For me, this first week of shifting has been been guided by crisis mode stress. I guess it is good to notice my go-to's in stress:
Reach out- I make phone calls, visit folks, check in. Try to strategize a future with folks. Bare minimum, I ask them if they're "in" on the team, a part of the group that will help each other and build with each other.
Quick- Immediately, I conceive of a plan and start coordinating. (I, me) I try to get input and feedback, but mostly work the plan in my head, split second with no hesitation, and tell others what I've conceived of. I ask for help. I spread the word. I execute the plan. I think the plan is good. I think the plan is likely also flawed. I move fast regardless.
Plan for others first. The plan will take into account others' needs. I imagine what other folks might need 2-3 weeks from now, 2-3 months from now. I begin preparing for food, shelter, education, spiritual needs, play, grief, loneliness, financial needs.
A Mirror- Someone along the way will remind me that I am moving in a way that does not align with my values. That's what we do when we are in crisis mode, we default to the dominant narrative, the status quo. For me, this means telling rather than asking, distributing rather than keeping, moving at the speed of thoughts rather than the speed of trust. When it is pointed out to me, I make attempts to decentralize myself, to change course. Seeing the options here is harder for me. I carry some sense of guilt, regret, and shame for not being able to think and do differently. Where I see I can shift, I do. I also ask folks to give input, help me see. Often, the person who hold the mirror in front of me is not committed to walking alongside me to work together to shift. The mirror is helpful, it is challenging and makes me grow. It is not my companion throughout. There's magnetic resistance there. I can feel it.
I do. and do. and do. I make lists, check of lists, make more lists. Gather supplies, distribute, offer help, make calls, south the call to the masses. I keep doing.
At some points, I notice. Clover. Birds. Flowers. My boys. Music. Laughter. Water. My body. I can feel I am tired. I notice I am turning toward stress eating- eating things that are less good for me. I tell myself it is ok. I deserve it.
I sound the call. I feel crazy saying so, but I sense that everything we once knew is about to change. This is it. This is our moment to come together- to build a more beautiful world. I sound the call for folks to join in dreaming and doing and creating something new. Folks don't hear me. They don't respond. Not yet, at least. I feel relentless about this. I am not going to quit trying, I tell myself. Not yet, at least.
On Friday, I need a break. Instead of emergency mode, I ask for creativity and fun mode. With those that have committed to cultivating community in this place, we play. Soccer. Prayer altars. Collage. Carpenter Bee traps. Gardening. Front Porch Sitting. And then more food deliveries.
Some of my most beloved family have stopped by, people I hold so dear. And when they have come, we stood 6ft apart. No hug greeting. No hug goodbye. Several of them don't understand. They thing I am being silly, irrational, uncaring. This hurts. I am sad about this. I don't want to violate their trust and I don't want them to feel unloved. And I don't want to reject them.
At the end of the day, yesterday, one beloved family member stopped by. He had ridden a bus to come and see us. I was so tired. I said hello, but then went inside. I fell asleep when I sat down. When I woke up 30 minutes later, he was gone. I hope that is not the last time I see him.
It is good to notice these things. We'll see what next week brings.