Activism Without Losing Yourself
When shit happens in life that we can’t control, we can sit back and be complacent or we can step up and take action. Not one to back down from a challenge, I’ve found myself struggling with how to handle the recent challenges we’re facing in the U.S.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to both business and therapy clients and the conversations sound eerily similar: we’re distracted and unmotivated right now. So I turned to Jax Anderson, my friend and a fellow therapist, who continually impresses me with her activism and loud voice.

I wanted to have a conversation about where we are right now, where we can turn to for support, and what we can do to take care of ourselves. We talk about work ethic, our emotions, what self-care can look like, how to take productive action on social justice issues, and so much more.

It’s okay to feel your feelings and take time to sort out how you want to respond. And everyone’s form of activism might look different, and your activism might be different today than it will be next week. But the important thing is that we don’t rest, because that’s what they want and expect us to do.

Listen in to this powerful conversation about what to do next.

About Jax Anderson:
Jax is a psychotherapist in Wisconsin, where she owns a mental health clinic, raises her daughter and supports human rights and social justice. She teaches parents about adolescence and the teen brain; as well as how to emotionally connect with their teens.

Links & Resources:

Time Stamps:

[1:20] – More about Jax
[2:42] – Evolution of connections on social media
[3:16] – There’s a mental health crisis right now
[6:25] – How we take care of ourselves matters
[7:29] – Checking your privilege
[10:43] – Utilize your anger and transition it into activism
[11:56] – Self care might be a bath but it can be so much more
[13:20] – How Jax attended to her emotions
[16:15] – We lean into our habits when things get tough but that might not be what you need at the moment
[16:34] People understand physical health, but not mental health
[19:38] – Emotions have an entity, where you can see the emotion
[20:54] – Validation is free; give it away
[22:23] – Taking care of yourself in the outrage and confusion
[24:29] – Hustle culture started when we learned how to make money on social media
[27:30] – Employees, contractors, customers are all hurting
[28:55] – There’s a demand on energy with work, kids, partner, friends
[31:44] – What do you need right now, give yourself more of that
[32:10] – How Jax is taking care of herself emotionally
[34:55] – When we’re confused and lost and just not sure, we’re in limbo
[35:12] – Anger, confusion, hopelessness – we find a way to cope with that and just live with it
[36:58] – Greed, power, control is toxic and we’ve been around long enough to know better
[37:26] – Educating yourself helps out of confusion and hopelessness and will give you direction
[41:40] – Feel your feels and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed
[43:08] – Jax’s parting words of wisdom


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you.

Amber Hawley 0:42

Jax Anderson 0:43
people like answering any. That’s awesome. Yeah.

Amber Hawley 0:46
People you’re in for a treat today. Which this is the perfect energy because in in many ways, this is going to cover some serious material, but I hope in the best way possible. I don’t hope I know. So welcome Jax to the podcast.

Jax Anderson 1:05
Thank you for having me.

Amber Hawley 1:07
Yes, I know I am to this. This is gonna be so good. I can feel this. I can feel this. Before we get into everything. Why don’t you let people know just a little bit about you.

Jax Anderson 1:19
And for you to know a little bit about me, you would have to know my name is Jax anderson. I’ve been a licensed professional counselor, slash mental health therapist, whatever, there’s so many different names for a psychotherapist, I don’t know, whatever they for, I think, almost 20 years now. Primarily, I work with tweens and teens that kind of accidentally became my specialty. And I am in Wisconsin, the great Midwest, I tried to leave five times, but I kept coming back. I own my own business I had since 2014. And I am boss and only employee. So it’s all on me. What else can I say? I think there’s just so much to say about my evolution over time, you know, with everything that’s gone on in the field and the world and with people and my own experiences. So I don’t before this, I was in corrections and law enforcement. And before that I was into basketball. I played basketball in college. And I don’t know,

Amber Hawley 2:32
I like it. I like it. Well, and you know, you touched on something that we briefly talked about before we hit record. And that’s like, the evolution we’ve been seeing of people that we are connected to on social media that we may or may not have met in real life, or maybe we met briefly. But it is really interesting in a positive way to see the evolution of so many mental health professionals like coming into their own and building that confidence and kind of growing as people. I mean, like hopefully we all are right. And I think that is exciting. I love seeing and I love seeing the things that we are doing because obviously we know mental health, there’s a crisis, a mental health crisis, you know, in the world, but I would say the United States. And we’re seeing that. I think we I think it’s I mean, I don’t know what the answer is obviously, but the we’re seeing so many people like burned out as like mental health providers and needing to figure out new and different ways to provide support and help to people. So I don’t know if that’s the part where I’m like, I think our evolution as mental health professionals, and like the way that we offer services, I think that’s going to be it’s got to be a new, a new paradigm shift, right? Like it can’t, the old way is not going to work anymore. It’s not sustainable. I think we’ve all seen that. So even though that is not technically what we were talking about today, your introduction made me think of that. Yeah, well, I think it is exciting. And by the way, I would like to be called I think I want to be called Constabulary. Like that’s my dream is just to be somebody’s got secularity. I just want to say why shit and tell people to do things like coach does not fucking capture that.

