I get it.
You’re sick of zoom and wish I’d offer something in-person.
For those of you who are new around these parts, it might surprise you to hear that I used to think our liberation journey could only bear fruit when we were together, in person.
In 2019 my business coach told me I needed to put all my work on zoom. I resisted, threw a tantrum, and finally flat out refused.
For most of us, our relationship with zoom suddenly became grafted with the fear, loss, and anguish of living in a pandemic.
It’s much harder to look at why meeting on zoom is so charged for us than it is to blame zoom for the hurts that we still carry.
But zoom is not to blame.
Gathering virtually might be the most expansive* way to connect, and that’s why I’m still committed to it for our liberation spaces.
Just think of who was not at our in-person tables before:
- anyone who struggles to walk, climb stairs, or sit in uncomfortable chairs
- people with children
- those who have survived physical violence
- people who don’t live in our geographic region
- those solo parenting
- young people, even when they flitter in and out of our space
- anyone who is sick, immunocompromised, or not well enough to be in person
- people working long, split, or challenging shifts at work
- those struggling to do all of the things necessary to show up physically
So what is this preference to gather in person really about?
I think it’s about pain.
If you can’t bear to join another zoom call, I invite you to heal. What have you lost during the pandemic? What are you avoiding feeling by only gathering in person?
Where does your body constrict when you consider another zoom call? Can you touch it and sit with it like you would a grieving loved one who simply needs you to notice their pain?
When we give our pain the loving attention it longs for; it can loosen and move, opening us back up to an expansive idea of what it means to show up to spaces that don’t tick our every box but create more belonging for a broader group of people.
Which means we may not be 100% comfortable.
I can live with that.
How about you?
Here are a few tips to ease the experience while you heal:
- Invite someone to attend from your physical space with you
- Meet up with friends in the days after a session to discuss
- Add names of people you only know virtually to a post-it and stick it on your monitor
- Share a meal in person with a loved one before or after a zoom session
- Make a list of the ways zoom has improved your life and keep it nearby
I hope you’ll join us soon.
* I try not to use the word “inclusive” because of the teaching of attorney, educator, and nationally recognized expert Vernā Meyers who says, “the thing that bugs me about ‘inclusion’ is that it sounds like a neutral word but it’s not. It begs the question: ‘Who is including who? Who does this space belong to?’ It sounds like an act of welcoming instead of everyone being on equal footing. And I guess that is what’s happening: predominantly White spaces are trying to be more welcoming, without having to relinquish White ownership of the space.”