Welcome to the Rising Up community
An online space to build our collective resilience
Hello, Hi, Salaam,
Thank you so much for joining me in this space. It feels wonderful to connect with you here - away from annoying algorithms, crazy trolls and sponsored posts. I hope this becomes a community where we can have authentic conversations on the issues that matter to us, so let me begin by telling you what this is all about.
This newsletter brings together the two great passions of my life – politics and activism, with health and wellbeing. In recent years, as the world plunged into a global pandemic, we dealt with the fall out from Brexit and Trump, and the climate emergency heightened many people’s existential concerns, the idea of bringing these elements together has felt not just important, but acutely urgent and necessary.
Like many, I’ve struggled with overwhelm from what feels like an endless stream of injustices and tragedies both at home and abroad in places like Ukraine, Iran and Palestine. It’s got me thinking about the concepts of resilience and hope. Not just so that we can feel better about ourselves, but so that we can stay engaged, active and empowered. For me, cultivating hope isn’t some kind of individualistic, self-help activity but the only way through our collective global struggle for justice, peace and equality for all.
“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is simply too much work to do.” Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement
The last few years have also forced me to look at these themes in my personal life. To cut a long story short, it’s been an exhausting time. I’ve navigated four miscarriages in succession, each one leaving my nervous system more fragile, my confidence more broken, and my dream of having a family more elusive. I’ve gone through a painful and extremely messy separation from a person I was engaged to. I turned 40, deeply isolated, living on my own, in the middle of a five month winter lockdown, which forced me to confront some of my life patterns and choices. And my finances as a freelancer, always a source of minor stress, became more challenging in the context of the cost-of-living crisis.
The struggles I’ve faced aren’t particularly unique or special. I saw them replicated in the lives of friends around me who struggled with health ailments, relationship challenges, bereavements or fears for their financial future. Phrases like overwhelm, burnout and exhaustion felt commonplace, as were conversations about loneliness, anxiety and despair at the state of the world.
All of the above led me to become increasingly curious about this topic of resilience, reading and listening to anything I could. The culmination of all that research is this new newsletter, which feels like an empowering space to explore all this together.
Over the coming months I’m going to be sharing stories, strategies, interviews and advice which I hope will help you (and me!) feel more hopeful about the world, contribute to our sense of collective resilience and maybe even spread a little hope and joy along the way.
As well as hearing from me, you’ll hear from talented people from the worlds of politics, the arts, psychology, philosophy, wellbeing and food, all of whom are going to help us navigate this crazy thing called life. In the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing interviews with activists reflecting on 20 years since the mass mobilisations against the Iraq war and a conversation with an esteemed life coach on how to navigate tough life transitions. By subscribing you’ll ensure you’ll never miss a post.
Rising Up is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Free subscribers will get a weekly newsletter around a theme every Wednesday. Paying subscribers will get that, plus a more intimate experience through workshops, Q+As, access to the community chat board, a monthly recommendations round up, access to my full archive, exclusive news and book deals.
Paying subscribers will also be supporting the work that I do. This is an important point for me, as I want to push back against the concept that writers should be working for free. This newsletter takes many hours to plan, write and publicise. If you value and enjoy the work I do, please consider supporting it.
I’m also offering a limited number of founding memberships that will allow you to go even deeper - you’ll get a one hour video call with me to talk about whatever you want and I’ll also edit a piece of writing for you, up to 3000 words.
And of course, I appreciate that financially times are tough for many, so if you want to be a paying subscriber but can’t afford it right now, just contact me. I’ll offer a few gifted subscriptions each month.
Phew! So that’s it. What do you reckon? Are you up for it? I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and that it’s sparked some interest. Thanks for reading this post. I really hope you subscribe and join this community. It would be a real honour to share this journey with you.
What a valuable space for the times we’re in. Excited to be a part of it.
Dear Yasmin, Congrats on the launch of this wonderful project! I have no doubt it will be rich, deep and beautiful (just like you!). Even as you explore a full range of diverse topics I trust it will offer a wealth of thorough and super helpful info. I look forward to tuning in more.