This work

This work? It can be energizing and hard, depleting heartwork at the same time. It is real easy to be pulled in multiple directions, with little to show for the work that you do. For people who tend to lead with their hearts and their souls, for people with passion, this work can quickly become tiring as it is necessary and energizing.
How to deal with this dichotomy and have the most impact:
1.) Develop a daily, weekly, or monthly action plan, or a movement strategy.
2.) Be deliberate. Don’t shoot in the dark at whatever social media is going crazy about that day (although some of that will need to be addressed). Decide what you are going to do each day, what organizations matter to you. Figure out where you can have the most impact. Do that.
3.) Check in with the news or two to three organizations that you trust each week. Call senators, congresspeople, school board members, council people, state reps, whoever to address issue if necessary. Save their numbers in your phone. Then send a contact card to a friend. It really only takes a minute to call, I promise. But before you know it, your name will be in their mouth. You want it there. Use scripts if you want. Develop opinions that are your own.
4.) Write your plan down. Literally add it to your planner. Use only the time allotted for this work. There is so much work out there, you can have it take over your life and get nothing else done. This is why we work in teams. Then, set aside time to educate yourself in some way. Read a book. Read neutral media. Read the mission of an organization. Review what the data says. Actually read the language in the bill or proposal. Learn what drives the process. When we can use the process to our advantage because we understand it, we all win.
5.) While it is ok to engage people in their …. whatever….. you call the haters expression of opinions…. it is not ok to stay there. Make your point, move on. Don’t let it personally derail you. Don’t get sucked down into a spiraling argument. Detractors are just detractors. We can have civil conversations where real change can happen or we can just get sucked into an unwinnable war where we get upset and the time for the real work is lost. Work can be done on the flip side to hold those that need to be held accountable, accountable.
6.) Remember the real work. When you get discouraged dive back into the concrete work. It means you have been spending too much time around the rhetoric, and not enough time taking concrete action. Concrete action will always calm your nerves.
7.) Step out of your comfort zone. I have been called out on more than one occasion, (even if not directly) for having the right leaning or motivation, but REALLY going about it in the wrong way. Or just not listening. Listen. Sometimes this work requires growth. We may think we are helping and sometimes? We really aren’t. And while that may really hurt to hear and we might just want to defend ourselves, don’t. Listen, learn, grow.
8.) For every global or national action you take, take one in your community. It will come back to you alot faster.
9.) For every local action you take, take a bit of self care. True self care. Something that will nourish you. It is essential to continue the work.
10.) Join a organization. Consider becoming a board or committee member. Attend a meeting. Serve. We need you.

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