Jax Anderson 4:21
No, it does not. I always hated the term life coach. Just personally for me, like I understand why it needs to be that in a lot of ways, but for me, having been an athlete and seeing the word coach in one way my entire life, I just really never. I never grew fond of the term life coach. So yeah, I’m with you. I

Amber Hawley 4:46
so I have the same resistance and then sometimes I’m like, Okay, I’ll just like people understand it, so I’m just gonna use it. Sometimes you’re cutting yourself off at your foot. But yeah, if I had a vote I would vote for consider hilarious.

Jax Anderson 4:58
I love it.

Amber Hawley 5:01
Exactly. I can’t even fucking spell it. So, you know, like,

Jax Anderson 5:05
is it a C or K?

Amber Hawley 5:07
It’s a C. I could do the beginning but All right. Well, I reached out to Jax because because of everything. So when we’re recording this today is Tuesday the 27th or something? Or eighth?

Jax Anderson 5:23

Amber Hawley 5:24

Jax Anderson 5:26

Amber Hawley 5:26
I’m, I am allegedly on vacation. So that is why I don’t know dates right now.

Jax Anderson 5:32
The only reason I know it is because I knew on the 27th There’s another rally and you got to be there. And

Amber Hawley 5:41
yeah, there you go. That’s it. Yeah. So it’s the 28th. And so we’re just a few days out from the Roe v. Wade reversal, otherwise known as the fucking thing of the United States of America. Part Five, I guess.

Jax Anderson 6:00
Yeah, Part Five by the Taliban Callicles, as I like to call them. Oh, that’s gonna be kept in here and out, you can edit that out as

Amber Hawley 6:10
well keep it. This might be my first occasion for hate mail.

Jax Anderson 6:17
Wow, congrats. I’m glad I could be here for you.

Amber Hawley 6:23
But in seriousness, I mean, I think this is the thing. This is why I was like, I definitely want to talk to another therapist, but I’m about this about how we take care of ourselves, especially as women. And as women who it’s not like we can just put our lives on pause right. Like there, we still have, like, families to raise or people to take care of, and businesses to run and shit to do. But at the same time, like, a lot is going on, and people are struggling. And they’re, and I know I feel it too. So I wanted to talk to somebody who is a therapist, who also we can have that dialogue about those pieces of taking care of ourselves, and what can we do, but also, as I said, in the in a fun loving way. I said, I gotta reach out to my social justice peeps. On 1,000%, like in like activation mode, because to talk about, like, what can we do, you know, as individuals, like, what are things that we can do to empower ourselves and to, you know, fight the good fight? So,

Jax Anderson 7:28
yeah, I think one thing I want to go back to real quick, is when you were talking about Roe versus Wade being reversed, and it’s the great fucking of America, I want to Yes, it is the great fucking of America. And we did set our clocks back 50 years. But I also want to check my privilege personally on this and say that the America has been fucked for black and brown people this entire time. So white people, yes, we’re feeling it. Now. White women specifically, and a lot of white men, I’ve been very pleased to see that there are a lot of white men that have been out and protesting with us. And eight out of 10 people we know in America didn’t want this. But black and brown people have been saying that America is fucked for a long time, and we haven’t been listening. And now we’re feeling it. And now more people are listening. So I think it’s important that we point that out. As we our anger is valid. And we have a right to feel that what we’re feeling. And to a lot of people, they are feeling like holy shit, I never thought this was going to happen. And that is very true. We did not think this was going to happen. However, I think this is also a very good opportunity for a lot of us who are white, or white passing to have that check. And to acknowledge that.

Amber Hawley 8:45
No, I think yeah, I’m glad you said that, that it is really important because, yeah, that we’re I think we’re in so much like rage and and just disbelief and all of this. And like you said, this has been a lot of people’s normal for a very long time, right.

Jax Anderson 9:01
And as a therapist, I really want to be compassionate to the fact that constantly pointing out and checking privilege can be very invalidating to people that are angry right now. And they just want to be mad and are just experiencing this for the first time, it can be very invalidating and it can feel very dismissive of those people. And I would hate to lose those people because I want I think it’s important that they’re a part of this process. But I also think it’s important to take an opportunity to just mention that. And I think that white people need to mention that more than black and brown people because they’ve been saying it for so long. They’re tired of saying it and I don’t blame them. So when an opportunity arises, I’ve told myself I’m gonna say it but I also the therapist, to me is like, Excuse me, I don’t mean to invalidate you and I don’t want to dismiss what you’re feeling. But have you considered

Amber Hawley 9:51
Yes, well, I mean, this is the thing both can be true, right like this is we need this we need both to give conflict You said compassion, and to all of the people and women that are hurting right now. And, and yes,

Jax Anderson 10:09
yeah. And it’s important, but it’s important to take care of ourselves because we can only run on anger for so long, right? Yeah,

Amber Hawley 10:19
I mean, I’ve tried got me some good fucking places but no, I can actually it does peter out.

