98: “Relationships are what have rescued me.” (ft. Alli Myatt)


Belonging. Repair. Across lines of difference. Today, Alli Myatt and I discuss radical relationships — especially at work. What makes them hard, what makes them complex, and what makes them beautiful. AND the things we need to unlearn so we can be in radical relationship with one another. Particularly across lines of difference.

Plus, lots of recommended resources you can check out here (some mentioned directly in the episode and others not):



Alli Myatt

Alli Myatt is an entrepreneur, a consultant, a creator of human centered, liberatory work environments, and abundance-reveler.  I believe most work best practices extract and cause harm because they diminish and separate us, inspire fear, create inequity and exclusion, keeping us from being able to do our best work. I believe embracing liberatory principles to design our talent practices can help us to change the shape of how we work together, moving away from the triangle of top down hierarchy and control and moving towards the circle of human connection and shared power.  I am called to help organizations to redesign their work practices so everyone can thrive.  I am obsessed with discovering  how we might eliminate extraction and oppression  from our workplaces so we might  infuse liberation and solidarity into our work environments instead.

I co-founded The Equity Practice, a Dallas-based  racial equity consulting firm that supports organizations to redesign their work practices, in 2020.  I have  over two decades of experience advising over 150 teams and organizations to reimagine their work practices.   I have worked at The Bridgespan Group, Teach For America, and other nonprofits, and hold a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. 

Speaker 1: Relationships are what have rescued me as a black woman. It's not been easy to work for these white institutions that are built to diminish, extract from and crush me

Speaker 2: How to make love. Hmm. Now is that from recipe or from scratch?

Speaker 3: This is how to make love. Wow. Oh

Speaker 4: Gosh. Ooh.

Speaker 3: Oh my God. Yeah. A little to the left. And faster. A show that tests the edges of what love is, worthiness, empathy, beauty, sex, positive, the borders. It can cross how we do integrity in all of our relationships. And it's hidden costs and shadows.

Speaker 4: In a world where we, other, other people where we build walls, we just tear down walls,

Speaker 3: Fuck finding it or falling into it. Our future depends on making it Hey,

Speaker 5: All. Welcome back. You're listening to episode 98 of

Speaker 3: A podcast designed

Speaker 5: To hone your love and justice and liberation and courage muscles. And today we are with my buddy Ali Mait, and we're gonna have a really beautiful, honest conversation as a black woman and as a white woman about relationships, specifically about relationships at work, which is Ally's specialty. In a way, part of her work in the world is to design experiences for teams and lead teams through human-centered relational work as they do the really beautiful, difficult work of equity and inclusion, and of making cultures that center equity and inclusion. Today, Allie and I are gonna talk about a whole lot of things from love to control to white supremacy, to what it takes for people to be in intimate relationship, trusting relationship across lines of difference, whether that be racial or otherwise. We're also gonna share some resources with you and be sure to check out the show notes because Allie and I both have kind of terrible memories and left out a bunch of things that I think will be really helpful. So we've put those in the show notes below. All right, my friends settle in. Welcome to a conversation about making love and justice and courage and liberation through being in relationship.

Speaker 6: Hi my friend.

Speaker 1: Hi.

Speaker 5: Hi. Hi, Laura.

Speaker 6: It's great to be with you. Always.

Speaker 1: Same. It's good to be with you too.

Speaker 6: When I see you, I, I know exactly who you are to me, which is a brave, authentic, radical human trying to make the work world a better place. But that's who you are to me. For folks who don't have any idea who you are, ally, would you mind just sharing a little bit about yourself?

Speaker 1: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that, that I was like, oh, that warms my heart. Um, I'm Ally , just ally. Um, I grew up in Houston and predominantly white communities. I'm a black woman. And what growing up in predominantly neighborhoods did for me was beca made me more aware of what it meant to be in other, in spaces, and became very aware of that from a very young age. And I think like that awareness of like navigating, being in a space where belonging wasn't automatic shaped a lot of how I, what I do today, what I want to create in the world. Um, because I think what I've been trying to do probably my whole career is find a way to create belonging for all, for us all because I didn't have it as a little person. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's, if I were to like sum up who I am, I am a Capricorn, sun, Libra, rising Aries moon. And so if you look at all of those things, I love talking about Capricorn's, all about structures and systems. Libra is about the belonging and the balance that we have between us and Aries. It's about action. Um, and so those three areas is sort of like how I'm trying to manifest belonging in the world. So

Speaker 6: That's really badass and , starlet and magical. I think you might be the first person for sure. Other, we've had other guests who've given me their sun sign, but I think you're the first person who's been like, here's my moon and my son and my rising bitches. And I love it.

