My dear friend, Piper, and I love to dance.

But in the age of covid, we don’t get many opportunities. So last year, we decided to host an autumn equinox dance party. Just Roots, the farm next to our house, allowed us to use the great open space in front of their barn. Lots of friends showed up, and the party was beautiful.

But we didn’t feel sated.

So, we decided to do it again this year.

And, I thought, How about we make it a fundraiser?

We asked friends with the Trans Asylum Seekers Support Network if we could host a party to support them, and they said yes! Just Roots let us use the space. And then, more friends from Resource Generation offered to host a fundraising raffle at the party.

And so, it became our 2nd Annual Equinox Dance Party & Fundraiser!

This past Saturday, lots of people (probably close to 100? we lost count) came together to dance and celebrate in solidarity. We raised $2500. The party was a huge success.

And here’s the question that’s been percolating on the back burner of my mind since:

What made that so easy?

Our little human brains are wired to focus on what’s dangerous and what needs solving. And, of course, they are! To survive in the wild—and to get by in the face of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy—we often need to work hard to protect ourselves and meet our needs.

But, this inclination to fixate on the negative often doesn’t serve us well.

There is at least as much to learn from what works well as from what doesn’t. And we miss out on insights and joy when we don’t get curious about what’s good.

So, I invite you to bring to mind something in your life right now that feels effortless, something that’s bringing you joy. And ask—What makes this easy?

Here’s what’s come up for me as I’ve asked myself this question about the party this weekend:

Friendship is the basic building block of any social movement.

Organizing—an event, a campaign, a movement—can be a lot of hard work.

I’ve attended so many meetings over my many years as an activist, meetings in which we accomplish a lot and meetings that seem to go nowhere.

But we had zero full-group meetings leading up to the party, just a Signal thread amongst several committed people who knew that we trusted each other. We had just the right number of hands on deck, each committed to their various pieces of the puzzle and trusting others to take care of the pieces they’d committed to.

When we ask why things are easy, we’ll notice different ingredients that lead to success.

As for the party, I believe that what led to the easy success was the level of trust, respect, and camaraderie between us (i.e., friendship).

I’m not saying these are the only ingredients necessary for effective social change. Parties are pretty simple compared to other campaigns. But I am saying that trust, respect, and camaraderie are critical to both short-term and long-term success.

So, what’s feeling easy in your life right now?

I imagine that many readers’ immediate response may be, “nothing feels easy.” And that’s legit.

Please don’t try to convince all the parts of yourself who are struggling that they should somehow convince themselves that the struggle is easy. It’s not. And it’s important to honor what’s hard.

Full stop.

And, if the struggling parts of yourself are willing, I invite you to play with finding another part of yourself who is game to get curious. And task that part with asking the question: What’s easy? And what works to make that easy?

Variations on the question might be: What’s fun? What’s bringing you joy? What’s going at least moderately well in your life?

Invite the curious part of yourself to play with which question it wants to ask and plop the question in the great big pot on the back burner of your mind.

Let it percolate and stay curious about what bubbles up.

Sometimes, things become even more easy and joyful when we share them with others. So, if there’s something you’re celebrating that you’d like to share, I welcome you to send me a quick email and let me know about it.

In Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown shares the word shoy. It means shared joy. I get a lot of shoy out of sharing my clients’ victories, and it would be mighty shoy-ful to hear what’s good with you, too!

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