Jax Anderson 10:26
It does peter out and you know a lot faster.

Amber Hawley 10:29
It’s your it says and all that joy that you get from getting shit on then you’re like, oh, now I’m enjoying now I have no momentum.

Jax Anderson 10:38
I know it’s not sustainable. But we do want to definitely utilize it. It’s, it’s an emotion and it’s valid. And it has energy. And if we can find a way to transition it nicely into activism, but taking breaks and doing self care like today, I told myself I wasn’t I was just going to see clients, take care of myself get rest, eat, hydrate, relax, and get back to it, you know, later this week, going to rallies and standing in places with signs.

Amber Hawley 11:16
Yeah, see. And that’s that is important. You know, all jokes aside, because sometimes if we’re just in that rage, or that anger, it just it just shuts us down. Because we can’t it we’re we’re flooded. We’re over. We’re overstimulated and flooded and overwhelmed. Because the rage and the whole and the hopelessness, I would say, you know, are just so much and so yeah, it’s getting to that point, let that be the thing that activates you, that gives you momentum, but that’s why I appreciate having that understanding of, we have to do it in a sustainable way. Because this is going to be a this is a marathon, right? This is not a sprint, and unfortunately, and this is just how it is. But it is really important. All of those little self care things. You know, like I at this point, I feel like you can’t even see say self care without people giving you like a, like the iron roll like, yeah, Bas and I’m like, Well, you don’t want a fucking bath is sometimes really wonderful. But yes, that can’t be the only thing you do, right? It’s about it’s about stacking things. It’s about checking in with yourself and taking care of yourself. Giving yourself space, Grace, quiet, whatever, whatever that is that you need to do. Right?

Jax Anderson 12:29
Exactly. I look at it as like I’m self caring for the emotions I’m having like, Yes, I’m self caring for my physical body. But how I self care and by the physical body. Yeah, bath is nice, good, smelly lotion is nice, you know, good food is nice, but and that’s also has an effect on my mental health, but my mental health, sometimes I just need to self care for the emotion I’m having. So for example, when the Roe v. Wade leak came out, like I don’t know how many weeks ago that was not like seven or eight weeks ago, when the leak came out. I was just devastated. It was unexpected. I nobody was prepared for it. And it just popped up and it’s like, holy shit, this is really this is this is really, we’re really doing this. So I was like in the state of shock, disgust, sadness, anger. And being being a mental health therapist and practicing what I preach. I attended to my emotions, like what emotions, you know, what are they trying to tell me right now. And I knew for self care, that I needed to spend as many days as I could that first week that that leak came out doing something because that feeling of hopelessness, that kills me man like that. feeling hopeless is just like, I hate to fucking feel hopeless. So I knew I wasn’t going to make any massive changes, but I knew standing on a corner. Being present was not only going to inspire and empower and motivate other people, but it was going to help me self care for those emotions that I was feeling that it make me physically tired. Fuck yeah, I did. But did it self care? My mental health? Fuck yeah, I did. And I think I have more energy now to continue this because I did it that way. Does that make sense?

Amber Hawley 14:26
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, it’s, I I like the way you’re worrying that because I’ve been thinking about it. I mean, I’ve been in my head a lot. And I keep thinking like, I don’t know the right word. And I kept thinking well, it’s kind of like caring for my soul. I don’t mean that in like a religious way or, or but it’s like that my spirit my whatever. It’s like it but it is the emotions. It’s the it’s not part of me. That’s like, that’s just feeling like devastated and heartbroken and scared and like all of the things and that’s where I feel like the things that I’ve been doing in recently have been this cultivation of it, I have to take care of my my emotions, my brain and my body. Like, I need a mix of them because like you said, it’s, there’s, there’s the, the, like, there’s the nice to do things, but then there’s that stuff at the core. And so for me, that’s, there’s been a lot, which I’m a very like social person. And I like I love like, if you come around me, I’m usually listening to really loud music, like a 16 year old, you know, and I’m like, a constant stimulation, and always, or I’m watching TV or the you know what I’m doing, like, all these things, and I have been eating silence. And I’m just feeling the emotion like feeling, you know, because I gave myself space I gave my feeling space is what I did good for you. I like the way you worded that, but that’s what I’ve been feeling like, what is it like I’m, you know it but it was I’m in just there’s been a lot of quiet and a lot of space. For