Speaker 1: Yes. I like, uh, I've gotten more into astrology in the last, I'd say three years. I wonder what happened in the last three years that would make me wanna do that . But, um, . Yeah. But it's been really illuminating for me. So

Speaker 6: Ally, what do you know for sure about belonging?

Speaker 1: Hmm. That's a good question. I mean, I believe for sure that we all can belong. Like, I do believe that. And like, they actually, there was a study that came out, I think last week about these people found that, that we all have these little waves and vibrations that started with the big bang. And so these vibrations all move through every single piece of matter in the universe, including all of us. And it's, we're all kind of moving together at this singular vibration. So we literally are connected through energy. And I can't imagine a world where we're all connected in that way, where we couldn't all belong if we wanted to, if we could let go of these things that we, that are about our physical body and how we show up and what we look like, and then what we do with those constructs to separate ourselves from each other. Yeah. So

Speaker 6: How, how do you define belonging?

Speaker 1: Hmm. I mean, for me, in my body, when I feel like I belong, it's when I can just be, you know what I mean, and be my weird self where I can talk about, I'm a, you know, Aries moon , and people don't think that that is weird. It's just like you can be yourself and you don't have to do anything. You don't have to create anything. You just are accepted and loved existing. Um, and having a world where we're all sort of accepted and loved because we exist to me is what belonging is about. Yeah. I don't know. What do you think ?

Speaker 6: You know, I ask because, uh, I think sometimes when I hear the word belonging, I have to really unwork the part of my brain that's like belonging to who or to whom not really totally sure what the grammar there is. Um mm-hmm. . And I often hear people talking about belonging in terms of communities they belong to or religions they belong to, or groups they belong to. And at least for me, it takes some real work to like purge out ownership

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 6: From the notion of belonging.

Speaker 1: Yeah. That's interesting. When you look at like, the definition of the world a hundred percent. That is true. And like, even I hadn't even thought about that, that like aspect of to belong doesn't mean that we're owned by something the way my brain works, it's we belong to each other. Yeah. Because if we, if the universe really was like this big bang happened and all the stardust came down and all of our spirits were created, which I kind of believe then that is what we belong to is to that connection to the universe, if that makes sense.

Speaker 6: Yeah, it totally makes sense. Yeah. To me. So, uh, since we don't live in a world where everyone , I was saying by your definition of belonging and, and the fact that that's not the world we live in right now. Right? Like, how do we belong when we don't live in a world or in the conditions? Yeah. How, how do you, how do you belong? Yeah.

Speaker 1: I try and find the people that are comfortable with me just being right, like finding those people. And for me, my human design, I'm a gen generator. Um, and so I listen to my gut a lot about what does my gut say about this human spirit? And I don't know what it is when I meet someone. And I think when I met you for the first time this happened, it's like, oh, our, our souls found each other. Right? Like, I feel like our souls are moving throughout life and we're supposed to connect with different people. Yeah. But I try and create belonging by just getting to know who someone is and really hearing their stories. And there's a lot of research that shows that. Like when you hear stories of other people, you can see their humanity, right? Yeah. And so I just, I like being with people and I think the more we're with each other, the more that we can see each other.

Speaker 1: And I like being with people and not just in the ways that I think sometimes we are told we have to, like, we need to produce and we need to do things like I'm less interested in when I go to conferences, I don't wanna talk about work, which I know is the opposite of what I'm supposed to do. , you know, when you're networking, you're supposed to talk about the things that you're putting out in the world and all this stuff. But I hate that I always wanna talk about the zombie apocalypse and like all the ideas in my head, or, you know what I mean? I wanna talk about who a person is and what makes them tick. And, and that to me is how we create belonging and starting to see who you are at your core, at the weird little core that we all have, and accepting that and bringing that in and just like loving the weirdness that we all have.

