In this episode:
How to create your own 6-week accelerator collective if you can’t join our Summer Parent Activist Accelerator.
This week, we’re talking about:
- What to focus on and clarify each week
- How tracking our action gives us insight into how we can pace (and how to forgive) ourselves
- Why we need to approach deep, important work with light goofiness
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What We Explore In Summer
Bonus Resources & References
Welcome to season three of the Raising Luminaries podcast.
Okay, this season is summer, we’re focusing on clarifying action. So I’m just going to do a broad recap of the intention behind what we’re going to be doing all year, what the summer has to do with it, and what our plans are.
And then hopefully, a recipe to kind of DIY your own summer collective if you can’t join us for this summer’s collective.
Okay, I’ve probably gone over this before. But each season we’re focusing on different things to change with the pace of the season and connect back into the Earth, into our bodies, you know, outside of being automatons that just scroll through feeds every day constantly.
I find, whenever I try for a moment to get back on social media, or even just opening my inbox or trying to scroll through the news, my attention gets fragmented, it’s really hard to make decisions, I kind of enter a brain fog, I end up snapping at my kids more often. And it’s just an unsustainable way to live.
Now pair that with the fact that we also have these tiny little people that we have to keep alive and also guide and create opportunities for them to survive in a world that hopefully hasn’t imploded or burned up from climate disaster and nuclear war.
We’re trying to create the future we want to see, raise the people we want to see in it, and also get dinner on the table at the end of the day. And that’s, well, gosh, that sounds impossible. Maybe we’ll add that to the good ideas to avoid segment at some point.
But for now, this is the life that we have – the one that we’re navigating.
If you’re not familiar, I’ve been tracking every action that I take within a 15 minute window since 2011. Which means I know when I’m sleeping, I know when I’m cooking, when I am changing diapers ,when I am working on emails, responding to comments, scrolling through social media, taking a walk – everything. And I’ve been doing this since 2011. Because I thought it would be fun, back when I didn’t have kids – to make some charts and graphs.
I actually have a 2011 annual report that I published shortly after my first child was born. I’ll link it in the show notes later this week when I actually make the post for this.
And it just became a habit because whenever I’m feeling exhausted and tired and wondering, ‘What the heck was I doing with my day? Why am I so exhausted, even though I got nothing done?’
I can actually look at my records of everything that I did and be like, “Oh, I genuinely didn’t get anything done.” Or maybe I did!
Usually, when I’m burned out and exhausted, I can review the last couple of weeks and realize, – oh, I worked 60 hours or 80 hours this week, no wonder why I’m so tired. But one of the really nice side effects of tracking everything that I do, (which by the way used to take about seven hours now takes about three or four hours per week) is that I can notice patterns in my pace. Notice the time of year, the time of day, and what circumstances affect how much I can actually contribute to the world and feel a sense of satisfaction and sustainability.
Versus when it feels like it’s just impossible to get out of bed. And I notice patterns that allow me to be a little bit more patient with myself. But also allow me to plan what I’m going to get done and set my intentions based on the energy that I expect to have, based on the time of year.
Which is really helpful. So I’m trying to share out – tapping into this.
I’m not going to tell anyone that you need to track everything you do every 15 minutes – because I know that sounds impossible for most people. It’s… I don’t recommend it. It’s fun for me, that’s my self care. You do you. But what I want to do is make sure that other people are capable of tapping into that…
… idea that we’re capable of forgiving ourselves when we hit that winter slump where our brains freeze and we can’t move anymore. And we know that eventually, our brains will thaw. We’ll be able to get more done eventually.
And then at the peak of summer – like it is right now, things that seemed basically impossible to get done in a week…. We can just kind of churn out in 15 minutes.
And that’s not going to be universally true. But I have noticed this pattern not just in myself but in the other people that I’m working with.
This is just all very long way of saying the ultimate goal is to have four seasonal collectives. And they need to be very intimate and small by design, because I want to hear from actual people to make sure that it’s not just me – to find out what the challenges and goals of individuals who have the same vision of the future – the same values and the same objectives. I want to know what immediate challenges they’re facing. So we can build tools and resources and come together and support each other.
And then whatever resources that I created that I can hopefully turn into free resources that we give to everybody. So that’s what the podcast is – the podcast is free. And it’s become the space where I scaffold the stuff that you need to know if you want to join the the incubator, or the accelerator, all of these collectives.
So the summer accelerator is coming up. enrollment starts June 17.
