Unconditional Love & Other Bullshit: Collaboration For Curmudgeonly Hagfishes

Season 2, Episode 10

by Ashia R.
4 comments

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"Thank you for consistently making me laugh out loud while also (lovingly, gently) kicking my butt to do better. Joyful irreverence is an important tool :)"

In this episode:

How to be a team player when you’re a bucket of 46 curmudgeonly hagfishes wearing a trench coat disguised as a reasonable person

This week, we’re talking about:

  • How we let competition & hyper-individualism sneak into our parenting
  • Collaboration for those who survive on petty competition 24/7
  • The new way we commit to – and release – friendship
  • How to tell if everyone around you is incompetent – or maybe it’s just you?

Bonus Good Idea to Avoid: How to take responsibility for other people’s problems.

Ashia Ray
Let's do this

Let's collaborate

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Guest Speakers

Bellamy (they/them) is the owner of a wealth of marginalized identities and founder of Revolutionary Humans.

As an essayist and community builder, they pull from years of experience with family services to help parents and educators become everyday advocates and activists.

 Support Revolutionary Humans

Visit their website at RevolutionaryHumans.com to learn more and connect with them.

This Week's 5-Minute Assignment

Name it & Commit:

Comment below or leave a voicemail

Which needs should you get honest about to build stronger collaborations?

Getting Honest: Clarifying Your Collaboration Needs

  • Will we discuss our values up-front, or do we prefer unpleasant surprises?
  • What's our tolerance for wiggly integrity and behaving outside our shared values?
  • How much patience do we have for translating indirect and direct communication?
  • Do we need rigid control or spontaneous chaos? Making space for collisions & magic.
  • What common objective are we working toward?
  • What's our proportion of raw enthusiasm and bold incompetence?
  • How long can we maintain this intensity of our work together?

Bonus Resources & References

Join When We Gather

Thursday May 23: Open Discussion

Join the Parent Activist Summer Accelerator

We kick off our 6-week collective July 11, 2022.

Capacity is limited to 6 members. Sign up for the waitlist to get notifications when enrollment opens June 17.

Additional resources from this episode

Episode Transcript

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Ashia
Hello friends, welcome to our crappy podcast with Raising Luminaries!

This is season two spring collaborations is Ashia. And today we are again in cahoots with our partner in do-goodery, Bellamy Schoffner of revolutionary humans.

Bellamy
OooOh yeah. Hi.

Ashia
Okay, so let’s get into it. Last week’s episode, we talked about how to make space for social disabilities without getting trampled. And also why our disabilities and little quirks don’t excuse toxic behavior.

In this episode, and then it says, in parentheses from my outline: “NPR voice”

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
I wasn’t supposed to give it away!

Bellamy
[Laughter] Ridiculous way to start. Okay, here we go. Okay.

Ashia
Collaboration and collective action. How to Be a team player when you are a bucket of 46 curmudgeonly hagfish in a bucket wearing a trench coat disguised as a reasonable person.

…I said ‘bucket’ twice.

Bellamy
A double bucket. [Laughter] Is that new slang term?

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
Nah, I’m just a double bucket

Ashia
[Laughter] Full of hagfish. Wearing a trench coat. That’s just the visual I got.

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
What energy my channeling today? Whenever I think of the term ‘group work,’ I just feel like 46 of those slimy grouchy looking hagfish. That’s what I feel like.

Bellamy
[Laughter] Grouchy, I’m so happy to be here with you, working with you. It’s great. [Laughter] It’s perfect.

Ashia
[Laughter] Just don’t try and bite me, you’ll get a mouthful of slime!

Bellamy
[Laughter] Oh, fun. That’s gross. Okay. That’s gross to think about

Ashia
[Laughter] We have already run off the rails! Okay!

Bellamy
[Laughter] So soon.

Ashia
Today we’re talking about collaboration for those who survive on low-key petty competition 24/7.

Taking a new look at the way we commit to, and release, friendships.

How to tell if everyone around you is incompetent, or maybe it’s just you.

Also: good ideas to avoid and a quick five minute assignment to convert what we learned into ACTION!

Bellamy
Action

Ashia
Okay, so do you have any… top of the head… is that? That’s not a phrase. I just made that phrase up too. Two buckets and top of the head.

Bellamy
[Laughter] We’re only gonna speak in phrases that no one else understands Everybody ready for it? [Laughter]

Ashia
Like “Oh, you don’t know this?”

Bellamy
[Laughter] Three giraffes and in a park. Just making up stuff. Glitter bombs on Sunday – just keep making up stuff. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Oh man what a good band name! Glitter bombs on Sunday! [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] That’s a good name.

When I think about collaborations, I think about how often it goes awry, and how typically, in my experience, people are almost requiring me to be someone other than who I am, to work with them.

And I’ve had some people treat me pretty poorly because of that. So that’s the first thing that comes to my mind unfortunately. The second thing that comes to mind is that you and I seem to have enough of a mutual respect and understanding that thus far we have not turned into three giraffes in the park.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
So, there’s that.

Ashia
I never pictured giraffes as particularly petty vicious creatures. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] You don’t know them well enough.

Ashia
Okay, yeah, cuz my knee jerk reaction to the concept of the term ‘group work,’ or ‘cooperation’ is just … “NO!”

And then I just want to release a bucket of slime and slide my way out of there. To the point where I actually quit engineering school because in the second year, they were like “In this class, we’re going to do a group project!”

I’m like, “Nope, nope. Nope!” I got into engineering because I thought I could just sit by myself with a circuit board. No thank you

Bellamy
Hard pass.

Ashia
I was like, “I am not equipped!” And I was thinking about – when do they equip you? Preschool? When did they equip you to actually play well with others?

I got the impression that that’s just something you’re born into, oh, they play well with others. It’s on your report card, and they’re just being like, “Yep, still Ashia. Still does not play well with others.” [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] Yeah, but I think that’s early conformity, right? Yeah, just the belief that by playing well with others, that means that often you’re pushing your own needs or wants or quirks or whatever aside to assimilate and do what everyone else is doing – and just get along with everyone. And not necessarily assert yourself. So that might not always be a good thing.

Ashia
Yeah, I also think things have changed. As elder millennials. [Laughter] We were forced to work with other people in school, we didn’t use computers or the internet. So working well with others, for me, involved… smelling other people. Which I don’t want to do.

Bellamy
[Laughter] Fair.

There’s a lot to take in. You’re sitting in a group, you got a circle or a table. You’re looking at people’s shoes and smelling their smells

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
And like, “What’s in your hair?” There’s a lot going on. I can see that.

I will group work in engineering schools – because engineering students…. most, but not all – smell awful. Just awful. They will stink up a lecture hall. Just one guy. [shudder]

[Laughter] I’m picturing a Venn diagram of engineering students and showering. And does it meet? Does it meet? Also if you are an engineer and you’re listening – We apologize greatly.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
We’re sure you smell great.

Ashia
[Laughter] This is just one anecdotal engineering school

Bellamy
[Laughter] Just one particular school. The whole entire school. But just one.

