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Igniting the next generation of kind & courageous leaders

Quit Lying To Yourself: How to start an accountability policy

Season 3, Episode 5

by Ashia R.

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In this episode:

How to DIY the first week of your own Summer Parent Activist Accelerator: Getting radically honest about motivation & accountability

This our first chapter of the summer accelerator, we’re talking about:

  • Identifying the assumptions that hold us back
  • Refining the core values that drive us to take action
  • Designing a simple accountability processes to integrate our parenting & activism initiatives
  • Bonus Good Idea To Avoid: How to get FABULOUSLY FAMOUS!
Ashia Ray
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Episode Transcript


Hi friend!


It’s happening – the first Summer Accelerator starts this week! Wahoo, yaaaay! 


I’m super excited to get started, and I know a few of you are working on DIY-ing your own accelerator – so let’s dig in. 


This is the Raising Luminaries podcast, I’m Ashia Ray, and today we’re talking about how to DIY the first week of your own Summer Parent Activist Accelerator!


In this, our first weekly chapter of the Summer Accelerator, we’re gonna:

  • Identify the assumptions that hold us back
  • Refine core values that drive us to take action
  • And design a simple accountability processes to integrate our parenting & activism initiatives


But first – shoutout & deep appreciation to my conspiratrs-in-cahoots this summer, Alison, Jillian, Bellamy, and Tricia. We are gonna get into some good trouble this summer, and for many summers to come!


Waaahoo! Okay back to it –


So over the years, I’ve heard one of the most common fears of parents in the raising luminaries community was that there just wasn’t enough time. As if we only have a limited amount of time to stuff our kids brains full of anti-hate before we launch them into a cold and dangerous world.


That – and just missing out on getting to BE with our kids. We’re so busy trying to educate and improve our kids to survive a viciously ambitious world, we can’t be present with them and actually ENJOY them.


So what we end up with is a whole bunch of scattered, frantic parents, feeling guilty for not ‘enjoying this moment while it lasts’ while also feeling pressured to raise kids who can usher in a kinder, more inclusive future. Assuming the planet even survives long enough for our kids to make it to adulthood.


So if you’re feeling this, you’re not alone. I’m feeling it too. Keeping my our kids healthy, trying to build a better world for them to survive in, and trying not to freak out because right now glaciers are cleaving into the ocean and Putin is threatening the world with a WW3: Bonus Nukes Edition.


For those of us NOT on the front lines staving off apocalypse, we find ourselves a little worried that the thing we’re working on today isn’t the thing we SHOULD be focusing all our time and energy on. 


The thing is if humanity DOES somehow manage to turn climate change around and prevent nuclear devastation, we have to create a world and way of being worth coming back to. 


We can lament all day about how there is so much pain in the world, but even if there wasn’t – humans need challenges to survive – it’s just how we are wired. And the delightful thing about being a human at this moment is that no matter what challenges threaten us, WE GET TO CHOOSE which challenges we want to take on, or at least decide HOW we tackle them. We’re curious, creative little creatures.


So what if we got clear on the core challenges where we can make the deepest impact? What if we chose how to respond while we’ve got our wits about us, instead of waiting for tragedy to slap us in the face and then panicking and wetting ourselves?


Together in this first week of the summer accelerator, we’re going to get radically honest about:

  • What drives our activism,
  • Identify what’s keeping us from being present with our kids, 
  • And then use what we share to integrate world-changing action into everyday parenting


So we can cut out all the busywork – all those things we feel obligated to do (but honestly never will do) and be more present with our kids in the few days we have left with them at this age.


Today, we’re gonna:

  • Introduce the 5 daily capers in the first chapter of our summer accelerator
  • Talk about how we use a companion guidebook and reflection activities
  • And then talk about how we use a chat group and live zoom hangouts to connect with each other for reflection and accountability




[remix sound] 




I don’t even know where this idea came from, but 

  1. I’m pretty sure it’s a spectacular idea if you want to become famous, but don’t care how, and
  2. People have probably already tried it, and I’ve never heard about it, so
  3. Maybe it’s actually not that great of an idea.


Anyway – this for anyone who has groaned your way through trying to share out your COOL RESOURCE, like a toolkit or an article or whatever.


You made this thing. It’s super helpful. You just want to help people get the help they need, maybe save some lives, change the world, crash the sun into the moon – you know, #EverydayGoals, the way to do it these days is on social media.


But social media is a cesspool of infuriatingly useless crafting videos and assholes. And not only do you have to subject yourself to this asshattery, but you ALSO have to fight with the algorithm.


