Becoming Grounded |#1


I’ve been working on meditating, and in that, I have to have genuine concentration. I think I have a lot of thoughts that I’m not confident enough to articulate, or they take more time to process.

My job requires ground rules. Getting to know someone new is like having to develop a whole new set of ground rules. I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions about ground rules, and how everyone has their own. I feel extremely privileged to be apart of the Summer Youth Dialogues that gives me the opportunity to hear so many stories. I deal with a very diverse group of high school students, and there are so many dynamic and eye-opening experiences.

It is very important that I concentrate. As a group dialogue facilitator, focusing on the words of others is central to our work. I am exposed to the perspectives of others, and I am completely impacted by them. Some times it is hard not to be selfish. There are certain expectations we have for ourselves, and then there are the expectations that others have on us. As we continue to live and interact with people, it can be difficult to meet expectations. There will always be another life event you could have never predicted.

Early in June, one of my students asked if they could skip a testimonial assignment requiring them to think about their first experience with race. In their own words, “I don’t like to talk about my life.” As my job is just as much to challenge my students as it is to support them, I was conflicted of whether or not I should allow them to pass. I was shocked during our next meeting when this student opened up about their experience with race and ethnicity. It was a very valuable experience added to the group.

I’m struggling to explain myself. Maybe it’s because I never grew up with many spaces to do so, but it can be uncomfortable at times. It’s most uncomfortable when feedback is warranted. I have issues with allowing others to feed me. I’m so grounded in my way of living, it can be hard to accept others, and make socio-psychological shifts.


From the first day, I could see the potential in my participants. I was excited to see what ways they would surprise me. It’s interesting to work with my co-facilitators. With different personalities come different vibes. Certain energies are easier to navigate than others. At times, my concentration can depend on the natural flow of the room. Dialogue is something that has to be eased into, both physically and mentally.

I need more time to ease into things. Although I have learned to complete tasks almost impulsively, I am much more comfortable when dealing with people who understand my style of work. I have a group of black students, and I am often very proud of the way they interact. We ask our students to step so far out of their comfort zones. We cannot be successful without modeling a similar vulnerability.

I have to admit where I’m wrong. I am wrong to be selfish, and only consider my emotions. I am wrong to procrastinate, and not be urgent about social change. I am wrong to expect to always be comfortably grounded within different spaces. I am wrong to not make it make sense. We are wrong to not internalize and meditate. We are often over-occupied with individual situations. We can’t help but be self-interested. We get caught up in self. It is not until we start listening to others, and continue listening to others, that we begin to find a social purpose.

I’ve been working on meditating, and in that, I have to have genuine concentration. I think I have a lot of thoughts that I’m not confident enough to articulate, or they take more time to process.


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