Speaker 6: Yeah. Before we hit record, we were catching up and we were talking a little bit about the importance of relationships at work mm-hmm. . And I'm curious how you came to believe that relationships at work really, really matter.

Speaker 1: Um, I think it's because relationships are what have rescued me as a black woman. It's not been easy to work for these white institutions that are built to diminish extract from and crush me in the ways that they operate. And what I've found in my career is that if I can build relationships, one life's just better. 'cause you, you like the people you're working with. But what it did for me was that it allowed me to do my job, . I was like, when, when I'm in relationship with people, then they see me more fully, not completely 'cause bias and all that crap still exists and I can't eliminate that on my own. But I've found that you can find your way to joy more when you're in relationship with people. And I think when you're in relationship, true relationship with people, then you're invested in their liberation and invested in ways of not controlling them.

Speaker 1: At least when I think about true right relationship, it's how do I allow it is about this. Like, how do I let this person just be and be their magnificent self and not try and control and mold and all of those things? And I think the more we can like, be invested in that type of relationship at work, the less likely we are to want to use all the tools of domination and oppression. It doesn't automatically happen, right? You still have to do your work, but I think you're less likely to want to do that if you start with relationships.

Speaker 6: I have to be honest that a, a part of me is hearing all that and thinking I do not walk around in the world and a black or a brown body. Mm-hmm. , I have complex and, you know, um, multifaceted identity markers, but I'd, I think I would be so distrusting of relationships. Mm-hmm. mm-hmm. , I'm alre I'm already distrusting of relationships, , and I think I really can only imagine how risky and just potentially absolutely distrusting of those relationships, I would feel mm-hmm. in a white institution in particular. You don't al mean any response to that or reaction to that. Yeah. But I, I guess I'm wondering like, how did you come to be this wholehearted human that says, I'm, I know that these have been vehicles for harm in the past, but I'm going to choose to walk toward them and invest in them as an act of justice and liberation.

Speaker 1: Yeah. You know, humans are gonna human, uh, you know, , um, and sometimes people will let you down. So I don't want to dismiss that. And like, I've had people let me down in my career and in my life. But for me, when I think about like where it started, so when I was a kid growing up in the predominantly white community, going to predominantly white school, I remember not being accepted by a lot of the kids, but some of them did accept me. They tended to be other kids of color who were, you know, one of the only also in the class. But I remember spending lots of time in their homes and I remember getting to know their families and their family histories and having dinner and getting to eat the different types of foods their parents made and them getting to know my family.

Speaker 1: And my life is just richer for that. And what I found is just, I just love my mom says, ever since I was a little kid, I've loved people. She used to have a hand signal to tell me to like, calm down. So I didn't overwhelm people with my love. Um, but I just found, I've just found my life is just better when I get to spend time with people and their spirits. And like, and the weird part, right? Like I, when I say the weird part, I, I sometimes share this story about this guy. He was, he made a lot of money and he was obsessed with Vermeer. And Vermeer is the painter that did the girl with a pearl earring. I think he's Dutch. He was obsessed with Vermeer. 'cause like Vermeer painted very precise, it looks like a picture obsessed with him.

Speaker 1: And he decided he wanted to paint like Vene Vermeers, the guy learns how to not just paint like Vermeer. He rebuilds the room that Vermeer painted in, including like learning how to do stained glass. He learned how to create this piano, all this stuff. And I just remember watching this documentary and being like, this is really weird that he's obsessed. And how awesome is it that he gets to live a life where he gets to explore this thing he's obsessed with. And how amazing would it be if we lived in a world where all of us got to do the weird thing that we like, are obsessed with, like, think about what would get created. Yeah. If we all got to do that. And I just wish that for like, that's what I wanna, I would love to help unleash is just like, man, let people do their like weird thing. 'cause like, I think the world is better for it if we get to just be ourselves and be