Jax Anderson 16:05
me. That’s good. And I’m proud of you for paying attention to that because I know you’re an extroverted person. And sometimes we lean into our habits and what we’re good at, when things get tough, and it’s hard to sit back and kind of just observe ourselves with curiosity. And that’s where we see our emotions. That’s where we see, you know, as you mentioned, like the soul kind of responding, that’s where we will, we will experience that and they’re fit people understand physical health, they understand physical health, that when there is eczema on your skin, you know, you know that there’s something you’re eating that might be causing an allergy, or you you know, touched poison ivy or something I don’t fucking know. But like, they don’t understand mental health is just as, like, important as physical health. And it’s it needs attending and nurturing just as much as physical health does. But it’s an aspect of our health that people don’t understand, they forget about. And so mental emotional health gets neglected. And we often, you know, we have mental and emotional health, that’s suffering, but we self care to our physical body. So therefore, our mental and emotional health continues to feel neglected. So it’s good that you’re able to, you know, you step back and just kind of observe yourself. What’s what’s happening. What are my emotions telling me right now? What do they want me to know? Yeah. Where’s my physical body telling me we’re good at that, right? Oh, my gosh, my ankle hurts. Geez, I wonder what I did? Oh, touch the bruise. That’s what happened. You know, when you touch your bruise, you always remember what you did to yourself. I do that, like, where those come from you touch it like, oh, yeah, I walked into the corner,

Amber Hawley 17:48
or something. Yeah. Well, and that’s the thing. We can’t We can’t we can feel it, but we can’t see it. Right? Where mental health it’s like, then we convince ourselves, Am I being dramatic, right? Like all the shit that we hear ourselves? Yes. Am I exactly we do and am I being dramatic? I’m, I’m making this a big deal. Like, you know, whatever, whatever the whatever the narrative is, and usually, whatever, you’ve been told a lot, your whole life, right? So it’s that thing of like, okay, all right. Like, I’ve got to just move past it. Whereas like you said, if there was like, if you had a broken arm, you wouldn’t be like, Okay, you wouldn’t just move past it, you would get the arm fixed. And but that’s been the thing where it’s like, I gave myself the space because it’s something like you said, I preach a lot, like giving yourself grace and space. And really saying, like, Okay, I’m gonna allow myself to feel this. I mean, it feels like shit. But I’m allowing myself to feel it because obviously, I need to feel it. And you know, I don’t really know. Like I said, I don’t have answers to things. It’s not like some kind of magical movie montage moment, but I did give myself space to mourn and feel sad, and just do all this. Everything I needed to do. And, and, I mean, that’s still there. But, but I think I think of it I always say it’s kind of like Tai Chi, where it’s like, you know, if the feelings are there, and you don’t resist them, they kind of flow and then you’re like, Okay, now can I get to this place where I’m ready? Right where I’m like, Okay, now I’m ready to do something. I’m ready to do something different. I’m ready. I’m in a different space. Like I still have all these feelings. But I actually what’s more present? Is this feeling of I need to do something like Oh, that’s not a feeling but what would the feeling be? I look at that movie.

Jax Anderson 19:37
What’s the movie called? Where that it’s like a Disney cartoon movie. And it’s the emotion so

Amber Hawley 19:44
we see it joy inside out.

Jax Anderson 19:48
So inside out each emotion has like an entity so you can see the emotion like it looks like something. And me like just I don’t know. I I just that’s what I envision with my emotions often like, Oh, my anxiety looks like, you know, blah, blah, blah, my anger looks like, you know, so I sometimes will just imagine myself like talking to them or receiving messages from them. And you know how like, you always feel better once you feel heard. So you calm down, my emotions calm down when they feel heard, which then in turn helps me calm down. And yes, I’m still feeling those emotions on a foundational level. But I’m also able to navigate and function in life and do things because they can call them down because they felt heard. Yeah, and sometimes visioning it that envisioning them that way really helps. It’s a lot of talking to yourself. But

Amber Hawley 20:46
as we established before, who doesn’t do that all day. But it’s true, it does. It lessens the intensity, just like, you know, when we have people that we’re talking to, if somebody you know, can be dismissing you or not really listening or you don’t feel they get it, you just keep repeating yourself over and over. But you get that one person who really gets that you’re like, all right now okay, now I can fucking move on.

Jax Anderson 21:09
Yeah, exactly. No, I’m good. Thank you. Thanks for the validation. Exactly. It’s free. Give it away, man fuckers. Validation is fucking free. Just give it away. Give that shit away.

Amber Hawley 21:22
I know. People are real stingy with that.

Jax Anderson 21:25
Especially the Taliban bellicose.