Ashia
I will say that was a big pull for my current partner – is he showered every day.

Bellamy
[Laughter] Yeah. Meets in the middle. Yes.

Ashia
A catch!

Okay, so The reason we are here is to raise kind of courageous humans right? Okay, back on track.

And the way that I pictured this I was like, “Okay, what is my kryptonite? Qhat is my greatest weakness?”

It is group work, it is any kind of… directing other people, or what I thought of leadership – as getting people to do what I want them to do

Which I now know is not actually what leadership looks like. [Laughter]

I was like, “Okay, I am not equipped. I will leave this for my children to figure out.”

I will give them all of the broccoli, nice cozy beds, shelter, food, and then once they have that scaffolding, they will be able to figure out the leadership thing.

And then of course, you know, running Raising Luminaries, you realize, “Oh, I actually have to model the behavior I want to see?” [Laughter]

Bellamy
Turns out.

Ashia
Being gently racist while raising anti-racists, doesn’t work. [Laughter]

Gently racist.

Bellamy
Gently. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Glitter bomb on a Sunday!

So obviously, that was a bit of hypocrisy, and it’s like, “Okay, so I actually need to put myself out there.” Try out taking on leadership roles. And obviously, leadership and group work is not at all what I perceived it to be growing up – where words like cooperation subtly imply just – sit down and shut up and listen to whoever speaks the loudest and is whitest in the room.

When I think about collaboration and leadersihp, I think about the founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, Wangari Maathai. I think I’m pronouncing that right?

And I’m like, “Okay, so how do I go from this bucket of 46 hagfish in a trench coat to being like her?” [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
I’ve not yet figured it out. However, I’ve learned some tips and tricks to… remove some hagfish.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How do we try and be collaborative?

Oh! I wanted to give a quick shout out to our communities. As Bellamy was mentioning before the podcast, we have some momentum going, we have people commenting!

Thank you so much for Rachel and Alison, who actively commented to let me know that they were laughing at the last podcast despite how weird and awkward it felt to laugh all by myself.

Bellamy
So sorry. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Oh, no, not at all. This is my ridiculous project. I’m grown up. I can do my awkward giggling. That’s my charm.

Bellamy
[Laughter] Slime and awkward giggle. Right.

Ashley
[Laughter] Oh, I have a brand!

Bellamy
[Laughter] Oh gosh. Okay.

Ashia
[Laughter] And then a couple of people have some awesome comments reflecting in the last podcast.

Tricia, I’ll read this verbatim, said, when when I asked, ‘What are you willing to do to make accommodations for friends? And what do you appreciate when other people do it?’

So Trisha said, “I am happy to be the one who does the reaching out. So one friend gave me the awesome gift of saying, ‘I like you and want to spend time with you. But I will never text or call you first, you should contact me. And if I ignore you, it’s because I got busy. But I still want you to contact me again.’ Perfect. And your point is well taken that it’s on me to periodically check in and confirm that this is still how she feels.”

Which is awesome. Tricia’s amazing.

Bellamy
Yeah, that’s great!

Ashia
Right? Because we just assumed that everyone wants the same thing forever, all the time. But I no longer eat candy like a two year old? So it makes sense.

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
We grow to want different things in our relationships.

And then Rachel’s comment was longer, so I’m not gonna read it out loud. But she had this wonderful comment about how her friends help her get back to baseline more quickly during mental health episodes. In ways that might be slightly counterintuitive. So check out the podcast episode for season two, episode nine. I can’t remember what it’s called. [Laughter]

Bellamy
Are the comments on your website?

Ashia
Yeah, they take a while to show up because I have to personally approve them and sift through all the garbage. But they are on the website.

Okay, I opened up the waitlist for the Parent Activists Summer Accelerator. We already have a couple of people on the waitlist, which is exciting! It is not full yet. So grab your grab your opportunities.

And then for When We Gather and Revolutionary Humans, Bellamy hosted this awesome courageous parenting workshop. And we had two wonderful people come join us. It was so great.

Bellamy
Yeah, it was great. We talked about courageous parenting and bravery about parenting, both inside the house and outside the house and how it impacts us and how we fail at it sometimes. And what happens when we succeed? Lovely.

Ashia
And there was this awesome framework of zooming in and zooming out macro and micro brilliance. It’s awesome and worth reviewing once that’s up on the When We Gather website.

Okay. So collaboration – our kids do need to see us collaborate. I was up until 3am. Last night. So this morning, I made the show notes. And I was like, “Why though?” [Laughter] Why?

Bellamy
[Laughter] Did you figure it out?

Ashia
Uuuuhhhh, something about role models, representation, cut and paste a few words that I usually say around this time in every podcast and just put in the words ‘collaboration;

Bellamy
Yes, great, great. That works.

Ashia
[Laughter] We need to be like….. integrity? Like doing work for…

Bellamy
For goodness.

Ashia
To be.. ugh. Okay, just pretend we explained it. It was brilliant.

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
What is interesting, what I did not realize – now that I really teased these three phrases out, it actually helps me approach collaboration in a more accessible way.

And that’s the difference between cooperation, collaboration and collective action, which all are C words with a lot of letters, so I get them confused.

But growing up Sesame Street, we heard the word cooperation, which as I said before, it’s a way that we teach different kids what cooperation looks like. For kids with less power, for kids who are assumed to be incompetent, or not natural leaders – cooperation looks like:

Sit down, shut up, let someone else take over. Let them tell you what to do. Follow orders. And I have never been very good at that. [Laughter]

I am just not good at cool cooperating! Yeah.

But then collaboration is more non-high-rar-chicial?

Hierarchical. I never learned how to pronounce that word. Hi-rar-cicile?

Bellamy
You got it.

Ashia
Har-rar-cical! [Laughter]

Bellamy
Slow and steady. Har-gar-kick-al. [Laughter] That’s funny. Oh dear, okay.

Ashia
This is what we have the transcript for. [Laughter]

Which is still – collaboration requires a lot of energy and attention and actually knowing your power, understanding what power each person brings to the relationship, what skills they have – which was not something that they propose in a school project.

They’re not like, “Oh, this is the person who’s good at writing. And this is the person who is good at research” or whatever. They’re just like, “sit at a table, do the thing.”

And then there’s collective action, which is the actual necessary thing, if you want to, if you want to be like Wangari Maathai, and reforest Kenya, you can’t actually do the lone wolf approach.

Where you’re like, “I’m going to try and figure this out. I’m gonna plant some trees, you guys can join me if you want.” Obviously, that would not work. That’s my standard operating procedure.

So collective action involves… even if you are not good at the old version of cooperation, even if you are terrified at the concept of collaboration, even if you never want to enter a room with another person and smell their smells, you can still do collective action. Which is so freeing!

Bellamy
[Laughter] Yeah, that’s good to know.

Ashia
Right?

Bellamy
No smells necessary.

