This year has brought so much shifting and movement mentally, physically, and emotionally. Leadership for me has changed from the need to always be in front of things to maintaining my own power and agency to say no, to rest, to breathe. I've become more disciplined in my practices of daily self-care, including exercise, therapy, meditation, home body work, and reading. It's so much a part of my daily life that when a day or week goes by that I don't practice self-care, I can feel it in my bones. I feel dehydrated, tired, and not as sharp. Taking more time out of my day to rest and reflect has made me a more productive leader during the limited hours I have to work, learn, and actually lead. It's become even more important that I set clear weekly intentions and give myself space and grace to flex in order to adapt to the ever-changing environment 2020 has provided.
I was able to extend my Fellowship, through the grace of the Bush Foundation, in order to build some longer-term goals potentially beyond the pandemic. Additional time has given me space to rethink where I can spend my energy and money while being unable to travel. Where I had planned to do ancestry work around the world, I've actually started to lay a deeper foundation of knowledge now. My plan will be to travel when I'm able, but with a solid understanding and written narrative of my own familial history. I'm energized by this pivot and have been able to spend focused time on this work over the last 6 months.
I feel I've become a more focused leader since becoming a Fellow. Though I'm still working on extending grace to myself when I slip and don't practice self-care, reach my goals, or achieve my intentions, I'm getting better at living in and for each moment, cherishing the lessons, stumbles, and triumphs learned and earned each day. I'm excited for what 2021 holds, as nothing could be quite as revolutionary as the expansive nature of 2020. I'll be using the next month to plan the next 6-12 months of my Fellowship.