The Only Thing We Have To Fear...

November 17th, 2010


I find that I’m getting a bit bored and impatient with all the fear-mongering going on. Currently, I’m subscribed to four newspapers – one national, one regional, one local and another in my neighborhood.  While they differ in scope, what I find they have in common is that “news” is only about who has killed whom and where, how and when. Occasionally there is an article about something “neutral” like tornadoes, floods, volcano eruptions or solar flares, but mostly “news” is about people being hateful to other beings.  When I tune into the television or radio, the pattern remains the same. It’s almost as if we are collectively addicted to fear.

I’m tired of the strategy of stirring fears so that people will act.  FOX News is consummately skilled at this, but progressives are adept at creating worst-case scenarios as well. The recent election cycle is a good example of this. I’m coming to believe this may not be the best strategy in engaging people’s hearts and minds. At least not in the long run.

One of the best gifts of being in my position is that I get to see and hear about the amazing and wonderful work in which our alumni are engaged. You are rethinking farming to include the entire ecosystem, you are insuring that children are getting access to good healthcare and education, you are in the White House advocating for fairness and equity.

You are working on media justice, running LGBTQ centers in rural America, ending torture, bringing life back to cities like Detroit, telling Stories of Stuff and cosmetics, working for peace in Israel and immigrant rights here in California. You are people of all shapes, colors, backgrounds and strategies. You have fresh ideas, bold visions and deep dedication to being on purpose. You care.

That’s news.

That’s the news I want to read, hear and see. And I am quite awed and grateful for your work.

Perhaps gratitude is a medicine for an addiction to fear. I can’t simultaneously hold onto my despair about the world while contemplating and honoring what each of you does on a day to day basis. My gratitude is boundless – I am consistently amazed by what comes across my desk – you are an astonishing group of leaders.

There is a Native American parable about two wolves. One is the wolf of fear and the other is the wolf of love (or gratitude in this case). The wolf that grows is the one who is fed.  We get to choose in every moment which wolf we pay attention to and feed.  

Let’s remember to feed the wolf of gratitude. Let’s be thankful for those around us who are working for justice, fairness and transformation. Let’s remember to tell them how grateful we are for their presence in our lives and in the world.

I am grateful for you. As we move toward the end of 2010, I thank you for making a difference, for being a part of Rockwood. It means the world to me.

From my heart to yours,

Akaya
November 2010



Personal Ecology and the
Advanced Art of Leadership

How do you sustain a lifetime of activism?  If these words have you headed for a nap, or clutching your coffee cup like a life-ring, never fear, there is a better way. Deepen your personal ecology practices at the Advanced Art of Leadership: Leadership in Action.

What is Personal Ecology?

Personal Ecology practices stem from the fact that our bodies are living systems.  The focus is on making better choices and cultivating better habits, so we can work more effectively and sustainably. The key is learning to care for our most precious resource: our life force.

Personal Ecology practices support your commitment to “be the change” and to deepen your relationship to your purpose so that you are energized—rather than depleted—by your work creating positive change in the world. Insights on effectively dealing with stress are shared, as well as proven strategies for time, workload and commitment management. And the best part is that at the Advanced Art of Leadership, you have time to start using them, time to start practicing them.

This four-day intensive residential seminar is limited to 24-30 graduates of our Art of Leadership program. Led by nationally recognized facilitators and held in a beautiful retreat setting, Advanced Art of Leadership: Leadership in Action offers an intimate learning community of Rockwood alumnae/i ideally suited to developing skills, sharing knowledge and laying the foundation for new awareness and healthy leadership habits.

"The Advanced Art of Leadership changed
my life irrevocably - I now see how I must live my life in balance and integrity in order to truly lead from a place of love and compassion. I see myself better than ever now, which will forever change how I engage and interact with others in my professional and personal life."
–Jayeesha Dutta,
Mind Power Collective
California Leaders of Color Fellow, 2009-2010

When: March 28-31, 2011
Where: Westerbeke Ranch, Sonoma, CA
Deadline to apply: February 14, 2011

Apply Here

Note: This training is open only open to graduates of Art of Leadership.

For more information, please contact Stacy Kono, Director of Programs at 510-524-4000 x 113  or stacy@rockwoodleadership.org




21st Century Fellows Video: Words of Wisdom
on LGBTQ Leadership

Rockwood is excited to continue our partnership with the  Pipeline Project and Flexible Leadership Investments Program to support LGBT leaders of color through the 21st Century Fellows Program. The program is part of the Pipeline Project’s long-term strategy to increase the number of people of color working with and within the nation’s LGBT organizations and ultimately increase the level of diversity in the leadership of the LGBT movement.

The 21st Century Fellows Program is a year-long program for people of color managers currently working at national and international LGBTQ human rights, service and advocacy organizations that are current grantees of the Gill Foundation, the Arcus Foundation and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, which co-fund the program. As a partner, Rockwood leads an Art of Collaborative Leadership as the first session of four, over the course of the year.

Listen to testimonies from the first class of Fellows on this video to learn more.