“Take A Walk In The Sun” and Other Reminders

Photo credit: Indivisible Sonoma County.

After a busy summer, many Indivisible groups around the country are taking a moment for a little reflection and self-care, as individuals and as a movement. Here are some thoughts that caught our eye sent to us by an Indivisible fan named Bobbie Wayne, a writer and artist from Massachusetts.

Bobbie writes: “Since Trump’s nomination last summer, I decided to begin giving myself “The Daily Assignment,” which I post on my Facebook page. Only by doing one small thing each day to make the world a little better, kinder, more sensitive, could I feel that I was still in some semblance of control.” Her Daily Assignments can be found here.  

1. Carry a first-aid kit
January 23, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: Carry with you a small first-aid kit, available at any drug or camping store. This way, you can offer assistance to anyone with a small injury. Children often fall and cut themselves. Nothing dissolves borders between people like someone offering a band-aid to someone else’s crying child. Be sure to always have hand-sanitizer, as well.

2. Learn a song
May 28, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: Learn a song. The song should be something which sustains people at times of emergency. When 9/11 occurred, my friend who lives in the Upper West Side of New York went outside and led the people who had piled out into the street in song. They sang, “Amazing Grace” as they walked down the streets together, watching the sky over Lower Manhattan darken with smoke. Music, even at the darkest of times, has the power to strengthen us.

3. Slow down
May 13, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: Choose one thing in your day with which you will be patient. It could be slow traffic, a cranky baby, an argumentative person, a task you are having trouble learning. When you feel your anxiety level begin to rise, tell yourself, “slow down.”

4. Take a walk in the sun
May 3, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: Take a walk in the sun. Bring along something yummy to eat and drink and a blanket. Carry a small journal and pencil. Find a grassy place to lie down after your snack. Feel the air around you, pressing against your skin. The air is not just an ‘absence of stuff’ but is a thing unto itself. Lie on your back and look up at the sky. Look through the air and see how it filters what you see. Is it dry, wet, clear or smoggy? Watch any clouds which may pass by for at least 15 minutes. Write down any words or phrases which come into your mind and save them for later. They are the building blocks of stories, poems and conversations. If you are a shy person who has trouble with ‘small talk,’ you can pull this experience out and say something like,”You know, I was lying on my back in the grass the other day and I realized,  (or saw, smelled, overheard, felt) the most interesting thing.”

5. Find someone to fill in
May 27, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: When you are exhausted, as all of us are from time to time, you must find someone to fill in for you so you may take a break. Whether you trade with them, or pay someone, or take a personal day or a vacation day, it is essential that you renew yourself. Think of yourself as a pitcher of water; the water of life from which many need to drink. If the pitcher isn’t refilled, everyone will suffer thirst. Ask for help and then help others when they, too, need a break.

6. Share a skill
August 3, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: Teach someone a skill this week. You may underestimate how many skills you possess. Do you have a recipe that has come down through your family? What are you saving it for? find someone with whom you can share it. Do you know how to play an instrument, build a birdhouse, do origami, dig a garden, sell lemonade, make lemonade, swim the breaststroke, speak English, Spanish, Chinese, Cherokee…? You have something you may not even realize that is very special. Immortality lies in the ability to pass on what you have learned. Pass it on. Don’t know anyone you think would be interested? You are wrong. Call up religious groups, clubs, scouts, veterans groups, homeless shelters, hospitals. Humans were born to pass on information. Life is like a relay race…PASS..IT…ON!

7. America is beautiful
Posted the day after the Women’s March on Washington:  January 22, 2017 – The Daily Assignment: Find someone who is in despair about the future. Tell them that yesterday America rose up and showed her face; and her face shone with hope and pride and goodness and strength. Tell them America’s face was the face of the old, who have struggled with the racism that has poisoned generations of Americans; it was the young, who have declared loudly, “It does not matter who we love and chose to spend our lives with, but THAT we love and care for one another;” tell them you saw the face of men, fathers of daughters, fathers of sons who have said, “A good man uses his strength to be a steward of the planet, to protect those he loves and those to come;” the faces of all colors and shades, all of whom share the same red blood, feel the same cold, hunger, loneliness, shame, pain and pride; and the face of women and not just American women, but our sisters and mothers throughout the world, saying, “We own our bodies. No one has the right to sell us, beat us or force us to endure a pregnancy against our own will.” Tell them America’s face had beards, lipstick, braces, tats, wigs, piercings and was freshly scrubbed. America’s hands held the hands of each other, gay, straight, bi and trans people helped each other, laughed together, wept together. Find all the people you can who are in despair and tell them that yesterday you saw the face of America and that it still beautiful.