On this weeks show Ziada and Mary Ann reflect on the recent US election and the fear and sadness many are feeling about the result and ask how we might turn use our fear and anger to galvanise effect action for change? They talk about co-ordinating movements for change and inspiring ourselves to focused action towards the change that we believe in.

Some quotes from the show:

“Demonstrations are like sticking up a big sign. Whether they lead to change or not… that’s a much more complicated story.”

“It’s easy to say what you’re against. To say what you’re for can get uite tricky.” 

“To make a difference in your community, try to take the positives. Then get together and work around that.” 

“Making change is a long process, and you can’t always see the end of it. It’s not for the fainthearted, trying to make big things change.”

“It takes a lot of dedication. You have to dedicate your life to do that.” 

“There’s also an argument for taking small actions, and being willing to put your hand up and say ‘this is wrong’ in smaller ways as well.”

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

  • Mary Ann talks to Aisha Hannibal about their work together establishing the Red Tent Directory and how it has organically grown and now lists almost 100 Red Tent Circles for women across Europe.
  • What’s special about red tents and other women’s circles?
  • They talk about what they have learnt in the process about sustainable growth and leadership,
  • What is important to them about attending Red Tents and other women’s circles
  • How Red Tents and circles differ from other forms of women group.

Some quotes from the show:

‘When people say how are you? we rarely answer honestly.’

‘We often don’t know how we really are until we slow down’

‘We sensed there was a need for the directory and that got validated in the process’

‘Whenever I find something that I really enjoy my next thought is, everyone should have this’

‘We started off with five listings and I remember thinking oh blimey we have only got a few and we are going to have to launch with what we have got..we just kind of went with it’

‘We didn’t have a clear plan or targets set but the whole point was I thought people will find us’

‘Actually it’s this network of women coming together all over the world’

‘We’ve tried to work as much we can in a way that reflects the concept of red tents so to not to completely wind ourselves up and exhaust ourselves with all the things we have got to do on the Red Tent Directory but to be very mindful of how much time we have got to put into this, it’s a voluntary project, and not the main thing that any of us do and do it in a way that is about staying connected to yourself, giving yourself time to rest, giving yourself time to stay connected to what your own needs are and then also to the needs of women around you, that’s been a really interesting journey for me.’

‘I think it’s looking at female leadership and saying, can we do it in a way that doesn’t lead to burnout?’

‘We are a vehicle with lots of happy people on the vehicle waving flags and and throwing flowers out’

‘I love that red tents can happen anywhere and that anyone can start one’

‘The toolkit is really about saying, yes you!’

‘We are giving voice to that way of being, that women can be a real force of support and encouragement for each other. I wanna see that voice more in the world and in the media which is where we see this cat fighting and other view of women’

‘There is something quite counter cultural about it even though red tents can be quite simple’

‘There’s is something quite counter cultural about really allowing it to be a meeting of women that’s not any of those kinds of judgemental or commitment kinds of interaction and really being clear about that and having a really clear structure that every women gets to share for a specific period of time. We are not interrupting or giving our take on it or any of the things that we might normally do that we might do in our work places and familial or in our everyday lives’

‘Just in that simple act of sharing and letting it be what it is. It’s like switching on a different way of being, it’s ok for her to be her and you to be you and to support each other in that’

‘It sounds simple and yet it’s a real call out to a different way of being I think’

‘You also realise that you’re not alone in this’

‘What would be different in the world if there was more of this kind of space?’

‘I’ve learnt how to communicate better because actually listening is a real skill that I think a lot of people could do with having an opportunity to practice a bit more’

‘When you really listen and you’re not thinking about what you have to say you can really just sit back there and I think empathy comes from a place where you have compassion for another person and whatever they’re saying you can hear it and you have a sense of what that might be like for them and for me the more empathy we have, women are 51% of the world you know the more empathy that we can share with each other about what’s happened, what people are experiencing on a day to day basis you know I think that fosters peace you know the compassion that can come from really listening is really powerful’

‘I think of this work as a critical component of how we change things in the world. There is something about women coming together in ways that we’ve not being doing because our culture has pushed us away from each other that feels like a little seed of something and it feels like the ripple effects of that can make a difference not just for the women that show up but the people around them, their families, the other women they know.’

‘I feel like there is something really transformative about this simple act, that is more than it appears’

‘If you are a change maker in the world, we need to make sure that we rest and take time to do that and time to be quiet and I think that red tents really offer that’

‘For change to be sustainable and long lasting radical self care is essential’

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