Black silhouette of a guy with hands on hips and a cape billowing out to the side

We all have our own Origin Story that brings us to who we are today.  Whether it has brought trauma or prestige, all origin stories must be understood as how we begin.

Before starting let us all establish ground rules.  All Super heroes (organizers) go through some kind of a struggle or a painful experience, and “it is the choices they make, rather than their special abilities, that make them superheroes” (organizers) (Dr. Janina Scarlett). 

Why would you want to become a superhero, or an organizer? What are some attributes of being an organizer? We have many examples of heroes, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Harry Potter and Star Wars.  But who are the role models for an organizer?  Throughout history, mostly they have been ostracized or assassinated.  Can each of us describe feelings and attributes that bring us to the choice of joining that elite group of people who have stepped up to organize when called?  ‘’

Each individual origin story can use popular characters found in Greek tragedy, African mythology, or Native American folklore to help enliven their role or choice.  However, when we identify ourselves as an organizer we will find challenges, personal and societal, that will confront us along the path of building community.  As we acknowledge our daily challenges and how we feel about them, can our weaknesses become strengths by normalizing our faults and imperfections?

When we find ourselves in challenges, it is always helpful to be mindful of who we are and what we are attempting to do: we seek to transfigure society!!  So being in a historical moment is critical to understand our role and the abilities we bring to those who we join in a community of resistance.  We all have ways to capture that moment, whether they are Star Wars meditation, Spidey Sense meditation, prayer or breathing exercises.  We can find historical examples of training in superhero/sci-fi/Greek & African mythology. (Superman, Dr. Strange, Star Wars, Hercules, Black Panther, etc).  As organizers, we must encourage daily mindfulness training, where we make sure to remind ourselves that listening to our bodies helps to reduce the strength of the “monsters”/challenges we face, and strengthens resiliency and increases empathy we need to continue to grow as full Humans.  How can we self-ground in meditation on these values: hope, honesty, humility, compassion, generosity, dedication and equality?

We all are charmed by our thoughts, which gain strength, but can we defuse that strength by reducing how much control a specific thought has over us?  Can we change our feelings about ourselves to “I’m having a thought that…[insert feeling/thought…?”   We can challenge thoughts based on evidence for and against this thought; and then respond back to a thought with empathy.  We can only do this challenge, if we practice body and mind controls over the thoughts that become destructive. By practicing body motion and mindfulness, our personal stance becomes one of strength and control.  However, we must be willing to consider the dark side of organizing, hate and rage; true emotions that can motivate but at the same time destroy.  The Green Hornet character struggled through this notion his whole career, but we all need to devise our own safe space, through adventure or joy.  We must be willing to explore the emotions that bring us to our role of organizer. 

We must encourage self-reflection and understand the power of self.  The superhero concept of the secret lair of self-compassion (safe spaces) refers to providing ourselves with kindness and support when we are going through a hard time.  By identifying misconceptions about self-compassion, we will begin to understand what is self-care?  We must in our circles discuss healthy self-care techniques by talking of our “monsters” in spaces that we create. Organizers’ work is a constant adjustment in order to balance and honor all the meaningful values we have.  As Deadpool says, “A little goes a long way.”  We all have masks and capes that we adorn ourselves with, but we must daily learn how to set goals, intentions, and methods to practice techniques that challenge and nurture ourselves.

We all have work to do, let’s build each other safe spaces to confront the monsters of imperialism, capitalism, racism, and sexism.

Super Hero Therapy series we are doing at BARACK Community Recreation Center, 580 E. Woodrow Avenue, 43207. An eight week series, "Super Hero Therapy: An introduction to Mindfulness" that starts on March 28, 2019, 5:00 p.m. at BARACK and continues every Thursday, 5:00 p.m. through May 16, 2019.  A multi-media educational series to promote healthy choices and artistic skill development.   By using super hero mythology, we address youth and mental health concerns.   Registration is open until March 28th at BARACK, after that date, we would be happy to consider another class.  Brought to Columbus by the Care Coalition social workers, CRPD - BARACK personnel, Community in Schools staff, Maryhaven staff, Nationwide Children's Hospital staff, OSU Wexner Medical Center staff, and community representatives.