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The Greenhouse Effect

As I write this, the ice and snow are just beginning to thaw from three intense Minnesota winter storms. Under partly sunny blue skies, puddles from the melting begin to pool in the sidewalks and streets requiring obstacle course level navigation of the partly frozen terrain. Gracefully leaping to keep our socks warm and dry. Spring is always more brown, slushy and slow than I expect it to be. I always imagine soft rain bringing about budding flowers and the return of birds, squirrels and bunnies. But the truest sign of Spring approaching in Minnesota is when the very ground beneath us begins to erode away leaving the world’s worst potholes. On my way into work, while dodging potholes like a pro, I consider the coming seasons and how it’s a truly sacred time in our community. Summer is my favorite season. My father, my brother and myself all have June birthdays; I much prefer the heat to the cold, and it brings back the nostalgia of summer vacation from school - An extended sense of ease that I often feel is missing from adulthood.


Warm weather is on its way and with it comes longer days, increasingly busy schedules, and a boost of energy for many of us. Summer is often a time when we pack our calendars full and are constantly pulled into the go-go-go lifestyle. It can be easy to under prioritize rest in order to embrace our limited number of warm, breezy days. When I imagine Spring/Summer, I always think of the easy ability to walk right out my front door barefoot and feel the earth underneath my feet, the grass between my toes. As I close my eyes and, like a sunflower, instinctively turn my head toward the sun, I can almost feel the warmth on my face and the cool breeze on my skin. I can hear birds singing in my head and I’m transported there in my mind’s eye. But then I open my eyes and snap back to the current moment of icy slush. I have to be honest that I am yearning for the days when we don’t have to bundle up to simply take the dog outside, get the mail or take out the trash.


I practice getting curious with myself: Instead of wishing I could teleport into

the green and blooming landscape of summer and just be there already, what might it look like for me to ease in? To welcome the seasons slowly changing outside as I witness the shift of energy within me? While it might be my first urge to clean my entire house as I welcome Spring and prepare for Summer, overload my schedule with plans and productivity because that’s what I’m feeling pressured to do… But giving myself the option to wake up and say, “Actually it’s Saturday morning, nobody needs anything from me in this moment, and I’m feeling sleepy. So, I’m going back to bed.” But here’s the kicker: Not feeling bad or beating ourselves up about it! Releasing the guilt and shame associated with resting is the single greatest gift Render Free has given me. It is possible that I could wake up full of energy and be motivated to get some things done around the house and if so, that’s wonderful too. But we can practice giving ourselves the permission to take each day as it comes and greet it with the energy level we have for that given day. These levels will continue to fluctuate in our body just as the daily weather changes outside. We may need to extend grace and gentleness to ourselves as we feel the urgent pull of the sunshine, while we are still emerging from hibernation. What if we take it slow?


These levels will continue to fluctuate in our body just as the daily weather changes outside.

For me, Render Free has served as a grounding force through so many changing seasons and personal storms in my life. I’ve felt The Greenhouse Effect in real time, the stability of this community bubble has allowed me to welcome these internal and external changes with more ease and less resistance. This month, Render Free celebrates its third birthday! Over the past few years, this invaluable community resource has been a constant reminder that it is okay (and even encouraged) to center my whole body wellness and liberation. My first member care session kickstarted my journey of self-discovery and in the years since then, I’ve not only witnessed my own exponential growth, but I take pride in the profound impact that Render Free has made in our community of Black + Brown women. The physical safe space, wellness offerings and wisdom of the women around me has been the guiding light for my own personal healing journey.


In this time of constant change, come clear skies, rain or snow: I encourage you to invest in yourself this season and expand with ease as part of our community. Practice balancing the integration of rest, work, self-care and healing at Render Free, where you can always feel the warmth of the sun, even if there are clouds above outside.



Blooming right alongside you,

Vanessa


March Community Concept: The Greenhouse Effect

After another Minnesota winter, many of us are waiting for spring to emerge with a sense of urgency. Yet, according to the cadence of rebirth, spring will transition from winter slowly. The thawing of the earth and budding of flowers will be a trajectory interrupted by unsuspected flurries and mornings of frost unforeseen. What if instead of rushing from a season of hibernation into the frantic pace of summer, we embrace the subtle transition of spring. Let’s collectively create a stabilizing consciousness, setting new intentions, establishing healthy routines, nestling our energy within a sense of certainty that will keep us warm even when the flurries fall and the blistering suns rise.


Members, let's discuss! Join us March 14 at 6:30p (virtual) to discuss The Greenhouse effect in this month's Solidarity Session. Event Details on our member portal.


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