Amber Hawley 21:29
You need to say that word a lot I feel Yes. I mean, that’s the thing. There’s a lot of judgments, a lot of judgment out in the world and the antithesis to that is validation. We can validate. Yeah, we don’t understand. That’s what I don’t get.

Jax Anderson 21:47
You’re not agreeing with somebody when you validate their feelings. You’re just no saying you. They have a right to feel that way.

Amber Hawley 21:53
Yeah, that’s like the crux of a lot of couples counseling. I

Jax Anderson 21:55
do. Oh, my God.

Amber Hawley 21:59
I love it, though. It’s great. To do it, yes. I say the same for the teams. No, no, that’s fine. But yeah, okay. So okay, so people are in this place, or women are, I’m gonna say people because it could be everybody, but who’s listening? And they’re literally, I’m Yes. That you’re feeling. You’re just feeling okay. There’s been a lot, there’s been a lot of blows a lot of outrage and confusion, and how do you take care of yourself. So we’re talking a little bit about like, recognizing and validating your own feelings, giving yourself space, taking care of yourself in all those different ways. Like I literally have been doing, like, I felt in the last few days, even though I had work to do. I was like, I did more self care than work. That’s what I did. I’ve just done a lot more self care than work. And I was, you know, I’m gonna pass right now. That’s okay. And I Yeah, normally the, that part of me would be like, All right, that’s a great, just, let’s get going. Come on, get your shit done like that. I have that part of my brain. Sure. But I was like, No, I literally have, I literally have ran out of fucks to give about that. And so it was just a lot of self care. So doing a lot of things that, yeah, that all parts of me need. And so I’m really encouraging people to, to look at that and say, okay, even if you’re even if that inner voice tells you like, Oh, you’ve already you’ve already taken time for yourself, or you don’t need that much. Like, I think we need more than we ever give ourselves credit. Like we feel it’s like we we wean it out to ourselves, oh, you can have this much you can have this much personal time, self time, you can have this much downtime, you can have this much, whatever, whatever it is like, okay, don’t be greedy. You know, I think we need way more than we allow ourselves to know.

Jax Anderson 23:57
Mm hmm. I agree. I agree with that. The, the hustle mentality since people. I mean, I don’t. I’m not like some expert on the history of social media or anything like that. I just know what I know from what I’ve experienced and what I’ve talked to other people about. But when people started learning how to make money on social media, and you can basically, essentially start a small business on so the buy in is totally free. And you can make money on social media. And if you have a small business, it’s more important than ever to market on social media and do videos. So this, this hustle culture really came about and so is the hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle. You gotta hustle. I mean, I’ve been to Social Media Marketing World, the big conference in San Diego, I’ve been to somebody is all about the hustle. And you got to be you know, on 24/7 If you want so, and it’s very intoxicating, like yes, I mean figuring out the jigsaw puzzle that is social media. To get people’s attention, everybody’s just screaming into the void. But if you want to get people’s attention, you gotta have gotta grab at the first two seconds of your video, you got to grab it, the first two words of your, you know, blog post, whatever you’re posting about, you know, you, there’s such a dopamine high from like, figuring out that jigsaw puzzle that is a funnel. And I think people, you can get addicted to that. And so the hustle culture teaches us that you constantly have to be on and going and going and going. But then, we’ve totally unbalanced ourselves. If we buy into that. And we and I bought into it, I bought into it, for sure at first, you know, like, Go Go, go, go go until I was like, this is not sustainable. I can’t be doing this. And, and feeling guilty when I take a week off because I Hustle so hard. I, you know, I feel like I’m losing, I’m getting behind. I feel like I’m losing ground. If I take time off. Like I don’t, I can’t do this to myself. And so but this hustle culture is still very prominent, I think, especially for small business owners. Because we do have to work harder than than the big wealthy corporations or Elon Musk’s of the world, you know, who I’m not saying they didn’t work hard. But not everybody is going to be a billionaire.

Amber Hawley 26:21
Yeah. Or wants to be I mean, yeah, what is willing, is wants the lifestyle that requires that, right? Because that is a certain lifestyle that you have to be willing to do. And so yeah, I think, you know, even the, the I’m, I’m gonna say that Gen X Midwest, work ethic mentality lights in so many people. And I know there are other people outside of Gen X and outside the Midwest, I feel that, but I think that that’s the pervasive thing, even if you’re not an online business owner, but that hustle like idea, or, like, yeah, you got to keep up or you got to keep going. And so there is a lot of pressure, and especially if you’re, you know, as a solopreneur, or even a entrepreneur, with teams, like the feeling that responsibility for other people, like there’s a lot of pressure. And so it’s like, sometimes, you know, when I’m talking to people, they’re like, I can bear it, I’m barely keeping my head above water right now anyway, that now to think that I somehow have to figure out and deal with this shit that’s going on. I can’t, like, that’s how that’s what I’m hearing from

