Category: Intentional Justice (page 1 of 10)

Using Love & Intention As Tools For Activism

Everyday Activism: Love & Intention

I had the pleasure joining Mercedes Samudio, LCSW on her virtual couch as we talk about family, parenting and Intentional Justice™

We dive right in to discuss what it means to be an activist today….and what it means to bring this activism into the family.

⇓ Watch the episode below ⇓

Resources Mentioned:

Transcript Courtesy of Shame Proof Parenting

Roth believes work begins with one’s self and expands outward.  It’s a continuous process.  She explains that in her journey to becoming a mother, and being a queer family, she had to go a nontraditional route.  Her identity was central to that.  She and her wife chose an anonymous donor whose identity will be released to their daughter when she turns 18.  This was important to them because they didn’t want to take away that part of who she is.  They have had conversations with their daughter about being a two-mom family and discussed what the difference looks like compared to other families so she can discuss it herself.  Roth feels that the best way we can love and honor ourselves is knowing who we are.   We next discuss how one can be an activist in her community on top of the demands of being being a parent. Roth explains that if it feels like a struggle, you can make it a long-term goal, and suggests tapping into what your heart is telling you-you want to do at this time.  Creativity flourishes in despair, and we can choose how we want to show up.  She suggests thinking about what it is you want for your family.  If you want more intentional conversations about culture and community, bring it into the home.  Roth suggests books as a way to do this.

For over a decade, Roth has been engaged in social justice work, and she reached a point where it felt like a grind and wondered at what point she would get to celebrate something that felt like justice.  She feels that there is justice in setting a goal or intention and moving toward it.  Her background is in sports psychology, so she really relates to setting a goal.  Roth defines Intentional Justice™ as bite-size  +deliberate daily action.  This means you take baby steps to get closer to your goal.

We shift into discussing how privilege can be a barrier to  Intentional Justice™.  Privilege can help or hinder attempts for  Intentional Justice™.  Roth advises that there doesn’t need to be shame around it–-own your story and know where you stand.  It doesn’t make you a bad person.  She poses the question of if you raise your consciousness and you know something can be different, will you choose to be different or settle and let it serve you?

Next, we talked about how you can model Intentional Justice™  for children.  Roth suggests going through an exercise that you can sign up for through her website called the  Intentional Justice™ Identity Table. She recommends having the parent or professional do it themselves first, and then as you get comfortable with your own identity, you can expand into a family identity.  It is appropriate for approximately fifth grade and up.  She feels that by this age you have a sense of who you are and how you want to show up to your classmates.

Finally, we discuss how to maintain  Intentional Justice™ when people in your support circle don’t understand your viewpoints or how to accept or respect your perspective.  Roth doesn’t feel like an expert.  She has had to make difficult choices and is currently not speaking to a few family members as a result of having to claim where she stands.  Roth gets support from a couple’s therapist, a support network of mentors, “besties”, and her tribe.  She explains that she can’t expect her wife, bestie, or other parents to show up at drop of a hat, though, and advises that you have to also love yourself like a mother.  It’s important to have a community but there are moments you’re by yourself, which can be empowering.  Intentional Justice™ doesn’t always mean you have to agree and stay around people who only agree with you and respect you.  Going through your own journey helps you turn the injustices into moments that are opportunities for learning, healing and growing.  It’s an upward spiral–as you get to know yourself, you may have some breakthroughs but the work does not end.

Thank Mercedes for the opportunity to chat with you!

Now let me share more about Shame Proof Parenting…

What is Shame-Proof Parenting?

When you’re led by shame-proof parenting, your family will understand each other enough that when people come against you, you won’t buckle under the pressure and you won’t turn on each other. You and your family can feel confident in saying, “This is our journey, this is where we are right now,” without worrying about others’ judgments.

~ Mercedes Samudio, LCSW

Mercedes is on a mission to #EndParentShaming and I accept! Will you join me?

In the Award-Winning, Amazon Bestselling book, Shame-Proof Parenting: Find your unique parenting voice, feel empowered, and raise whole, healthy children, Mercedes bravely and vulnerably shares opens the book by sharing her story to highlight the impact intergenerational shame has on our lives both as children and parents. Then with compassionate bite-sized + deliberate action, you are walked through 5 Ways Parents Recreate Shame for Their Children, which since has provided this mama with a powerful lens for Intentional Justice™ in my own life.

In an easy to read format, Mercedes guides us in unraveling the parenting style gimmick and the trap of the Dr. Parenting Expert with a first-class permission slip to choose our own adventure as parents by creating our own elusive parenting manual. I appreciate the thoughtful approach to talk about the underlying issues that stop the process of shame-proofing. I appreciate the thoughtful approach to talk about the underlying issues that stop the process of shame-proofing before diving into the how-to of bringing shame-proof parenting into our lives. Plus, there’s an entire chapter on the Shame-Proof Emergency Kit and our need for Shame-Proof Village. I love, love, love that Mercedes doesn’t shy away from addressing the gender divide with this inclusive intro…

For the purposes of this book, we are looking at gender as both biological gender classifications and how you identify your own gender.