Ashia
So I like to run down the lane of collective action, even when the collaboration seems too daunting. The timelines don’t fit, my schedule doesn’t fit, my skills don’t fit, we can all do collective action, just by doing the thing that we really like to do, in a way that centers people with less power and distributing power, which is so cool.

You like reading? Read for collaborative action! Right?!

Bellamy
Right.

Ashia
Yes, so now, let’s get into the scary part – DUN DUN DUN… why how competition and hyper individualism sneak into our parenting.

So do you have any? Do you have any little stories or an-ect-dotes?

Bellamy
[Laughter] Anecdotes… I don’t know, you caught me off guard. I want to say probably, but I want to hear what you have to say because I don’t want to go in a completely wrong direction.

Ashia
[Laughter]There’s no wrong direction. This is a collaboration!

Bellamy
[Laughter] But I mean, I’m trying to think it’s a little like, I don’t know, I’m just trying to think of when my kids have to do things with other people?

I feel very individualistic. When it comes to our actual interactions with people from day to day. I don’t feel like I’m working with other people.

I’m trying to think of times when my kids have maybe been harmed or bullied or this and that, those types of things.

Maybe a more, with a more collaborative spirit. Like, “Let’s help this kid figure out why it’s not okay to call out that there’s black people on the playground.” But instead I’m just like, ‘F that kid!’ I don’t know, I don’t know. That’s [Laughter] not actually everyone. I’ve would never say that. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] I say ‘Fuck that kid all the time’

Bellamy
You say ‘F that kid’ all the time?

Ashia
Maybe just in my head, I don’t know.

Bellamy
Yeah. But yeah, I just I don’t know.

Ashia
[Laughter] When I think about what is the barrier to collaboration for me, it is an impulse to you know, maintain the norm of a supremacist culture which is upheld by a route of competition and hyper individualism – that concept of: we should take care of ourselves and we should meet and exceed.

And also scarcity – if I don’t be super amazing and the best at everything, someone’s going to come steal my I don’t know pie? money?

Bellamy
Or your money for pie.

[Laughter] My pie money!

[Laughter] Your pie money. Don’t take my pie money!

Ashia
We do capitalism.

Bellamy
Oh no, I’ve made Ashia choke.

Ashia
[Laughter] Okay, so so we have to think about- how am I recognizing in my parenting, that pull for hyperindividualism – that pull to do everything, on my own, as a parent – and do it in a way that looks very competent, even if it is just pulled together by 46 hagfish in a bucket.

And then that impulse to compete – because I am, deep down in my soul, competitive curmudgeonly, and very, very petty. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] I am none of those things!

Ashia
[Laughter] And I think that’s the key to our collaboration!

Bellamy
[Laughter] Maybe, maybe.

Ashia
I’m so just paying attention to whenever I see anyone doing anything, it is a constant comparison to myself being like, “Oh, why can’t I make my hair do that?” [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
It serves no purpose. [Laughter] And then, “Those children are better looking than my children. How dare they?!”

Bellamy
[Laughter] I’ve gotta go back and make new children! [Laughter]

Ashia
Despair at the injustice of the universe about petty bullshit that doesn’t matter. So I don’t know, other than recognizing it in myself, and then naming it I mean, I don’t name all the petty bullshit, because I would just never stop talking. And I already talk a lot.

But naming I guess, good opportunities with my kids, because I noticed that as they get older, they are starting to do the – “he has one extra drop of chocolate milk than I do! And the world is ending!!!!”

Bellamy
[Laughter] Yeah, I spend a lot of time evening out drinks. And counting cherries [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] We always have the same conversation, it still has not sunk in – Yeah, but do you actually have everything you need? If your brother did not exist with this matter? The kid down the street has two cups of chocolate milk? Are you going to lose your shit? [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] Right. Yeah, in the grand scheme, I think this is, you know, not the worst thing.

Ashia
So knocking them through it, but then also maybe taking opportunities to name when I’m feeling competitive, and petty and kind of losing the plot on what we should actually be putting our energy towards getting better on.

And then there’s of course the curmudgeonlyness – just expecting everyone to be awful all the time. I don’t know how to get over that. [Laughter] Except to say that I’ve been leaping into things taking that disability justice phrase, ‘presume competence.’ And I’ve been leaping into our collaborations presuming competence, but also excellence. And now I’m starting to realize I should not presume excellence just competentence.

Bellamy
Excellent. That’s too far. step too far.

Ashia
There’s a lot of people who are like, “I’m very good at this. I am an expert at that.” And I just believe them.

Bellamy
That’s false.

Ashia
[Laughter] Anytime someone says, “I’m an expert at that” You just say “false.” [Laughter]

[Laughter] False. Untrue.

[Laughter] So my naivete I am learning not to presume excellence, while also still trying to hold space for presuming competence.

And then just petty bullshit like holding grudges. I still don’t know how to let go of grudges that are 38 years old. That kid pushed me into a baby pool once and I…

Bellamy
[Laughter] You know, yeah, graduates are so tricky. They, cuz I feel like I don’t know about you, but I’m never actively thinking, “Oh, I never want to talk to that person again.”

It’s very rare that I’m actively thinking about it. But there are definitely people that I would not go back and work with them or I would not necessarily give a second or third or fifth chance. And I don’t know if – is about a grudge or is that just being smart? [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Fool me 5, 6, 7 or eight times…. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] Fool me once. Shame on you fool me 15 times. [Laughter] I think it’s me. Yeah. Which in my personal life, that’s a separate issue. I do have that issue in my personal life. Professionally. I’ve learned to just not give people too many chances. Which is a little bit sad, but…

Ashia
So okay so we’re thinking about how we get over ourselves and model how to get over competition, curmudgeonlyness, pettiness, and just falling for the same trick over and over and over, Bellamy. [Laughter]

Bellamy
Over and over. Story of my life.

Ashia
I am interested to hear from everyone else what their kryptonite is in terms of collaboration. But that’s what we’re working on in terms of with our kids.

One of my kids is autistic. For him, things need to be done a very specific way, because he has put a lot of thought into it. And this is the one and truly correct way.

I am the same way. My poor partner, [Laughter] but I see this, I see this coming out for my kid and how he controls and it’s an outlier of anxiety, right? That need to control things because the rest of the world is so unpredictable. So I’m still looking into ways on how to support him being like, “yeah, there are some things you do and do not control and you’re just gonna have to learn how to be flexible?” While I still haven’t mastered that myself – because if my partner puts his feet in the wrong place while washing dishes, who knows what could happen?!

Bellamy
[Laughter] But this, we also talked about this during the courageous parenting workshop of that idea of seeing the things that we’re worried about most in ourselves, seeing them in our kids, and then trying to figure out how to help our kids through it when we still haven’t figured it out for ourselves. And that’s difficult and scary.

Ashia
Yes. Okay, which is all to say we have no solutions, only problems!

Bellamy
No answers! You didn’t come here for answers. Did you?

Ashia
Hopefully this sparks a little self awareness. Like, “Oh, I too am jealous of those children who can run faster than my children!”

