Horrendous videos and actual protests are with me constantly.

At 3 AM EDT, this question appeared in my sleep:
What if my neighborhood became an oasis?

Then another question tumbled in:
What if my heart were an oasis?

And another:
What if my mind became an oasis…welcomed “unknown thoughts” – ideas I haven’t considered before? 

In our city last Friday, high-school groups created an oasis. The City-Wide Youth Coalition invited us to a gathering that they called not a demonstration or protest but a rally. The streets of New Haven became a place of safe, nourishing, refreshing refuge for 5,000+ people of various colors, various ages, various ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. 

We had a chance to be close to the anguish and hope of families.

Older people listened to the life stories and visions of younger ones.

Because they had been invited by the young organizers, the chief of police and the mayor listened and sang with us as we gathered in front of the police station.

What if… I created an oasis in myself… a place to be safewith my own fears and hopes, my hunger, my gifts….

What if … I really listened to my own heart and the heart of the world around me… now? 

Thank you for walking on the journey with me. Feel free to tell me about your story. 

P.S. For those of you who read about my latest blog – about the tree peony in my front yard that had not bloomed in eight years – I promised to tell you when/if it bloomed. It finally did –  exuberantly. In May it unabashedly announced itself to all passersby.

This past week, I asked myself – is that tree peony’s “ability” to have a glorious life party due to white privilege? Maybe a crazy question. But really not so. I, a white professional woman, live in an inner-city mixed neighborhood that is relatively safe. My husband and I have enough income to own a simple house with a front-yard plot that gets sun; we have the luxury of time and health to tend the garden and have our own little oasis. 

How many people of color can not have that?

Oasis Sanity Tip

Today set aside some time – 8 minutes and 46 seconds if you dare, less time if that’s better for you – to listen with your heart to these questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What am I here for – now?
  3. How can I help change to happen – in me, in others?

Written by Millie Grenough —- Feel free to comment / share


  • Millie Grenough

    Author of Oasis in the Overwhelm, Life Coach, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry

    Yale University School of Medicine

    Millie Grenough is known for her ability to inspire people to do what they thought was impossible. Millie walks her talk: ex-shy Kentuckian turned Yale Instructor and life coach, ex-nun turned nightclub singer, she has taught non-swimmers to swim, non-singers to sing, burnt-out CEOS to re-boot, frazzled parents to chill, warring parties to work together. She is also a Certified Rubenfeld Synergist and Clinical Social Worker. Her book, Oasis in the Overwhelm - 60-second Strategies for Balance in a Busy World, has helped thousands of people live healthier, happier, more meaningful lives. D. Murali of The Hindu Business Line calls Millie's Oasis Strategies "A whiff of fresh air...a clear stream of reason in the dreary desert sand of dead habit."