The book wrap with a chapter on “Bursting The Shame-Proof Parenting Bubble,” which further highlights cultural influences as the most important aspect of shame-proofing parenting and protecting families from shame. In this section, I appreciate the simple yet practical paragraph on Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation. All this is to say that I felt included and seen in this book as a queer mama.

As I wrap my review of this book, I’ll share that my favorite part was the timely quotes sprinkled throughout. My favorite is how the book ends with Mercedes own words of wisdom…

Being wholly, authentically human is a lifelong journey that no one ever truly masters. Give yourself space to be imperfect, and make a commitment to shame-proof your parenting identity so that you can give that same space to your children.

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

Now, it’s your turn. I invite YOU to consider:

  • Where could you give yourself to be imperfect?
  • Will you join me to #EndParentShaming ?
  • How has shame had an impact on your life?

👇Please share your thoughts below in the comments 👇

It’s one way YOU can take bite-size + deliberate action TODAY!

In lovelution 💕

⇓ Ready for Intentional Justice™ in Your Life?! ⇓

Lesson 12: Sometimes Sleep is the Best Medicine

Sleep. A daily event…

I look forward to each night when my eyes get heavy. Hands down my go-to daily medicine. With the time falling back this week, I have found myself yearning for more sleep.

I have always been a good sleeper. In fact, I could be sleepin’ now. Instead, I choose to write. After a full day of mama-ing (yes, I’m using my status of a mama as a verb!), it’s time for my own soul medicine—writing.

As I shared in Lesson 11: You are the Mama (Guardian) of Your Soul, we each experience what feeds our “soul to be present with our essence and inner knowing” differently. This is what I call Soul Medicine.

While sleep has been a lifelong friend, I’m curious…

When Do You Know It’s Time to Do Less & Rest?

Whether it seems like a choice or not, we do get to choose: how much sleep will we get each night?

My sweet spot is 8-9 hours. Before having a kiddo, I’d say it was more like 10-12 hours. While I’d rarely get the latter, I do remember thinking that catching up on sleep during the weekends was actually a thing.

Now with a kiddo that sleeps through the night more often than less, my sweet spot is beginning to happen more and more. With this new reality, I’m often left pondering on the nights I’m not on bedtime duty…

Is what I want to do more important than a good night of sleep?

Often, the answer is “no” because at 35 I’ve learned the powerful and counter-intuitive lesson that it’s better to start fresh than push through.

Which is why…

Sleep is My Never-Fail Invitation to Reset

While I can own that each day is not promised, what is promised is that each day is a new beginning, a fresh start. Easier said than done when you don’t go to bed mad or sad. The latter has historically been harder for I because sadness shows up in many forms.

On the worst days, when it feels hopeless and everything is out of my control, sleep saves the day. Because on these days, sleep feels like the only solution. And, in doing so, when you wake up it’s like an automatic do-over.

Then the invitation feels like the lottery when we Fall back gaining an hour versus an evil trick when we Spring forward and loss an hour. Which has been wondering yet again…

Why do we still have Daylight Savings?

At the heart of the matter, it’s about maximizing daylight in an effort to conserve energy. After a quick google search, I learned that “Today, about 40% of countries worldwide use it to make better use of daylight and to conserve energy” (courtesy of TimeandDate.com’s History of Daylight Savings Time),

As I write the first draft of this post, it’s the eve of returning to Standard Time. One of my favorite nights of the year. The evening when time literally stops and falls back an hour. When we are graced with an extra hour if we live in a state that recognizes this tradition of bending time.

Then, my daughter woke up at 5:30 am. And, I was reminded that I’m the mama of a toddler who wakes up based on her internal clock and when it’s ready to rise not the new time on some clock. In Jaylin’s case, that meant waking up at 5:30 am.

Hmm…maybe my love for this day will return when Jaylin’s a teenager? Until then, I’ll hold onto the Truth that no matter what the clock says, sleep is the best medicine.

Not Convinced Sleep is the Best Free Gift You Can Give Yourself

Don’t just take it from me…

Listen to the above podcast interview with Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, in which she likens our society glamorizing sleep-deprivation to that of smoking in the 1950s and 60s. Arianna proclaims that,

“We need to get to the point where parading your sleep deprivation like a badge of honor is stigmatized.”

As one who unintentionally lived life without sleep for a full 24 hours (thanks la luna) last week, let me be the first say, no badge of honor here. Instead, a yearning for what was missed. In fact, since the time changed, sleep and early to bed sleep has called my name. While I still don’t believe you can “catch-up” on sleep, I do believe that sleep has been my friend.

And, this week my friend has kindly ask that I ease up on the late-night writing and instead simply sleep 😴

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

Now, it’s your turn. I invite YOU to consider:

  • How much sleep do you need each night?
  • What do you love about the daily act of sleeping?
  • Does sleep feel like a dose of medicine to you? Why or why not?