So no matter how helpful they find it – even if they signed up to get your notifications and updates, only the most mundane, worthless, bizarre shirt will pop to the top of everybody’s feed. And you try to email them, but then it gets stuck in the spam filter (and email is the new voicemail, no one wants to be rude and clog somebody’s inbox).


((I do want to say though – voicemail is the new hipster typewriter. Send me a voicemail. We’ve circled back and now old tech is cool again.))


So if you’re avoiding social media, you want to get back into old-school, late-pandemic minimal-contact publicity, I think what you should do is get glamor-shot style headshots, and then print out about… I dunno let’s say one thousand copies of yourself wearing a feather boa.


And then – this is key: sign them all. 


This is the vibe we’re going for: You are a Blist movie star, an ex-member of a K-pop group, a self-help guru, America’s Next Top Home Organizer. If you can, try to be holding a book that you probably maybe wrote but that no one can see the cover of. Add wear a few medals or sashes. You’ve accomplished something.


You’re not a social media influencer, you’re INDIE. Just famous enough that ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE wanted and obtained your autographed photo, but not quite famous enough to be a household name… or anyone regular people care about.


And then you take about 40% of these gussied up, glammed photos, and you wear them down a little. Add some push-pin marks. Soak them in a bit of coffee. You want these to look like someone had them hanging in their cubicle for a good 6 years. 


Add a couple pushpin holes – these folks took your photo down when they changed offices and hung you back up. This photo of you was a prized possession. You were someone’s #Goals.


And then – this is important – you get all of your autographed portraits – both the well-loved ones and the fresh ones, you get them framed. Choose different frames, ideally used ones.


This whole time your photos have been sun-bleaching on your clothesline and soaking in coffee, you’ve been doing recon at your local Savers and Goodwill.


I know this sounds expensive, but I didn’t say this was Good Ideas That Are Quick And Easy, I said Good Ideas to AVOID.


So now you’ve got ONE THOUSAND framed portraits of yourself, in various states of repair, all framed differently – clearly all of these are sourced from one thousand different fans, not just One Desperate Person Who Has Too Much Time On Their Hands.


If you want, you can add price tags to the back. To some of them, but not all. Make sure the price is clearly for YOUR framed portrait, not the frame. And don’t settle for anything less than $50. You’re worth it, baby.


And then pick your favorite 20 states where you know somebody (ideally another person who has too mch time on their hands), and ship out about 35 of these to each state. Actually – save a bunch for Canada, as a former K-pop star you are internationally renown, after all.


And then have your people in each state distribute their copies throughout every thrift store within a 20 mile radius. Make sure your minions don’t get lazy and just DONATE them to thrift stores, because the thrift store people will see your stack of 35 framed portraits and be like “This is the work of a desperate loser, no one wants these, throw them out.”


NO! They have to PLANT THEM. See this whole time you’ve been doing recon at the local thrift stores. So you will know how to slip this stuff on the shelves without getting caught. You know where the best shelves are. YOU know how to subtly take over an end-cap and dominate the customer experience.


Okay at this point I’m realizing that I have put WAY too much thought into this, and making the plan is almost as creepy and pathetic as actually executing the plan.


Anyway – this good idea of mine STARTED out as a fun prank to disturb my enemies, but I’m nemesis-single at the moment and have no one to direct my ire at.


But think of it! Just one day, folks on reddit start asking “Why do I keep finding autographed portraits of this person? Who are they and what did they do?”

AND THIS PERSON IS YOU! Or your enemy!

FREE PUBLICITY, BABY! Or just a very expensive way to creep someone out.


After the first 30 or so, someone is going to start asking questions. And with a THOUSAND? Around the territory currently called the Northern US? Even your enemies will start to question their memories and be like WAS I IN BTS?!


(Note to self for a future Good Idea To Avoid: A Tinder app, but to find your next nemesis)


Focus, Ashia! So since we can’t use this as a prank, I think it’d make a good way to self-promote. To overcome the social media feed algorithm.


Or you could get a couple cute llamas and throw them on tiktok. I dunno how you reach your people. Let’s not micromanage this.


So one thousand signed, framed portraits in feather boas, or llamas. Either or.


And with that, this brings an end to our…. GOOD IDEAS TO AVOID


[ironic sound that implies this is a serious podcast worth listening to]


Back to how to structure your summer accelerator!


In our first week, our 5 daily capers, one after another!