Bellamy
[Laughter] Also, I’m just kidding. We do have some answers. Please keep listening.

Ashia
[Laughter] Oh! Especially because it is…[bad singing] Good ideas to Avoid!

Bellamy
Doo doo!

Ashia
Okay, so i was quickly pulling through the very long list of good ideas to avoid and I wrote this quote down of something that you said once in a in a video chat where you’re like, “Not her business, or her problem, but she made it her problem.”

Bellamy
[Laughter] What was I talking about?! [Laughter] Take that, whoever we were talking about, take that!

Ashia
[Laughter] Such a succinct way to put my whole being into perspective. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
it was like Oh, that fantastic – a Pinterest quote, one of those things that you embroider and hang up on the wall

Bellamy
[Laughter] Oh goodness.

Ashia
it’s a reminder affirmation for codependence.

So how to avoid co-opting other people’s problems, because we should… avoid that. I know that my knee jerk reaction is to jump into problem-solving mode – without ever being asked. Whenever anyone presents any problem whatsoever.

I’m like “How am I going to solve that?” Which is arrogant and kind of condescending and also doesn’t leave space for people to vent.

So a good idea to avoid is [Laughter] not jumping into solve everyone’s problems just because they present them to you – or you become aware of them. And I do want to say that this is not entirely our fault. For those of us who have codependent, porous boundary problems.

Most of us who have that are raised to take on other people’s problems – do the care work, notice when other people are hungry, and feed them without being asked. Make sure everyone else in the room is comfortable.

And then also – I live with a person who wanders into the kitchen where I am and he just says, “Am I hungry?” And …

Bellamy
Awww.

Ashia
He says it out loud. So my first thought – because I can’t do two things at once – is to stop washing the dishes, rinse my hands off, and then think “How am I going to figure out if this man is hungry?”

Bellamy
[Laughter] This is an unrealistic expectation.

Ashia
[Laughter] I understand he’s an extrovert and he thinks out loud. But if there’s another person in my space asking me a question, I have to drop everything that I’m doing think, “Okay, what is the 12-step process to assessing whether this man is hungry?” And then dealing with that hunger? [Laughter]

Bellamy
How do I make him un-hungry? [Laughter]

Ashia
It just never occurred to me to walk into a room and think out loud. “Am I hungry?”[Laughter]

“What should I make myself for dinner?”

So usually when he starts saying, ‘Am I hungry,’ within five seconds, I have rinsed my hands off, I’ve opened the fridge I’ve started started pulling out leftovers. And I’ve unravled things.

And it’s nice because he recognizes that I do this. And he’s like, “Oh, that wasn’t a problem for you to solve.”

But also, I have not figured out how to insert a step in there where I’m like, “Not my problem, but I made it my problem.”

Bellamy
[Laughter] You do need a sign. A little reminder.

Ashia
Just a little needlepoint hanging in the kitchen. Where people say “bless this mess.” [Laughter]

Bellamy
Yeah. Not my problem.

Ashia
Okay, and then the other thing I noticed that when we’re – mostly on internet spaces with strangers, but also just in regular life, whenever we we present a problem and someone’s like, “…have you tried… drinking water?”

Bellamy
It’s my favorite thing?

Ashia
If people waited a beat, they’d be like, “Wait, that’s really insulting advice to presume”

Bellamy
Or how about let’s go, let’s go real, real deep and say, “Have you tried… calling your ex and see if he’ll see his kids?” [Laughter]

Unknown Speaker
[Laughter]

Bellamy
“Did you ask? Did you think to ask?” [Laughter]

Yes, it could be “Did you try water?” It could be “Have you tried essential oils?” Or it could be “Did you make a phone call to fix this major life issue?”

Ashia
Have you can been reminding him that he has children?

Bellamy
Right. “Did you discuss this with him?” [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Because it is your responsibility as a vaguely feminine lady shaped person,

Right. It’s your job to fix this! [Laughter]

[Laughter] I didn’t notice it at least until I got pregnant. And then I started being a parent. And then it seems like that’s when all the unsolicited advice comes out of the woodwork. “You’re barfing all over the place. Have you tried… spinach?” [Laughter]

Bellamy
Yeah, it’s just a never ending stream of unsolicited advice. And yeah, and have you tried… Have you thought about… have you considered…. and ignores that you maybe know your child or know yourself. And it’s the opposite of presuming competency

Ashia
Yeah. And we have just a blanket guideline in all of our collectives and all of our private spaces to be like, “Please don’t offer unsolicited advice.” And sometimes people do slip up. And then it’s very awkward to be like, “Yes, this adopted person who is talking about the difficulty in finding their family of origin HAS considered doing research online” [Laughter] There’s no way to call that out without being like “That was ridiculous what you just said?” [Laughter]

Bellamy
Right? And then maybe some people just need to know that sometimes. They need to hear it back. Yeah, that was a silly thing to offer.

Ashia
Yes, anyway, so life lesson on good ideas to avoid – codependence is not a good look. And just remember, if it is not your business or your problem, maybe it’s a good idea to avoid making it your problem.

Bellamy
Don’t make it your problem. You got your own stuff to deal with.

Ashia
Now see, that’s not really good ideas to avoid, because it’s just good advice. Dammit. [Laughter]

Bellamy
I have a good idea to avoid that’s completely unrelated to everything.

Ashley
Yes.

Bellamy
Baseball.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
Baseball for two children in a small city that’s decided that no one has anything else to do. Other than come to baseball. Three times a week, per child.

Ashia
Yeah. Any of those sports? No, thank you.

Bellamy
Yeah. Otherwise, otherwise, it’s great.

Ashia
And baseball is one of the minimal gear – that isn’t hockey, right? That’s supposed to be the most accessible one – and it is not. And baseball is

Bellamy
It’s not. It’s incredibly expensive. Everything times two. And yeah, some of the people are just like, “We gotta, we gotta practice 17 times for this game!”

We don’t. They’re seven. You can sit down.

Ashia
[laughter]

Bellamy
We can go home. It’s hot out here. Yeah, that’s, that’s the jovial. A good idea to avoid

Ashia
[laughter] good ideas to avoid: baseball just plain baseball.

Okay, excellent. That is the end of our good ideas to avoid… doo doo doo

Bellamy
doo doo.

Ashia
Bellamy did suggest maybe in the interim between our spring and summer seasons, maybe if we had a little bonus podcast recording just for our paying members and supporters, that is just maybe a full hour of ridiculous ideas to avoid.

Bellamy
That’d be fun.

Ashia
Okay, so back to it. How to get Zen about suffering fools.

So let’s say the major pain points in actually collaborating with people is – what if they are incompetent? And I have to deal with them? Or…

What if I am incompetent, and they have to deal with me?!

Bellamy
[laughter] I’m trying to figure out how you decide which one thing to worry about? Or is it split back and forth?

Ashia
That’s the question of the day. I always head into things assuming that I am incompetent, and they will have to deal with me. And most of the time, it slowly slowly dawns on me “Oh, no. Oh, no, I am not incompetent. I’m just presuming excellence, and I should not be.” Right.

