Now then babes. If you are in your ineffective losing your political shit era, I’ve got you.
I’ve noticed that lots of the brilliant women in business I share space with online are having the same sort of breakdown/ breakthrough moment of political consciousness that I experienced in October 2020. Almost exactly 3 years to the week. All the connections started forming- the integration of the eco-system of oppression that seeks to limit and sabotage our lives. Gradually, then suddenly, it’s like AGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH.
I’m sure you can remember what 2020 was like for us collectively. Layer on personal experiences with loved ones. And then the Government took away free school meal provision for impoverished kids.
It dominated public discourse. My feminist activist pals and I decided to stage our first protest event. So many people came and laid empty plates at our MP’s office. It was all I could think about.
And as I looked around me, I saw people I’d shared space with for 6 or 7 years, people who identified as empaths, as deeply caring, spiritual people, leaders with divinely assigned purpose work, building brands around these ideas, people whose advice and guidance I had lived by etc etc… saying nothing, doing nothing, checking out.
Reader, I was furious. I was overcome by rage. With the Government. With people I perceived to be shirking their responsibility to the identities they benefitted from. With myself for ever believing it all.
I wrote a scathing blog post called “You can’t eat love and light” (if you’re nosey enough to go find it, I applaud you, and please note that I did update it a few months later to reflect my evolving perspective) and people did not like it. I mean some people LOVED IT. But a lot of people were angry and/ or upset. Many stopped talking to me. A couple let me know there and then what they thought of me. Others let it brew and served it up cold when I was going through something difficult myself.
Now- at this time, I hadn’t learnt to properly separate behaviours from “who we are”. So I definitely accept it was accusatory in tone, and I understand why people felt shamed by it. It was ineffective in persuading anyone, for sure, and I probably lost opportunities to call people closer to a more intersectional point of view overtime.
And also. I don’t regret it.
The thing is, rejecting the ways in which we have been trained to contain our dissent is a big deal. Rage breaks open the container, and spills itself everywhere.
If you want to reflect your values through your business, expecting to land it ‘right’ first time is ludicrous. Getting it ‘wrong’ is an inevitable part of the journey towards doing it effectively. It’s a practice. It’s a skillset. It does get easier. It does get better. It does get good .
Maybe you’re thinking, “yeah, but what about the people who get hurt along the way?” and that’s lovely. Honestly, I think all of us who are pretty well resourced could do with developing a bit more resilience. It’s a necessary part of social change.
Whilst some people stopped speaking to me, others are still in my circle, and still remember. I heard from one of them yesterday to tell me what my response meant to her when she was personally affected by the issue. I had many conversations with people in the same position at the time who were hurt by the silence, and associated exclusion.
So how do we get better at this? Less bum clenching, more flow. Less lashing out, more calling in.
The biggest shift I believe we can make is one out of urgency. I know this sounds like a wild thing to say when so many issues are incredibly urgent. But the sense that we have that we must
- say something RIGHT NOW
- say something effective RIGHT NOW
- say something complete RIGHT NOW
- say something fact checked RIGHT NOW
- say something no one could possibly misunderstand RIGHT NOW
All of that is immobilising. Perhaps the best place we could start could be to share something like,
“I’m thinking a lot about this at the moment. My thoughts are still forming, but I’m wondering about it. I’m reflecting on this. I’m interrogating my relationship with that”. etc etc.
Satisfy the fact that many issues are emergencies by beginning with the truth of where you are. Know that whilst your contribution is necessary, it will never be the one and only reason that things improve- therefore you can take some pressure off and be more experimental than you probably give yourself space for at the moment.
This is all stuff I can help you with babes- there’s a huge developmental leap that may need to happen to support this brave work, depending upon your starting point.
How much lighter would it be if you could largely
- happily let people be wrong about you
- be willing to be wrong
- demonstrate that you changed your mind
- accept that you’ve missed some context
If you’d like developmental coaching support to navigate anything I’ve covered here, or something else, you can see info about working with me 1:1 here. (I have some availability for one off sessions. These are £150 and include a comprehensive write up from me to you. You can book here). Finally, if you’re interested in working with me longer term from January onwards, please book a chat with me here. All my packages have non-punitive payment plans available.