summer accelerator

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AFFILIATE POLICY

Posts may contain affiliate links and sponsorships, which allow me to earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

 

AFFILIATE POLICY

Community Agreements

8/19/23

How can we tweak next year’s Summer Collective? Share your insight so we can:

  • Make our collective accessible, easy to engage, and deliciously fun
  • Get honest about what you need in order to show up and be present with us

our community agreements

 

Let’s stop pretending we have our shit together.

We are not here to compete. Your Best Self is NOT INVITED to this party where the rest of us are showing up as our full selves. 

 

If wearing fancy underpants and using the only nice corner of your home as your Zoom background  helps you focus – you do you!

 

However – notice and acknowledge when you’re curating and minimizing yourself.

 

  • > It’s okay to huff and puff as you record an on-the-go video message!

  • > It’s okay to use your natural speaking voice, to say ‘um‘ and ‘like‘ and cuss and ramble!

  • > It’s okay to shut off your screen and just use voice or written responses.

  • > It’s better to respond in the moment with half-baked thoughts while you’re nursing instead of procrastinating until ‘things calm down.’ (They won’t.)

 

Show up as yourself,  in your real space in whatever way helps us focus.

 

Cracks are how the light gets in!

 

We build trust by creating space for conflict and healthy repair. This is how we model resilience for our kids.

 

You are invited (but not compelled) to share your stories and reflections. Be willing to take risks, to say the wrong thing, to provoke a challenge, to piss each other off – but you’re never obligated to retraumatize yourself for another member’s edification.

 

Maybe discomfort looks like disagreement. Or awkward silence. Or  resisting false urgency and moving slower. Or taking action before we feel prepared.

 

Notice, name, and hold space for your discomfort without pushing it (or each other) away.

 

If we can’t handle our own reactions to seeing someone in pain, we may try to solve each others’ problems with advice, information, or volunteering unwanted services.

 

We’re here to hold space for each other to reclaim our agency and solve our own problems – not to fix, rescue, or save each other.

 

Unsolicited advice can be is insulting – everyone here is smartso they’ve probably already thought of and tried your first brainstorm ideas.

 

Explaining why this advice won’t work forces targeted folks to  disclose private info on how this situation is different than your aunt’s-friend’s-dentist who had a similar problem.

 

Even if with good intentions, unsolicited advice demands emotional labor. Let’s not force folks who are already having a hard time to defend themselves and their choices.

 

Instead – listen and respect each other’s lived experiences.

 

Share our own similar experiences and emotions – without attempting to adjust another’s experience or feelings about their own obstacles.

 

Ask ‘are you looking for advice or resources?‘  Get consent before suggesting your solutions.

 

Treat silence as a member of the group to work with and learn from.

Content warnings DO NOT mean topics are completely off-limits.

Many of us are driven toward activism as a form of trauma mastery – to reclaim control over situations that continue to harm and disregulate us.

Warnings give us an opportunity to assess whether we’re too stressed to handle a certain topic, or have the energy to engage in a brave-space conversation. Giving each other a chance to consent, to delay, or to nope out of potentially retraumatizing situations.

Include a heads-up before talking about the following topics so we can brace ourselves:

  • > Before disclosing our own traumatic experiences
  • > Blood & guts, including details about medical procedures & needles
  • > Childhood food neglect, food insecurity & famine

From a member:

“I think if folks begin to share a lot about their own trauma/abuse/child abuse/etc., a trigger warning would be nice.”

“I find that these spaces are often time for folks to be heard & listened to, which, of course means that the more comfortable folks are, the more that we hear about ALL THE THINGS!”

“Because of living with OCD and my super visual mind, this can be super triggering for me. When I’m providing peer support sessions, I’m aware it’s part of the job, so it’s helpful to know what’s coming :)”

 

Let’s get curious about the diverse ways we process and take on this work.

 

We have been trained to respond with discomfort, avoidance, offense, shock, anger, or revulsion when folks challenge our most toxic cultural norms. So let’s breathe through it, and accept this gift of disagreement as a way to understand the bigger system.

 

We can’t expose or heal the flaws in our system, in our selves, if we’re unwilling to get curious about choices and behavior we don’t understand.

 

Cheerfully disagree about practices and methods, celebrate our unique perspectives, and get excited about the opportunities that come from being challenged.

 

Get curious about your reactions and what they teach you about yourself and your assumptions.

 

 

 

This Summer will be unlike all other summers.

 

So we’ll rearrange our spaces to create shady nooks, wear our favorite summer outfit, bring a tasty sandwich, and take a few deep breaths before entering our shared space.

 

For our live hangouts, take five minutes to prepare for our time together, as if heading out for a group walk, or gathering with close friends who don’t mind a messy table.


What small adjustments can you tweak to make our time together different?

Some examples:

  • > Light: Find a cool dark room as a respite for the heat, or bring your laptop outside during our hangouts to enjoy the sunshine.

  • >Touch & Pressure: Add some cozy pillows to your favorite patio lounger. Grab your softest sarong and a glass of your favorite kombucha. Invite the dog to hang out with you. Bring your favorite fidget toys, or work on a low-attention knitting project to keep your hands busy.

  • > Sound: Find a spot away from the kids’ cartoons and the nosy neighbors, your favorite window that allows you to enjoy more birdsong and less dump trucks. Zoom will block most background noises, but you can adjust your settings.

  • > Smell: Avoid kitchens or bathrooms if you can, bring in a smell that you find comforting or energizing – cut some fresh flowers, light your favorite citronella candle, make some iced chai, or cut up some fruit.

 

Leave this space better than you found it

Create new ways to collaborate. Leave a comment below so we can grow together.

Keep What Works

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Improve Accessibility

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4 comments

Rachel G. July 5, 2022 - 11:20 am

The group norm that is super important to me is “Acknowledge, welcome and make space for discomfort” and the one that makes things feel most accessible is “Replace judgment with curiosity.” Fear of judgment can really stop me in my tracks, so I can definitely list/share more easily when keeping this one in mind.

Reply
Rachel G. July 5, 2022 - 11:30 am

* listen/share (not list)

Reply
Ashia R. July 7, 2022 - 10:40 pm

That’s insightful! I usually assume *I’m* the one being a judgemental asshat, but that’s a great point – if others know how curious I am about the stuff they do (particularly when I don’t understand it) I think it takes the bite out of the risk of showing up as our full selves and sharing our ideas and perspectives.

Another member chose “Cheerfully disagree” as a group agreement for this summer, and I just realized it’s right in line with the idea of replacing judgement with curiosity. ‘Cause both cheer and curiosity are linked to joy!

Reply
Alison L July 10, 2023 - 6:17 pm

Just here to say I love these agreements, I agree, and I’m excited to show up with curiosity and lean into discomfort with the other folks here.

Reply
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