2:13: Choices – How Are We Turning Up During This Unprecedented Time?

For episode thirteen of season two, Tim and Tuesday reach out to explain what they are doing, both personally and professionally, during the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.

 

2.13 —— SHOW NOTES

 

  • Reading: “Do Not Lose Heart, We Were Made for These Times: Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times,” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

 

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

 

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

 

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

 

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

 

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

 

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

 

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

 

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

 

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

 

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

 

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

 

  • Tim + Tuesday: Today, we are talking about Coronavirus… it’s here and it’s real and it feels like the elephant in the room if we don’t talk about it.

 

  • Tues: Her [Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés] words were what I know in my bones but have had trouble remembering. In some ways I can feel in interactions, that I might be viewed as “Pollyanna”; not based in reality as what is… in my bones I know that I cannot accept the invitation to fear and despair.

 

  • Tim: What does ‘Pollyanna” mean?

 

  • Tues: “Pollyanna” is a person who is always on the bright side, positive thinker, not based on reality.

 

  • Tim: You are choosing how you are going to turn up. One of the things that have blown me away over the last few weeks are the Facebook groups that have kicked off all across Canada. One woman started a small Facebook group and called it “Care Mongering” – it was a group where people in her community could come together and identify offers or needs that they have and exchange them… and now they are all across Canada. Two of the things I really like about this is (1) It’s just so kind; and (2) It was emergent – it was not organized.

 

  • Tues: We just wanted to be with people though this podcast. Tim, what are the things that you are doing to take care of yourself?

 

  • Tim: Today, in particular, I am wearing a rather fetching tweed tie – in a funny way I am doing little things that give me pleasure. It feels fun and nice. I am getting a lot of time with my kids – we are playing a lot and talking a lot. I am also getting out and walking three times a day. This really helps me to stay centered. If there is a theme to this podcast it is choices. I definitely have more anxiety then I would normally have… and I have to look after the part of me that is worried. I need to look after it and be kind.

 

  • Tues: Late last week, I decided to really limit social media. As a person who has a tendency towards anxiety, I had a sense of the amount of collective anxiety. I felt like I could not continue to keep reading… but I keep myself informed by reputable people. I am also committed to being active everyday and eating good food. I am being responsible and responsive.

 

  • Tim: Let’s talk about The Outside. In 10 minutes time, we are jumping on with one of many organizations around online collaboration platforms. Our major clients that we are working with right now are front-line responders to situations like the Coronavirus outbreak. And so, we are in this tension between, obviously you have to respond to the immediate and urgent but it cannot be in complete dismissal of the long-term systemic changes that we are trying to overcome together or make progress on together. Everything is being pushed out – the virus itself is going to take 4 months to push through a region – and so we are looking at online collaboration platforms that we can start building. These are not event- based; we are going after something that can hold collaboration over an extended period of time. We’ve set up a whole bunch of demos and conversations – this fits a whole bunch of things we are doing at The Outside. It fits the declaration of climate emergency that we are beginning to craft, which is looking at what is our responsibility to carbon emissions, how do we respond to that and it also looks at how do you deal with increasing global crisis that results in increasing fragmentation globally and still organize together systemically together to solve major problems.

 

  • Tues: We are trying to respond and meet people where they are in the crisis as well as seeing what is possible in this moment… which could be a really different way of gathering people virtually that is better for our planet and actually allows more voices in. There is all sorts of implications for equity that working in a different way could bring us. I can feel the fragility of this moment and I can also feel the possibility of it.

 

  • Tim: We are deliberately looking at how we can combine synchronize and asynchronous efforts.

 

  • Tues: I’m really curious to see what we [The Outside] can create and put out into the world as more time and space opens up.

 

  • Tim: On that note, all of The Outside online courses – Leading Effective Meetings & Shared Work – are now available for FREE to anyone that is interested… right now until June 30, 2020. Also, we are brainstorming a weekly update from us and developing a list of resources that we have that we could make available.

 

Song: “Sweet Inspiration” by the Derek Trucks Band

 

 

Subscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com.

 

Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.

 

Duration: 31:53

Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios

Theme music: Gary Blakemore

Episode cover image: source

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