Partnership Step By Step: Caring for Self, Others, and Building Trust

March 2, 2021

By Kristen Jawad, Certified Caring Economy Advocate

In 2014, I was granted a scholarship for The Center for Partnership Studies’ Caring Economy Leadership Program. That support was very meaningful for me as my husband had recently been laid off and I was searching for meaningful ways to support my family & others experiencing life transitions similar to mine.

Over the years, I’ve been able to host conversations on Partnership & JEDI issues (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion). As a healthcare provider & a caregiver to caregivers, Riane Eisler’s vision buoys my hope in the possibility for systemic change. My work is focused on deep listening and directly supporting individuals, families & community leaders. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted single mothers, folks with chronic illnesses and those with aging relatives. I’ve responded by offering home health services to newborn mothers cut off from their support networks, providing spiritual companionship for the bereaved and workshops for parents grappling with important decisions under great uncertainty.

Deep human connection cannot move faster than the rate at which trust can grow.

It is possible to weave together caring for self, others & the environment. I am blessed to live a few minutes away from a 326-acre state park with foot paths, a quiet Grotto and 3,000 feet of shoreline on Lake Washington. Nature is a sanctuary for me and as a Highly Sensitive Person, I never really feel comfortable in a commercial gym setting. In 2019, I decided to create a walking group called Women in the Woods on Wednesdays. We have continued through the pandemic with masks and by keeping physical distance. It’s lovely to witness the intimate conversations of women who pair up. The fresh air and moving meditation is so restorative for my soul and I’m grateful that idea resonates with others and supports community well-being!

I’m a big fan of synergistic satisfiers, so when possible I connect with others by going for a walk together. Essentially, the movement of walking stimulates a perfect human pace and helps us focus on each other. The fresh air draws out hopes and provides a path to find our own footing. Trusting that the ground would meet our feet and under our own power, we can become fully present to ourselves and each other.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • Deep human connection cannot move faster than the rate at which trust can grow
  • When we walk we find the space to ask questions and explore the answers
  • On these walk & talks – time slows down, we reconnect with our true desires and our creativity
  • Ultimately, women function best when they interact with their communities, when they know they matter and when they are invited to express themselves by making their own pathways
  • You can shift your mood and direct your energy by simply going for a walk
  • In our dark moments, even small steps make life better.


Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash


Kristen Jawad, M.Ed, LMT, ELI-MP: “As a wife, mother and business owner, I understand the challenges of integrating effort, rest & pleasure. I help women remember their deepest desires so they can make great choices & take powerful action in personal & professional settings. Clients seek me out for my empathic presence, deep listening skills & gentle way of inspiring & evoking the best in others. As a Life Coach, Spiritual Companion & Healthcare Provider, I work closely with clients as they discover the power of tending to their own needs”. Women’s Wellness & Coaching:

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