Lately, Collin has been telling me, “Baba, I’m brave and I don’t cry.” He would share how he got hurt but didn’t cry or how he wasn’t scared when something happened. These all important and make me proud but as a new baba, I often wonder how to show him that crying and emotions in general are not only okay but can be powerful.

So the other night, I was scrambling to find a story about this. Since Collin is into fiery things, I found (on wikipedia) that phoenixes are fierce AND emotional at the same time. In fact, according to Dumbledore from Harry Potter the phoenix can rise from the ashes (pretty awesome) and its tears can heal wounds (also pretty awesome but less known).  (Note: I’m totally not a Harry Potter expert but definitely a newer fan.)

This made me think how we are fighting on so many fronts in these political times. Many of us, especially cis-men, want to stay “strong” and “visionary”.  But the reality is that we will win and lose battles in this moment and there will be a lot more crying and emotions before we rise from the ashes.

What if leaned into all this? Our emotions, our fears, our doubts, our guilt, our isolation? What if we used this as our power?

Just like the phoenix, these powers are actually two sides of the same coin. These emotions come from a deep place of purpose and commitment. Rage comes from love but sometimes it is hard to find. Fear and isolation comes from a yearning for connection with others. But often we are pulled into one side or another.

When we get stuck in our feels OR when we are numb and complacent, we need others to keep us going and lift us up.

Our path to courage and bravery does not have to be a journey on our own — we are not striving for independence or co-dependence but a interdependence.

“Our path to courage and bravery does not have to be a journey on our own — we are not striving for independence or co-dependence but a interdependence.”

The more we are able to be on this cusp and hold these tensions, the more we will see each other’s true self and the true power. This will open up more space in our lives and movements for everyone.

When we do this our power shows up in more ways than we can predict.

Sometimes Collin communicates his best when he has an uncontrollable meltdown and we give him space to calm down to share his feelings. Sometimes, I feel the most hope and clarity when I’m on the verge of tears feeling what is at stake for me.

In these challenging times, I believe we are on the right side of history. (I also believe the unicorns are coming.) More importantly, I believe that we can rise and as we rise, our tears can heal.


This is a photo of the sun setting at a beach I was at recently with some good uplifing people in my life. Sunsets and also look like the sun rising as well.