Kristen's Blog Photo

Waffling between gratitude and despair

Written by Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven as part of her ‘What’s my #vision’ series.

December 21, 2016

As I write this twelfth and final #vision blog for 2016, I waffle between gratitude and despair.

I write this while enjoying an incredible day of R&R at Kripalu in Lenox, MA.

I was gifted this day by generous WAM donors. Linda and John Gillespie, like so many other WAMily members, recognized how hard I work and gave me this gift as a way of saying:

I see you.
I believe in your work.
I see your impact.
I want you to keep going.

How lucky am I??

In 2016, all of us at WAM have had so many of these gifts. So many different people and organizations saying those affirmations to us in different ways – encouraging us to keep going – by coming to our events, donating to our mission, advocating for us to others, volunteering for us, honoring us with an award, the list goes on and on….

It fills me with gratitude.

On the other side, I see the news each day and am filled with despair.

I wonder – are we all walking around blind? Do we not see what is going to happen? Is there anything we can do to stop it?  Will we live through it?

It sounds perhaps dramatic to some, yet it is how I feel.

If I’m honest, it feels luxurious to feel grateful.

It feels luxurious to feel full of despair.

Today’s R&R day is about setting intentions for 2017- for myself and for WAM.

I am a doer. I believe in action. I thrive on accomplishing goals.

2017 will be full of that. I see the value in action and achievement and that will continue.

It must.

One person, one woman, one girl at a time.

So –

I’ve been hearing this a lot lately: ‘We can’t be comfortable and courageous’.

I am afraid I will choose comfort over courage.

Please continue to encourage me to choose courage.

Comfort is good. Courage is a must.

As is deep breathing, mindful living, hugs from loved ones (and anyone!), and spontaneous (and sustained!) bursts of activism.

Enjoy the view!