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Connection amid the Chaos – Emerging from the stress of 2020

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The chaos of 2020 has forced us to reckon with centuries of structural injustice. Although we can see the light of hope shining through the cracks, the process of tearing down and rebuilding is as uncertain as it is painful.

If what you need is a little peace of mind, I invite you to check out five resources that can get you through the rest of 2020 and beyond.

DO YOU FEEL ME

Remember the last pre-Covid conversation you had with a trusted friend about the meaning of life? Chances are you felt safe enough to be vulnerable, invested enough to be engaged, and curious enough to really listen. These are the ingredients of connection, which is what many of us are sorely lacking in this moment. Daily Haloha, created by New York-based Amy Giddon, has the power to restore your sense of connection to humanity without ever leaving your house. The app presents a single, thought-provoking, fill-in-the-blank statement each day.

“It was a big turning point when…”

“…would be a dream come true.”

“Spirituality is…”

Participants share their responses anonymously, which are displayed on a wall for everyone to read. In a moment, one can get a glimpse inside the minds of hundreds of strangers — creating an instant sense of connection to a global community. Currently, more than ten thousand people from over 110 countries subscribe to the app.

App Store Screen Courtesy of Daily Haloha

The app was inspired by Giddon’s experience of encountering the now-famous “Subway Therapy” that spontaneously occurred just after the 2016 presidential election results were announced. In Subway Therapy, one by one, thousands of sticky notes adhered to the walls of NYC subway stations, each with an anonymous yet heartfelt expression of grief, hope and everything in between.“We saw that [such public installations] were uniquely capable of creating a shared moment of humanity among strangers,” Giddon reflects.

“We realized the thing that created this magic moment of togetherness was that they were anonymous, free of judgment and free from status. Social media promises connection but hasn’t delivered. It is often fueled by judgment, comparison and performance.”

– Amy Giddon, CEO of Daily Haloha

Daily Haloha is not for racking up “connections” or “likes,” rather it allows for collective reflection. “We think collective reflection can rekindle empathy,” she affirms. “Because it is self-reflection connected with everyone else’s experience.”Download Daily Haloha on Google Play or the Apple Store.

Naomi Hirabayashi and Mariah Lidey of ShinePhotography Angela Owens

MINDFULNESS FOR US, BY US

The word “mindfulness” may conjure an image of someone in yoga pants and prayer beads, sitting peacefully on a rock overlooking the ocean. If you don’t own beachfront property (or prayer beads, for that matter), you may think mindfulness isn’t for you. Yet, caring for mental and emotional health is a universal need.

Shine is “on a mission to make caring for your mental and emotional health easier, more representative, and more inclusive — of all of our experiences.” Created by Co-Founders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi, Shine offers inclusive meditations, personalized affirmations, gratitude journaling and a diverse community of participants. Shine app is available on Google Play and the Apple Store.

LIBERATE

While Shine focuses on opening the door of meditation to all, the Liberate app includes meditation practices and talks designed for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) experience, led by BIPOC teachers. More than 40 BIPOC teachers provide “culturally relevant practices that are essential for healing.” Liberate app service is subscription-based and is available on Google Play and the Apple Store.

WHAT UP, DOC

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health while also working full-time, Ashlee Wisdom developed sudden and severe hives. On top of school demands, she experienced daily microaggressions at work, which caused stress and anxiety. At first, Ashlee wondered if she was having an allergic reaction to something. Eventually, she consulted an allergist, who ran many tests but found no causes. Soon after, she left her job, and just as suddenly as they had appeared, the hives subsided.

Courtesy of Health In Her HUE.

“If I had been comfortable enough to tell my white doctor about microaggressions I experienced at work, she might have identified the stress-related factors of my reaction. At the same time, I was learning about the many social factors that impact health. I wanted to help black women feel more empowered as they navigated a healthcare system that isn’t built with them in mind.”

Black women have higher infant and maternal mortality, late-stage breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Wisdom founded Health in Her HUE to connect Black women to Black and culturally competent healthcare providers. Health In Her HUE is available to all and can be accessed at https:// app.healthinherhue.com.

Courtesy of Health In Her HUE.

WHAT NOW

You may be familiar with the concept of Design Thinking. First, identify a problem, brainstorm ideas, prototype the best ones, test them out and viola! A new solution. In such chaotic times, we often have no idea what “the problem” is in the first place.

Courtesy of The MindShare Network

Over 20 years ago, brothers Ed and Dave Goodman, Co-Founders of The MindShare Network, began teaching Spiral Thinking.™ “It’s a big leap, beyond Design Thinking,” explains Ed. “Design Thinking is for incrementally improving an existing idea; Spiral Thinking™ is used for transformation and true innovation. You start by defining what matters most to you. Then, you envision, execute, and experience a new future. We have toolkits for life, health, happiness, career, company engagement, and innovation.”Visit www.mindsharenetwork.com to try the Happiness Express toolkit, free.

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