  • In caper 1, we’ll get radically honest about the motivation & core values that will guide the rest of our collaborations this summer
  • In caper 2, we’ll address the traps of resentment & martyrdom by acknowledging the perks & benefits of our activism
  • In caper 3, we’ll talk about recognizing the detours & derailments that keep us scattered
  • In caper 4, we’ll develop a simple, responsive accountability process to minimize the harm we do and set a better example for our kids
  • And finally in caper 5, we’ll delve into radical transparency as a tool to protect our boundaries and build trusting relationships that strengthen our initiatives




For each chapter, we’ve got a downloadable PDF guidebook. 


This is your visual feast of words and images for nerds who enjoy garishly-colored homework.


Kidding – this is not homework. Homework is something you HAVE to complete. Usually so someone else can assess whether or not you ‘get it’ and then it’s tossed aside. Don’t do any of that. The summer accelerator is not a pass/fail situation, it’s a process of collaboration designed for you to come back to whenever you need it.


The discovery activities in a guidebook should be fun, to get our brain-juices flowing, so we don’t end up with a media feed hangover. You know like – where we consume a ton of vague information and theoretical articles, but no one equips us with a way to actually incorporate these concepts into our daily lives?  


Eat healthier! Take accountability! Be kind!


So like…what does that even look like? And what does that look like for your unique situation?


Anyhoo – the guidebook I created – It’d be some silly overkill to try and ‘complete’ every activity here in a single week. Or a single summer.


‘Cause you can’t FINISH integrating activism into your life. You cannot ‘complete’ fun. You cannot catch up on fun. You cannot fall behind on fun! So if the guidebook isn’t fun, put it donw, don’t play with it!


But do poke around, scribble, add stickers. Use it to keep track of your ideas and brainstorms. Note what you’re not ready to take on yet, but would like to tackle next summer. Think of it as a journal, which you can come back to each summer to reminisce and reflect and dig a little bit deeper into who you are as a parent and activist and how the impact you want to have on the world changes and refines each year.


This guidebook is just one type of tool to support the types of thinkers who are into this sort of thing. 




In our Getting Started Guide, I talked about how we use reflection activities to get out of our heads and get permission to stop over-thinking everything. So I won’t get too deeply into how all that works.




We also introduced how we use our video discussion group in the Getting Started Guide, which is the primary way we communicate and show up for each other through a busy summer when it’s impossible for us to all be available at the exact same time. 


Throughout the summer, we gather in the video chat group to help each other do three things: 

  • Practice identifying & releasing assumptions that keep us from transforming intent into action
  • Skill-building – developing the ability to decline bandwidth-sucking initiatives so we can focus on what matters most
  • And creating a responsive accountability process founded on our core values


This is where we will get to know each other, without having to worry about being late to a zoom chat or kids screaming in the background.


If you enjoy regular check-ins for accountability, touch base with the group once a day to report your reflections, insights, and commitments. You can also ask questions and I’ll respond within the next day. 


Most importantly, this is a great space for us to connect and cheer each other on, so even if you’re busy, try to check in with the group at least once a week. And if you fall behind and just can’t keep up with everyone’s responses – that is okay! 


Just check in with the last discussion prompt I posted, and share your thoughts.




And for folks who need face-to-face connection, once a week we host live hangouts where we reflect on the weekly topics through a guided discussion. Since this summer is busy, and many of us are zoom-ed from all the meetings in the winter and autumn – these will be loosely structured, and optional. 


So I’ll keep the zoom meeting open for the first 30 minutes, and if no one shows up, I’ll assume everyone is busy and log out.


Okay! I think we’re ready to kick this summer off!


 In this podcast, we covered

  • The 5 capers we cover in this first chapter
  • How to use a companion guidebook and reflection activities to move from consuming to processing and then committing to action
  • And the importance of connecting in video chat group with the option to check in for live hangouts


For those of you DIY-ing your own accelerator, I really want to hear how it’s going!

  • What’s working for you?
  • What are you focusing on and developing this week?
  • Leave a comment on this episode’s resources at, or send me a voicemail at 781-342-0486.
  • Let’s collaborate and support each other!


Yes! I think that’s all we need – so let’s get started and Summer members – I’ll see you in our first caper, coming this monday!


And if you missed the enrollment period but you’d like notifications when enrollment opens for our future collectives – join the email list on the Raising Luminaries website.


Your mission today: Name it and commit:


Share your process for identifying the assumptions that keep you from transforming your good ideas into action?


Leave a comment on the podcast episode at


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