you don’t know how until you do

i am learning a lot these past few days.

one major lesson is that you don’t know how to do something until you do it. even then, you might not know how you did it – just have to have faith in yourself that its been done and it can be done again.

tonight my friend/coworker sharon and friend/board member heather ran outta gas. i don’t know what to do about that. but i emptied a big water bottle, filled it with gas, made a funnel with an old paper and got them going again. now i know how to handle running out of gas!

this made me think of other stuff i have been learning – stuff i didn’t know last week and now i know.

i didn’t know how to express the convergence of hopelessness and emotion elicited by the death of aiyana jones until i let something pour out of me unedited. and shared it. and felt the response of thousands of people who felt the same way, which is what i needed, the only thing that could give me some hope – that a LOT of people want to make the circumstances surrounding aiyana’s death impossible. that’s a start.

and i didn’t know how to facilitate a massive movement process when i took on the role as a coordinator of the us social forum. i still don’t, but i am learning it has something to do with asking folks to be their best selves, over and over. and believing that they will step up. and it has something to do with trusting decentralization, trusting science – if we get the body in motion, it will stay in motion. the ussf body is definitely in motion at this point, with so many hands holding it, so many brilliant minds piecing it together. and as we go i am learning so much about facilitation of processes…it’s not about one conversation. it’s about many conversations, about knowing how many people can have a particular conversation well, how to give people something tangible to converse about, and constantly tying the conversations back to actions, behaviors, protocols. we are not philosophers or professors in this room – we’re volunteers doing political logistics work. everything we debate about, we’re going to have to actualize, while thousands of people watch. no pressure.

i don’t know how things will work if i don’t control every aspect of them – i’m a first born virgo! but i have to learn. today was a first for me as a facilitator. i set folks up in small group conversations and LEFT THE PREMISES for a swim. it was an amazing swim – perhaps one of the best of my life. cool, freeing, just breathe in, breathe out, kick, stroke, kick, stroke. and i came back and everyone had had conversations and we just kept going. and it was fine – better than it would have been if i had been there actually. now i know.

i didn’t know how to be an auntie before – the specifics of it, like how to love unconditionally, love that grows exponentially when given, from a distance, in a memorable way. but i am a really great auntie, and soon i will be an auntie to two – which is hard to even believe, and i know that when the time comes i will know how.

what are you learning?