That’s this week. Good Gosh!
Oh, no. I am unprepared. Oh, dear. Okay.
So that’s only going to have space for six people. And I want to make sure that anyone who wants to join us, but can’t – maybe because of financial reasons despite those sliding scale, and maybe you just don’t have the finances to hit the bottom tier. Or maybe you just don’t have time to attend our weekly live hangouts, which are two hours a week. Or maybe you’re just scared or nervous, or whatever, in which case, please, please leave a comment on the Episode notes. So I can find out what your hesitations are. So I can actually build the program around it so that way, it’s less scary.
Anyway, so I want you to be able to DIY this, because six people out of everyone who listens to this, and everyone in our community is not a lot of people. So let’s discuss what we’re going to talk about for the summer accelerator.
In winter we discuss clarifying identity, how our identity and the way that we shift how we see our identities, the way that we transform what the world looks like, for people with our identities, and how we’re able to move through it – is connected to our social justice work.
In the spring, we clarify relationships, how to set boundaries, how to distance ourselves from people who are just emotional vampires, how to make friends with people we admire and work together in ways that don’t burn other people out and don’t burn ourselves out.
In the summer, we clarify our action – where instead of being these broad floodlights, or zipping around, distributing our fragmented attention in a billion different directions and getting very little done, and then feeling exhausted, we narrow into super awesome laser beams who can identify the best use of our unique skills, abilities, interests, and power.
And then in autumn, we clarify our resources, we set time aside to absorb and really process all of the stuff that’s coming at us constantly. So that way, we can get ready to repeat that cycle all over again.
And this is designed to build upon itself year after year. So none of this is something that anyone is expected to master on their first go. I certainly haven’t. And I’m approaching 40. But it’s actually really fun to work on and it gives you some focus, and instead of it being a task that’s layered on top of your other tasks, we integrate this into your daily life.
So the summer accelerator – what does it look like to clarify our action? So if you go to the Raising Luminaries homepage right now, basically, I spell all of this out in text, but I’m going to go through it for anyone who is just not really into reading or maybe your screen reader does not like my website, totally cool.
So it’s going to be a six week collective integrating parenting and activism. It starts in July, the enrollment period starts on Friday, June 17. And then it goes for a couple of weeks or until all the spots fill up, whichever is soonest. And we’re going to have a sliding scale. So that way it’s accessible for people with different financial barriers.
And you can actually join the waitlist now, if you want to get a notification as soon as enrollment opens up, just go to raisingluminaries.com. And there’s a big button right at the top of the page that says ‘join the waitlist.’
So the goal is to transform more of our dysphoric intense or low level emotions and feelings that are kind of hindering us from gathering our focus and making an impact into actual action.
Like when we’re reading news of school shootings, that’s going to send us into kind of an aroused or hypo- or hyper-aroused state. And at some point, it’s going to be just hard to function because you’re too busy in despair, or fury. Right? So how do we work within those zones, clarify what we can do right now, where we are, as who we are, with the resources available to us – to make an impact, to prevent more school shootings, without, you know, just completely leaving our life behind and becoming anti gun rights activists or whatever you call… support protection activists? How do we actually protect ourselves? How do we protect our family? How do we go about daily life and cook dinner while in this fog of despair?
So for those of us who were feeling scattered and overwhelmed, the idea is that we’re transforming those frantic reactions into responsive, impactful action.
We have enough to do that is tedious and exhausting. So the whole goal of this is to make it fun and enjoyable and do it together. So we make space for it to be ridiculous and kind of crappy. And I make a lot of mistakes. And sometimes my cats are all over the place when I’m in the video chat. And we can care deeply about things but also bring with it a sense of lightness and joy. Otherwise, really, what is the point?
Another reason why I want to make this so small is because I need it to be inclusive and accessible. So if someone is joining, and they have a disability that I don’t have, I need to learn how to make it as accessible as possible for them. And limiting the enrollment just makes it so that way, if I have a new type of accessibility requirement that I have to build around our resources, I actually have the time and the bandwidth to specifically tailor it to each member of our group.
Okay, and then as with all things, Raising Luminaries, we focus on building brave spaces, working within our growth zone, and creating a sense of accountability and action. So if you don’t know more about that, I guess we do cover it during season one of the winter podcast.
So this is going to be a virtual six week collective, which means you can do it from anywhere. And this summer, it’s our parent activist accelerator. It starts July 11, through August 19. Although the week before July 11, I’ll be sending out some orientation videos just to be like, here’s the framework, here are the community guidelines, what time works for you to meet?
