I held a workshop recently and asked my participants to journal what they (on average) wake up thinking about on any given workday. As one might imagine, these things surfaced:
I can argue that what we wake up thinking about is an indication of our status, privilege, or standing in life. To know I have food, clothing, a bed, transportation, and resources makes me profoundly grateful.
Like everyone, there have been times in my life that I woke up with tears because I was grieving a loss, worried about another, or suffering because of conflict. I have certainly had those restless nights where I worry about finances, a child’s well-being, or significant decisions. However, I can say that on average, I do not wake up with major crisis on my mind. Instead, I wake up thinking about the tactical aspects of my day. And yet, as I work, write, interact, research, and live in this world, I am becoming more and more socially aware of what I do not experience.
It is an unspoken privilege to wake up and not immediately think about the color of my skin. Many of my African American friends and colleagues cannot say the same thing. I also did not realize until recently what a gift it is to wake up and not worry if I would be called a liar. Lots of women cannot say the same thing. I pray my daughter will never have to experience this.
The more aware we are of our gifts, opportunities, and privileges, it allows us to leverage our gratitude with those who need to be believed, supported, defended, cared for, and when possible invited in to share the blessings we wake up to every day.
What do you wake up thinking about?
Carrie Arnold, PhD, MCC, BCC
In no particular order: Author | Dog mom to Moose | Speaker | Reader Mom to human offspring Wife | Lover of Learning Leadership coach & consultant, The Willow Group | Fellow, Institute for Social Innovation | Program Director for Evidence-Based Coaching at Fielding Graduate University