Thursday, June 27, 2013

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Another '✔' For #DoulaProgression, Celebrating My Blogaversary, and Taking Time Off!

Yesterday I signed up for awesome online childbirth education classes, through Community Birth Companion. They are a series of birth courses, instructed by Divine IzEarth. The first class on labor starts Tuesday night, and the others focusing on nutrition, stages of labor, signs of labor and postpartum all run through the month of July. I marked off the requirement 'audit a childbirth preparation series' on my Doula Progression checklist below!

But that's not entirely what I'm here to talk about.

Today I'm writing to let everyone know that I am taking a break from writing this blog -- though my actual plan is to take a break from my work in this area overall.

Over the past while, I have written non-stop on issues I feel are important in Black breastfeeding and how they are connected to the overall society at large,  -- my two year blogaversary was last month. I never stop looking for ways to provide critical insight from my lens, and learn ways I can get people excited about this area, and join in. Know that I have been doing anti-racist and social justice type of work long before starting the Lactation Journey Blog. I really do love what I do. And I appreciate all of you who have ever visited my work.

But lately there have been more times than not where I have found myself not being as happy or as excited as I once was. These thoughts and behavior forced me to question the root of these feelings, and question where this came from. I realized that doing this work has taken an incredible amount of myself -- my time, my energy and my efforts. And I give a lot. I do not mind giving, or expending my energy towards something that has become so important to me -- it's just that these days I feel depleted and recognize that I need to hold off and keep some of my energy for myself. Even more, over the past while, I have had a number of things in my personal life that feel as if they have left me emotionally drained -- one of them being my 7.5 year old nephew getting electrocuted by a powerline while he was climbing a tree a few weeks back (he is OK!, but you can imagine how scary that was for my family), and I also need to tend to other areas and concentrate on relationships with people in my life. Also, I am still working on finding funding for school, and have just three months left to do so. This has me somewhat nerve-racked, so I need to dedicate much time to this. I do figure, though, that the universe drew me to this work, and because of that it won't let me down. I am interested in seeing how this will work itself out.

Other things that concern me is that I am not engaging my community as I should or as much as I would like to -- that I'm not taking it to the streets. I feel as if I have focused most of my attention on theoretical and academic areas, which I like, but I feel that I have not been 'in' the community as I should be -- or how I would also like to be. I will be thinking about ways to change this.

A friend, of mine, who has lent some very encouraging words at times, said to me that sometimes fighting the 'good fight' means to stop fighting. Don't talk about it. Don't challenge it. When I heard Angela Davis speak earlier this year, the question I asked her about how to continue social justice work, I know, came from a place of not only being frustrated with constantly dealing with all that anti-racist and social justice work encompasses, but it is taxing. And I realized I never heeded my friend's advice. I didn't chill. But it's not just my doing. Each time I wanted to take a break, I was sent a clear message, somehow, by the universe that it was not the time, and to hold off. Right now I am not receiving that message, which lets me know that I am OK to do this.

I think this time away will provide me with ways to build my reservoir of inspirations, revamp my energy, and gain new insight on ways to ways to challenge injustice. I'm working by not working! I will also be doing a 21 day master cleanse to help regroup and find my balance, but not before next week -- because that's my 37th birthday. And I am looking forward to red wine and birthday cake!

I did say I will write book reviews from my long list, which I still plan on, and I have a stellar Black Feminist blog carnival issue to post. Also, if I receive guest posts I will publish those on here. I just will not be writing any more material other than until the Fall. After that I will write as frequently as I can since I will be in school full time, and that will require a great deal of time, but I am absolutely looking forward to sharing this journey of Black Feminist Breastfeeding Anthropology Public Health, with everyone.

In the meantime, I wish you an awesome Summer, filled with love, light, family and friends. Or, just have an awesome season filled with whatever it is you need, whichever season it is wherever you are.