Bellamy
Right. Yeah. I usually walk into things, believing that I am competent, and not realizing that everyone else thinks I’m not. And then I’m like, ‘Wait, you’re mistaking me for someone who doesn’t know what’s happening.’ I definitely know what’s happening. I think there’s something about seeming kind of chill and making cute graphics that makes people think that I don’t know things. It’s very interesting.

Ashia
Yeah. I love it when people are like, “What’s going on with your little book blog?”

Bellamy
Right? Yeah. No.

Ashia
[Laughter] You’ve mistaken my bait… for incompetence

Exactly. [Laughter] Exactly.

Where’s the miscommunication? I think about how many of us with target identities are trained to stay silent and be nice. Which means when when there’s that conflict, and you’re trying to figure out, why are we not matching up in this collaboration?

We have a hesitancy to make the space uncomfortable and confront the fact that we’re not working well together. Which is the only way to overcome that is just to practice being radically honest with each other, and building trust.

But also, here’s a new take that I would like to propose. What if unconditional love is bullshit?

What if that concept of being friends should not last forever? Same thing with you know, we’re taking a new look at marriage and maybe, if you’re in a toxic marriage, you maybe should not be together forever? The goal of marriage is not just to die next to each other. [Laughter]

Bellamy
Okay, controlling my uncontrollable laughter. [Laughter]

Ashia
So unconditional love and other bullshit. That is the thing that gets in my way when I think of leaping into collaborations or starting something. And we have the regular fears of, “Oh, no, what if this person turns into a light stalker!”

But for the most part, most people are not going to become light stalkers. We can collaborate with other people and maybe it would just go a lot more smoothly if we set conditions and limits on the relationship.

I was talking with Bellamy I was like, “You know, I wouldn’t take it personally. If, when our kids are older, we go in different directions. We no longer have the similarities of being parents of young kids who are raising kind and courageous humans. I won’t take it personally.”

You’ re like, “I’m gonna go sail boating.”

Bellamy
And then what happened next? I dropped my olive jubilee.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] I was shocked. I was shocked and hurt. I had to pick kalamata olives up off the ground. It was not pleasant.

Ashia
[Laughter] See but what if because we’re so internalized to think if we are friends, we should stay friends forever at this intensity. Right? Because you and I talk every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

This is true. That’s a lot.

[Laughter] At some point, one of us – I picture you: being really into sail boating, and then me being like, “I’m not so much into sail boating,” and then you’d be like, “But I want to sailboat!”

And then I’ll be like, “Oh no, you’re leaving me behiiiiind!”

Bellamy
[Laughter] I enjoy that you’re using sailboat as a verb. I think that sailing wouldn’t be the verb.

[Laughter] And I and I mainly know this because I have this glorious theory about white people in boats.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
And so I’m pretty invested in the idea of – white people always have a story about a boat. And it’s true. And if you pay close attention, you’ll never unhear this, you’ll never unhear this fact.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] And so anyway, it’s back to sailing. I probably won’t be sailing

Ashia
[Laughter] I picture sailing off into the distance, maybe with your new white partner or something.

Bellamy
[Laughter] Maybe that’s what will happen. [Laughter] She loves sailing, and then I’ll just have to go sailing. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Just be… sail boating off into the horizon. I’ll be like “…bye bye.” [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] I will and I will scream out into the ocean. “But I’ve left you some olive jubilee! Farewell, friend!” [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Think about what what a stronger, happier relationship it becomes if we’re allowed to be, “We can be this intense of friends. And I won’t take it personally, if you decide to go do something else eventually,” right?

Just because we were friends, just because we hung out every single day in ninth grade and slept over each other’s houses does not mean that we have to continue connecting with each other despite very drastic personality differences forever.

Bellamy
Right

Ashia
There’s almost this moral clause of – the people who stay friends with their friends from high school are somehow more loyal, better friends,

Bellamy
Better people, right? The idea that if you’ve had your friends forever, you must be a better person. Because no one wants to leave your side.

Ashia
[Laughter] What happens if all your friends from high school are KKK members? How is that a good thing? [Laughter]

[Laughter] Right?

Maybe we need to remove the moral idea of relationships having to continue, at the same intensity, forever. If we all had a little bit more freedom to be like, “I think we should see less of each other.” [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] We’re done here.

Ashia
[Laughter] I think it’s time to take our relationship to a lower level. Something that just kind of frees you up.

And it also becomes way easier to suffer assholes. Because there are going to be assholes in our lives, particularly when we are vulnerable. We are raising kids in a in a culture that does not want us to raise those kids in a healthy way. Where we don’t have support networks. And sometimes we have to pair up with other families that we disagree with. We have to carpool with people who smell terrible.

And and if we take a very Buddhist approach to this: “Okay, yes, they smell horrible right now, but I will not have to be in this lecture hall with them forever. This too will end”

I find that it makes it a little bit easier to get through those collaborations, especially if it’s for a finite amount of time.

So the collaborations that I have found most successful are the ones that last for a finite amount of time. We’re working towards something together. And we talked about this, how do you make minority friends – work towards something together! That’s how you become friends.

And all of my best relationships, we are working towards something. We’re not just hanging out to hang out. So that is my tip for 46 hagfish in a bucket wearing a trench coat – if you want to collaborate with people. Remember, this is temporary. And it is okay to just part ways.

Maybe one of you’s in a sailboat.

Bellamy
Yes. With olive jubilee.

Ashia
Now I’m mentally calculating all the white people I know and whether or not they have told me a sailboat story. [Laughter]

Bellamy
Oh, man, yeah, I had thisrunning joke about it. And then my friend and I were we were taking a walk and somebody pulled up – just out of nowhere pulled up, and was like “Yeah, we just got back from from the lake. We were on the boat.” It’s very common.

Ashia
[Laughter] I kind of want to walk up to people now and be like, “So what’s your sailboat story?”

Bellamy
Right. Tell me about your boat. Tell me about your friend’s boat. Your mom’s boat. Tell me I know you know someone with a boat. I don’t know anybody with a boat. But yeah, I think that they all do.

Ashia
My kids’ white uncle just took my kid on a boat yesterday for his birthday. [Laughter]

Bellamy
There you go. See? [Laughter] There you have it.

Ashia
[Laughter] White people love boats!

Bellamy
Love boats! Like, whatcha doing out there? What are you doing? Come back to land! [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
Oh gosh, I’m so happy to share that theory.

Ashia
[Laughter] That is fantastic. Well, that’s a whole discussion that we could explore. A whole workshop, if you will. [Laughter]

Okay, so quickly, I was brainstorming. How do you find your people? First of all. When you’re just starting going from ‘not a team player’ to “Yes, I’m going to collaborate with some people, I’m going to try this out!”

I have this series called ‘Smashing wealth inequality,’ focused on wealth inequality, because most people aren’t fragile about wealth. But it was basically about smashing any kind of inequity. And I was like, “Okay, last chapter, collective action and collaboration!”

