Week 3: #SolitudeCollaboration
A given social movement isn’t a list of organizations or campaigns, or even individuals; it’s the set of relationships between organizations, campaigns, individuals, etc.” – Farhad Ebrahimi
What kind of collaboration is the most fulfilling for your creative growth? What one project or goal this year could benefit from your pursuing that kind of collaboration? What will you do on a monthly basis to pursue that kind of collaboration? With whom possibly?
What do you need to do in 2018 to ensure that you live without unnecessary regrets and have that kind of fulfilling purpose and impact on others?
Right now I’m loving and learning from the book, Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown. The book explores how, by observing and adopting patterns inherent in the natural world, we can transform complex personal and collective structures to be harmonious, sustainable and just. This instigation on collaboration reminds me of the chapter, Interdependence and Decentralization. “The idea of interdependence is that we can meet each other’s needs in a variety of ways, that we can truly lean on others and they can lean on us. It means we have to decentralize our ideas of where solutions and decisions happen, where ideas come from.”
I also like this quote from the book: “The biggest thing that I’ve learned from nature is the importance of relationships. E.g. an ecosystem isn’t just a list of living things (squirrel, tree, bee, flower); it’s the set of relationships “between” those living things (the squirrel living in the tree, the bee pollinates the flower). In terms of organizing, this means that a given social movement isn’t a list of organizations or campaigns, or even individuals; it’s the set of relationships between organizations, campaigns, individuals, etc.” – Farhad Ebrahimi
In this vein, it occurs to me that whatever I create in 2018 will be an expression of the quality of the relationships that brought it to fruition — including my relationship with myself (i.e. solitude). As for the external collaboration piece, in looking at the three types of collaborating groups, it was comforting to discover that I already have people in my life that are playing these roles. These relationships happened organically and now, with a new perspective on the importance of these connections, I feel confident in prioritizing time to purposely strengthen these bonds. As a people person this comes naturally to me, but has sometimes felt like a luxury or deviation from what I really should be doing. I don’t feel that way anymore and that’s great. It also gives me confidence that I have the right people around me because I genuinely want to spend time with them.
I am a writer and a facilitator. My work centers on race, identity and what it means to “belong.” Because I have two areas of expertise, my project is two-fold.
- I would like to publish writing in my areas of interest with a view of prototyping/creating content that may eventually be part of a book. I’d like to send this content out regularly to outside publications. My goal is one completed essay a month.
- I’d like to develop an embodiment workshop for leaders to explore how they can bring more embodiment into their teaching and the value of this for deepening understanding. From this, there is a possibility of creating a free downloadable guide on my website for people to begin using these tools and for me to gain more newsletter followers.
- Finally, I see the importance of creating a professional website where people can connect to other resources and my work.
For my first goal, I’d like to expand my wild pack of fellow writers. I’ve made some connections to POC writers at the SF Litquake Festival and through friends. I’d like to continue deepening these relationships and find a way to consistently work alongside this group. I see myself joining a writer’s circle and believe this will offer some accountability and also give me a network of support.
For my second goal, I’d like to continue conversing with people I’ve facilitated with this year. These folks have been partners in my work by offering an analytical component to the embodiment pieces I offer around race and emergent strategy leadership.
For the last piece, I’d like to collaborate with someone who has a skillset around building websites. I’m not entirely sure who this would be. I need to explore. I envision that perhaps it could be someone who is working to build their portfolio around website development.
How can you challenge yourself to carve out separate blocks each day for solitude? What new or modified daily habit will help you do so? Whom can you call upon to help you cultivate this habit?
When you’re in your solitude block, notice your resistance and relax into it.
This question pairs naturally with my earlier commitment from Katie Dalebout’s instigation during #purpose week. Her question was about making space to create what I really want. Solitude is creating space. My daily habit for her instigation is to take a few moments after my meditation to consider “what I’m devoted to today.” Leo’s instigation offers more validation on the need for taking time to pause. I like this suggestion to come up with daily, monthly and quarterly goals for solitude. This is something I’ve long known I need but have a hard time prioritizing. I’m going to try to do this in 2018.
My daily practice is to take an evening walk at my favorite time of day without distraction (when my schedule allows). I will block this time off on Sundays when I make my schedule for the week and commit to it. Monthly, I will cultivate a practice of solitude/retreat for one 24-hour period a month. Quarterly, my practice will be to take 3 days of solitude. I’ve blocked this time off through April. I’m optimistic I’ll be able to stick to it — especially after I see the benefits of carving out this time.
Daily: Post meditation devotion (write it down), evening walks
Monthly: 1 24-hour period
Quarterly: 1 3-day period