Because obviously, we’re going to design that around the people after they enroll. And the idea of that is that if we want to ignite the next generation of leaders, we have to be the change we want to see, it’s not enough to just read books to them, and then hope they grow up to do the scary stuff. We have to do some of the scary stuff.
In a few short years, our kids will be grown and somehow we have to keep them alive, raise them to be courageous and kind and maintain society long enough to keep humanity from imploding. So how do we do all of that with 0 spare hours in each day?
So this is my idea for how it could work. The Raising Luminaries parent activist collectives, are virtual, seasonally oriented six week experiments, where radically progressive parents reflect, assess and take action to make a laser beam impact all year round.
This isn’t something where I tell you a prescription of exactly what you should be doing. This is something where we set time aside to discuss what values matter to you – what change exactly do you want to see? And then we support each other in designing our own actions.
This is not: I make you show up to a march or something like that. You design your actions and then you show up and you follow through because you have us to support you.
Unlike single issue workshops, and online groups, we work together in small, private, interdependent cohorts to process and reflect, take accountability, and create specialized plans of action for the change we want to see.
So who is it for? This is for self advocates, organizers and volunteers and accomplices and conspirators. And by that I mean, the action that you are focused on can be for self advocacy for yourself and people who identify in a similar group as you. It can be if you are already an existing organizer of any kind of justice organization, or even if you just organize block parties.
No, I don’t mean ‘just.’ I don’t want to diminish your efforts. But he idea is that we all have different forms of leadership. And some of its going to look like organizing the PTO, some of its gonna look like setting up our friends book clubs. And what we want to do is make space for many different types of leadership.
I see a lot of these spaces that are limited to only – if you know how to organize a fast action, sit in at your local senators office like – no, this has to look like all kinds of different ways of organizing, particularly the kind of organizing that is left for people who have young children at home.
Maybe you can’t leave the house and you’re gonna have to organize and support people in a way that involves working from home, baking pies, coordinating excel spreadsheets, whatever that looks like for you.
And then I also want to make sure that people understand that if you identify as someone with a lot of privilege, someone who feels a little bit awkward in most activist spaces. Maybe you identify as someone akin to an oppressor – this is an open space for you.
Well, in the winter incubator, we focus inward, and it is totally a reasonable space to center yourself, your feelings, your reactions. In the summer accelerator, we’re really focused on who we want to help and who we want to lift up. Whether that’s people like us or people who traditionally we have held power over.
I think a large portion of the Raising Luminaries community identifies as women, probably 10, or 20%, identify as non binary. But you know what, if you are a cisgender, white dude who wants to join us more power to you, what links us is the future that we want to see – not the way that we identify, if that makes sense.
However, this is going to be limited to people who identify as parents, because that’s my wheelhouse, and I don’t know that I can do a great job helping people who don’t identify as parents because it’s just outside of my wheelhouse. So maybe that’ll be for later.
Okay, so this summer, we’re going to explore over the course of six weeks. We’re going to set aside time each week, we’ll have one resource or video or topic per day that I’m going to give to you to reflect on in your own time, you can download it or watch it on your own time, there will be reflection worksheets or activities, depending on just however you process the ideas.
You don’t have to follow prescription. But you can’t just passively listen, it has to be an active thing. Whether you’re journaling or doodling, or making music playlist, the ideas that you’re taking the the five concepts that we introduce, which hopefully won’t take that long. It’s kind of like watching a YouTube video every day, and then processing it in your own way. And what does it mean to mean for you?
And then we’re going to get together for a weekly hangout where all six-ish of us get together, we process the questions, and then we make actual very small plans on what action looks like after we disband.
Week one is going to be about motivation and accountability, getting radically honest about why we do the work that we do. Letting go of harmful assumptions, refining the core values that drive us to take action, and designing accountability processes to integrate our parenting and activism and initiatives. I’m going to give frameworks for how to design this. I don’t expect anyone to come up with this all on their own. There will be mad libs, there will be infographics. I don’t know I haven’t completely put them together yet. But the idea is this isn’t something that I expect anyone to invent on their own.
It’s just the thing I really wish I had, like 10 years ago. So let’s not, why not just do it together?
Week two is going to be about centering and roles. What role do we play? And where can we make the most impact? So we’re going to identify who are the specific people that we’re hoping to make an impact? What is the scope and the depth of how many people – what specific people and how deeply do we want to impact their lives?
