Wellness can seem like a selfish or frivolous concept, conjuring images of spa days, group fitness classes, and “me” time. But a commitment to wellness also includes deeper work on yourself, including the repair and reenergizing of the mind and spirit -- work that is inextricably linked to the commitment we have to activism. Far from detracting from the time we spend fighting for important causes, a regular practice of wellness is actually crucial in providing us with the power and sustainability to advocate for what’s right.
A few weeks before Senate Bill 8 gutted the right to an abortion in Texas, Alexis McGill Johnson, the President of Planned Parenthood and Amanda Seales, a comedian, discussed the two related spheres of wellness and activism. Said Seales: “I want us to start really making mental health a part of our activism. Not just part of our self-care; as part of our activism. And really understanding how different your activism becomes when you are able to be at peace with yourself; your juxtaposition against the fury with the world.”
We couldn’t agree with her more. Last week, in celebration of this concept, a small group gathered together for some wellness and activism at our partner, Floramye, in Larkspur, California. Under the emerging stars and moonlight, we raised glasses and money for Planned Parenthood’s emergency fund to protect abortion rights in Texas, engaged in a meaningful discussion about women’s wellness and equity with two nutrition and healthcare experts, and concluded with a meditative and healing sound bath led by Miya Kishi Dunets.
As McGill Johnson reminds us: “The wellness piece of the conversation … has to be part of the activism because that’s the point -- they are trying to make us unwell. They are trying to wear us out. They are trying to make us weary.” We commit to our wellness at the same time we commit to the wellness of others -- a profound symbiotic relationship that reinforces, reinvigorates, and reignites us for the challenges ahead.
Donate here to support Planned Parenthood’s efforts to fight S.B. 8.