What’s literacy got to do with wellness? Only everything.

This week, Amanda Walker, the Literacy Outreach Coordinator in Pemberton and Whistler and chair of the Whistler and Pemberton Literacy Partnership (WPLP), is at the helm of our instagram account, sharing just what the WPLP is all about.

Hope you’ll follow along over on instagram! You might even win a book!

Amanda is one of those people you walk away from seeing, feeling more energized for the encounter.

She tells the truth, has a huge heart, and loves deconstructing beautiful children’s books, page by page, in order to hang the pieces in improbable places.

I’m grateful to sit on the WPLP table – it is a Task group made up of representatives from various community organizations, including the Pemberton and Whistler libraries, the local PACs, Whistler Multicultural Network, Capilano University, The Whistler Institute, SD48, SLCC, The Wellness Almanac, and other literacy champions in our communities. 

Literacy, at it’s most contained, or constrained definition, is the ability to read and write… and this is meaningful to me because… words are kinda my jam. And always have been a balm, a lifeline, a refuge, a lighthouse… pick your metaphor.

But more broadly, literacy can mean competence or knowledge in a specified area, and I am coming to believe more and more that a growth-oriented mindset paired with self-compassion, are key “literacies” that I want to cultivate… far beyond a stacked bookshelf full of high-brow tomes. (Ya, I’ve long since abandoned that.) So, my library peeps help, because they answer questions, host events (on everything from how to weave to what’s a helpful response to climate?) and bring in any book I ask for, in my ongoing query about how to be myself in this world…. AND so my meditation teacher, who reminds me how to meet myself with a non-judging hospitality, helps grow my literacy as a human being. And my Active Hope Climate Squad have helped grow my literacy and skilfulness in navigating being in a circle to process big emotions and the fear that opening ourselves to truly love what we love, including green-leafed beings, is gonna hurt…

And the largest literacy I think I want to grow, is one of place, and belonging. How do we connect? How do we recognize healthy connection? How do we return to it when we’ve fallen out of it it? How do we set healthy boundaries? How do we recognize what no feels like in our body, or what yes feels like in our body? How do we navigate the feeling of “that’s scary and different” in a way that doesn’t harm others? How do we acknowledge Indigenous belonging? How do we undo harmful systems? How do we move towards right relations?

I love the work that the Literacy Table is doing, because its a group of community-and-growth-oriented people, who want to make a positive contribution to the place they find themselves. And honestly, it’s a joy to be around people like that. (And if this is something that speaks to you, let us know. Follow https://www.instagram.com/thewellnessalmanac/ and out yourself as a kindred to Amanda… You might find yourself invited to a table laden with delights.

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