I spent 17 years working as a victim advocate and most agencies, institutions, and organizations have no sustainable infrastructure to incorporate a culture of rest. In fact everything we know about working is the opposite of resting and everything we know about resting is the exact opposite of working. I no longer agree with this sentiment. We need rest in order to work. And our work needs rest in order for it to work!
Today, I declare rest is revolutionary. Our society is so production oriented that we expect people to work like machines and then are surprised, ridicule and/or ostracize those same valuable employees when they burn out. The infrastructure needs a better foundation.
I'm grateful that I was able to work for an agency that instituted work from home or a flexible working plan that staff could propose after a full year of work. But there are other ways that agencies that provide similar options to create a more sustainable culture of rest by incorporating more opportunities for all staff to explore the types of rest that best meets each professional need.
I was apprehensive about sharing this small testimony because in the working world there is a silent expectation that an employee will do what they need to do personally and privately in order to care of themselves. The issue is so many folks that do hard work are not compensated enough to afford the kind of meaningful and intentional rest that one needs to manage the day to day pressures of crisis oriented work. Another reason I was a bit apprehensive is largely due to a general attitude that suggests that we all make choices professionally and that if a person decides to enter a profession that pays wages that make it difficult to cultivate a lifestyle that is sustainable then ideally it is assumed that this person is at fault for choosing that kind of career. Additionally, our society in general does not support activists doing the back breaking work of fighting for justice on our behalf. That is exactly where the problem is - our social structure is systemically oppressive and does not value the lives of people in the margins. People who sense a calling to care for people in the margins are our heroes and we the people ought to be doing all we can to support those that fight for us!
So Ché & I have decided to cultivate THE EXPERIENCE; spaces that foster connectivity, growth, freedom and wellness for our front line warriors! We hope that you'll join us on Monday, July 27th at 8pm for THE EXPERIENCE!