December 2020 Theme: How We Can Hold Humanity for Ourselves and Others

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December 2020 Theme: How We Can Hold Humanity for Ourselves and Others

What a year it’s been. Over the course of the past nine months in particular, we’ve been forced to grow in ways we may not have thought we could; forced to find new ways to live our lives amid a worldwide pandemic. 

As I’ve slowly adapted to this “new normal” over time (as much as one can adapt), one of the things that’s helped me find my footing is connection. Connection to my mind and body—through movement and breath and focusing on what’s right in front of me in any given moment. And connection to others, in whatever ways I’ve been safely able to do so.

Given the unique circumstances 2020 has brought us, it felt only fitting to end this challenging year with a theme that ladders up to the thread that connects us all: humanity. 

The definition of humanity is twofold. On one end of the spectrum, it relates to humankind as a whole and the ties that connect us to others. Humanity is collective—a quilt made up of experiences and cultures in varying patterns and colors; the thread of our capacity to live side by side with respect to those differences. Our humanity is the connective tissue between our personal experiences and those of other people. 

Humanity also relates to the way we care for and hold compassion for ourselves. It’s how we connect with our internal lives. How we embrace our gifts. How we reckon with our limitations. At the heart of self-love is the capacity to find empathy for what makes us human—both the light and dark parts of ourselves. 

Humanity relates to the way we care for and hold compassion for ourselves. . . . At the heart of self-love is the capacity to find empathy for what makes us human—both the light and dark parts of ourselves. 

Humanity reminds us that we don’t have to be superheroes. It’s a gentle nudge to be good to ourselves and to be present in the way the world needs us to be. It’s a subtle prompt to make things actionable—to figure out the small things we can do to improve our lives and those of others, whether it’s setting aside an hour or two to rest and rejuvenate, making a donation to a local organization, or calling a friend who’s in need of a bit of company.

In the month ahead, I invite you to consider the ways in which your humanity connects you to other people. To think about how intentionally cultivating a sense of compassion opens up new ways to care for yourself and for others.

In December, our contributors will be writing about the importance of ritual in times of uncertainty, and genuinely helpful things you can do when you’re feeling anxious. They’ll be exploring small ways you can inject cheer into someone’s day during the pandemic, and the most common reasons your houseplants are dying (and what to do about it). I’ll be writing about the grounding technique that helps start my day on the best note, and our team will be sharing the skin-care tools we tried and loved (or…didn’t love). We have all that and plenty more up our sleeves, and we can’t wait to share it with you in the month ahead.

This month, let’s reflect on what we need to do to support ourselves and what we need to do to support our communities. Let’s remember that our individual actions, no matter how small, have the power to have a greater impact on the collective whole.

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BY Kate Arends - December 1, 2020

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