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.