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Authentic Conversations

Collective Wisdom: 3 Ways of Being that Rockwood is Practicing During This Time

By March 19, 2020March 26th, 2020One Comment
A mixed group of 16 people, together in a video chat.

Rockwood’s staff during our first 100% remote staff meeting earlier this week.


We’re having a lot of conversations at Rockwood this week.

We’ve been talking about changes we need to make to upcoming and future programs, about what we need to work from home, about how we can stay connected.

But every conversation boils down to one question: what’s most important now?

No doubt many of you in our network are also having a lot of conversations, trying to answer some variation of that same question. We obviously don’t have answers (if there even are answers to have), but what we do have is our collective wisdom, rooted in our experiences and the experiences of those who came before us, including our ancestors, mentors, and generations of activists and changemakers.

Here’s what we at Rockwood have lifted up as most important now:

Being gentle with ourselves and with each other.

We are now working in a very different context than we ever have before, and it simply isn’t possible for any of us to operate at the same level of productivity and attention that we did just last week.

So we’re being gentle with ourselves and each other. We’re extending deadlines, postponing projects that don’t fit this moment, and focusing on what we’ve done in a day that we’re proud of instead of how much we did. We’re also being honest about what’s really doable right now and prioritizing accordingly.

Putting relationship before task.

“Relationship before issue or task” is one of Rockwood’s core values, and, like most elements of leadership, it’s a practice that needs to be revisited regularly, especially when we shift into a new context.

We’re being vulnerable with each other, sharing what’s going on in our lives and what we need to stay afloat. We’re also giving each other lots of space and grace to do what we need for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Remembering to rest.

Often, we frame rest as the opposite of work, but in actuality, rest is the other side of work. It’s important we get the rest we need in order to do the work that needs to get done right now.

Rest looks different for all of us, but we’re reminding each other often to eat, take walks / breaks, and hydrate. We’re also encouraging each other to live into the unique space of remote work, like taking naps, changing schedules, setting boundaries, and enjoying time with loved ones or in solitude.

Here are some resources that we are extremely grateful for:

Lastly, we are also having a lot of conversations about what we can offer all of you, our beloved community, at this time, so definitely connect with us to stay updated:


Rockwood Community Call

India Harville

disability justice consultant, public speaker, somatics practitioner, and performance artist

April 25 | 12 PT / 3 ET

India Harville, African American female with long black locs, seated in her manual wheelchair wearing a long sleeveless green dress. Her service dog, Nico, a blond Labrador Retriever, has his front paws on her lap. He is wearing a blue and yellow service dog vest. They are outside with greenery behind them.