“Conquer from within;” a guiding philosophy for 2017.
As a proudly liberal, loudly feminist, believer in all things equity, supporter of people from all walks of life, the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the country symbolized the rise of power of the antithesis of everything I believed in. This misogynist, racist, elitist, dangerous man was to shape the next four years of American life!?!? It lit a fire within me. This fire, fueled mostly by anger and disbelief, engulfed me for several weeks, and as 2016 came to a close, that flame burned bright as the conversation of new years resolutions circled on the social media stratosphere. And I don’t mean to be rude, but personally it seemed superficial to try to “get fit” or “get more organized” in the wake of what our nation was going through…. However, having recently been overcome by a wave of anxiety that I haven’t faced in several years, I also understood the importance of taking care of oneself in order to be a service to others. You can’t water a garden as an empty bucket.
I’m also a strong believer in new beginnings and resolutions in general, I knew that I would have to reconcile the need for healing, health and strength with my desire to be a warrior for positive change in 2017. This is when I stumbled upon the phrase “conquer from within.” I fell in love with the idea. The word conquer–strong and with a bite–reminded me of my commitment to the values of equity, community, and social justice. When I see the word conquer, I feel committed to be a fighter for liberal values. I see myself as a conquerer for the good in the world.
But the phrase adds the idea of the inner work that needs to be done–the need to take care of ones mental state, physical being, and relationships. To conquer from within, therefore, means to reflect, love, and inspire oneself in order to put yourself on the front lines every day for change.
To me, conquering from within in 2017 is…
Building inner strength to be the foundation for the long-term fight
Finding a place for self love in my life that can be transformed into love for all
Strengthening my inner resilience to provide fuel for the persistent resistance.
While reflecting on this philosophy for 2017, I realized that these concepts are only pretty words if they are not transformed into meaningful action. Unfortunately, both my self-care regimen and social justice activism has been mostly pretty words up until now–a concept without a plan. This needed to change. In order to see through my guiding philosophy, I therefore created steps and goals in congruence with the concepts of inner-growth and outward-resistance. These goals and strategies are manageable and they excite me. I’ve delineated them below.
- Unplug from Facebook and Instagram other than 30 mins a day. This keeps me from making constant comparisons with other’s lifestyles.
- Listen to more podcasts, subscribe to more news listservs, rejoin Twitter and follow only necessary accounts that will keep me educated on political and national events. This will provide me with the tools I need to resist political actions I don’t agree with and overall be a more well-informed citizen.
- Read for pleasure 30 minutes before bed 3 times a week.
- Donate to at least one non-profit organization once a month. We don’t have much extra money, but giving what I can where I can make a difference. Planned Parenthood’s got my $30 this month…
- Monitor and manage my anxiety.
- Focus my academic scholarship on movements and rhetoric that I find can benefit the civil action I believe in.
- Join, attend, listen and act (when and where directed) in the local #BlackLivesMatter DC chapter.
- Pour love and gratitude to the humans who make my world worth fighting for–my husband, my family, my friends (no matter how many miles away. for these folks, expect more letter writing, face-timing, visiting, etc.)
- Partake in weekly reflection on Sunday afternoons. This may take place in the form of blogging, doodling, having a conversation with my husband, etc…
- Prioritize action rather than re-posting articles on social media. Keep an eye on movements, organizations, leaders who need my support, action. Step up when needed.
- Find a hobby that promotes positive habits–meditation, journaling, SOMETHING.
- Find a community of friends in the Washington DC area so that my husband and I have a support network in #MarriedLand
Rather than being a New Years Resolution, I hope these actions transform into habits that I carry with me over my life. The philosophy and goals above will allow me to live in congruence and in balance while also holding me accountable for real actions that benefit a more equitable society. Overall, I hope 2017 allows the opportunity to heal, grow, and conquer both within and throughout society.
Want to join me? Have suggestions for any of the goals above? Feel free to comment here or message me privately!