We’re going to join forces against the self sabotage of ‘doing it all’ which we touched on a little bit in the winter time. Acknowledge how we are fragmented, especially in the attention economy – to help all of the people under kind of a twisted idea of what people are calling intersectionality. And we’re going to understand how working slow and deep and intentionally actually lifts everyone that you want to help.
We’re going to determine our unique collaboration styles and identify who we center and work best with to make a deep and rippling impact.
On week three, we’re going to focus on wayfinding and developing resilience. We’re going to choose a lane. Not everything is for you. And I think a lot of us approaching or in the middle of middle age are starting to realize not all of us can rollerblade backwards into a march and then make some pies. Some things are not for us, and it’s kind of freeing to admit it.
So we’re going to actually set some time aside to gather perspectives on our path, generate a response strategy and recovery plan for when we stumble. And then we’re going to identify our unique derailments, the kinds of things that lead us astray and scatter our attention.
For me, it’s email, people asking for my help, and just interruption. So identify what these things are, and then come up with a plan for how we’re going to recover when they happen.
In week four, we’re going to grow into our power working in on clarifying exactly what does service look like for us? And what is our unique skill set? And how can we grow it? So we help each other clarify and create protection policies to for our boundaries that we set, and understand how we need to reduce overwhelming busy work. So we can maintain a high standard of get-it-done bad-assery!
Can you hear my neighbor’s dog? It’s summertime, the windows are open!
Chapter Five, we’re going to get an overdue reality check where we really talk about what is within our actual capacity? And what do we need, in reciprocity, to keep going, because I think a lot of us are running on empty tanks or expecting ourselves to run on empty tanks. And we do need fuel. And we do run out of fuel. So what does fuel look like for us? How can we clarify that to the people we work with?
How can we assess our bandwidth and adjust our pacing.
And then this is really hard – learn how to ask for and receive support in what we’re doing. And then give each other permission to accept that we need need help and reciprocity and some sort of fuel to maintain long term action without burning out. Because as we know, when you burn out, it kind of sucks for everybody and you screw people over.
Week Six is showing up and following through. We’re going to prepare to relaunch ourselves back out into the world. We’ll identify the kryptonite that most often causes us to fizzle out, and then create a plan of cycles. That’s just word salad, I’m sorry. To get over, you know, whatever unique inability to move forward you have – whether it’s anxiety about getting started, or we tend to fizzle out after the first thing, or maybe we really like the ideas, but then the execution is super tedious.
So we can get over the hump of actually following through. Okay, and that’s the six weeks, there’s a whole bunch of things, lots of awesome, cool things that I can’t wait to share with you. And each of those six weeks hopefully will be tied to a podcast where I scaffold the stuff that you would need to get started.
Although I can’t really fit all of that into one one hour podcast each week… So it’ll be like one-on-one entry level stuff for the podcast. So hey, maybe you can join me next year.
Or if you’re excited and ready to go, and you don’t want to be fragmented for another year, then just join this train – this one, it’ll be fun.
And this is all to say, this is an experiment, everything that I do is an experiment. And, you know, might not be completely amazing. That’s why I have a refund policy. It’s a 30 day refund policy. If you do the work, if you show up to the live hangouts, and you process the reflection stuff, and it’s just not clicking for you – let me know and I’ll give you your money back.
I want our shared vision of a world where our kids can feel safe and have opportunities to make the world a better place themselves. I don’t want to turn this into some sort of like, capitalist in entrepreneurial program, Tony Robbins nonsense.
I need. I need the world to be able to do this without me because I really don’t like it when things hinge on me. Okay, so I have a few nice ALL CAPS, exciting testimonials from people who joined the winter incubator. They seem to enjoy it. No one said it was awful. So that’s great.
Just in case you don’t trust me, I don’t know.
But I really want to focus on the fact that your existence creates some really wild opportunities for this world. And wouldn’t it be awesome if we could truly own that without getting derailed and distracted and confused and scattering ourselves and fragmenting our attention?
Wouldn’t that be awesome? Okay, I’ll help facilitate it.
This is not a class, it’s not a webinar. This is just us getting together and showing up for each other. The most important thing is that we show up to try and make four out of the six live hangouts, try and go through the reflection activities and resources, but there’s no falling behind, you’ll have access to all of this stuff for the entire year.
