To create sustainable change, focusing on context is key.
to be here, now, in a non-triggered non-reactive way.
the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.
Before beginning the process below, clearly identify the issue you’re addressing. It might be related to race, equity, power, climate, gender, etc .
Are you above the line or below the line related to the issue you identified?
Pro tip: Assume that you’re below the line. Use this handout to locate yourself.
Can you accept yourself for being below the line and scared?
You’re not asking yourself to accept racism or inequality or any other issue you are exploring but to accept yourself for your fear related to the issue
Pro tip: If you’re below the line, you’re scared (because your identity is threatened).
Pro tip: Acceptance isn’t just with your head. Can you also open your heart and accept your scared, reactive self?
Around the issue you identified, are you willing to shift from being in a state of threat to a state of trust? Ask the willingness questions below to see if you’re genuinely willing to shift. Find willingness questions we curated for the topic of racism below. Here’s a complete list of the willingness questions.
Saying no is just as transformational as saying yes. Awareness is the goal, not shifting.
When your answer is no, go back to step 1.
Are you willing to take 100% responsibility (not more or less) for the issue by ending blame and criticism for others and yourself?
If you’re willing…
Are you willing to let go of being right and get more interested in learning than defending your ego?
As you are advocating for your position, notice if you are withdrawing, judging, or trying to manipulate an outcome. If so, see if you’re willing to shift from defending your point of view and genuinely get curious about what you can learn.
Are you willing to feel all of your authentic feelings and allow others to have all of their feelings (fear, anger, sadness, joy)?
When we aren’t willing to be with the discomfort of the sensations that arise when we have feelings, we suppress them. We may know that we have a feeling, but we’re not willing to feel it all the way through to completion.
Can you be a space where others can feel and express whatever they feel without taking it personally or needing to fix or change anything?
Are you willing to listen consciously to others?
Listening consciously is listening to not only the words being spoken, but to the feelings and the deepest want or desire, which is what most wants to be heard. In order to listen in this way, the listener needs to stay connected to their own open mind, open heart, and open body.
Are you willing to create win-for-all solutions?
Are you willing to let go of win/lose outcomes and stand for all sides getting their cores needs met?
Take Aligned Action
Challenge yourself to take action from a whole body yes, rather than from shoulds. When creating next action steps, make sure you have clear agreements. Clear agreements include WHO, DOES WHAT, BY WHEN.
Pro tip: Remember focusing on context first is what shifts the paradigm to create sustainable results. Be kind to yourself and others; when you catch yourself and others reacting to content, know it’s normal and human.
We define a conscious leader as someone who takes responsibility for their influence in the world. Many of us are influencing children and young adults to become more present conscious human beings, whether as parents, aunts, uncles, mentors, and so on.
We’ve been asked for years to speak directly to conscious parenting. In the middle of covid with families spending so much time together, we're called to speak this form of leadership.
You'll find lots of resources to explore and play with:
We pulled a 17-minute excerpt on conscious parenting from Jim’s interview with Shane Parrish on The Knowledge Project. If you haven't heard the whole podcast, we recommend listening. It was in the top 5 most downloaded Knowledge Project podcasts from 2019.
More recently, Jim was interviewed on Front Row Dads with Jon Vroman podcast. While this podcast focuses on supporting men as fathers, all the practices and tools that Jim shares are relevant to all parents.
In celebration of conscious, sane, and put-on-your-oxygen-mask-first parenting,
Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, Erica Schreiber
Some favorites from our team
Jim recorded an incredibly sweet 13-minute meditation for kids (5-10 years old). As it's 13 minutes, you can decide whether to play it in its entirety or break it into parts and play over a few days.
“My son asked me if we could have a family fight so we could pull out the shift deck.” —Client of Diana’s (No relation to person in video ;-)
Our playful tool to shift isn't just for adults. Watch Noah (Erica's 14 year old son) demonstrate in the video above.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your personal taxes are done for the year, right? Oh, but income taxes are but one type of tax we pay. There’s another tax we all pay, one that doesn’t contribute to bridges or roads or education or healthcare or the military: a drama tax.
Imagine your energy, aliveness, health, creativity, and intellect all at full capacity, like in a video game. Now imagine that every time you create or engage in drama that your levels of all these things go down, shaved right off the top. That’s your drama tax.
Because we’re human, we’re all going to create some amount of drama. Our desire is to support all of us to minimize drama as much as possible, thus reducing our drama taxes.
We pay a drama tax every time that we expend energy that doesn’t flow back our way, which is unsustainable. There are so many ways to create unsustainable relationships, situations, and outcomes. We’ve laid out at least 15 :-)
Some of the most common ways our clients pay a drama tax on the daily:
We want to help you to become more aware of your own drama tax burden. First, let’s remember that we create drama because we’re coming from a scared and threatened state, which is simply part of the human experience. As always, we start with acceptance: Are you willing to accept yourself for being scared and coming from a threatened state?
In the spirit of play, we designed a Drama Tax Quiz so you can find out what drama tax bracket you’re in. In the spirit of growth (and reducing drama!), at the end of the quiz you’ll receive practices related to the areas that increase your drama tax burden the most.
Complete the 11 question quiz below to see what drama tax bracket you fall in. Receive targeted tips for the areas where you create the most drama tax burden.
*=required question (all questions are required)
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