Jax Anderson 27:27
people. That’s valid. Yeah, and they have employees who are hurting, you know, and independent contractors or customers, whatever, people that are hurting, like, you know, when I show up for my clients, you know, I have to get in a place where I can compartmentalize to be able to hear them express their very intense emotions about Roe v. Wade, and the reactions out there. So, you know, and they deserve to be able to talk to somebody about that, who can handle it, and I have to make sure I’m in that place. So it’s even more important, as you know, as somebody who’s hearing other people to be in the place, that you’re not going to make it about you, I guess, or you’re not going to make the situation worse, you know, that you can hear them and you can validate them. And that’s bosses and managers and co workers and therapists and nurses and doctors, it’s Yeah, and parents parents, yes, yes. Like there is. So

Amber Hawley 28:30
it’s a lot. And that’s where that’s why I think giving yourself more and more space to take care of yourself. And it’s okay to say no, or it’s okay to, to be like you, you you have to set those boundaries. When you do give. And that’s what, that’s why I think, I think for me, that’s why the silence because Eve I love being a therapist, and I love you know, even like my business coaching, consulting, I love it. I love what I do, but there’s a demand on my energy all the time, then I have three little kids demand on my energy, you know, and then I have, you know, a partner and I have friends and, you know, just there’s, there’s a lot of demand and my energy and so I think that’s where, even for me now I always say like I’m an introverted extrovert, like, because I’m an ENFP. Actually, now somebody said, Yeah, I’m an amber vert because I’m a make it my own word. But yeah, but I am a true ambivert. I was like, I need silence. And so that’s where I feel like I’ve been going and doing my own thing where I didn’t even I was the other day I did offer to have my kids. I was like, Hey, I kind of knew they wouldn’t pick me up on it. And I was like, you want to go for a walk me around? Like they’re like No, but then there were days where I went like even this morning. I did not offer because I don’t I wanted silence. I didn’t want it to take care of anybody. I didn’t want to have to negotiate somebody arguing with somebody, you know, or whenever I needed silence. And so I’ve found that that’s what I’m doing for me is that I need to have a lot of that space where there is no demand on my energy and everything is purely for myself. Right? So that’s, yeah, one of mine.

Jax Anderson 30:18
Yeah. And giving yourself permission to set that boundary and maintain it. Yeah,

Amber Hawley 30:24
that’s, you know, I feel like I’ve been doing it for so long now, things like that, that I didn’t even feel bad. Like, it wasn’t even a thought of like, because I can remember I had this thought as I was walking around the lake and pass like this mom of a young kid. And I remember thinking, when my kids were babies are really little. I wanted to go on a walk, like I needed to go be physical, but I never felt I could do it without them. Like, well, dude walks to and, and even our little dog, I was skipping needs a walk. But skip, he was an asshole to walk with, because he would stop every two minutes and like, want to pee. And that’s not, you know, you don’t get the flow, right. And so I was like, I used to, I used to struggle with that decision. But now I’m like, I’m like an EQ. I’m like, expert level, you know, level 10 status, where I was like, oh, even not even a thought of guilts.

Jax Anderson 31:18
Around this time, yeah. Which is, which is like, it takes practice to get there to that point. Oh, yeah, for sure. For sure. setting boundaries, is the easy part. Maintaining them is the skill part that takes practice. And it’s not easy. No, not at all. So hopefully, like you’re listening, and you’re thinking, okay,

Amber Hawley 31:43
so give yourself checking in with your body checking in with your emotions, what do you need, giving it to yourself, unapologetically, hopefully, giving yourself more than you probably think you need, because we often, like dole it out to ourselves very low. Mm hmm. Are there other ways that you are taking care of yourself emotionally, around all of this,

Jax Anderson 32:09
I’m reading and learning. I’m also the kind of person that’s always in my head, and constantly processing information. And constantly wanting to know more about things. And not just like, from books or, you know, research articles, I want to observe people, and I want to talk to people, and I want to hear what they say. And so when I, part of taking care of myself is knowing more things. If I can know more things and have more experiences, it can help me identify the feelings that come up within me. And, you know, that’s, I think that’s how I’ve gotten it done a lot of healing was my own religious trauma from when I was a kid being, you know, forced to go to Catholic Church, and some of the ways that I was forced, and the things that were, you know, that I experienced, really established a sense of guilt and shame within me, during certain situations in my adult life, I would experience and I’d be like, Why is guilt and shame coming up, I don’t understand this. And when I learn more about religious trauma, it started makes sense. So if I can learn more about you know, social justice and human rights, and even just how our political system works, and you know, all of the different perspectives that look upon that, you know, black, brown people, immigrants, you know, all all of these rich, poor, able, disabled, LGBTQ, all of these different perspectives, looking at that, the more I know, the better I can cope. And the longer I can stay in that marathon. And hopefully, because my ultimate goal is always to, you know, motivate, empower, inspire as many people as possible to do this themselves to think critically to question the status quo, I would make the world’s worst cult leader like I would be the most unsuccessful fucking cult leader. time because I tell people, you got to think for yourself, like go out there. Think critically. question the status quo question. Everybody, even me, like everybody, you know, I’m like, Dude, you would never have.

