with each other ways to re-root in our culturally-centered rest practices, let’s keep reaching out to be reminded of this intergenerational, human, divine need.

If you are ready to join us, we are looking forward to seeing you at our first convening. ⬇️

 

If you enjoyed reading this Care Package from ROOT and want to engage in your rest journey, sign up for our newsletter to never miss our opportunities and resources!

It’s September! There’s a new chill in the air, and some eager trees are starting to turn warm shades of yellow and orange. It also means that Terri Thao is back from her Sabbatical! In the spring, Terri took 3 months off to rest, reflect, and focus on her wellness. Now that she’s back in the swing of things, we caught up over the phone about her time off and what she’s learned.

What did you end up getting up to?

I really just rested. It was so nice to not have the pressure of work and the day to day grind. I was able to relax and learn at my own pace. For once, I was invested in my own relaxation, without feeding into the machine of productivity. I colored! I could set my own schedule. If I didn’t want to do something, or couldn’t do something, I didn’t have to and I could say that. I loved not having to email!

This time allowed me to do more reflection, and I was able to actually sit down and journal. I reflected on what it means “to win,” what it would look like, smell like, and taste like. I thought about what sustainability looks like in social justice work when we are undoing hundreds of years of oppression. I was also able to read some meaty books and take Roxanne Gay’s master class on writing for social justice and social change. I’m still in the process of digesting it all. (Books included: Caste by Isabel Wikerson, The Undrowned by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, We Will Not Cancel Us by Adrienne Maree Brown.)

Of course, we’re in a global pandemic right now, and things came up. What does liberation in a pandemic look like? As a parent and as a daughter-in-law, I still had to do my role as a caretaker, with all the gendered expectations around who does the carework and the emotional labor.  I was getting up in the middle of the night for weeks to help my son recover from a medical procedure. The first day of my sabbatical was the day Daunte Wright was murdered.

With all of it though, even if it wasn’t all restful, I was able to show up better because I didn’t have as much on my plate—I can really only care-take one thing well at a time.

What advice do you have for other people taking Sabbaticals?

You know what works best for you! It’s great to have more time for leisure and not feel pressured by time, but rest looks different for different people. You are moving at your own pace. This is time for you to do you, centering yourself and your own needs. For me, I can’t sit around and do “nothing.” Even when I’m resting, I’m still in motion. But, moving from ten projects to just one project is a big shift and is rest for me. I had to remind myself that there is no such thing as “not resting well enough”—it is not a competition or “sabbatical-off!”

I also recommend people get an accountabili-buddy. Cheng, my husband, was mine. He helped me stick to the goals I set for myself. If I did more, he would remind me to not overcommit and to honor my own boundaries.

Why are Sabbaticals important?

Rest is so important for everyone. As leaders, we need to set the way, model the behavior, and stake a claim—rest is non negotiable. We need to own our ability to influence others by prioritizing our own rest. When I shared that I was going on sabbatical, a lot of people resonated my experience and desire to rest. We really need the time and space to do this! It matters. Now that I’m back, people have been asking me a lot of questions about what I did, even though my answer is that I didn’t do a whole lot.

It was an extremely powerful experience overall. I joke that my last sabbatical was when I had my now 11 year old son. But we shouldn’t need to birth a whole human to get a break. And that wasn’t even a break! It was work. We shouldn’t have to wait for rest. I have been seeing this quote online that says “If you don’t make room for wellness, you make room for illness.” I used to get sick a lot because of that. I would push myself to the limit and I got burnt out!

I’m trying to be more disciplined in my own care and wellness. It’s really hard for women in my community though. Capitalism and patriarchy reinforce this push to “get things done.” I’m learning that the doneness is me though, and that I am enough. Self-care for me is something collectively defined by communities of color and Indigenous communities. While some part of self-care is spa days and treating yourself, we need to explore what deeply nurtures our souls and spirits as a community.

Want to learn more about Terri? Check out her 15th anniversary profile!

Big news for a big leader at Nexus! Terri Thao is taking a sabbatical! For the past 16 years, Terri has helped shape the organization with her vision, dedication, love, warmth, 80’s ringtones, and strong Virgo vibes.

For the next 3 months (April 12 – July 12), Terri will be taking time to reflect and rest. Ever the avid learner, Terri will be taking a deep dive into different governance models and tackling her ever-growing reading list, including Adrienne Maree Brown’s “We Will Not Cancel Us,” and Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ “The Undrowned.” She hopes to use writing as a creative outlet to express herself and to unpack what she has learned over her time in the leadership development field. In between the learning, Terri looks forward to doing sticker puzzles, spending time in nature, and getting out of her house!!

By taking a sabbatical, Terri not only hopes to come back renewed and rejuvenated, but also with a new sense of what is possible! She shared that “so much of the work is supporting others, but we can’t do that if we aren’t also being supported.” This time dedicated to herself and inward reflection will help her come back with a huge well to support others.

At Nexus, we know that people working hard for community, inside or outside of organizations, need and deserve time for themselves. As an organization, we believe in supporting our staff with ample time to rest and reinvest in the work. Expanding our wellness practices to include staff sabbaticals is aligned with our values of learning, reflection, and rest.

Learn more about Terri and her journey with Nexus