3 min read

Serving soul care

Recall: Last newsletter we learned when white supremacy tries to shove you off life’s tightrope standing in solidarity to oneself is the net that catches you. Many of you sent kind, generous words of my strength to pass along to my brave mentee (thank you!) who taught me/all of us the difference between safety and security.

Also, it only just dawned on me (despite launching and overseeing many newsletter brands over my career) that having a personal newsletter is an excellent way to get people into enjoying poetry. You are welcomed in advance, dear reader!

Soul care is self-care

One of the favorite things I love about a friend of mine is that she *only* patrons restaurants that are owned by women, femmes or people of color or if there is a woman, femme or person of color who is an equity-holding executive chef.

She has a whole process for vetting places and an amazing spreadsheet that was super useful in Before Times because she also traveled as frequently (if not more) than me. But what I love most about this isn’t just that I never had to pick the spot when we hung out, it’s that when this friend was profiled about her work and the journalist asked her about self-care (like they always ask the business ladiezzzz!) she described this practice as her self-care. She said it may take more time but being consistent with her values in this way matters to her. I love that for her and I want that for all of us.

I refer to the intentional care I pour into myself and tending to my own needs as soul care rather than self-care. Self-care always seemed as if it was commoditizing experiences and items meant to spackle over conditions that never should be endured in the first place. Soul care is broader and deeper than something you can click or swipe into your life. To me, soul care means an alignment of intention, time and values, to make choices and decisions that deliver peace and spread peace.

Naomi Osaka’s decision to protect her peace and not compete in the French Open’s toxic, extractive and exploitative media abuse is championship soul care. Her actions represent a continuation of women and femme atheles centering their soul care in cultures where the warped fun house mirrors kept delivering distorted expectations to settle for self. Osaka has opened up a necessary dialogue on anxiety, well-being, the media and work. In tending to her soul, she has called on the responsibility of the system to better itself.

The pandemic has forced a recalibration for so many of us, especially with how technology facilitates so much of our lives. There is a toll that all of this is taking on our souls. The pressure to not break the cadence of performing productivity and for external expectations is adding up. Carrying this weight on our heart sinks so many of us into existing in a foggy numb world. In that haze, more and more are missing our souls and only see ourselves in reflections of screens serving clicks and swipes.

I think it would be beneficial if more of us used this moment to reconsider the choices we are making, for whom these choices are serving and how we are tending to our souls.

Brina Activities

  • While we all experience grief in distinct ways, there is a way technology can be used to hold space for the collective, a responsibility for technologists to do this responsibly, and how innovators can support pathways to healing.

    I will be hosting Rights x Tech June’s forum on Grief x Healing x Innovation with brilliant friends and leaders Malkia Cyril Devich and Micky ScottBey Jones on Wednesday, June 9th. Sign up here.
  • The wonderful Jennifer Romolini and Kim France interviewed me for their podcast. If you’re interested in hearing more about my work and soul care, give it a listen here. I love the end where I got to share wisdom from a friend who reads this newsletter.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sabrina Hersi Issa is a human rights technologist. She is committed to leveraging innovation as a tool to unlock opportunity and dignity for all. She does this through her work in technology, media and investments. This is her personal newsletter.