Speaker 6: Yeah, I totally agree. I had a mentor and a teacher who was also on this podcast a while back, Reverend Angel, k Kyoto Williams, and mm-hmm. , she defines love as space. Mm. And at first that was intriguing to me, and then it became resonant for me, and then it became like a, a lived and embodied mm-hmm. truth for me that I think my interpretation of that is to, to be able to make space where others can be free and where we ourselves mm-hmm. be free. Absolutely. And that is a radical, radical practice. Mm-hmm. Because it is not the space that exists for us that's been like, put in front of us mm-hmm. To walk around in. And so I hear, I hear re's words mm-hmm. As I listen to you talk about belonging mm-hmm. And relationship mm-hmm. And the importa of relationship. And, and I think relationship is a very courageous, vulnerable thing. Mm-hmm. To be able to truly step into space where you opt into being the weirdest, most true parts of yourself mm-hmm. , um, and allow others to bear witness to that. Mm-hmm. , I think it's an act of courage within oneself. And I think it's an act of courage within community with, with other people. Mm-hmm. , I'm curious what you've learned is required of people to be in those sort of relationships together, particularly in the workplace.

Speaker 1: Yeah. I, and I love what you're sharing about the Revs words because like that resonates so much with me because I think our traditional practices teach us that we need to control other people. And if you're trying to control, and even in our relationships are like romantic relationships, so much of what we're taught is about control. And like, I think learning to not need to control is something that is a lifelong practice for me anyway. I think I get better at it every day. But I think what is required is realizing that a lot of what we're taught we're supposed to seek at work, which is perfection, being the best. All these things, I'm like, why are we doing that ? Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, why are we doing that? Like, life is, we're here for a limited amount of time. And this idea of being the best and being perfect, I'm like, where is, what is for, to what end?

Speaker 1: You know? And so when you realize it's okay, if we're not the best and it's okay to be mediocre, what would it be if we just created stuff together? Then you don't have to control the other person because you're just creating stuff together to like put something out in the world. Whether it's to make it a better place or a more beautiful place, or whatever it is that you're doing together, then you don't have to control each other to do that. You can let people do the beautiful thing that they can do that you can't, or you can, but in a different way. Like, I just think it's about like releasing through this, this idea of like, what is it that we're trying to do to together and what does it need to be? And letting go of that. Like, a lot of it's about I think letting go and just being like, it's fine , it's fine. I don't know. Like what are, where, what are you learning?

Speaker 6: I am I all that you shared resonates with me. In fact, I'm, I'm finishing an unschool cohort right now, and the topic was unperforming. So like examining all the ways that we sometimes meaning to, and sometimes without meaning to like what we perform in the world. Mm-hmm. And perfectionism was like a hot topic of things we've learned to perform. You can condition perform, but I'm gonna let folks vote on the next unschool cohort. And the three topics are for sure. The number one that I'm most interested in personally is uncontrol. How do you actually unlearn control from your body and your way of being unresponsibility? Like how we unlearn the really health unhealthy parts of responsibility that kick us over toward paternalism and perfectionism mm-hmm. mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. Um, martyrdom and then kind of take over our lives. And the other one is on, um, learning to be undefined. Mm. How we make ourselves soft and vulnerable mm-hmm. And open mm-hmm. On purpose. So , so what I, what I think is required is a lot of, of what you're sharing and mm-hmm. , I don't know. I think we could all study unlearning control from our way of being for the entire course of our life and many lifetimes to come mm-hmm. and still not still have a tremendous amount of work to do. Mm-hmm. what's required of being in relationships across lines of racial difference?

Speaker 1: Hmm. Well, one, I think you have to be aware that there's bias and history there. Like, um, Dr. Bob loves, um, developing liberatory consciousness starts with awareness, right? And I think that that is a really important part of navigating a racialized world is like realizing that it's racialized, right? Like, that there are these constructs that we have all been indoctrinated in that literally changes how we see a person and how they show up. Um, and there's tons of research that shows that, right. And I think like, starting there is important because I don't wanna be Pollyanna about what it takes to that that's not there, you know what I mean? Like, I wanna be realistic about, like, that is, there's history there and there's like dynamics there. And I think being aware of that is important because even in our, if you're not, then you can't see how sometimes patterns might be showing up, um, even if, even when we have the best intentions.

Speaker 1: But I think, like for me, because I've had to like build across relationships cross racially my entire life, at least since I was three, and that was three is because that's when I got sent out of the home into some sort of form of school is an openness to doing that. Um, it, there is vulnerability I think required whenever you build relationships, whether they're crossly or not, it's sort of like, you know how the puppies like turn their bellies up to get a belly rub that's the most vulnerable spot of their, their bodies, right? Yeah. And so they're like exposing their most vulnerable spots. They can get some love. And I think like relationship building requires us to take a risk and expose our bellies a little bit so that we can find each other. So that's where I start.

