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I'm Never Going Back.




I'm Never Going Back.


betrayal: violation of a person's trust or confidence, of a moral standard

source: Merriam-Webster



I had the most beautifully chaotic, absolutely necessary, and transformative sabbatical. Almost nothing went how I initially thought it would go. And then about halfway, I stopped fighting my preconceived notions about how I thought this would go and surrendered to what I really needed from this experience. And from that moment, everything changed from the inside out.


And from this experience, I decided there are some practices that I am never returning to:


  1. False urgency: Some things are actually in fact urgent, but other things, most things are not, especially as I am not running a hospital. Defining early on if something is urgent or not leaves me room and clarity for the actual fires. Also, someone else's emergency is not necessarily my emergency. Amen.

  2. Meetings Overload: In this work, I had grown accustomed to having meetings early mornings, at lunch, in the evenings, and on the weekends to accommodate everyone’s schedule, often having 15+ meetings and/or events per week with very little time for the actual work. Well, after a decade of accommodating everyone’s schedule that season is over. I will have tighter meeting blocks so after hours availability may be pushed out further than before. But I am no longer working 60+ hours a week. Full stop.

  3. Self-betrayal: I realized in tending to everyone’s needs, feelings, and priorities that I had not been tending to my own. Sometimes my needs were at the bottom of my list or would be nice ifs, and way too often they were often forfeited for the needs of others. And well, society has shaped and benefited from that practice for far too long. So I’ve put myself at the top and have begun working from a full cup ...and well that changed EVERYTHING.


I fell deeply back in love with this work, not just the mission- but the work, the building, and the intentionality that makes what Starting With Today brings so special. And to preserve this love, here are some new practices that I am embracing:


  1. Proper Time Allocation: Many of you know I was still working a bit in the background but for the most part, without huge time constraints. And I realized the oddest thing, I was trying to fit 10 hours worth or work into an hour block here and there. I agreed to a month’s worth of projects for a week’s turnaround. Over and over again. Every day was the Spring Nonprofit Championship with a 90 minute clock. No wonder I was stressed! Now I have a better guide to assess if something is a 80-hour project that requires 2-3 people or if something is a 3-hour task that can be done by the end of the week.

  2. Intentional Funding Partnerships: There is a lot of red tape in the nonprofit sector. Even more for Black women leaders. And in this post-George Floyd era, the current shift has gone more to addressing the root causes while also being directly impacted by them while simultaneously servicing the community. A lot. But I am grateful for deep and intentional learning spaces from our funders like the Diverse City Fund. And partners who fund generously because they understand not only the value of the work but also the pay of those doing the work like Alfred Street Baptist Church. So my question to all reading this is, who else should we be connected to? Who should be investing in this work we do? What bridges need to be built for us to be well and fully funded so we can effectively hire and build out an excellent team, expand our program reach and dosage, and bring more wraparound services to our wellness deserts?

  3. Lifestyle of Care: How do we reimagine a lifestyle of care- not just for ourselves, but everyone we come in contact with? How do we contribute to the care of others while still honoring the care of ourselves? I don’t have the answers, but that will be at the forefront of my intentions moving forward. I invite you to join me on this quest.

Here’s some of what we’ve been working on in the background! I am asking to join us by investing in this healing work today. Can you commit to $25? $50? $100 today?


We are grateful for you and your support!


Charlyn Anderson

Founder & CEO



 


SWT’s May 2023 Schedule




My Hair Appt is Back & In-person!

We are soooo thrilled to share the news that we are launching the in-person My Hair Appt, a space for Black women to cultivate wellness, on May 22, 2024 at 6 PM in partnership with the amazing Tsunami Hair Studio on Benning Road. Huge thanks to Sharon Taylor of the SBA and Tsunami owner, LaToya JL Walker for this opportunity! These sessions will be led by therapist, life coach, and author, Keilah Jacques, LMSW, CPC. Registration is free, so please grab your ladies and join us!



The Shape Up on May 18th!

First, shout out to The Shape Up and the #SabbaticalCrew who held it down during my leave. Huge shout out to Tariiq Walton, Candi Williams, and J. Hall and the entire Lee’s Barbershop crew for covering the gaps and keeping the show going! We are back for another lively discussion on May 18th at 11AM at Lee’s Barbershop! Join us!




 

MORE WAYS TO SUPPORT STARTING WITH TODAY!


 


Rock your support!


We have restocked!!




Grab your SWT t-shirt to showcase your support of this beautiful community! Your purchase is a great way to give back AND get some nice merch! Order yours today and support a Black nonprofit, a Black-owned print shop, and a Black graphic designer. That’s a lot of power in your dollars!




 


Grab your Freedom tea blend today!


The Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop & SWT teamed up to bring you this beautiful and delicious custom loose leaf tea blend. Grab yours today and support two Black businesses at once.



 


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