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In Bloom: Caring for ourselves as we care for others
We come up with ways to take a mini-vacation
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Hello to our wonderful community,
Welcome to the Bloom newsletter. This is Tiffany here saying “hello!” to you all from sunny Colorado (CO). We’re in the last month of spring here in the northern hemisphere, and it’s a lovely time of the year, with the flowers in full bloom. I’m wishing you a restful month of breathtaking flowers and spring festivities.
In today’s newsletter, we will share everything the Chayn team has been up to this month. We’ll get into our grounding exercise, root ourselves in the Chayn community, right before we dive further into the topic of vacations from motherhood. You are receiving this email because you subscribed to the Bloom newsletter.
But first, a moment for celebration! On Friday, May 20, 2022, Chayn turned 9 years old! That’s 9 years of advocating for the healing, resilience, and wellbeing of survivors across the globe. Here is a fun fact about Chayn, we’ve helped over 400,000 survivors around the world. This is amazing and so important, because this means people are finding resources in order to empower themselves in their healing journey.
We are still expanding our Bloom team, and we have some really exciting roles. Read more below.
Trauma-informed Therapist (Global) - We are searching for therapists from the Global South (or Majority World) who can provide support in English and at least one of these languages: Spanish, French, Urdu, Hindi or Portuguese.
Trauma-informed Therapist (UK) - We need trauma-informed therapists to provide individual support to survivors of gender-based violence from around the world. We’re looking for therapists based in the UK to deliver these short courses of therapy in English.
Trauma-informed Therapist (USA & Canada) - Are you a therapist based in the USA or Canada? We need trauma-informed therapists to provide individual support to survivors of gender-based violence from around the world.
Video presenter [French & English] - To support the development of Bloom into French, we need camera-confident professionals passionate about mental health and trauma-informed care to record and edit Bloom videos in French for us.
We’ll also be recruiting Hindi, French, and Portuguese translators and therapists soon, so keep an eye out.
Ground: Settling into our bodies and the present
Let’s take a vacation or a short break together. You can do this exercise wherever you are and in a position you’re most comfortable in, whether sitting or laying down.
Now, let's visualise. We’ll explore a sunny place. Imagine the warmth of sunshine on your skin. Use all of your senses to create a mental image. Think of your favourite flower or flowers and focus on the colours you see. Imagine you are bringing it close to your nose, smell its fragrance, take a deep breath… and with me (count 1…2…3…). Exhale. And now repeat once more. Take a moment now to listen to the sounds you’d hear in the world, place, or space that you’ve created. Focus on the sensations you’d feel on your skin. It can be that warmth of sunshine or a lovely breeze. Immerse yourself in this moment. Listen to the buzzing of the bees and the chirping of the birds. Finally, with a deep breath in… and out. Slowly bring yourself back to the environment around you and gently open your eyes. I hope you enjoyed that calm, small adventure.
There are times where, as a mother, I can not take a vacation or break. However, I wanted to share a mini-trip that I allow myself. You can also try this out with the beach and calling to mind the smell of saltwater, the sounds of seagulls, the feeling of warm sand on your toes, and all that is part of taking a lovely trip to the beach.
Root: Connecting with the Chayn community
Our live Bloom courses have launched, and we’ve begun with Healing from sexual trauma. It’s our course where we identify how sexual trauma can affect our body image, sexual desire, emotions, stress response, and more.
Also a reminder that ‘Society, patriarchy, and sexual trauma’ and ‘Healing from sexual trauma’ are already available for you to work through anytime on the Bloom platform. If you want to keep up with the release of our Bloom courses, please head to our website, and/or sign up with your email address here. Our first recap of the year is also up! Watch it here.
Our podcast Less than 2% is releasing soon on all platforms! In this three-episode series, we look at how the systems are failing survivors of sexual violence. Our first promo is out now. Listen to it here!
We’re also excited to announce that we were winners of Escape the City’s Escape 100 campaign. It is truly an honour to be recognised as one of the top purposeful organisations to ‘escape’ to in 2022! Check out our escape profile here.
Branch: Exploring together
In previous newsletters, including March, we’ve spoken about ‘productivity culture’ and the importance of rest. Just like Beatriz shared what it means for her, it’s a topic that resonates with me too. As a person with Lupus and a full-time mom, it reminds me how we must fill up our cup.
Maybe you haven’t had a chance to figure out resting and you’re really stuck in your routine. Mothers like me can find it very hard to put anything on pause and taking the time out for our wellbeing is easily put to the side. In turn, we feel guilty for not taking care of ourselves. And when we break down or find that we’re really struggling, that guilt may come back in, in thoughts like ‘If you just would slow down,’ or ‘You can only blame yourself, you won’t take a break.’ These thoughts are normal. I have them too. Especially, when I feel like my Lupus is telling me to really rest, but my busy two-and-a-half year old is excited about finger painting. An activity that I know will end in loads of mess for me to clean up and another bath for him, plus me.
All I can think about is, “How do I put the brakes on a life that is still going on, right now?”
I hope that everything I am about to share with you will be helpful. These are tips and tricks that mothers tend to pick up over the years of exploring and stumbling about within motherhood. Whether you’re a mom or not, I hope these will spark creativity to inculcate ease into your busy life.
Right now, all I want is a lovely vacation. It has been almost a year of job hunting and prior to that, I took a 3-month program to grow my skills. All this has me beyond burned out. Trying to plan a trip with my two-and-a-half year old has me hitting walls.
“How does one take a vacation with a little one? How is that even a vacation?”
Well, one thing I’ve learned after coming to terms with being a survivor of Lupus and sexual abuse is that we can only control what we can. And that is okay! Here is what that means: I do not get to jump on the first plane, with COVID still around and a child who is too young to have protection from it. But I can create a vacation that fits our limitations.
That means a staycation with loads of activities that I won’t have to clean up after (thank you park/resort facilitators – winning!). It makes me so happy to see my child happy and busy having fun. And together, we get to create more memories as a family exploring nature here in Colorado. I’m also very excited to try Airbnb here in CO. This will be a ‘yes’ space for me and my child. While it will only be a weekaway, it’s just enough time for us to relax by a lake. I’ll let my child splash away as much as he can splash. Because I know he’s going to sleep really good that night (winning again!). My partner and I included! I get to share more of my inner child with my baby and collect rocks and shells at the lake. No vacation is complete without loads of pictures. And hey, if a smartphone is something you don’t have, a disposable camera works just fine! (Physical pictures can also just be lovely to frame and stick on the walls at home).
I know motherhood can feel very limiting. We lose ourselves. We are tired. We need a good cry. We struggle to find ease, rest, peace, and vacation. But I hope my plans will inspire you to understand that within certain limits, we can reward ourselves and we can control all that is controllable.
Moms (Dads & other caregivers too) have a superpower that is defined with time. We see things through a lens that is unique. This is our superpower! But we don’t always need to save the world. So here’s to you finding ways to reward yourself and take care of your mind, body, and soul.
For anything urgent, you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiffany and the Bloom team