And the idea is, you know, you’re supposed to come back to it every year, and no one’s expected to do it all. I am prolific. I don’t think that anyone’s going to be able to absorb the amount of stuff that I speak out in a day.
So this is not something that you can fall behind on. I have a frequently asked questions. And by that, I mean, never-asked-but-anticipated questions and concerns on the website. Although I added some now that people actually ask questions about it – down at the bottom of the raisingluminaries.com website.
When it starts is July 11, ends August 19. New resources will pop up every week, and then you can proceed through them at your own pace. Enrollment opens June 17. And ends July 1, or whenever we hit max capacity of six members, whichever comes first.
And if these dates don’t work for you just join the waitlist on the website. And then I’ll let you know when future seasonal collectives are coming up. My current plan is to repeat – improve upon and then repeat next year’s Winter incubator. Repeat this summer accelerator next year, if it goes well.
And then if I can actually afford this and sustain this level of production and energy and holding space for people – create one in the spring or autumn of 2023. That’s my goal until we have four, maybe eight if we can like work with the solar terms.
Live hangouts will be on Zoom. And then I added some perks. If you join the summer accelerator, I’m gonna give you three month access to luminary brain trust, because that’s awesome. And we’ve got years and years of awesome resources in there.
And then, yeah, oh, let’s talk about the sliding scale. So there is a sliding scale guide. And it has full identifiers because I would probably need the middle range on the sliding scale. But sometimes I don’t know. And unlike many situations, it’s not like you are either wealthy or you are poor, we move back and forth. And we are in flux. We all have our own trauma or own baggage around, maybe if we didn’t grow up with a lot of money, we have some anxiety. So that’s why I made a middle tier.
But anyway, it’s got full guidelines, you know, based on whether or not your housing is secure, whether or not you have access to reliable transportation, that kind of thing. So it should be pretty easy and clear. So that way, when you’re looking at the sliding scale, you can identify which one is right for you. I do not require income verification, I’m not going to ask any questions. Select what you think is right and fair, while also holding space for the fact that I do need to support my family.
And I really do want some people to take advantage of the sliding scale because I just this isn’t going to work if we have nothing but the wealthiest, most powerful people in the room, right?
And yes, you can get a refund. If this is not your jam, I have the full refund policy down in the frequently asked questions. And I do ask that whatever locked resources that I share, you don’t share with a friend. That’s one of the reasons I have the sliding scales. If people can’t afford it, they can get the sliding scale. And I give out so much free stuff. From the monthly resource roundups, to the podcasts, to the book collections, to articles that I write, I just can’t afford to give away anything else for free. So please don’t share the member content if you do sign up. It’s just for one person.
And what you’re really signing up for is to show up and build a relationship with us. And that’s got to be founded on trust and accountability. And yeah, taking care of each other.
So, by the end of the summer, you will probably not reconcile with your long lost lover. Or find that hat you lost in 1998. The one with the flaps. Or significantly changed the shape of your body or the number of limbs attached to it, or get rid of that rash. Get your kids to stop leaving wet towels on the floor. Convince your housemate to unball their socks before throwing them in the hamper, or solve the energy crisis.
But if you join our collective and do the work, you can be the leader your kids are proud to follow. That is the kind of thing that I feel I can guarantee that. I know that if we do this work together, you will be prouder of who you are, you will grow as a person into the person that you really want to be for your kids.
Not 100%, you’re not going to be completely perfect. But the idea is that perfection is an illusion and a myth, and it’s damaging, and it’s steeped in supremacy culture. So what we’re doing through these seasonal incubators and accelerators is to let go of that. So that way, you can be kind of proud of who you are right now.
That’s the joke. That’s the – that’s the trick. That’s the trick.
I’m not going to turn you into someone you’re not. I think that’s the idea.
Okay, so I’m going to publish this. Yeah, I’m going to publish this in a few minutes, which means that enrollment opens in four days and roughly 17 hours. And I hope you join us. Join the email list. If you want updates. Join the waitlist if you want to get first dibs. And I hope that you can join us and if not, I hope you can DIY your own program.
I would love to hear from you. leave a voicemail at 781-342-0486 If you have an idea for how you’re going to post your own summery accelerator. leave a voicemail if you want to know a specific clarifying topic around clarifying our action and converting theory into practice this summer. And hopefully we can work it into the podcast this season.
We will be back maybe with Bellamy which would be so much fun because she makes these more fun. And I will let you go. Okay. Have an awesome summer. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be great.
Okay, I appreciate you. And I like you. Bye bye!
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