Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Gratitude and Self-Care at Eden House

Tis the season of gratitude and giving!

For many, gratitude is also an important self-care practice, and this month proved to be an especially important time for caring for myself.

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Thank you notes to our lovely donors!

November started with the chaos and anxiety of our annual fall fundraiser, An Evening in the Garden of Eden. Months of planning culminated in two hours. While the night was a huge success thanks to the incredible generosity of our guests, I’m glad that it is over. So this month and every month, Eden House is grateful to its donors.

 

However, I am more grateful to those individuals that came up to me at the end and reminded me of how important this work is. Sometimes, when you are deep in the trenches, you forget to step back and look at the big picture. Sometimes we get lost in the critical voices telling us that we are not doing enough. Sometimes, we believe these voices and we work harder than our bodies are equipped to.

Especially when ¼ of the staff (and one of the most important

EDEN HOUSE FUNDRAISER

Eden House Executive Director at An Evening in the Garden of Eden

pieces at that) is called away on a family emergency. After two weeks without her, I am extremely grateful for Susanne, Eden House’s executive director. I knew how integral she was to our team, but I don’t think I fully appreciated, or was even fully aware of, all that she did until she was gone. So this month, I am eternally grateful for her and all the work that she does for Eden House, and for making work fun.

Aside from Eden House, it was a big month for PowerWeavers, a non-profit of my own started with a few international friends. This month marks the beginning of us spending some serious money and I’m not going to lie, as the chief financial officer, I’m nervous. With my history, money talk is a big stressor which makes me both excellent and horrible in my role. But with an encouraging message and some chocolate, I found my purpose in this work again. This month, I am also grateful to my fabulous co-founders and messages that say we are about to make a huge impact on people’s lives.

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Love box notes from the residents of Eden House

Non-profit work is hard. It is draining, emotionally and physically. So, I am also grateful for all the emphasis put on self-care this month. Sometimes I get lost in the idea that I’m not doing enough, but I know that I need to step back every once in a while and really think about what I am doing and why. I also occasionally need reminders that stopping and caring for myself is an act of courage.

As a self-care practice, I’ve started my list of 1,000 Things I’m Grateful For which seems to be fitting for this time of year. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Family: blood or chosen
  2. Good friends and true friends
  3. Community
  4. Support
  5. Brave spaces
  6. Home, and finding home in so many beautiful people
  7. Laughter
  8. Music
  9. The ability to breathe
  10. Warm beds
  11. Sunshine
  12. Quiet time
  13. Giving gifts
  14. Naps

And maybe most importantly,

  1. Love

 

And as long as I keep these little things in mind, I think I’ll be okay. There is so much to be thankful for, but it helps to have reminders to keep us grounded and humble. And if there is one lesson that this month has taught me, it is that little things matter. Eden House will help end human and sex trafficking, one woman at a time. PowerWeavers will give chances, one young mother at a time. And I will take care of myself, one breath at a time.

 

 

11.30 EH Self-care

 

P.S. Thank you to all the individuals who gave in-kind donations this month! From left to right: April’s Crafty Ladies at the Tulane School of Law, Presbyterian Women of St. Charles Ave. Presbyterian Church, and a beautiful community member.

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