How I got out of a funk.

It's been silent. I haven't written a newsletter since June. I do have a really good reason.

I didn't know what to say.

Here's why:
I wasn't sure if InSite, or other Reckoning initiatives would continue. I wasn't burned out. I hadn't lost a sense of purpose. Here's the thing, I didn't enjoy how things were going. I felt icky inside. Things needed to change but I didn't know what needed to change or how. Have you ever had that experience?

I decided I needed to share this with my staff, even though I had no plan. That's not really how I work. It felt incredibly vulnerable to open up without an ending with "so here's what I think we should do". My volunteer staff is amazing. They are passionate, solid, compassionate, creative and insightful humans. As we talked, I learned many of them felt the same way.

InSite needed an overhaul. We all were sensing it. All the elephants were laid on the table. and it was crowded. We decided to stop all plans and start over. We spent the summer meeting every Monday night reimagining the program.

Through this process, here is what I learned about myself:

I needed to let go of a few limiting beliefs that kept me from empowering my staff and from enjoying my work. Beliefs like:"They are too busy to help." "If I ask more of them, they will leave.""I am not enough to lead."

I needed to realize that even though I said I was open to ideas and collaboration, in all practical terms, I set the course and expected them to agree. I didn't really listen, or inquire - AND I thought I did. Why did I do this? I was afraid if I didn't show them a path, or that I had a plan, they would think I was a bad leader.(another limiting belief)This realization came as we met every week over the summer. I let Naos lead the meetings which allowed me to be a participant. I listened. I learned. My energy and inspiration grew as I saw us coming together in a truly collaborative way as we all felt heard.

Here's the results of this cocooned summer:

High energy from all sides: staff, students, parents! We are all pumped for this year.

Staff is more committed and more involved.

Content is done in a collaborative effort which connects better to the youth in our program.

All 30 spots for the 2019 team were filled up in 2 weeks (with very little promotion).

I have more energy, excitement and focus than I've had in a very long time.

I have a profound sense of gratitude for my staff, and to have had the time and space to cocoon, to reflect, to face my own stuff and deal with it not knowing what would emerge.

I hope this next year continues to reap the benefit of our shared vision of unlocking potential in others through relationships. This is how social change begins and grows and I am pumped to see more students, more people in South Africa engaged and impacted.

Thanks for reading and being a part of our journey.

Shawna Snow