The first step to getting involved is our orientation video call on Saturday, September 3rd at 1:00-1:55pm Pacific Daylight Time (4pm Eastern, 8pm UTC).
Unusual thing for me to say, right? Yeah. You were initially going to get a “working-in-public” newsletter of me today, going from motivation/intent to designed practice. It didn’t coalesce! I have a practice designed already, but I might redesign it if I could clarify the motivations into a more crisp expression. There are so many angles on this particular space, I’m not sure how to tell the story, it feels jumbly. I’ve asked an AR facilitator group for recommendations, to see if those would help isolate the core maneuver.
The thing itself for us to practice this Sunday could be called “dancing with scissors” or “the 3rd layer of okayness” and yet, that demands that the first two layers be explained and it’s the end of the day and I’m out of time. What was it? Well, the core of it starts with society training us to manage other people’s emotions. We learn to predict how other people might react to us, to keep ourselves safe by steering away from triggering any reactions that would come flooding back at us. It works (especially for kids, in low-power situations) but is a suboptimal cultural norm.
But I didn’t find the way in to communicate it, the thread to pull where the words start flowing. So, I can feel some disappointment and embarrassment at myself for failing to produce what I had wanted. And I can also shrug and just be okay with the fact that it didn’t happen. Then, I can imagine you reading this and thinking “what a crappy newsletter, maybe I should unsubscribe.” And I can make contact with this reality and still be okay — I’m gonna be okay even if you unsubscribe. Then, I can predict feeling shame if someone hears my previous sentence as implying “I don’t care about you (or your feelings)” because I decided to ship a crappy newsletter despite knowing that I’ve wasted your time for 350 words now. And that’s not true; I do care about you and your experience. But I’m also okay if trying to express an authentic truth results in being misinterpreted — even if I’m correct about predicting that misinterpretation (which, often, I’m not).
And THAT. That paragraph right there, that very-real example with the three “okay”s, is maybe the best illustration of the thing that I can come up with today. May it land and click for you. Or not! 🤣 Maybe you think it was a genius move, or maybe to you this whole thing is still a steaming pile. If you tell me you’re offended, I will genuinely care about your experience. But I won’t disempower you by holding back whatever truth I have and thus depriving you the chance to experience it, to have your own experience of your experience, and to own what you do with that.