“At the start of the pandemic, NUSHU found me. This is a time when we were grappling with a two-week lockdown that turned into several months, people losing their lives, and social unrest sweeping across our nation. Working for New Yorkers for Children, an organization that serves children in and aging out of foster care, I needed to create a space for our youth to just talk and release their feelings and emotions.
Vanessa, who is connected to my organization, tuned into our Instagram Live. I had no familiarity with Vanessa or NUSHU, but I noticed Vanessa providing noticeable feedback. Vanessa and I hopped on a fifteen-minute phone call that changed my life. There was something about her energy and the way she listened. She was a voice of calm I hadn’t experienced before. She invited me to participate in NUSHU Group Facilitator Training and since then, so many wonderful things have happened to me. From professional growth and personal development to connecting with individuals from around the world, NUSHU has provided me with invaluable experiences and a network of friends I may have never met otherwise.
Since joining and participating in NUSHU’s offerings, I’ve grown (literally in title) professionally. I supervise additional staff and hold more responsibility within my organization. I also now set aside intentional moments to hold space for my staff in what can be a difficult environment. NUSHU taught me how to check in differently with my colleagues, asking them more thoughtful questions and hearing and supporting them in more present ways.
My relationships with friends and family members have also improved. My family is from the South; culturally, you speak when spoken to and certain things are expressed in certain ways. Fortunately, my family happens to be a little outside of that box, so they were open to NUSHU and what it meant to me. Actually, my 76-year old father created an Instagram account just to watch a NUSHU Instagram Live and learn more! My friends who have also joined the community and become NUSHU Group Facilitators as well. I’ve come to realize that my joining and being receptive to this modality has extended beyond just me.
Ever since becoming involved with NUSHU, I’ve become gentler and more patient with myself. Given my history of being a Black American in this country, a descendant of enslaved Africans, I’ve had to work through generational anxieties that were passed down to me at no fault of my own. But NUSHU has been a container that has allowed me to say things out loud and to be soft with myself. Prior to NUSHU, I didn’t know what that meant or looked like. But this experience has put me in a place of understanding and ease. Whereas therapy highlights an imbalance and a subsequent treatment plan, NUSHU is simplified and empowers individuals in a unique way. It isn’t solution focused. Participating in NUSHU Group isn’t intended to ‘fix you.’ Rather, it encourages you to show up as your unique, authentic self.
I’ve grown really close to members of the NUSHU community, and they show up for me in ways that other people don’t. I’ve shared things with them that I’ve never shared with anyone else. During the pandemic when I was home alone all day and too scared to go out, having their support and company meant everything to me. Never in my life did I believe my network of friends would be expanded because of vulnerability and compassion and all of the things in between. When we speak with one another, it’s genuine– I call it the ‘NUSHU-ism.’ We owe this to Vanessa’s influence; she’s taken a seed and planted it, and she selflessly feeds it and grows it for the betterment of others.”
If you’d like to experience NUSHU Group with Joi, you can register your interest here.