Speaker 6: Would your response change at all if you were talking exclusively to a, a room of black or brown fems and women?

Speaker 1: Like how do we build relationships, trust racially,

Speaker 6: What's required? Yeah. What's required of

Speaker 1: Us? I think still the awareness, which I think if you're, I won't say all 'cause like there's never an all in our life, but like most people who are black and brown and feminized are aware of some of those dynamics you have to be. But I still think that vulnerability piece is important. And I think what's been fascinating as I've been planning around with these ideas about relationships and, um, I love what you said about being undefended because I'm actually writing a this thing about feedback and being undefended giving and receiving feedback. So like, I would love to hear talk more about that. But like, um, whenever I talk about relationships, people of color are like, uh, I don't know about this girl because there's this, you go into these workplaces and there's always microaggressions and all this crap. And it's like, I don't wanna be vulnerable with you and then get, still get the, the crap and that is ever present.

Speaker 1: But what I've learned through my life and what research backs up to is that the more we're willing to be vulnerable and lean into relationship, the better chance we have of getting to addressing some of those things. Because when you're in relationships, that's when someone's committed to you. Like you said, the rev said about the spaciousness, because I think a lot of relationship is about being committed to the other person's liberation. And if I'm committed to your liberation, then I'm, I don't want to interact with in ways that harm you. Right? And so we get there through relationship, I believe so,

Speaker 6: Yeah. I, I'm with you. And I think that is about as close to, is what you could get to for my personal definition of, of relationship and I suppose with belonging too. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I was just curious Ally, like, as a very broad generalization to what extent the advice or the offerings or the TED Talk would change that you gave depending on mm-hmm. , the identities of the people listening. Yeah. Yeah. To what extent would what you just shared change at all, if you were talking to a group of white women and fems, and I keep saying women in fems because you and I identify as women and fems and mm-hmm. , we could, we could make it broader and include anyone in that group .

Speaker 1: Yeah. I think, well, it's interesting that you ask about that. What my, my message be if I were speaking to white folks, um, or white women in Ven, because I often say I'm not a white person whisperer, , and often calling in people like you, I'm like, yeah, can you help over here? Stuff's happening. And I have called you in, um, you've shown up every time. It's hard to say what I would say because I don't, and the reason I say I'm not a white person whisper is because I've never been white. Some of the vantage that come with whiteness I've never had. So I don't always completely understand some of the fear. Yeah. Because I'm not, I don't have the privilege of being scared. Right. Like a lot of times i'll and spaces I'll advocate or like, I'll be very vocal or stand up and people will say, oh, you're very brave.

Speaker 1: And I'm like, what are you talking about? I didn't have, if I were not, if I did not stand up, I would be absolutely crushed and destroyed. . Like the only option is to be brave. Right. And so I, I think like sometimes it's hard for me to understand, um, some of the fear that folks have because 'cause of the, of the two of us white people are the most safe, right? Like, if, if we're afraid of being vulnerable and like, why are you afraid of being vulnerable here? You're, this world was created for you. You literally can show your belly up all the time. It's literally set up for that. And so I sometimes I struggle with that, so I appreciate

Speaker 6: That.

Speaker 1: I'm curious, like when you think about that, like what, what that brings up for you and like what you, what you think might be different for white fem and women? Like

Speaker 6: Yeah.

Speaker 1: What are y'all scared of? No, . Yeah. That's, you know what I mean? Like what is, when we think about building relationships, like what is the crossly, what is the, the greatest fear

Speaker 6: For so many of the white people that I'm in relationship with? The articulated fear is of doing harm. Mm. I don't, I don't want to do harm. Mm-hmm. . And I believe that's a, a, a real sincere fear. And I believe it's conditioned with a fuck ton of ego control all the elements and attributes of a society mm-hmm. geared toward white supremacy that doesn't, of course doesn't just affect people in white bodies, but mm-hmm. hooks us in unique ways. And I think often the, the fear is really vulnerability. It's itself like mm-hmm. It is. I might do harm, I'm going to do that in public. Really, I think the question is do I trust myself to come back from that or not?

