Opening Words from Sun. May 30 by Christian Hayden

My name is Christian, my pronouns are he/him/his and I am interning as a leader in training with the Ethical Society of St. Louis. I want to use this time as both an invitation and time to reflect.

The pandemic has taken a toll on literally everything; my physical health, my mental emotional wellbeing, and stressed the social ties I formed over the years. Nevertheless, I am not trying to lose sight of the fact this is a uniquely opportune moment for transformation. Few times in one’s life, or if you are a millennial too many times in one’s life, are there these seismic shifts-communally felt disruptions in one’s routine.

The Atlantic apparently know this because they have a writer, Arthur Brooks, doing a series on Happiness, mixing research, stories and entreaties to do self-work. Because of the times perhaps, it is a series I keep coming back to. One article in particular I return to is How to Live A Happier Life Post Pandemic.

I find myself coming back to it because there are some aspects of this time I don’t want to lose: drinking less, cooking more; using art and creativity as a grounding mechanism more than I ever have. But this cannot continue-I cannot stay in my house this much, I have to start working out again, and I miss being in community without fear for myself or for someone else.

So I invite you to do this work with me, figuring out what we want to keep, what we want to lose, and carve out the people we want to become, together, in community. Join me this summer, on every 3rd Wednesday (June 16th) to participate in the workshop, “Preparing for Life Change.” We will mix some reflective exercises and dialogue to do this work in community. Rarely are we ever in such a common space, we are all preparing for change in some way. Let’s prepare together.

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.