It’s very important on this particular chapter that I’m writing in 2017. But I don’t know how to do it yet. So give me some time. I’m gonna go practice, I’ll come back and write the chapter.

And I’m still practicing.

[laughter]

And it’s been five years. [laughter] I’m like, ‘I’m gonna learn this real quick, and then I’ll get back to you’

Bellamy
Can’t quite get it right.

Ashia
However, I have identified a couple of things – I’m never going to write that chapter, consider this podcast the chapter.

So how are we telling if everyone around you is incompetent? Or it’s just you?

Here are the variables that I’ve identified on whether or not I can play nice with someone, the ones that I examined to see ‘Am I the problem here, or maybe are they the problem here?’

Or is it just a culture fit?

So – do our values align? Because there’s a lot of jumping into things assuming that “Oh, you have a Black Lives Matters t-shirt on. We must have the same values,” but we very clearly do not. [laughter]

Bellamy
Right.

Ashia
And a lot of people who are new to activism, just assume that if you are inclusive in one aspect does not mean… there’s actually no correlation at all with whether they are inclusive for intersectional identities. [laughter]

Bellamy
None. And usually, it seems like they’re not.

Ashia
Yeah. The more strongly you feel about just this one thing, the more you’re comfortable with using other people as a footstool.

Yeah.

So you gotta get really clear on the values, which is why on the Raising Luminaries website, I’m like, “Here’s all our values! I’m gonna list them. Here’s all the money we give to abortion!”

I just want to be right up front with that!

Bellamy
[laughter] I want to copy your values list. I don’t have to do one of my own.

Ashia
[laughter] spectacular.

Bellamy
Those values, my values.

Ashia
Oh, no, what have you read them? You’re like, “Holy shit, Ashia’s asshole!”

Bellamy
Oh, no!

I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Get on my boat and sail away.

Ashia
[laughter] Okay! Then there’s integrity, whether their values actually match their actions, because there’s a lot of people who claim to have specific values, and then the actions that they do run completely counterintuitive to that.

“We want to fight for climate justice! But we also want to secretly eat this endangered bird when we get a chance.”

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
Very specific example. But, right? There’s always the red flags.

I admit, I am kind of extreme in these things. I’m like, “How dare you idle your car. You are dead to me.” It’s 65 degrees out, that is not necessary. [laughter]

Bellamy
[laughter] How dare you idle your car!

Ashia
[laughter] Okay. I’m working on being more flexible.

Bellamy
[laughter] Good.

Ashia
And then there’s communication styles – for example, direct and indirect. Where I’m like, [sigh] “I love tea.” Because in, in my culture, that’s the way that you ask for tea. You don’t actively put someone in the position of having to say no, you just kind of wait for them to get the hint and offer to get you tea?

Or I’ll be like, “Are you cold?” which is my way of saying “Please turn up the thermostat.” That comes off as very passive aggressive if you grow up in a more direct communication culture.

At least getting on the same page – acknowledging that culture contrast exists. So you guys can communicate about it.

And then there is – getting back to me being flexible – control needs. How rigid do we need our collaboration to work? How rigid are we on our goals? How flexible are we?

Which isn’t to say one is better than the other? Except to say that rigidity is better? [laughter]

[laughter]

Because everything is always chaotic, and I need some structure! [laughter] I’m kidding, it’s not that better.

[laughter]

It’s just – I get so much flak for being so rigid and needing my routines. But if I don’t have my routines I will forget my pants.

Bellamy
Right. Nobody wants that.

Ashia
And you know, Bellamy works in very flexible spontaneous ways. And what’s perfect about that is I work in very rigid, planned out ways. I’m like, “Oh no Bellamy hasn’t planned out all of the When We Gather events through August? How am I going to go about my day!?”

Bellamy
[laughter] That was very funny.

Ashia
But just knowing that, I’m like, “Okay, I can stay here. Bellamy will float back and forth.” And then when you come with your resources and your awesome things, it’s a nice, lovely hot air balloon that floats down from the sky.

Bellamy
[laughter] I hope it’s a good reminder that I will do things. I don’t seem like I’m doing the things but I will do the things.I just do them in a weird way.

Ashia
And it’s a moment of delight and surprise and beauty. I love that. It’s amazing. So just understanding your own need for rigidity. And maybe that’s an that’s an accessibility issue because you have executive functioning disabilities like me.

Don’t shame yourself for it. But just know how you work, know how the other person works, just like communication, so you guys can work around it and make space for each other.

And then there’s the direction of fucks given. Are all of your folks directed internally towards yourself? Or externally towards the world, an objective, injustice?

Because when I think of the framework of courage and kindness, when I do something that I am terrified to do, but I step forward anyway, it’s because all of my fucks are directed at the objective at hand, and none of my fucks are directed at my ego or what other people think about me.

I noticed about myself, I do best with people who direct all of their fucks towards the same objective. And we can get pretty much over anything – except for the integrity thing – as long as our fucks are directed in the same position.

Bellamy
Right.

Ashia
Yeah. And that helps with my compulsion toward competition and pettiness. Because whether or not those kids can run faster than my kids don’t matter. When I step back and think about, “Oh, we’re actually working towards something much bigger than who can I catch that ball?” What is the benefit of running fast now, we don’t have to run from tigers?

Bellamy
I can only think of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Ashia
[laughter] One of the things I have discovered, really, in the past year, is also raw enthusiasm. I used to think that raw enthusiasm was great. If you have someone who is just really enthusiastic about what they’re doing, maybe you can win them over on your values and you know, realign them a little bit. Maybe you guys can work together in objectives that you share.

However, if you have raw enthusiasm and you’re incompetent, it is actively dangerous. [laughter]

I’ve started to recognize that we need to set a boundary around raw enthusiasm mixed with incompetence.

Bellamy
Not a good combo?

Ashia
So that’s, that’s my deal breaker. So any of those those variables…

Bellamy
For some reason that makes me think of Donald Trump.

Ashia
[laughter] I wonder why?

Bellamy
[laughter] Strange anyway.

Ashia
How many people are working towards the same goals as us, but they are enthusiastically incompetent and do so much damage. You can see what Donald Trump’s up to. You can see him coming from a few miles away.

But if the person on your side, and behind you, is just wildly messing things up. It is very hard to plan for.

Okay, so those variables – when we’re when we’re looking at collaborations, when you’re entering a collaboration, and when you’re deciding to cut off a collaboration, [laughter] or being like “Let’s collaborate for just a couple of minutes.”

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
Take into account the variables of: common values, integrity, communication (direct or indirect) control needs (flexible and rigid), direction of fucks given, and that raw enthusiasm paired with incompetence!

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
I think we solved it. I think we solved collaboration! [laughter]

Bellamy
I think so. But I don’t know how you find these things. I don’t know how you know these things before collaborating. And I’ve found that I’ve had to, you know, do whatever I set out to do, or their initial agreement that I’ve made with someone. And then when half of those things are not working out, I have to just draw a line and say “nope, I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore,” or “this is not going to work out.” So I don’t know how you… or maybe you don’t collaborate with people that you don’t know? That seems wrong. I don’t know.