Amber Hawley 34:42
Well, let’s check that one off the vocation. Yes. But I agree. But I love that and I think, yeah, educating yourself. It will that just helps you think more critically, and I think when we’re able to do that we really have a true understanding. I think it’s when we’re are really confused and lost. Not that we’ll have all the answers. But when we’re just not sure, I think that’s when we’re in this like Limbo, and then it gets really overwhelming, right?

Jax Anderson 35:11
And that’s what shuts people down, see, we get angry, and we get like, I can’t believe this is happening. And then we get super confused and hopeless. And we’re like, like, all this matters anyway, they’re going to do what they want anyway. So we find a way to cope with that. And we just live with it, then. Yeah, you know, and so the anger burns us out to the point where, well, there’s nothing I can do when there’s so much you can do, you know, and but if that’s what they want, is for us to just kind of accept it, and move on to the next thing. Yeah, there’ll be mad for a little while, but they’ll get used to living with it, they always have they always well, you know, and they, they need that, for them to be able to continue to do what they’re doing. But you know, and that’s exactly it, where there will be this influx of anger and madness and outrage, and we can’t sustain that. And many people will just go back to their lives, accepting it as is maybe kind of just putting it aside to not think about it, because it is easier to not think about it. And when you’re white, and you’re privileged, it’s far easier to not think about it, you know, and that’s how they are able to continue doing what they’re doing. Running political campaigns on human rights issues. Yeah. Yes. And winning.

Amber Hawley 36:38
I know. I know. See, then you go there. And I’m like, Oh, my God, this is where I just some so I keep saying bewildered. I’m like, I can be well, dirts like, I feel so confused how this happened. Even though it’s been happening for a very long time.

Jax Anderson 36:54
But it is confusing. It really truly is like, we’re as a country. We are experienced enough old enough to fucking know better. I know we really are but man greed, power control. It really, really

Amber Hawley 37:12
just, you know, it’s toxic. Yeah. And fear that well, that feeds it feeds on Yeah, feeds all of that. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So that’s really helpful, though. Like, that’s so to remember that educating yourself is actually one of those things that helps you out of that. Confusion and hopelessness and and probably as you learn will give you that direction, like anything as you as you learn and empower yourself like then you find like, here’s my direction, not that. Not that you believe that you alone can change things, but that you alone can be a person of change, and that you can impact things yourself. Most

Jax Anderson 37:55
certainly, I never thought I’d be in this position. I never. I mean, if you would have asked me, you know, before, back when Donald Trump was running for president, I, I was like, he’s never going to you know, he’s not going to win. Yeah, but since Yeah, that happen. I’ve I never thought that I would be where I am today. You know, on the social justice side, I never would have been mad. It wasn’t my goal. It wasn’t part of what I was thinking. But it just couldn’t. I just couldn’t my integrity would not allow me to stay silent anymore. I couldn’t. Yeah. So I needed to learn and, you know, reach, start following, you know, some of these social justice BiPAC and LGBTQ people on social media, start following them, support them. Contact your local Planned Parenthood. That’s what I did, you know, I reached out to them, and I asked who in the area are legit and credible people to, you know, put my support behind? Because there are some people out there that, you know, they’re not that, you know, they how do I say this, they are in it to feel this martyr kind of thing. You know, the social justice stuff. So a lot of people will put their support and energy behind a person like that, and ultimately end up feeling betrayed feeling invalidated. Because then they, they get the sense that this person is just in it for their own to meet their own needs, you know, like a cult leader. And then they and then they’re back to square one. And they’re like, Fuck this, I’m not going to do this, you know, like this. Yeah, fuck it. I’m just gonna go live my life and stay out of it and just hope for the best, you know. So, I mean, that’s, that happened to me. And I felt that and I was like, No, this is a learning opportunity. You can now talk about it, but get back out there. So,

Amber Hawley 39:46
yes, well, yeah, that discernment, but understanding that. Yeah. And even to that, when I’m going to say when people are like that, they’re people who are that manipulative or Have that where they’re utilizing issues just to feel good about themselves and not that they genuinely believe it or like are authentically backing it up? Like, that’s hard because it’s very alluring. And they say the right things. So like you said, doing your homework is really important. And at the same time, like, you know, that’s a hard one, because it’s a hard one. And sometimes they really believe they are doing the right thing. Right? Well, that’s even harder, harder, because they’ve convinced themselves well, that’s what makes a great call leader to you gotta drink.

