Over the past four years, the Health Equity Dialogs have brought a range of meaningful and important conversations to students, faculty, and staff at UMA and, most importantly, beyond UMA, connecting into our communities and reaching out to form new partnerships. This spring we are going to focus on our corollary project: the Radical Self-Care Series.
In this Radical Self-Care Series, we are looking to share a self-care that is rooted in self-love and self-compassion, which then radiates out to care and compassion for others. When we learn to listen to our bodies and to respond, rather than react, we are building foundations for collaboration and social justice.
To say that self-care is radical is to get to the root or origin of why we need self-care in the first place. Sonya Renee Taylor, author of The Body Is Not an Apology, explains that “using the term radical elevates the reality that our society requires a drastic political, economic, and social reformation in the ways in which we deal with bodies and body difference[s]” (8). We also need to look at the ways in which the mind and the body are part of an integrated whole, working together not separately.
All kinds of self-care are important, but radical self-care is about more than pedicures and mimosas–it is a radical reckoning with our dreams, aspirations, anxieties, challenges, and goals. The embodied practices of radical self-care form a foundation for self-love and self-compassion as well as for unconditional love and expansive compassion.
Expressive Arts: Pathways to Self Care with Christine Little
Monday, March 7, 2022, Noon to 1:00pm
In this one-hour session, participants will engage in Expressive Arts activities that are easily accessible for the purposes of self-care. We will experience first-hand the healing benefits of the creative process, regardless of product. While we will touch upon foundational principles of the profession, our time together will emphasize the experiential aspect of Expressive Arts practices, such as mindful movement, creative writing, visual art, and music-making. Please have the following supplies handy: blank paper & pencil.
Girls on Fire and Self-Care with Sarah Hentges
Monday, March 28, 2022, Noon to 1:00
Girls on Fire often burn themselves out caring for the people they love and trying to make the world a better place. We want to think about how we can care for ourselves and for others and engage in social justice work while keeping our flames strong and bright. In this session we’ll consider student projects from the fall Girls on Fire: Feminism, Activism, and the Future as well as the lessons we can learn from dystopia’s Girls on Fire.
The Five Elements of Qigong with Audrey McGee
Monday, May 2, 2022, Noon to 1:00
Qigong (pronounced “chee-gung”) is an ancient healing art based on the idea that nature is balanced and harmonious. Qi means “life energy” and gong means “to cultivate.” With the rapid pace of the world around us we can easily become stressed, sick and tired, neglecting our life energy–our qi. The gentle yet powerful movements of Qigong help to cultivate and circulate Qi throughout the body to increase our physical, mental, and emotional health. Learning to be balanced and harmonious like nature, we are better able to meet life’s challenges with calmness, strength, and resiliency. We will learn to practice five movements that represent elements found in nature and our bodies. All movements can be done seated or standing. Please wear clothing that will allow you to move freely.