002. Points of Embarcation - The Next Journey Begins

Write of Passage 6 is over, and this moment of pause is already seeding a new spiral.

Hi friends! It’s been another big week this past week. We crossed the final finish line of Write of Passage Cohort 6, the writing program I took on this March, to get my voice out into the wider internets. And WOW was that an incredible ride.

In taking stock of last five weeks, I hunted down my original goals/intentions list - dated February 17, 2021.

In Spring 2018, I started testing out a habit of freewriting a list of goals or intentions for new adventures I embark on in the world of learning, without forcing any of them to materialize in action. I learned this from Darcy Winslow and Peter Senge at a Massachusetts training on Leading Across Boundaries - when we step over a threshold, especially one involving a ton of spontaneous conversation and some intermixed nature time, our quiet intentions have a strange way of working their ways out into the physical world, even with no conscious effort of our own.

Reflecting on my WOP6 goals list, I’m beaming warm gratitude back to mid-February Megan for her pluckiness and courage. Seeing what’s materialized, I feel very, very rich indeed.

In #2a, pre-WOP6 Meg wrote:

“2a. Build a personal mastermind - Build at least 5 relationships with folks whose writing I love and who I’d like to follow and create with in the future.”

I leave WOP6 with:

  • a 7am morning writing group & practice of 15ish brave, quiet, deeply passionate & interesting souls;

  • *at least* 5 active collaborations (wow); and

  • nearly 100 people whose work I am ecstatic to be following in another 10 years, in one form or another. What a landslide win.

I did capture my personal journey in one paragraph on the last day of the program, as a closing statement of what I’m most proud of - after spending an incredible day out on The Farm in Carnation, which leads us to the main activity today - DIGITAL POSTCARD 002.

This Week’s Digital Postcard: Episode 002!

This week, there is so much to share, with a grateful (but tired) and exceedingly fired up heart and deeply awakened inner Giant-soul.

  1. Conversation of the Week

By far the most magical conversation this week was one where I had the privilege to walk the land with Farmer Jane from First Light Farm.

Two women this week met to discuss a potential collaboration on a “better food future for everyone” through a systems storytelling project, and through the miracle of the great unfolding :), I ended up getting to hear Jane’s amazing story as a creator, educator and land steward, and her deep, wise experience weaving communities for women that return us to health and wholeness, the same paths we wish for the land.

We sat out on the pebble beach of the Snoqualmie River, breathed the good air and rested warming in the sunlight, and shared our dreams for communities of systems thinkers who get to come together at a harvest table after days spent camping, pulling weeds, and reconnecting genuinely with the joy of our professions’ deeper questions.

Wiggling my toes in the air beneath giant trees, listening to grandmother river twinkle the sounds like glass bells of pure water somersaulting over river-logs and stone, we solemnly honored the witness of Bald Eagle, witnessing us, as a plane flew overhead.

When I left the farm, I left a tupperware of trail mix on the old trailer by the produce tent, and had to text Jane to grab it, so that the bear in the back field wouldn’t accidentally wreck the farm supplies if he got curious investigating the scent.

Jane replied with a thumbs up, a green heart, and an earth emoji.

It’s a good day when you get to text a deeply honest nature friend about a bear, some trail mix, and a farm trailer, and traffic after in a happy green earth heart emoji thread. That’s the kind of conversation I’m proud to have co-created.

  1. Other Hot Topics & Hot Takes

Though time with Jane wins the arbitrary prize award this week, it’s hard to explain the number of other hot topics I felt dizzy with gratitude and clenched gut to try to do justice to by feebly tweeting.

  • As digital personalities & course creators get “niche famous,” personally I think we need to see UNMISTAKEABLE ACCOUNTABILITY from those leaders to fund and model their own dismantling work of white supremacy, and its wacky guards & protectors of white fragility & masculine role performance anxiety that can make it so risky to name/confront directly

  • It’s hard for me to balance the sugar and spice necessary to stay in the conversation of institutional injustice, as a white lady, both owning my power and privilege AND being humane to my lady self who has had it with non-adult leaders (particularly men) who have not invested in their own accountability & shared responsibility work. This is a decades-long off-market personal leadership project

  • I think I legitimately need to stop co-creating with male leaders who are not investing in their own therapy processes (or other long-term, slow growth & transformation work). :( It just sinks my energy instantly to try to both be direct & clear with them and to not stir up anything that may require deeper tending, while fearing for my safety, and not wanting to work unilaterally to repair that. And frankly it’s unsettling and often terrifying to try to step around those issues when white masculinity norms & emotional derangement in the US continues to fuel violence and appear as one of its tragically leading causes.

  • Creativity is our BIRTHRIGHT (in better news), and this week I learned from three incredible designers that the lived practice of “being creative” has a whole lot less to do with “being able to do any artistic thing perfectly, the first second you try it” and *way* more to do with “noticing what you like and doing a bit more of that,” making ourselves and our projects into bolder, more outstanding versions of the stuff we like - rather than just making them into some randomly “better” versions of something unspecific and vague we just think approximates some undefined standard for good, fit, or perfect.