👇Please share your thoughts below in the comments 👇

It’s one way YOU can take bite-size + deliberate action TODAY!

In lovelution 💕

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Lesson 11: You are the Mama (Guardian) of Your Soul

♥ Part of the Series 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life ♥

With a commitment for bite-sized + deliberate action today, tomorrow, and every day that I keep putting one foot in front of the other to create what I believe in.

♥   ♥   ♥

Have you ever considered that you are your soul’s keeper?

The holder of your essence, the magic composition that is you.

The one who can open you up to your uniquely you inner knowing.

The one you can depend on, who will hold your heart on the darkest nights.

The one who can teach you, how to walk your own path.

The guardian of your soul.

♥   ♥   ♥

As I shared in Lesson 10: Identity is Nurtured, it has taken the first half of my 30s to learn that we/I am the guardian of my soul. To learn this lesson, it was my job and mine alone. In fact, it’s each of our jobs to learn how to love ourselves. No one else’s.

While most of us can say, or at least we hope, came into the world loved, we often spend a lifetime journeying home to what’s been inside of us all along. This is to say regardless of our experience with love as a child, it’s our job to uncover for ourselves what makes us tick, what makes us whole, and how we can love, nurture, and accept who we are from the inside out.

To choose to lead with our identity front and center. Yet, first, this needed to happen (or least it did for I)…

Step 1: Name Your Inner Critic

The very first business workshop I attended was when I learned of the concept that we each have an inner critic. The voice (or choir, which is often the case) that calls for perfection to meeting others expectations, as well as our own and pushes our buttons like only someone who knows you best can.

That’s why I think it’s essential that to love ourselves the way we dream and deserve that we must first name the voice of perfection that’s being that gossipy group of critics. Your personal panel of pundits. A representative caucus of all the commentators, backseat drivers, and judges that tap into your fear and countless rejection you’ve experienced in your lifetime.

Yolanda was my first named critic, Yo-Yo for short because that’s how she makes me feel. There’s a lot I could say about her, like any dear friend in terms of the good, bad and ugly. I’ll focus on the good, right now. Yo-Yo is currently on vacay. Yep, you read that right. Her antics got so out of control that I informed her that I would buy her a one-way airplane ticket to anywhere in the world. This permission slip for my soul made it easy to then move to…

Step 2: Self-Compassion is an Act of Self-Love

In my own journey of learning to love myself, I can recall countless times when I allowed my inner critic, Yo-Yo to be my decision-maker. As Adichie shares in her new book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, “‘Allow’ is a troubling word. ‘Allow’ is about power.” That said, I can clearly see now because hindsight is 20/20, right?

I had given Yo-Yo permission to take the wheel. With Yo-Yo in the driver’s seat, I then found myself striving for perfection, someone else’s way, or being harder on myself than those who love me most would EVER be. In January 2013, when I began exploring how I wanted to feel instead of creating more lists of what I wanted to accomplish, compassion was one of the many words that I explored.

What began as an experience of feeling “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it,” which makes sense I am an ENFJ, “The Giver,” soon became a dance of doing so for myself, for my heart, for the 3-year-old inside of me as I watch my own almost 3-year-old daughter. This is why I believe self-compassion is an act of love. Because I needed to learn how to give this to myself like I have for all those I love.

Step 3: Self-Care is a MUST (especially when healing)

In my early 20s, I believed self-care was pampering. A massage, mani/pedi, or facial. You know, a spa day?

My relationship to self-care began when my wife and I marked the beginning of our family conception journey. It began with acupuncture to aid with my intense periods with a dream to slowly and methodically decrease my bipolar medication because one thing was for certain–I did not want that medicine in my body when I conceived. This simple act to try something new led to my first commitment to my own personal dose of…

Soul Medicine:   an act or experience that feeds your soul to be present with your essence and inner knowing

Because as Audre Lorde reminds us…

Radical Self-Care is Justice

When I was reminded of this quote for one of my favorite writers, I exclaimed a big Hell YES! This!

Just a reminder I needed that a daily dose of self-preservation is a MUST!  radical Act is no more than bite-sized + deliberate daily action towards the life you dream and deserve.

Now, I recognize that “It’s a Journey, Not a Race” that “Identity is Nurtured” as I’ve embraced the reality that “Coming Out is Not a One Time Event.” As a result of my own journey to Love Myself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice™ this is why I have created this…

Mama J’s Top 5 Restorative Practices: In 5 Minutes or Less…

This is the type of soul medicine that gives YOU permission to be the mama of your soul in our ever-changing 24-hour news and notification cycle. I invite you to try 1 or all 5 in the week ahead to restore andLove Myself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

Now it’s your turn, as I now invite YOU to consider:

  • What wave are you riding on your journey of self-love?
  • How do you practice radical self-care?
  • Which 5 minute or less restorative practice will you try?

👇 Share your intention for today or the week ahead 👇

It’s one way YOU can take bite-size + deliberate action TODAY 👣✨🌈

In lovelution 💕

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