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I received an early holiday gift: a head cold. Some downtime forced me to reflect on 2022 for a bit longer than I had wanted.
That’s when I started to witness some ripples in the 2022 waters.
Why it matters to you: If we avoid the power of the pause, we miss opportunities to observe, serve, and grow.
When I say “ripples,” I am referring to those moments that appear unrelated…at first glance. As I look closer, certain moments flow together. They tell a story underneath the surface. They invite us to learn, grow, and serve.
My favorite moments of 2022 shared one common wave: they involved acts of generosity and honesty.
In the spirit of those acts, I’m offering two ways you can create ripples. Your contributions may be felt for centuries:
The International African American Museum (Charleston, SC)
Promoting shared and honest understanding of history and ancestors
We launched the 6th CMOs Leading Innovation Conference (CLIC ’22) cohort on the hallowed grounds of the IAAM. On November 3, we enjoyed an outdoor tour with CEO Dr. Tonya Watkins (featured in the 1 minute video below) as our amazing guide.
During the tour, Dr. Tonya taught us the importance of grounding ourselves in our nation’s rugged history. For any country or person to heal its past, we must embrace the whole truth of the story: the suffering, loss, and celebration of a complex diaspora.
Meditation author and professor Jon Kabat-Zinn calls this perspective “full catastrophe living.” The days of historians, marketers, and media moguls glossing over the whole truth are rapidly vanishing.
The IAAM museum grounds and gardens provide metaphors for common understanding. Opening Day happens in January 2023. You can support this rich and complex narrative. Here are details on charter membership.
The Northeast Kingdom Swims – “Project Welcome”
Cultivating well-being, friendship, and inclusion through open water swimming
Swimming offers its own diaspora and cultural history.
If you are a long-time reader, you know about my passion for fitness through open water swimming. For the past three decades, I have met some of the world’s top over-35 athletes in gorgeous locations such as Greece, Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Vermont.
The Kingdom Swims offer races in crystal clear country lakes that hug the Vermont- Canada border. I love the swim camps, races, and community (featured below).
I never noticed the common IAAM-Kingdom ripples until I heard about Project Welcome. The Kingdom Swim Series founder, Phil White, launched Project Welcome to address a sobering trend. Here’s what he recently posted:
“The swimmers and kayakers who have flocked to the Kingdom Swims over the years have been largely white. This reinforces a dangerous misconception that swimming is only for a people of a certain background or socioeconomic status.”
I am helping Phil raise awareness and funds to encourage more diversity in my favorite sport. We want to sponsor at least 20 swimmers for the 2023 Kingdom Swim races.
If you are as passionate about well-being and inclusion as I am, please consider donating here. This takes you to the GoFundMe page.
Whether you’re a swimmer, a scholar, or simply a caring citizen, I hope you will consider supporting these causes.
You might just create a tsunami. The good kind.
May your holidays create ripples of joy, health, and togetherness.
copyright 2022, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.