Ashia
Have you heard of this thing that… what are the youths called? Gen Z, whatever. The youths! Are doing this thing when they date people, particularly women who are vulnerable of being murdered and attacked by male partners –

Where early on in a relationship, they will cancel a date last minute, or they will say, “Hey, instead of meeting at the sushi place, can we meet at the Thai place?”

To test to see if he’s going to completely lose his shit and murder you?

Bellamy
Yes

Ashia
Which it’s interesting to see – I mean, obviously, you don’t want to completely put someone out. But just being like, “Hey, instead of meeting this place five minutes away, can we meet at this other place five minutes away?” is a nice way to test whether or not someone is going to be completely unreasonable. Yeah. [laughter]

Bellamy
Cuz I mean, that’s what ends up happening, you start working with somebody, and the second that something doesn’t quite go the way that they wanted it to go, or intended for it to go, they kind of become extremely controlling.

And I mean, that doesn’t always happen. I said it like it always happens. It’s just, this has been my experience a couple of time? A a few times? 17 times? And so yeah, maybe just a little bit of adjustment at the beginning to see how they handle it. Makes sense.

The youth, the youngsters, they’re smart.

Ashia
[laughter] It is interesting to see, there’s two sides of Reddit. There’s the guys being like, “How dare she pull this test on me? That’s so fake!”

But she’s just trying to not get murdered, though? It seems worth it. And if you’re reasonable, and you also do not want her to get murdered – and believe her. Maybe you could just meet at the Thai place,

Bellamy
Right. Yeah. [laughter] No harm done.

Ashia
[laughter] There’s so many different ways of paying attention to these, and you kind of learn them as you go – as you try out more and more collaborations. For instance, because I need to know exactly what to expect. I’m very good at identifying patterns, but the world seems like chaos to me because of my executive functioning disabilities. S

o if someone says, “Let’s meet at two o’clock,” I am preparing for that two o’clock meeting for a full four days ahead! That meeting gets canceled, or it’s a no-show, I used to kind of spin out.

For a couple of days, I’d be like, “This is what I was expecting. That is not what happened. I do not know how to be a person in the world anymore!”

I don’t blame them, but it very much causes me to spin out. So I have learned in my older years to be like, “Okay, if this person is going to be a no-show and not give me any notice – or if they need to schedule too many things last minute, I can really appreciate them and like them, but maybe us collaborating is not a good idea.”

Right? We can send them on their way and be like, “Oh, you work like that. I know, another chaos agent over here who would love…”

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
but for me, I’m just like, “Oh, now I know what I am capable of handling.” And I know what I don’t like.

Like I said in the last podcast though, the wise words of Kerry, “You don’t owe anyone your friendship.” It’s so freeing!

Bellamy
It is.

Ashia
So for the variables, one of the things I like to do is be very upfront with my values very, very early. So that way people can know about that relationship, if they’re uncomfortable, and it saves me a lot of time.

The integrity, it’s just paying attention to what people do – the little patterns of behavior, right?

And then, I tend to front-load all of my collaborations: “Here’s how I work, here’s what we’re going to do, here’s what you can expect from me,” and I know it’s probably a lot.”

In which case those people can be like, “I don’t work with people who are a lot.”

I’d be like “great!”

Bellamy
[laughter] Okay bye!

Ashia
Even if I keep myself less, my a-lot is gonna come out at some point and it’s a lot. And it’s gonna be too much for them. And that’s not fair to bait and switch them. Pretending I’m all minimalist.

Bellamy
[laughter] This is true, but also I wonder – I don’t know how you deal with me. I don’t understand.

Ashia
[laughter]

Bellamy
[laughter] Cuz I’m not a chaos agent. That’s all I have to say. But I you know, but…

Ashia
[laughter] Yeah, so that’s the that’s also the interesting thing about collaborations with people who have strengths that we don’t have. Your spontaneity and creativity. I see it as a strength. But I’m also not going to rely on you for dependably publishing the same thing every day.

And that said, you show up when you say you’re going I show up. You don’t just bail. Right?

Bellamy
Oh, that’s nice to know.

Ashia
There’s chaos agents. Like, “Let’s hang out. Let’s do a playdate on Thursday at three,” and a chaos agent will not just not show up. They will turn into a dragon and light everything on fire. [laughter]

I would not expect – I did not plan for that!

Bellamy
[laughter] Okay, all right.

Ashia
Oh, “I’m a single mom, I can’t show up to this thing because it turned out my car broke down.” Yeah, that I did plan for it. Because I know you’re a single mom. [laughter]

Bellamy
Right. Right. Okay, I understand that.

In my mind, I feel very unreliable. And this is not about me, and I could go to therapy.

Ashia
[laughter]

Bellamy
In my mind, I feel because it’s almost like a surprise that I do make it. You know, it’s almost like, “Oh, look, I’m doing the thing I said I would do. It’s happening.” Yeah.

Ashia
Yeah, I don’t know. There’s a big difference between flaking – and people know that you’re a single mom with limited resources.

We plan around our flakes, we have flakes on our family. And we’re like, Maimo said she’ll show up, she may or may not show up. She may or may not have 10 people and 14 animals with her. She may or may not show up with….

We try and front-load, for particularly for our autistic kid, all the different things that she could do. Always she just hard swerves in a different direction every single time. And that’s okay, because we know that’s contained.

But we’re not being like, “Okay, this is a reliable person who says they’re reliable.” Because my mom is not not lying. She’s not like, “Oh, I will definitely be there.”

Bellamy
Right [laughter]

Ashia
Tthat goes with the integrity, right? You’re like, “I don’t know if I can show up to this. I will try.”

And then you usually do/ But if you don’t, that’s still integrity. That’s still following through on what you say.

But yes, it’s an example of how we can play to our strengths and it is lovely. [laughter]

Okay, so before we head out, I loved to this thing from the last podcast that reminder that Kerry shared with me: “You don’t owe anyone your friendship”

So ,you don’t owe anyone your collaboration.

And this is particularly for people who are trying to be allies and accomplices. You can fight for someone’s liberation without working directly with them. So if they are stealing your fucks and beating you up, and being mean to you, you don’t have to work with them, you can work with someone else.

Or if you’re a hermit, you can find some way of working all alone! Just making photocopies, right?

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
Because we only have so many fucks to spend on collaborating with other people. And instead of seeing it as morally superior to give and give and give and martyr ourselves. What if we saw it as morally superior and responsible to save your fucks and spend them wisely?

Right? Maturity! [laughter]

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
Also, a good idea to avoid t-shirt is an unnecessarily hostile shirt that says “I don’t owe you my friendship.”

Bellamy
[laughter] Go high! Go.

Ashia
[laughter] Alright. Okay, so before we close up, do you have any notes or anything? Anything coming up? Down the pipeline?

Bellamy
Nope. when we gather still plugging along. Come join us. It’s fun. Woohoo.

