Before we begin, understand two things:
- As I write this, it’s 2:23am my time. An unexpected marriage of insomnia and inspiration are the catalyst for tonight’s ramblings.
- I am by no means an expert on advocacy. If you’re here to learn from an expert, I would advise you to search elsewhere. I am a human being, whose core values include social justice and advocacy for the world around us.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
Hi! It’s nice to feel inspired to write again. My ‘blogging’ has greatly ebbed and flowed over the years depending on what’s been taking place in my life and career at the moment but it’s always been something I wish I did more of from time to time. Today’s post will not be anything super mind-blowing or Earth shattering but, rather, a brief reflection that I felt like sharing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about various forms of advocacy lately. As I’ve explored the subject in my own head and attempted to define it for myself, I’ve unearthed something that’s likely not news to any of you…Effective advocacy in our modern world starts with YOU.
I don’t mean that in the traditional sense…Obviously in order to have impactful change we must EACH play a role in it. That’s not what I’m getting at…
What I mean is that I believe in order to effectively advocate for OTHERS, you must first learn and master the art of advocating for YOURSELF.
Such a simple concept, right? But how often do we overlook it?
My guess is, if you’re anything like me…quite a bit. But it falls into one of my all time favorite subjects: Self Care. If you’ve followed me AT ALL over the years, you probably know where I stand on this…You cannot fill from an empty cup. Self care means making healthy choices for the mind and body. Self care also means advocating for yourself, right?
So what does it mean to advocate for yourself? Well, here’s what I’ve come up with (so far) for what I, personally, think it means…
- Understanding your position and being able to choose whether or not you want to respectfully articulate it to others.
- Setting appropriate and healthy boundaries for your interactions in life.
- Recognizing the areas in your life that aren’t consistent with your core values and being willing to adjust the course to be in better alignment.
- Having the courage to speak up and ask for your needs to be met.
I plan to explore this topic more over the next few months/weeks. What does self-advocacy mean to you? How do you begin the journey towards self-advocacy with the intent of advocating for others as well?
I’m looking forward to diving into this topic a little bit more and seeing where it leads me. Feel free to join in.