  • I strongly believe all course creators have the ability to invite their followings and audiences to open office hours of feedback on diversity & inclusion, and I’m testing this out with a friend’s business, and it’s been really great so far.

  • I’m reminded that Expert-Seeking Mindset has me wringing my hands and freaking out sometimes that I don’t know a thing, but that Beginner’s Mindset or creator’s courage can be an alternate “thinking cap” I can pull to just make something up, versus having to know some external version of how it’s done. Making things up with friends is awesome; giving up expert’s mind frees us from having to optimize everything, which is 1000% exhausting.

  • Trying to get pregnant is fun and awesome, and I have the best husband on the planet and in the known universe, and I am continually grateful & advertising as much as possible that couples’ counseling and the book Growing Yourself Up, as well as doing independent trauma & secure attachment therapy work as 2 adults, is… the best process ever. I could not be more grateful or fortunate to Joe for declaring a “securely attached marriage” as a goal worth funding for our marriage this year. If you have access to therapy right now, or work at a company with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), I highly, highly recommend utilizing it if any part of you is curious.

  1. 1 Messy Sketch From My Desk (big it up)

Last week I shared a potential product wireframe! This week, it’s a messy sketch of how I started re-framing my life to decenter or desupremify my ‘economic identity,’ as part of a humongous gift to myself linguistically - “becoming a portfolio person.”

I used to identify myself economically and frankly was so, so sad (and still feel crushed about it sometimes) after leaving a corporate role and no longer having just one, crystal-clear thing I could put on a nametag as my role & company when registering for an event.

It’s silly, maybe, and of course not ideal, but I’d sit there spooling the year after I left Google, letting event registrations die halfway through Eventbrite sometimes, stuck and feeling strangely lost and valueless just.. not being able to fill in those boxes.

I lived in the Bay Area at the time, which - apart from Camp Grounded - was not very good at valuing people outside their economic role-signaling.

So when I finally gave myself the gift of working with my dearest bestie of the coaching and identity exploration world to build myself a “Life of Options,” I declared, “I am becoming a portfolio person!” - and this is the three-main-categories picture I drew to *license* in myself a three bubble identity world that gets to include economics as one aspect, but not the whole thing.

Here’s the sketch!

The thing I love most about this messy sketch is that I got to put ecological and “human ecologies” right alongside economics, and - frankly - it actually doesn’t really even matter if other people know exactly what I’m talking about - for me, this picture gives me more room to feel stable, grounded, and rooted through a lifetime of ongoing evolution, and it’s so much happier of an architecture for me to see ecology & human ecology spelled out right there as two of my highest appreciations & most important concerns.

  1. This Week, in Writing Online

This week, the big action is still on Twitter; I am learning to DM, and will soon collect my first analytics snapshot, since it’s now the first of the month!

(Each month I meet Brianne and Lindsay for our conscious $$ tracking club, which we call Hot Millionaires, where Bri also is now helping us track our platforms as one aspect of sharing & exchanging with the wider world.)

Some fun collaborations I’m excited about right now:

  • Helping Nate Kadlac launch the first workshop on Approachable Design for Non-Designers next weekend — helping folks without a visual/graphic background establish their own taste palette & personal preferences for visual design!

  • Running customer feedback office hours for Lindsay’s new launch of *her* epic course on De-Risking Your Career Search, so she can reach more people;

  • Supporting Terri Lonier with her epic newsletter for women building financial smarts, Athena Notes, which currently translates investing through the lens of gardening, which I deeply appreciate;

  • Supporting hottie McHusbandMan Joe on his epic side endeavors of FunCaptains.com, which makes moms into heroes by helping them execute epic Minecraft or Roblox birthday parties for kids 6-26, and the newly-launched Moonlight Academy, where Joe’s piloting 1-1 coaching for folks with full-time jobs who want to learn to gradually incubate a small business or revenue generating internet biz on the side. Let me know if you want to be a client for either of those projects!

  • Cultivating ideas for the UN Food Systems Challenge for First Light Farm, as mentioned, while potentially building out a plan to become owners of the farm (which floods heavily during the winter, but is very, very beautiful the whole year around).

You are all incredibly amazing, I value your fellowship more than I can say, and if anyone wants to work together on building an actively anti-racist culture for Write of Passage going forward, get at me. I wouldn’t call that an explicit “collaboration” yet, but I’m building the tools and a heartframe to both hopefully stay in that community in an ongoing way, and genuinely make it safe for underrepresented voices to show up and be amplified without unrepaired harm.

From my experience, it’s not yet (or wasn’t reliably safe / capable of attuning for me), and I’m actively churning on becoming a leader who transforms anything but safety into active listening, embracing the unexpected, and a turning-toward community, even for the hardest-to-face risks certain sums of us face when creating.

I call that the “rainbow island project” - more on that another day.

Much love,

Megan