Ashia
Revolutionary Humans Dot Coooommmm! Where you can go!

Bellamy
[laughter] You’ll hear that song when you go to the site. That’s what it will say.

Ashia
It’s just my voice. [laughter]

Bellamy
[laughter] Get ready for it. Turn your sound up.

Ashia
There’s also an animated GIF of me being that inflatable wacky arm guy in front of a car dealership?

Bellamy
[laughter] Oh, Sky puppet. I love sky puppet.

Ashia
[laughter] You know how to use…. sail… sail-ing as a verb and you know what those things are called [laughter]

Bellamy
Yeah, yeah, I have a weird, weird, random knowledge. [laughter] No one needs it.

Ashia
This is going to be the wrap-up of our spring season because I realized that I actually need to start working on our parent activist summer accelerator. I’m working on the resources and all of the extra infodumps from there will be dumped into podcasts for everybody! Yay!

Bellamy
Woo yeah.

Ashia
I’m going to take a few weeks off to prepare all of that. Make it coherent, and then we’ll share that out in the summer. So this is the end of our spring season. Thank you, everybody. Especially Thank you, Bellamy for showing up and doing this with me.

Bellamy
Oh, thank you for having me. I’m very silly and I appreciate you welcoming me

Ashia
I really appreciate You laughing through terrible things.

Bellamy
[laughter]

Ashia
Oh, and when we gather on revolutionaryhumans.com, if you join it, may 23, there’s going to be an open discussion, a buzz? I believe

Bellamy
Yes, a buzz…

Ashia
Fantastic. So, go do that if you want to.

Bellamy
And we have book club coming up too.

Oh and book club coming up – ‘all about love’ by bell hooks.

And then coming up from Raising Luminaries, we have the parent activist summer accelerator and the waitlist is up! Unfortunately does have to have a waitlist because they only have space for six people.

And I’m not opening enrollment until June 17. So the waitlist is up if you go to raisingluminaries.com. It’s right on the front page. It gives you some cursory information. Although I did work on this page all day yesterday, and it swiftly devolves into just nonsense. The page just devolves into nonsense. I apologize.

[cute child sounds and knocking] They found me. So I’m so sorry.

Ashia
Okay! so go to raisingluminaries.com

Bellamy
[insistent child knocking]

Ashia
[laughter] Join the wait list if you’re interested. Sign up for updates if you’re interested enrollment opens June 17. And then the actual accelerator starts July 11.

Plus anyone who joins will get a perk of three free months in the luminary braintrust access!!!

Bellamy
Woooo. Yeah.

Ashia
Okay, thanks everybody!

Oh, and also – I had a call to action. Yes, five minute assignment, name it and commit:

What collaborative variable will you work on, to be less of a hagfish in a trench coat?

You can leave a voicemail at 781-342-0486 or you can leave a comment on the podcast episode at raisingluminaries.com/podcast.

Everything you need is in the resources, transcripts, links in the show notes. Raisingluminaries.com/podcast!

Bellamy
Woo!

Ashia
Thanks. Awesome spring!

Bellamy
Bye!

Ashia
We won the season! Bye!

Bellamy
[laughter]

 

Stay Curious, Stand Brave & Set Boundaries With Your Collaborators

5-Minute Action: Comment below or leave a voicemail

Which needs should you get honest about to build stronger collaborations?

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4 comments

Alison L May 29, 2022 - 8:12 pm

I laughed out loud (again, while walking through my neighborhood) at “Slime and awkward giggle. Right.” “Oh, I have a brand!”

I have to percolate on the question you asked for awhile, because collaboration is so much of what I do daily in my job, and I struggle with so many parts of what you all were talking about in the podcast. I’m going to think more about frontloading how I work (without worrying about coming across as a lot, for the reasons you say, Ashia), and maybe also talking up front about what I need from my collaborators bare minimum (like communication, not just dropping off the face of the planet for long stretches…I can be so flexible if people can’t do what they said they were going to do, but only if they TELL me they aren’t going to do it so I can adjust accordingly).

I also really appreciated the Good Ideas to Avoid segment. I too have a habit of taking on problems that are not my own…like anytime there’s conflict or tension between my partner and kid (e.g., strong differences of opinion about whether one needs to bathe or wear pants, for example), I find myself leaping in to diffuse the tension and solve the problem. But that is not my problem, nor is it a good thing for me to be modeling for my kid, nor does my partner really need me to step in. Okay, so…this is me committing out loud that next time this happens, I’m going to sit in the kitchen and notice how uncomfortable I am and think about embroidered pillows instead of dashing into whatever part of the house raised voices are coming from.

Reply
Ashia R. May 30, 2022 - 12:10 pm

Spectacular! Embroidered pillows that say ‘slime and awkward giggles’

Reply
Rachel G. June 2, 2022 - 10:23 am

Another fantastic episode, laugh-out-loud funny and hugely thought provoking. So, which needs should I get honest about to build stronger collaborations? Honest communication, up front. Like what is our shared goal and what can we each realistically contribute to work in collaboration toward that goal? My style is more chaotic than rigid, which means I need to be honest about my potential to go underground for a while, only to re-emerge with big energy like before. If I speak to others about this at the start of shared action, they can hold me accountable and I can find out what I can do to hold them accountable based on their needs. This all sounds good in writing, but I definitely need to look more closely at real-life examples and practice this. If we mess up, it’s an opportunity to take helpful feedback, improve, and move on! Oh, and could I get one of those embroidered pillows??

Reply
Ashia R. June 7, 2022 - 11:22 am

So good! your point about real life examples is such a good one. I’m adding it to my notes for future podcasts!

I find it’s easier to practice this with new relationships (still learning how to retroactively adjust ground rules with old relationships – so awkward and hard!).

I tell ‘new’ friends how and why I don’t expect a ‘timely’ reply from them, and why. I let folks know how much I hate email, phone, and voicemails, and which apps and ways they can depend on me to respond and how often. Also reiterating for folks who might be rejection-sensitive “If you don’t respond soon (or ever), I won’t take it personally, I know you are busy!”

When they invite me to events or to do stuff I find tedious and painful, I wait a beat and imagine – how awesome our future relationship could be if this was the person who knew I don’t like this thing, and is the one person who never pressures me about it?

And then I treat them like my future best-friend, knowing it’s a sign of trust and respect to be honest with them (scary), laying out a groundwork of “This would cost me X hours/spoons/stress, which I don’t have – but I CAN hang out THIS MANY hours each month, in THIS TYPE of hangout, and we can both watch or read or enjoy THIS type of thing that I would be thrilled to do with you”

or “I’m so happy that you are into this cool stuff that I don’t do! It makes you a more interesting person who I admire. I can’t do these things with you – attend a live theater performance, hang out in a group, host this intiative, read your favorite romance novels – but I can be your accomplice who does X, Y, and Z together with you if you’re ever interested.”

And then that frees them up to go find people who do enjoy these things, and they can hit me up when they want to do stuff that both of us find interesting and accessible.

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