Relationships — who are you with?

I just finished the book What Happened to You?, which talks about trauma, healing, and the brain. It was fascinating. One of the lessons I took away from it is we are relational beings and others can help us heal and grow. I knew those lessons from before, but reading the book helped to reinforce the message and add deeper nuance. I also learned we gain benefits from small therapeutic moments – healing and therapy doesn’t have to be reserved for once a week in a therapy session.


Racial equity work needs relationships to move forward and change. Relationships and stories get encoded in our brain differently. They help us make sense of the world and how we want to relate to others. The bigger lesson I took away from the book is we benefit from having long-lasting relationships in place. For racial equity work this means we need to encourage people to get to know each other and weave support networks for each other. A one-time training won’t shift culture, it won’t fix the problems. Creating the conditions that foster ongoing and long-term relationship buildings can help to develop the resiliency and conditions to tackle tougher persistent problems.

I have my posse of text-a-friend people who help me problem solve things on the fly or exchange a story about something funny. These relationships are with a diverse set of people and over time they’ve shifted my thinking around race, disability, inclusion and other topics. We also sometimes get together in person and enjoy each other in those spaces as well. I hope you can find your posse.

Small and Brief and Ongoing

Racial equity work can happen in big moments, but sometimes those small moments are just as meaningful. Earlier this week I was texting with several different friends about the topic of classroom inclusion. They all provided important insights and differences into how to think about the problem I was facing which I appreciated. Their backgrounds and experiences helped me understand inclusion of disabled people differently which is important to how to react. I appreciated the trust we’ve built up over the years and how on a weeknight evening I could say “Hi, I have a problem can I run something by you?” and they said yes. This small-brief-ongoing nature gave me insights I needed and while not meant to be therapeutic or healing it was.

Alone to think — No Word Volcano-ing

In a different book, I’m currently reading the author writes about loneliness and ironically the counter to loneliness is being comfortable being alone. While I’m grateful to my friends who teach me about race, I also know I need to process some of the info alone – they don’t want me word volcano-ing all the time.

As we move into 2022 let’s find ways to nurture relationships so we can connect more, and create space and time to understand ourselves and others.

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I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice based relations.