Joann Castle, June 4, 2018
An Open Letter To: Parkland students, immigration advocates, busy mothers caring for their families, election hopefuls and the countless activists who give their hearts and souls to the struggle for a better world.
Is your passion for your cause thrusting you forward at a pace that is jeopardizing your physical and mental health? Are you crabby and irritable? Are you risking your health and/or compromising your ability to achieve the outcomes you desire for the cause that you care so deeply about?
The following quote is from the “Activist’s Survival Guide,” in my book, which was released in May, 2018. It is one of eleven lessons learned from my experience in 50 years of activism.
ACTIVISTS, SAVE YOURSELF: “While sacrifice is an unavoidable part of being an activist, you’re no good to your cause if you’re irritable or ill. Eat right. Sleep enough, Stay positive. Recognize your abilities and limitations, and choose your role accordingly. Remain physically and emotionally refreshed with periodic down-time. Avoid time-wasting conflict and negative people.” – Joann Castle, Author: WHAT MY LEFT HAND WAS DOING: Lessons from a Grassroots Activist.
I’ve been rushing headlong for six years, caring for my husband and after his passing, passionately driving myself to finish my book. I thought that a finished book would bring some relief but instead, I moved headlong into intense marketing of my product without missing a beat. When spring came around, I found myself working day and night, while I watched the long-awaited summer unfold from the window behind my computer.
Last week, it occurred to me that I was ignoring what it took me a whole life to learn. I decided to schedule a break and take my own advice about finding balance.
Here is how I spent my weekend.
My fellow activists, what are you doing to save yourself?
Please share your suggestions by clicking on “Reply” on this website. We can learn from each other.
WHAT MY LEFT HAND WAS DOING:Lessons from a Grassroots Activist by Joann Castle is available for order on line at Amazon.com and The Seattle Book Company. Also available in Detroit at SOURCE Booksellers, Pages Bookshop and Bookbeat in Oak Park. In Seattle, at Third Place Books, Elliott Bay Book Company and Left Bank Books on Pike Street, across from Pike Place Market. Ask your local book seller to order it from Ingram.