Volume 1, Resources 17: Vowing Not to Burn Out, Tea & Empathy Cards, & 50 Ways to Reach Out

Hi friends! What Ashley C. Ford says in this Instagram post is a lot of what I’m feeling:

I don’t have advice for you. Lots of people much smarter than me have already told you what needs to be done logistically. We’re not going to pretend you don’t have access to all the information you need or want to understand why this happened, and how we can push toward a world where it doesn’t. I’m just going to say we have more work to do, which some of us already knew, and if you haven’t gotten that...I hope you’re ready to accept that it’s because you just don’t want to. Because I’ve accepted that. So if you choose to remain an obstacle on the path to freedom and justice, you’re going to have to deal with me. And I want you to see me coming.
September 24, 2020
<image of Breonna Taylor. Caption reads, “I don’t have advice for you. Lots of people much smarter than me have already told you what needs to be done logistically. We’re not going to pretend you don’t have access to all the information you need or want to understand why this happened, and how we can push toward a world where it doesn’t. I’m just going to say we have more work to do, which some of us already knew, and if you haven’t gotten that...I hope you’re ready to accept that it’s because you just don’t want to. Because I’ve accepted that. So if you choose to remain an obstacle on the path to freedom and justice, you’re going to have to deal with me. And I want you to see me coming. “>

There are a couple different bail funds going around. The Bail Project has a national revolving bail fund, which includes Louisville. You can donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund via BLM here and here. I have seen some complaints that the Louisville Community Bail Fund hasn’t bailed out many folks; however, I do know that it takes time for donations to be processed and for these things to work. I encourage you to do your own research.

It’s resource week and I have no time to waste. Let’s get to it!

Resource #1: I Vow Not to Burn Out

This article by Mushim Patricia Ikeda titled I Vow Not to Burn Out gave me some much-needed perspective. Mushim Patricia is a Buddhist teacher and writer here in the East Bay. I was fortunate enough to have her speak at a work meeting about mindfulness meditation. This article is about that thing that many of us do, which is “martyr ourselves” for “the cause” and for our families, when taking care of ourselves is equally as important as taking care of others. Mushim Patricia actually requires students in her yearlong program of secular mindfulness for social justice activists to take a vow to not burn out. I’m always talking about how self care is important and how self care is not an option but I haven’t shared that it’s actually part of mine and my wife’s wedding vows.

“I promise to take care of myself, even when taking care of you.”

I wrote that. We both said it in front of witnesses. We signed a legally binding contract. It’s part of why I take it so seriously in my life. I made a promise. Maybe it’s something that you might want to think about doing, especially if you’re the type of person who finds it easier to do things for others than for yourself. If you don’t have a spouse or partner, make a pact with a close friend or family member.

Resource #2: 50 Ways to Reach Out to Someone Instead of Asking “How Are You?”

This Twitter thread is from the original creator:

Someone snagged it and put it on Instagram (I know some of you are on IG and not Twitter or vice versa):

#Repost @fearlessfemme100
・・・
50 WAYS TO REACH OUT TO SOMEONE⁠⠀
⁠⠀
#SUICIDEPREVENTIONMONTH ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It is important that we create community of care to destigmatize mental health. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We are helping to spread awareness by giving our community the knowledge to care for each other.⁠⠀
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We are in this together. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We have nothing to lose but our chains. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It is our duty to win.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We must love each other and support each other.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”⁠⠀
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- Assata Shakur ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Graphic by @ angeliicuhhh on Twitter ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
September 22, 2020

Unfortunately, I don’t think any of those have image descriptions. I did find a text article that actually only has 7 suggestions but goes a bit more in depth and I appreciate it: 7 Other Ways to Say ‘How Are You Doing’ That Are Actually, You Know, Helpful

Resource #3: Tea & Empathy Cards

Holy shit, everyone. I am SO FUCKING EXCITED to finally be able to say that Tea & Empathy cards are available for order online. I try very hard to share mostly free or inexpensive resources and these are neither free nor inexpensive; however, they are a phenomenal resource.

They are created by Kate Kenfield, a delightful person I knew many years ago when I was doing something very different than what I am doing in my life now. The website has the video from her successful Kickstarter for the updated cards. I actually have a set from the first iteration as well as a new set and the new set is absolutely lovely.

So, what are Tea & Empathy cards?

The easy description is that they’re cards with feelings on them. They have a primary feeling listed then three related feelings. Here are a couple cards that feel relevant to me in this moment: 

<image of two square cards. They are white with black text and teal teacup imagery. The card on the left says “BELONGING” at the top then underneath it has the words, “solidarity, inclusion, and rapport.” The card on the right says, “OUTRAGED” at the top then underneath it has the words, “horrified, infuriated, and insulted.”>

There are 120 cards total in the set.

Why are these useful? Well, like the Wheel of Feelings, it gives you words to describe how you are feeling. Words have power, and sometimes, when I’m feeling like trash, it helps to identify and name those exact feelings that make up “trash.” In naming them, I take away some of their power. In naming them, my wife can then really understand my feelings. These cards make a lot of space for nuance. In the image above, I chose “outrage” but there’s a separate card for angry. I am also angry. But I am very, very outraged (I’m writing this on Wednesday night after the Breonna Taylor hearing results).

Sometimes, I’m like, “I feel like trash” and that doesn’t help ME figure out what *I* need. But picking through the cards and being able to identify “Oh, I feel stuck” or “Oh, I feel invisible” can help. Half if not most of the cards are positive feelings, by the way! It helps to name those, too! As in my image above, we can all feel many things at the same time. We’re rarely 100% of one thing.

The Tea & Empathy cards come with a booklet with suggested instructions, but users are not beholden to them. You can use them solo, with another person (partner? roommate?), or in a group. They are phenomenal at facilitating healthy communication.

I don’t want to end this on something potentially heavy, so here’s another video I made about more things I’ve gotten in the mail!

Cookbook! Earrings! Tea! Spoopy items! FEELINGS!
September 23, 2020

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