Speaker 1: I'm also curious if, if it's also like I'm going to do harm, it might be in public and then I might get shamed for that and kicked off off the island. Right? Oh, for sure. Yeah. You know,

Speaker 6: I, and I think that's what I mean by like, do do I really think I can come back from that? Mm. Because we see for so many people in white identity development, learning occurs and for adults learning means learning that some of what you believe or are doing is wrong . Right. Like, it just really requires a blow to the ego. That's how adults learn. Right. And then so many white f folks get stuck in the very natural shame and guilt response. Mm-hmm. That's like a natural human emotion mm-hmm. To come up mm-hmm. , but then we just get stuck in that vortex and sucked back down into I'm never gonna do that again in public. I'm never gonna say that word again. And then it becomes about don't say this word or don't do this thing or this

Speaker 6: Totally unhelpful, super specific Yeah. Micro macroaggression that we for sure shouldn't do. But that's not what about what liberation, um, is about, obviously. So it to, I mean maybe it's full circle because the world we live in, as fucked up as it is mm-hmm. is meant to be a world in which white people belong. Mm-hmm. an act of vulnerability that the shit shows we all are. And the fucked up things we've all been conditioned to believe and the mistakes we're all inevitably going to make as, as humans, but as white bodied humans feels like annihilation of the world we live in. And it is, it is. Mm-hmm. , it is a choice to say, I've been plopped into this world and it's been designed for me, but I know that that's not the world that all people are free in mm-hmm. and I'm actually not even free in that world. Mm-hmm.

Speaker 1: . Right.

Speaker 6: And so I'm going to allow my perception of reality to fall away and choose to operate in different ways with different beliefs and different norms and different rules and different relationships over here. Mm-hmm. What does all that make you think? Or more importantly, maybe feel,

Speaker 1: Um, tons of things. Like, the thing that I always turn back to is like, we know that this, this thing is not serving us. And the more you practice, 'cause you're gonna mess up. I mess up. We all mess up. And, and two, and one thing that I've have found that can sometimes be helpful when I'm talking to people in white bodies is that I'm doing, I'm in the system too, participating in the systems. Like it's not, we're not in a binary where there's like villains and victims, right? Like we're all wielding power and we're all being subjugated by power in different ways, um, depending on our different identities that like take us closer or further away from power. And so I think like that's important to remember is like I, we all have stuff to unlearn in the ways that we use power to control and dominate each other.

Speaker 1: So what I've found as a black person, when I say that to a white person, then it's like, look, I'm not saying you're the bad person. I'm the good person over here. It's that we collectively need to learn how to be differently together if we all wanna be free and what you need to do and what I need to do are different things, but we all need to be in practice together. And what I have found in my practice when I mess up is that if I'm willing to do the actions of repair Yeah. And the person, if we're in relationship, if the person's then willing to accept and engage with me through that repair, then it gets easier. Yeah. It's not that bad. Right. Like the fear of, oh man, I messed up in public. You're not gonna get kicked off the island if you're in relationship and true relationship with the person. It's gonna be painful. It needs to be. 'cause that's how we remember not to do it again. Right. Like, it can't not be painful, but that's how you get to stay in relationship is if you're willing to be accountable for how we treat each other and learn so that we can be better together.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Because isn't it like, I love when I've, I hate messing up. Nobody likes that, but like when I've messed up, like relationship wise and we make agreements about what is needed for repair and then we start to do that and like it starts to get better. Mm-hmm. like the, the there's beauty in the return. Yeah. Like I feel good about myself when I'm like, okay, I'm fix, I'm doing the thing . You know what I mean? I'm

Speaker 6: Like Yeah, the healing, yeah.

Speaker 1: I admitted I messed up and now I'm gonna like do the thing. It like that just gives me a little boost.

Speaker 6: Yeah.

Speaker 1: And then seeing that person with that, how that person starts to feel because you're willing to do that, I think that's better than hiding

Speaker 6: . Yeah. So it's so important. It's so important. And that process that you're describing, that repair process and that relationship way of being in relationship that you're describing, I think it's important to remember that like that in and of itself, and here I'm speaking to white people in particular 'cause I can hear voices of loved ones and friends and clients being like, like I've gotta build trust before I can do that. Mm-hmm. And it's important to remember that I think opting to be in that sort of relationship is how trust is built. Trust is not a prerequisite. Mm-hmm. In fact, like trust is the product of practice that we build mm-hmm. With people in relationship as we lean into relationship, not the other way around. Because the thing I hear a ton is just like, well, I don't, we haven't built the trust for me to say that or do that or whatever. And it's know you, we will build the trust as you choose to say the things as you choose to make apology as you choose to take ownership as you choose to Yeah. Lean into accountable relationship.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that's for me, when I call things out or I say the thing I don't even know another way of being. Yeah. Right.

