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“A movement requires, you know, moving”-Jennifer Olsen

Integration is the word for 2017. Integration of beliefs into action. I tend to require a physical manifestation from myself and the world, and that social media ain’t action. And yet…

A year ago I left the train I was on, a train of non-profit work that didn’t seem to matter to anyone but me, and when I said this aloud, I felt alone and unheard. Maybe: that’s quitter talk. or: if you were more awesome, all would be well.

So when I won the Next award from Maine Biz magazine, it became my stop. Right here’s good, I’m out. I was sick and sad and without a destination in sight. And Kate said, “hey, wanna hang out with me and my mom?” Through social media. And so a virtual relationship became a physical manifestation: of health, community, and business that was both hyper-local and hyper-global. A meritocracy.

And a toolbox! I knew I needed new ways, and this became my grad school, in the form of Usana, Marie Forleo’s B-school, IHI’s Hundred Million Healthier Lives movement, SWA Mastery and Real Love Revolution coming right up. Learning and teaching. Physical and virtual. Some parts I feel wobbly and coltish legs of weirdness, and others are like, yeah, I got this. I’m home.
My tribe/school doesn’t ask that I do all of it, just some and keep at it. Choose your adventure, if you will.

Now, the Rally. Last year, I offered my adult children a trip to Miami as part of my vitamin D infusion and emancipation from my former job life. We enjoyed our time, so I offered a repeat as a Christmas gift. One kid said yes, the other, no. We didn’t realize when we booked it that it was Women’s Rally weekend. I wasn’t even sure I was interested, as this represented to me something that was akin to virtual: LIKE action, but I wondered about its ability to manifest better lives for women.

But my son requested it, so I thought it was worth a try. Not our community, and when we got there, we couldn’t even get in because Bayfront Park was at capacity. And there were a lot of us! So we improvised a rally and march on the outside, which was organic and peaceful, and which we wandered away from when we had had enough. (can you even DO that?) It was like my tribe back home, really. Rest when you want. Just like I told my fitness classes all those years. No need to do this alone.

So while I feel that Washington, DC is not the epicenter of the movement toward gender equity, I like my Sisters a lot more. And brothers and sons and lovers who get it. Amen.

Post-script: posting my photos on social media prompted a friend on the other side of the conversation to ask me about why I was there, and our exchange led to him sharing it with his audience. If there’s a win to be had, that was it.

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