This year we listened.
We focused on doing the emotional work that deep listening requires. Listening to those with a different perspective or experience. Listening to those facing trauma rooted in systemic injustices. Listening like we are receiving a gift that someone is generous and brave enough to share with us. Listening even when our first impulse is to ignore, to defend. Even when it may make us feel guilty, ashamed, angry or sad. Especially then, listening is an act of love.
Listening is the first step. It's a big one. The next is doing something. A small something, or a big something. Examine our own biases, behaviors that do not align with the new information, with our beliefs at large. We are learning to practice what we preach. It can be a difficult slow process fully worthy of doing. We must be patient with ourselves and others as we confront those who caused us pain, or as we are confronted with suffering we are responsible for, as we take that responsibility and then make it right. Conflict is an opportunity to heal, if approached with compassion.
We'll continue to listen in 2018. We also commit ourselves to being more aware of what's happening in our proximity, both to injustices that we can break down, as well as voices we can amplify. This year we learned that, while it's important to find our own voice, it's even more important to connect deeply with our community so that we can work together towards a common goal. With this in mind, we send a deep bow of gratitude to each and every person we learned from this year, who helped us be better, more compassionate and aware collaborators.
Gratitude to: Savannah Rusher, Mia Christopher, Ari Bird, Ricki Dwyer, Derek Luke Macario, Diana Lempel, Nicole Lattuca, Practice Space, Sea Witch Productions, Lauren Espina, Mia Bolton, Margaret Seelie, Feather Weight, Maryam Yousif, Chiara Sbolci, Hannah Smith, Larisa Minerva, Katja Swift, Ryn Midura, Ben Lotan, Tara Shi, This Will Take Time, Ellie Lobovits, Gabriel Christian, Paul Stein, Kirstyn Hom, Leah Koransky, and Kevin at Broken Seal.
As we emerge from the dark of winter solstice, may 2018 be brighter for it.
Alexandra, Ava, Kristin and Estathea