Speaker 6: If we let these things bring us closer to one another mm-hmm. , they are the vehicle for relationships that while vulnerable are also become really safe because they're free. Mm-hmm. And I think we have this model that it's such an act of vulnerability or bravery because relationships that just conditioned relationships that exist in the world and realm of oppressive white supremacy are mm-hmm. fundamentally not safe and not right free. You make a mistake. Right. And you, you know, you are judged, you're shamed, you're, we dehumanize people when mistakes are made in that world. And so we have to switch our brain to remember, oh, okay. If I am aspiring to build and be in a world that centers liberation, I have to dissociate the meaning that I ascribe to mistake making. Yeah. From mm-hmm. thing, I should cast my head down and shame about to Yeah. Thing that can generate profound intimacy and richness and mm-hmm. love and Yeah. Uh, you know, all kinds of juicy stuff.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. The thing the shame spiral only serves to keep us separated from each other. Right. Like, because I've been, I've had experiences where some I've experienced harm at, at work and the person had a hard time getting out of the shame spiral, so they never got to repair. Yeah. And I think that I, I just finished, we Shall Not Camp, we Will Not Cancel Us by Adrian Marrie Brown. Such a good book. Um, and it's also like a, an exercise of what we're talking about because yeah, when she wrote it, they got a ton of feedback about, you know, you're, you need to account for all these things and they adjusted writing. But what I love about that is like this idea of I'm gonna repair and on the flip side, I'm gonna be open to those repair actions. Yeah. Because that's so important.

Speaker 1: It doesn't mean that I have to not be pissed about what happened or disappointed or, um, not trusting. But if I wanna stay in relationship with this person, I have to be willing to give the person an opportunity to repair and get better and then build trust over time. I have to be willing to be vulnerable with them again if I wanna stay in relationship. Now sometimes you don't wanna, like, there have been times where I'm like, I'm no longer in relationship with that person and that's okay. Yeah. It's okay. But if you're gonna stay in relationship and something happened and there's a rupture and you need to repair it, you have to be open to those repair actions, I think. Yeah.

Speaker 6: Which just begins with apology.

Speaker 1: Hmm mm-hmm. .

Speaker 6: There's some, I think sometimes we think like, I apologize and then we're over and Yeah. , but I, I, we, we begin with apology. Mm-hmm. , we build repair from there. This is making me think that maybe we should do like a, um, dance break of some of our favorite resources. 'cause you've named a couple of really good ones already. Mm-hmm. . And, um, I also think about the, um, a book you and I were talking about recently when we just had a little friend hangout date, um, on repentance and repair.

Speaker 1: Oh, I love that book. Yeah. So good.

Speaker 6: Yeah. I think it's a great resource for folks. What, what are other resources you think about for relationship broadly

Speaker 1: Relationship? Um, I'm reading this book that's right now that's called, I think it's, um, pronounced ludic. It's L U D I c Ubuntu, um, which is about using Ubuntu, um, the principles of through for transformative justice. And what's been really interesting about that's like pushed my own thinking is, and I'm at the beginning of it, and it is a little academic, but it talks about, um, this idea of control even in present in some of our transformative justice restorative work that we do. Yeah. Of this expectation of repair that I get to control as somebody, if something's happened to me, I have the right to control what that other person does to repair. Which I was just like, Ooh. I, it's just like a spiciness. Yeah.

Speaker 6: I also think about, it's called the Little Book of Restorative Justice.

Speaker 1: Yeah, that's a good one too.

Speaker 6: It's a really good one. I it is meant explicitly for the prison system, um mm-hmm. , but I find it to be such a powerful metaphor and resource for relationship and for repair. And I acknowledge it's the book of restorative justice, not it's transformative justice. Mm-hmm. . And we, we learn and we grow and it's a bit outdated. Mm-hmm. But I find it to be a really helpful resource. Yeah. Are there other, other people think about Priya Parker and the, um, the art of gathering

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm.