Jax Anderson 40:32
You gotta be careful.

Amber Hawley 40:33
You do.

Jax Anderson 40:35
Yeah, just talk to the people that have been around. There’s ages, there’s a lot of people like I know, it’s trending on social media, and I made a video to about talking about camping, there’s still camping in Illinois. Yeah. And I live halfway, you can stay at my house. And, you know, so it’s trendy to make videos like that. And it’s great that people are showing their support, but there are agencies, nonprofit agencies that have been doing that for a long time, they’re already established. So in addition to making a trendy video and showing your support, you can donate 10 bucks to that nonprofit, you know, and that will help them be able to sustain that kind of, you know, commitment to people,

Amber Hawley 41:15
because they have the infrastructure as well. Yeah. And the and the education to just make sure they’re doing it. Well. Like that’s the important piece. Yeah.

Jax Anderson 41:23
People safe. And, you know, they they have the experience.

Amber Hawley 41:28
Yeah, no, I like that. That’s, that’s great advice. Wonderful advice. Well, I aware of the time and I know, like, this is an important, you know, topic and it. Yeah, I mean, it just it feels so big. Like, there’s so many thoughts, there’s so many emotions, it feels so big, but I guess my hope and this was one, two, that to validate everybody’s feelings of how they’re feeling right now, if you’re in that space, and, and just like understanding why we get overwhelmed and why, you know, we can shut down and you’ve got to find that balance for yourself of checking in taking care of yourself and then showing up when you are able to, but not, but trying not to let yourself just shut down and say, Okay, well, let me just put this to the side. As tempting as that may be, right. And everybody’s situation is different. So being aware. But yeah, if you were gonna leave people with like a last, like thoughts about either resources or, or even just words of wisdom around that balance of taking care of yourself, but also showing up and, you know, doing your form of activism, whatever your form of activism is, what would because this is, I mean, it’s something I see in you a lot like you’re, you know, you’re the person who does show up on the corners and goes to the rallies and is always talking about these hard things, like a lot. So, you know, I feel like you are the person that probably has the most awareness of both resources and like what it takes to do this in a sustainable way.

Jax Anderson 43:07
I hope man, there’s so many things that I would want to say but

Amber Hawley 43:11
you can say more than one if you need. Okay.

Jax Anderson 43:14
Thank you for that validation. First of all, I would say that it is okay to take breaks, definitely, do not be try not to be too hard on yourself. If you if your intuition is telling you to set a boundary with somebody set the boundary, don’t stick around with them. Don’t get into engagements with a Don’t try to change anybody’s mind. When I post some of the bold comments that I that I post or I use words like Taliban Jellicle. I’m not doing it with the intention of offending people. Although I know it does offend some people. I’m doing it with the intention of shocking people. Because it does seem like it requires a lot more these days to shock people out of their desensitization because we’re so desensitized to trauma and hardship and the hardship of other people. So I’m, I have a very thoughtful intention behind why I do the things that I do. But if I could leave anybody with any piece of advice seriously, in all seriousness, honor yourself, but listen to black and brown people about this particular issue, follow their lead, they really truly know what to do read their books, you know, follow them on social media. And if you’re gonna leave my social media on the podcast notes, they’re there on mine because I follow them. Fred Joseph is a really good example of somebody to follow. He’s a strong BiPAC advocate. And he knows a lot of people he wrote a book called patriarchy blues, very good book, but they they’re the white woman Whisperer is another black woman who speaks to white women and tells them like here are some things you can do and she’s very kind and very, she’s has a very gifted way of talking to white women about this issue. So I would listen to them and lose their voices.

Amber Hawley 45:11
That’s great. So we are we will definitely put all of your contact information in the show notes. But if you could also just say because I know you’re both on Facebook and Instagram, but in short is probably the easier What is your

Jax Anderson 45:24
Instagram? Jax dot parenting teens?

Amber Hawley 45:27
Yes, awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much Jax for this. I reached out late last night. Or yesterday, I should say afternoon or late day and I was like, I really feel like I need an episode. And can you do it? You’re like, Yeah, I think he responded at like 1011 o’clock at night. Right? Yeah. Rally. Yes. I know. You’re like Not tonight. That was like, yeah, yeah, girl. It’s a little late. I understand. So I really thank you though, thank you for for coming and having this really important conversation and I’m hoping that this helps. You know, people feel like okay, okay, I think I like I know what I can do and how I can move forward a little bit. Yeah,

Jax Anderson 46:17
you got this for everybody that participates and just keeps going. It gives the entire crowd more hope. Like you doing something gives me more hope Me Doing Something gives you more hope. Let’s just keep that going. So thank you for giving the space to talk about this. Yes. Thank you.

Amber Hawley 46:37
Thank you so much.

Transcribed by

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