TTIN: Structure + Belief (Email 3)

6 minute read


Note: This is an archive of an email from the May 2020 launch series of The Time Is Now (Early Adopter Edition).


If you've come in just now, you've missed two emails, linked below:

Wed, (April 29, 2020) — TTIN: Watch out Florian (Email 1)
Thur, (April 30, 2020) — TTIN: Set down your weapon (Email 2)

Read them both before you continue. They're important. They lead up to this point.

Happy May day!

I have fond memories of making construction-paper flowers and a little cone basket with a strap - hanging the whole creation on the doorknob of a loved one.

When my sons were little, they played "ding and dash" more often than either of them will admit now...the trick of ringing the doorbell and running from view.

When May day arrived I told them about making May day baskets and my 12 year old said "you mean we get to ding and dash...on purpose?"

That's right son.

We had so much fun that day.

To my surprise, they were never much for "ding and dash" trickery after that. The concept had been reframed for them.

Yesterday, I unpacked a mental shift about our need to heal and release our superiority. Today, I want to share a little more about how we do that.

Whenever I build a new framework, I do it from two perspectives - providing nourishment for my community and as a person who needs nourishment.

Those are two very different (but connected) things.

I'd like to explain the structure of The Time Is Now for two reasons:

First, if you're considering signing up for the course when it's available next week (May 6-12) it's important that you know what to expect.

Second, explaining my building process helps me become a better builder (and exposes me to feedback that also helps me improve).

I consume enormous amounts of information. Over the years, I've realized that I have a particular way that I learn best, and that is reflected in the way I build work.

I like to orient myself to the 30,000' view of a topic so I can see the whole thing. In fact, I have three massive white boards on the walls of the room where I work. I think in pictures. Structure. Connection. Moving parts. Flow.

When I'm taking in any information, I try to get to a white board so I can draw out what’s being presented. If not a white board, then a piece of paper and a pen.

TTIN was drawn in three different models before I settled on one that worked. Where I noticed things didn't work, they were removed or changed. On The Time Is Now page, I shared my final drawing with you. I'm learning to share not just what a course will be about but also how we will get there.

Broadly speaking, The Time Is Now is divided into three sections:

One part self-directed personal transformation
One part community trust and organizing
One part collective learning and teaching

As with all of the work I build, we must begin with our own transformation.

We cannot help others transform in ways we have been unwilling to do for ourselves.

Last week, I received this email from someone in one of our cohorts:

Response to lament

There are several really beautiful indicators of transformation happening.

One that I want to pull out for those of you here is that intellectual knowing is not transformation.

Transformation comes most often when we are willing to spend some time with ourselves. Slow down. Feel. Be in our bodies.

I'm not saying that information is irrelevant. Information is essential. But just as this person shared, it's not enough. The learning about how oppression functions will have an impact on you that must be processed for you to be on a transformation journey.

This work is the first stage of TTIN.

If your transformational journey never has an outward expression, then it misses the opportunity to be liberative.

I have a community of people who have seen and heard all about TTIN already. They are the ones who push me to tell the most authentic story I can. They tell me when I need to go back to the drawing board. They ask hard questions. They believe in me. Feedback flows constantly. Iron sharpening iron. I thrive in those relationships.

I want you to have a warrior team like this. Some of you might be thinking "I'm already a part of a group like this" and if you don't believe you want or need more - TTIN is not for you.

TTIN is for people who recognize that with a broadening circle, comes more transformation. Our cohorts run for 6 months. During each of those cohorts, I am pushed and stretched and challenged and reminded that a small circle of people is not what I'm after.

Private echo chambers don't change the world.

I am a deep introvert.

There are so many times that I don't want to take a call or reply to an email but I have found that when I stay inside of insular groups, I grow less.

This is the second stage of TTIN.

The final stage is where the magic happens. I believe it's one of the answers for this moment we find ourselves in.

It's human nature to fill a void.

As we experience more and more voids as our ideas of communication, work life, schooling, parenting, health, wealth (and more) come crashing down - it is natural that there is a cry for "when can we return to normal?"

It's human.

If you are not used to being uncomfortable or if some of your own ways of being are a result of learned behavior in response to trauma, then this time is particularly unsettling.

Friends, I believe "normal" has changed forever.

How exactly, we won't really know for many years.

But I believe, just as Florian believed, that we cannot rebuild from the crumbled ruins of an unjust society.

We must build something new.

This is the third stage of TTIN.


The Image of The Time Is Now is still up on one of my white boards. I look at it every day and when I do, it fills me with belief...

I believe in you and me and us.
I believe that we can build something new.
I believe that you belong here and that there are people still missing.
I believe we can be intentional framers of a new society.
I believe we will still get part of it wrong.
I believe we can learn how to live more intentionally together.

I meant to continue the story of Florian today.

This email is already super long so I'll share quickly that the King heard all of Florian's plan and gave the green light. Florian won big that day.

But things were about to turn ugly.

Ugly in ways we must be watchful for.

But more on that Monday.

Have a fantastic weekend y'all.