Speaker 6: As a resource for people. Mm-hmm.

Speaker 1: Yeah. That was good.

Speaker 6: Any other resources or humans who come to mind

Speaker 1: When we last talked? We talked about this, um, minchi. Um, and, um, I took a decolonized, um, nonviolent communication course with them. And then also I took, um, healing money trauma this last, last semester. Yeah. Wonderful. I love learning from her. She's just really, um, about play and, um, healing and, and just a different way and has really helped me see the ways that some of these like, uh, frameworks are grounded in white supremacy culture and like how to decolonize them and be more aware of the way that power moves and how you have to, when you're trying to restore, when you're trying to heal, you have to be aware of like the ways that power is like playing in the space if you wanna do that. So yeah. That's another one. Amen.

Speaker 6: Oh, I'll post her name too in the resources. I just recently started following her from your recommendation, Deb. Mm-hmm. ally. How do you find love?

Speaker 1: Hmm. That's a deep one. I feel like my therapist is gonna be like, yeah, ally, how do you find love?

Speaker 6:

Speaker 1: Something I've been working on, 'cause I was having a rough time this spring and my therapist was like, uh, it sounds like you're giving a lot of care to other people. How are you getting care? And I like started to cry 'cause it's like, I don't feel like I inspire care from other people. And then she, she, uh, helped me to see that that was incorrect. Um, but I think not to be corny, love is everywhere. I think what I found in that moment when I was feeling really low and feeling like I wasn't getting care, um, bids for care or bids for love, meaning the ways that you ask for care and love from people in your life, people will show up and provide that. I think putting it out into the universe of just like the desire for love helps love show up and then loving by being someone that provides or loves other people.

Speaker 1: I think I get love in return. It's reciprocal. Right. You know what I mean? Yeah. It's like the universe is, and love is an energy and I think that the universe and our collective that we were talking about, our energy, our vibration, the ways that we're all connected through that energy, I believe the universe wants love to throw between us. Yeah. I think the universe wants us to love and play and be joyful and we have fucked it up , you know? Really? Yeah. We have like, put all this stuff and it's like, man, it really does not need to be like this at all.

Speaker 6: Yeah.

Speaker 1: But yeah, I think the more I leaned into stepping out of, it's like, I imagine there's, um, if you've seen those pictures of fireflies at night when there's like a field full of, of fireflies and then you, you see these streaks of gold as they're moving. Right. And I imagine the energy between us is like that. It's like, like firefly energy flying between all living things. And if we can step into that flow and like let go of all the things that keep us away from that flow, that's where the love is. I don't know if that that makes sense, but

Speaker 6: Beautiful.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 6: Anything else you wanna say on or off the record?

Speaker 1: No, I don't know. I like, um, I just believe in our potential to like, you know, this is, this is long multi-generational work that we do. And so I'm not naive to believe that in this, in my lifetime, that we find our way back into flow with each other. But I do believe that in my lifetime I can help myself and other people step back towards each other and find each other. And I think if we can find each other and just see and just be comfortable with just being and letting go of all these things that make us think that we have to be a certain way or perform and all these things, if we can let go of that shit, um, and find each other, that that's where the joy is and the peace and the connection. So I believe we can make steps towards that every single day and move towards justice and liberation in this lifetime. And I'm really excited to see what's like, what unfolds, you know? And it's like, it's like a watching a, a TV show where you don't know the plot and it's like, where, where are we going friends? It's kind of exciting, it's scary, but I think the potential for what we can create is what keeps me going.

Speaker 6: Thank you for that my friend.

Speaker 1: Thank you.

Speaker 6: Yeah. Thank you for everything you offered and thank you for being a human that believes we can do it. All right, y'all, thank you for tuning in today and each month as we explore these important, provocative, powerful conversations around how we all unlearn, the ways of oppression from our way of being in the world got some really juicy, provocative, exciting episodes coming up on the horizon. So I will see you there, my friends. Until next time, may you be in radical relationship with the people around you, be they strangers or loved ones. And may you make a fuck ton of love. See you soon. Y

Speaker 1: We can do it. Y'all.



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