“Side note –ok for us to bring a healing gift for you to bring back to Beth? Darrell and I both recently had surgery and know how difficult recovery can be and he has a special blanket he wants to gift her.” Email from Amy McKinley at Children of the Setting Sun
Lighting each candle
Our voices in harmony
Ancestors are here
It’s no coincidence that the darkest months of the year have the brightest decorations and festivals. Our ancestor’s’ medicine to counteract the monochrome days, barren fields, and winter chill was by building celebrations to commemorate the season with lights, feasts, dances, songs, and offerings. Here are some of the Holidays that light up this season: Hanukkah/Chanukah, solstice, Yalda, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year, Three Kings, Chinese New, and Naw-Ruz.
shorter days feel long
nature is always changing
what do you notice?
Each Holiday echoes with stories of generosity, joy, remembrance, and good health and fortune. With the airwaves taken over by popular holiday music, shows, and movies highlighting excess and happily ever after as the goal, it is easy to get distracted and miss the meanings behind these celebrations. Holidays can bring a lot of grief, stress, and feelings of isolation and inadequacy. If this resonates with you, remember to not judge yourself and or feel like you must perform “happy”. Offer yourself some grace, space, love, and rest, if you can.
No longer running from darkness
Porous, fully allowing uncertainty, disorientation, anxiety, depression
I see you fear
Ultimately knowing you are also beauty
Porous, allowing healing magic of facing, inner stillness, deepening
I see you transformation
Savoring the uncertainty, no longer searching for the light
Curled up in the destabilization of rebirth and its darkness
A new friend, mentor, lover
A welcomed life-long relationship
No longer yearning for the light
Because I’m finding myself in the dark – Lindsay
These celebrations are organized to bring us together to reflect, enjoy, and collectively observe a year coming to a close. For some, it is a about a birth, and for all, it is an invocation for good health, ease, and prosperity for the coming of the new year. Generosity runs through each of these holidays, and we wanted to highlight that and say our deepest gratitude’s to all of you who have shown us what generosity looks like in practice this year.
This too is work
In which my words
Will be mine & yours
To rearrange as problems to solve
As communities or concepts
Philosophies whose fate we ponder
Musings; A tale of two cities
One we belong to & one where this
To is the work; of stepping out
Over the fence under the bridge
Asking the troll if his DEI strategy had community input –Morgan Elise
We all grew up with extreme understandings of what generosity meant and looked like. For some of us, giving our stuff away, even if we didn’t want to and needed it ourselves, was considered generous. A teammate shared how her mother would take things from her room without consent and give them away to others in need. Nothing ever truly felt like hers growing up. She became protective and possessive of her things, her words, and feelings. Some of us witnessed a parent or two, be so generous with their time that they did not have any for themselves or their families. We have come to understand that those displays of “generosity” are martyrdom in disguise. That is the opposite of self-care and authentic generosity. Authentic generosity has loving boundaries to keep us whole, intact, and well.
What does generosity mean to you?
What does it look like, sound like, feel like?
Where did you learn to be generous?
Who brings out your authentic generosity?
Generosity looks, feels, and sounds different to everybody, so take some time to feel into the questions above. Shrug, roll your eyes, smile, and deepen For our team, generosity looks like giving away maternity clothes for others to utilize and enjoy. It is sharing and offering of food, shelter, money, attention, and love, without attaching the feelings and thoughts of “now they owe me”. Generosity is sharing something that is truly meaningful, which can sometimes mean feeling a stretch of discomfort and moving away from the falsehood of scarcity and fear-based thinking. To knowing in our bodies that there is enough for all of us, and that it is our responsibility to care for one another like the earth cares for us.
Generosity feels like smiling cheeks,
hands open reaching forward, facing up to the skies.
Giving of oneself, be it material or a simple kind word.
Give with love, care, and a smile.
True generosity is not always easy.
It must be worth something to you. – Liz
It was unanimous, we all felt the most authentic generosity towards children, our own and those we care for. There was a tie for a few who named their children, and their partner and others said their family, both chosen and blood. Genuine generosity grows more possible with loving boundaries. Knowing that there is enough space for each of us to enter whole and leave feeling more resourced because of the reciprocal energy that lives inside of authentic generosity.
Tell me what you need
Burnt Skelton leaves
Sleepy wool blankets
Wait while watching
Orange, red, yellow tribal dances
These are things used to serve – Morgan Elise
Lindsay attributes her early learning of genuine generosity to her mom, who she says is guided by generosity more than anything else. As a kid, Lindsay would find it hard sometimes to witness her mother’s level of generosity. The thought would creep in, “will she have anything left for us, her children, her family”. The answer was always yes, if anything she had even more to share because the generosity was being whole heartedly reciprocated. Lindsay encourages herself and all of us, with the caveat of loving boundaries, to be generous with our time and attention with people that are our teachers, mentors, role models, and allow for the possibilities that generosity can teach us about living in community and building structures that allows all of us to have what we need and be loved.
For the New Year
Same us; Have we decided how we want to fight
With a pen by my side
I’ve attempted slow
Writing to dos on the
Back of envelopes
As close to disconnected as I get
Breath between thoughts
Here is where I give
Metaphors volcanoes erupting
This is more explanation than poem
How often do you remember
All the miracles that took
Place so you could breathe
Out loud & out of sight
Tucked away at times but
Still there not a garnish
Not to be given away or traded
For time & energy
My legs hurt my ankles ache
Weary from dragging me across war zones
My body a road map of generational trauma
There is no room for me here
I’ve been healing grandmothers
Breaking mommy’s generational curse
If I am my ancestor’s wildest dreams
Why am I still fighting battles they died for – Morgan Elise
At the end of day, true generosity fuels and reminds us of our intrinsic belonging to one another. Creating lives of care, healing, love, creativity, and joy takes all of us. Thank you for inspiring and teaching us these lessons, and for your generosity of spirit to embark on this intentional and uncharted path to liberation with us. Let generosity be our guide!