Confessions of Being Full On

I’s feelin’ real down. I’s feelin’ mighty bad.”  This is one of many memorable quotes from Sophia in the movie, The Color Purple. Tough to admit, but this particular quote represented how I’d been feeling the past couple of weeks.

At the beginning of the school year, RIISE advisors cautioned us about the importance of paying attention to the mental wellness of students of color as they navigate social, racial and academic roads in independent school environments. So, when met with this personal confrontation, I was blindsided.

As a mom, I felt that acknowledging the idea of ‘feeling low’ was a luxury I could not afford. I’ve got things to do! I’m Super Mom. But, the feeling gnawed at me. I was at a standstill, and I admonished myself for it.

I was searching for the root of this feeling. Was it the pressure of being a social entrepreneur? Maybe, it was preparing for two graduations. Perhaps, it was my eldest being half way around the world and my youngest getting ready to experience sleep away camp for the first time. For sure, it was the rage I felt over the massacres in Charleston, along with the thread of racial violence that compounded every other feeling I was experiencing.

It was unexpected, but from half way around the world I would receive the solace and answers I needed. Through the shared experiences of my daughter’s school trip to New Zealand, I learned the benefits of the concept of being full on. Riverdale students were being hosted in the second largest city in New Zealand, Christchurch. Eighty percent of this beautiful city had been destroyed by two successive earthquakes in 2011. Sheer resilience, community building, and a positive vision for the future supported this city’s active rebuilding.


Much more than a trip, I realized that my daughter and her schoolmates were being encouraged and challenged to trust fully and engage in varied experiences that would help them develop skills to serve them a lifetime. I was excited for her and grateful too, because her experiences became my benefit.

Being full on with all that life has to offer, regardless of the situation or the resulting outcome, is providing me with the wonder of self-compassion, resiliency, hope, and I’s feelin’ mighty good!

Always interested in learning and sharing new life skills. Have any to share? Comment below.

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