The Best is Yet to Come!

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I *choose* to believe that this is true. And it's sure helpful to remember this while learning (read: often stumbling through) new (sometimes scary) journeys and life lessons.

Which isn't to say that some remarkable moments haven't already occurred in my life or that there isn't already an *immense* amount of things for which I'm grateful.

And yet, I'm completely committed to continually dreaming and giving myself space to keep learning as I go.

Right now, [shake my head], I'm going through a lot of growing pains, thanks to choosing to change 3 major areas of my life over the last year.

Let's see: my long-term relationship, my job, and where I live.

And now, while all three decisions were the right ones to make, I'm embarking on learning experiences at every turn, particularly on the location front since I moved to Senegal (in West Africa) in mid-June.

  • New languages: Wollof and French. Going more slowly than I hoped or wanted, but it's okay. When the time is right, I will figure out how to learn much more.

  • New dances: I'm learning Kizomba. Slowly. (You betta check yo dancer ego at the door, girl🤦🏽‍♀️)

  • Different foods: My low-sugar, mostly vegan diet here isn’t happening, but it will.

  • Different bacteria my immune system isn't accustomed to ("why hello typhoid, influenza, and general stomach upset....!" ;).

  • New sounds: Muslim call to prayer throughout the day and night (which I appreciate), goats bleating, water splashing as women hand wash clothes outside my window.

So...lots of newness & challenge. AND I still believe the best is yet to come! 😊️

A New Logo for a New Vision

Hope you had a pleasant weekend and are ready to kick ass in the days ahead. >:)

I'm super pumped to officially share the new logo for Joyous Justice!! Wooo hoo!!!

What is Joyous Justice, you ask? It's a consulting and leadership venture created to convey the relatively revolutionary message that powerful justice work and personal and collective well-being *can* coexist. That in order to bring about a world of justice, compassion, and wholeness (and thereby eradicate systems of oppression),

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we ourselves need to be not only be well-informed and connected, but also well-cared for and---dare I say it?--happy/content/joyful/at peace. Those aren't mutually exclusive (activism and wellness/happiness), but rather are inextricably dependent on one another, despite all the messaging that tells us otherwise.

It's taken me years to learn this! (Lucky you if you already knew this!)

This venture is the culmination of an intensive 10-year investment in extensive learning and experimentation with a variety of social justice, spiritual, and wellness modalities, some of which are seemingly diametrically opposed practices, but over time have begun to harmoniously exist within me and have ulitimately supporting me in creating a life of my dreams. Seriously.

More simply stated, I want to bring together activism/social justice consciousness and self-care (real self-care, not the corporatized, misogynist "expensive spa visits" gunk that's all over the place--not to say that extravagance doesn't have its place, occasionally...), which operate largely independent of one another, with a few glimmering exceptions (see: Pleasure Activism). Consciousness around self-care's and activism interdependence is slowly starting to build, and I want Joyous Justice to help accelerate that process because it's desperately needed.

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On the off-chance that some of these different resources and knowings can be helpful to people or communities who aren't normally exposed to them (whether that be wellness or activism), I will endeavor to share what I know in the most palatable way possible in the hopes that you too may experience some relief, inspiration, magic, and motivation as well. Whichever of those you need. So I welcome and appreciate your feedback and input.

This is an offering to those I love (which begins with my family and friends and quickly expands to the whole of humanity, lol, what can I say?). You know, no big deal. ;)

And So It Begins... Piloting My Joyous Justice Blog

Reposted from previous website. Originally posted on 2/13/2019.

I'm dipping my toe into the world of blogging. Wish me luck. I hope many blessings and much insight and learning comes from this, both for my readers and for me too. There is so much I want to say and share that it is hard to even know where to begin. Well, first, I suppose I should start by introducing myself...

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I'm April N. Baskin. I have my front-facing professional life articulated pretty clearly on this website, as well as in various lovely places throughout the internet, like the Union for Reform Judaism, Ha'aretz, InterfaithFamily, the Jewish Multiracial Network, etc. I've put a tremendous amount of love, passion, and energy in building a career that is ethical, authentic, and can be of the highest service to as many people and sentient beings on this planet as possible. I decided long ago, around age 10, that nothing mattered more to me than making this world a better place, especially for people who are marginalized or forgotten. Not possessions, not fame, not comfort. Once you learn more about my early childhood, I think my fierce passion for justice and Tikkun Olam (healing the world), will make a lot more sense.

Then there's my personal and inner world. My history, my childhood, my lifestyle, my dreams, and spirituality. As robust as my professional portfolio is, my inner life is just as, if not far more, expansive. I'm both interested in sharing my lessons learned with others for whom it would be helpful, as well as connecting with kindred spirits along this journey who are exploring similar questions and ideas, and who are also diving in the deep end of life experiences with the hope of achieving great feats in service of the collective good.

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Joyous Justice encapsulates these two broad areas of my life. Joyous comes first, not only because the phrase and name make sense that way, but also because that is my guiding intention and fuel. Joy, stemming from well-being and harmony, the vibration from which I want to do my justice work and experience my life in general. Our world is incredible, and it's a miracle I'm even here as a descendant of Jews, enslaved Africans, and Native Americans, all of whom have been targeted for destruction. Because of my ancestors and Divine intelligence, I am here, and that is a blessing I want to never lose sight of. In fact, I've gotten into the habit of intentionally celebrating and appreciating this blessing every day.

So joyous I will be! I'm here to dance, savor each moment, exchange love with beloved souls, and share my talent and passion with as many as possible. This is a relatively new concept for me, but after years of cultivating this mindset and outlook, it is here to stay folks. I used to have a much more self-sacrificial life and leadership model. But I've learned a tremendous amount in the past 5 years, and I'm so excited and open to sharing what I've learned with the world if y'all are interested in hearing. More to come, but I'm living the life of my dreams, and I want others to be able to do the same.

I could be premeditated about this, but I'm going to trust my inner wisdom as a strategic compass and follow my intuition and best thinking as it comes. I believe when my ideas emanate from that part of my being, they are divinely-inspired. I'm ready to witness and listen along with each of you as we see what my Higher Self calls me to share. May it be a source of goodness, clarity, humor, and love.

I'm excited! Please feel free to comment and share any thoughts, ideas or questions you have. Did my words spark any memories or feelings for you? What would you like to hear more about? So happy to try on being in greater dialogue with you!

Laila tov/good night.

(I want to say a BIG "THANK YOU!" to the handful of people who have been super encouraging about me sharing more of my insights and experience with the world. I see you and appreciate you!)