In founding JoyPops I am collaborating with a startup studio Heal Ventures- www.healventures.co - that focuses exclusively on mental health ventures. Their philosophy, which is one I found uniquely refreshing in the universe of the privileged "Move Fast and Break Things" American tech community, is to "Move Slow and Listen." With that in mind we have embarked on a 3 month phase of full-time listening. We are now 5 weeks and 25 hours of interviews in. Each conversation manages to at once both breathe new life and form into the fledging concept while also repeatedly, unapologetically, and successfully annihilating its previous self. The rapid construction and deconstruction is usually exhausting, at times dispiriting, but always welcomed. In the same exhausting, dispiriting, and miraculously welcomed way that any new parent can relate to the warp-speed daily change of a infant. Much like a human child our infant idea is taking on a life of its own. And much life the constructive and deconstructive cycle to the natural world around us, it is evolving.
While we all endure an era of distance and contagious fear the idea continues to grow towards an era of connection and contagious hope. This morning I listened to an interview on the On Being podcast with Jennifer Bailey and Lennon Flowers of TheDinnerParty.org- an phenomenal organization with a mission to "[t]o transform life after loss from an isolating experience into one marked by community support, candid conversation, and forward movement using the age old practice of breaking bread."
The Dinner Party is focused grief stemming from the loss of the life of another. But I am struck by how grief is our way of coping with any loss. And chronic pain, be it emotional or physical, is a search for grace in the face of loss of elements of our own life. With that I find enormous courage and contagion in the poem share by Bailey and Flowers, and written by Micky Scott Bey Jones - “An Invitation to Brave Space”:
“Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a ‘safe space’
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love”
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our brave space together,
We will work on it side by side”