After the 2016 Presidential Election, Rockwood hosted a conference call for alums and community members to make space for connection and reflection, and to thank our network for its commitment to creating a more just and sustainable world.

There were a lot of wonderful things said and shared, so we encourage you to listen to the full call, but here are three threads we saw throughout:

  • Staying connected to Purpose. Purpose is like fuel. It’s the inspiration for why we do what we do, and also what keeps us moving forward. It’s a key element for joyous and effective leadership, which is why it’s usually where Rockwood trainings start. During the community call, participants took some time to reflect on their purpose, and then shared those reflections. For some, moments like the one we’re in, caused their purpose to be more present than ever before. For others, it created new questions about what is truly meaningful to them right now. What was clear, however, was how important it is to reconnect with purpose on a regular basis, refueling to sustain ourselves through the work. If you’d like to get reconnected with your purpose, check out the resources available here.
  • Staying connected to our bodies. During her talk, Darlene shared a profound experience she had after receiving some bodywork, a reminder that sometimes, physical pain can be the manifestation of emotional pain. It may feel like now’s not the time to slow down, but being in touch with our bodies can actually provide us with a lot of strength and resilience. The simplest way to stay connected to our bodies? Mindful breathing. Taking just 5 minutes during the day to focus on our breath can have a profound effect on our physical and emotional well-being.
  • Staying connected to each other. Towards the end of the call, people shared their reflections, and what’s come up for them since the election. A recurring theme was staying connected to other leaders, across movements, geographies, and more, with many people expressing interest in connecting through Rockwood’s network. Darlene also shared a story of seeing a member of her LIO cohort in Oakland the day after the election, and how important it was for the two of them to be able to be their vulnerable, authentic selves together in that moment. Connecting with others can have a lot of benefits at the best of times, but it can be especially useful for decreasing depression and anxiety. The best part is, it can take many forms: circles, gatherings, phone calls, social media, or even doing something distracting with others, like going to the movies. If you’d like to connect with other Rockwood alums, we encourage you to reach out on Twitter, in our alum-only LinkedIn group, and through any cohort listservs you may be a part of.
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