‘Gestures’ is the word that has snagged my thinking these last few days.
Big ones. Little ones. How immediate gestures are.
These past four weeks felt like one long limp day that rolled into a long breezeless night. There are so few markers that I have to stop and think to know what day of the week it is now.
Late at night, Mark and I often walk our streets. Few people are out. Nothing is open, which is strange in a city that never used to sleep. Blue flickers of TV’s flash through front windows. People talk quietly on balconies.
Gestures. Each one carries meaning.
Making eye contact. Taking a knee. Wearing a mask. Instinctively reaching out to hug then pulling back.
In the constant swirl of information (which changes hourly) I like you, cycle through a range of feelings; from the wild hope that insights and positive choices in this time will stick, to an unsettling apprehension of what lurks around the corner. Too many questions have no answers on ground that keeps shifting. But we keep on…
In this massive upheaval, my sustaining belief is that what we do matters. How we think, what we think— the choices that result from that thinking — actually count and make a difference. In our lives, in the lives of others.
In Friday’s last session, Vanessa paraphrased a quote that stayed with me, and that thought gifted me the delicious word ‘gestures’,
“There are movements that go nowhere and gestures that create revolutions.”
The word ‘gesture’ implies non-verbal communication, but I extrapolate that to include any ‘action’ that signifies meaning. This is why from the beginning of this up-side-down pandemic world my question was, how can I act— how can I use my gifts to keep everyone’s head above the water?
A gesture. Action. Those first eight weeks of roundtables were an extraordinary journey for me, as well as for the women who joined me. Anne wrote,
“I love everything about the space that you create each week and how you show up for us. Something you said yesterday, deeply resonated with my experience these past few weeks about how when you allow yourself to feel all the emotions, you can truly connect to yourself and shift the energy from grief to transformation.”
This week marked the last of four weekly sessions on ‘Knowing Myself’ in my new series on ‘Creating My Life.’ I couldn’t wait to greet the amazing women who showed up in the three groups. Their readiness to be open and vulnerable and wrestle with deeper questions and concepts of life and self, moved me.
Joan, who lives in Dallas wrote, “Each week I have been able to contemplate deeper aspects of myself. More importantly however, I have been able to apply this understanding at work and with friends and family and myself.”
Every woman’s commitment to her own growth and the strength of others was palpable. They cheered and clapped when other women shared their victories – large and small. Several women generously sponsored other women to attend.
Actions. Love. Support. Affirmation.
Héléne wrote, “Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of your group and to still move ahead in this journey of slow healing you bring us on. Healing is a decision, a process, then a lifestyle until it become simple joy and the most important activity of our life. It is so touching to see the pain women have in common. Thank you for allowing me to witness it in this way. We share so much pain. Strangely enough, the Zoom technology allows us to be intimate, see and feel the emotions. No hugs however:))”
(Never thought I would say this, but I love doing this work online. Who knew!)
As each funny, smart, and brave woman shared perspectives on how she holds her place and space in these extraordinary times—Covid, loss of jobs, Black Lives Matter -they all challenged, uplifted and affirmed us, allowing space and grace to shift our own perspectives.
As Lisa wrote from Idaho, “I look at every woman in our group and think, “They have no idea how courageous they really are.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I raise my arms in the gesture of a hug…
… and I send my love.