Working For Progress was launched with the intention of clebrating our communities and sharing their individual journeys. We are lucky to have a community of creative people, all doing interesting work and who are also interested in the bigger picture. Their health, their communities, their impact on the world. It is important for us to connect through conversations about how we craft our working life and make progress. Each episode sees us ask our communities questions about their working life, the challenges they’ve faced and the progress they’ve made.
It was funny to think back to the initial awkward fears that producing and recording a podcast brings. We are forever grateful to our pals over at Glocast for allowing us to record our trailer episode with them. Perhaps without this as a date in the diary to record we would not now be reflecting on our eleven published episodes!
We spoke at length about what stood out to us in season one and we really wanted to thank our guests for their honesty and vulnerability. Even recording a conversation with people that you know in a place that you are familiar with can bring nerves. Not to mention that using a mic can initially feel very intimidating. It has been a joy to listen to the intricacies of people’s journeys and without creating the space to reflect there’s so much we may have never known! The podcast has made both myself and Dani feel ever more connected to you all. Taking the time to interview each person has served as a valuable reminder of how important connection and conversation is.
We also spoke about what we wanted out of the podcast. I really wanted to showcase all of the possibilities your working life can bring and highlight the turning points in people’s career journeys. For myself, I am very early doors. I have spent most of my working life in hospitality. I adore the world of hospitality but always desired something more stable without losing what I value. Before Tribe, I remember having this weird sensation that I was failing or doing things wrong and that I simply wanted more out of my working life.
Coming to Tribe gave me the term value based work. It’s a privilege to work alongside so many people where value is at the heart of their working lives. At points in my own journey, value based work felt out of reach and at times it just felt like ‘a nice idea’. I wanted this podcast to highlight how many different avenues and directions life could take you. Career journeys are not always a linear path like you are told at school. For me, each episode really encapsulates this as each guest highlighted the journey and risks that they have taken themselves.
It was interesting to note how the support of communities and the right people at the right time came up alot in each person’s journey. Alongside this came trust and putting yourself in the relationship of trust to find trust. These seem to be vital ingredients in both navigating working lives and in taking risks. Here’s what Nasim Forootan said about the importance of trust:
“It’s okay to trust and to open yourself up and be vulnerable sometimes with how you are feeling and what you’re seeing. Sometimes you need to have difficult conversations to explore the nuisance of things. Have faith that things will come out right. If you go into a situation with doubt, you won’t let yourself explore the relationship that could be. Trust is a really strong value for me. Trust is embedded in everything I do. When we work in organizations or when we look at community spaces and governments, it’s one element that is constantly broken. If we had a tiny bit more trust in each other the world would be a better place”-Nasim Forootan
Trust and honesty certainly became an overarching theme, both in trusting in yourself and the people around you. This is why coworking is so incredibly important. It’s not often in life you get to choose the people around you and people are such a strong and beautiful part of Tribe. Tribe is not just a desk to work from, it is the people that you’re sitting next to, have lunch with and stop for a tea break and a chat with. Coworking perfectly encapsulates the human need and want for both community and connection.
During our chat, Dani reflected: “Think of Brene Brown’s saying, ‘It’s hard to hate people when you see them up close and know their story’, it’s true. Bear with me, I am so far from hating anyone, especially this crew. But in a similar vein, the care and love I now have for each guest has expanded. To know them a bit more, to be trusted enough that they share themselves with us (and everyone who listens) is not taken lightly. We could easily brush it off, quite normal to be on a podcast and chat about your working life. But when people share their values, why they do what they do, what brings them a sense of belonging and awe, it connects us in generative ways.”
Bob Cummins of SODAK amply said during his interview that “Emotional safety is formed with people. If you’ve got others you can take the journey with, it makes risks easier”. We hope that in listening to each of these stories you may find more confidence in navigating your own journey and not to feel scared of taking the necessary risks. Founder of Good Life School, Lorna Lythgoe spoke of this in such a beautiful way whilst reflecting on her on career journey :
“I felt like I had leapt off a cliff, I was falling and would occasionally land on a shelf. It was painful and scary and uncomfortable, which sounds like I’m saying don’t do it. In retrospect, now I know that was the growth and the career path, I started to gleefully leap off as I understood It wasn’t an abyss”- Lorna Lythgoe
Most of all, our podcast makes us feel so very grateful for the communities of Tribe Porty and Keystone. We are so lucky to meet so many incredible people through these communities. It is an honour to share your stories. We want to keep showcasing you as the brilliant, incredible and completely normal people that you are. People who are real and care deeply about others and this planet. We hope that our little podcast helps you to stay surrounded by good people, keep true to your values and to keep working for progress. (Too cringe? Nah, we love it!). You can listen to all of our episodes, including our season wrap up by clicking here. Fancy joining myself and Dani in an episode? Drop us a line at: email@example.com
As always, thanks for reading. You can read all of our previous blogs by clicking here. Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletters by filling out the form below:
A frequent conversation around the coworking table is the nuisance and distraction that technology, phones and social media brings. This stems from doom scrolling, to issues spurred on from social media and questions on how to ‘correctly’ parent technology. It’s a big multilayered problem and it seems the thread of desire is to find a way to detach. We want to remove ourselves from passive connection and stop being distracted by our phones.
When we use our phones we are selling only our time, it’s often the moments where we want the time to pass that we fall into the trap. We are always wanting to be busy, we always want to be consuming, maybe it’s time to step back and let yourself be bored. Let yourself day dream and be alone with your thoughts.
“Solitude Deprivation. A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.”― Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
So what are the real problems we cause ourselves when we take to our phones for light entertainment or to pass some time? A study in 2007 by Dr Martin Hilbert and Dr Priscila Lopez found that the average person is drowned in 174 newspapers worth of information everyday, across TV, radio and reading. It’s easy to assume that this figure is even greater today. When you consider how much information we receive everytime we pick up our phones you soon realise why it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the doom and gloom in the world. Or more likely, you feel yourself becoming ever more detached and unresponsive. We have no time to form any true compassion or understanding as we are always onto the next big news story.
Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics, found that on average an adult working in an office stays on a singular task for no more than three minutes before switching tasks. We are tricked into thinking that we are great multitaskers, we are not- we are however very good at getting distracted and losing focus. Mark argues that especially during computer based work, instead of seeing a new tab, email reply or doom scroll as adding a new task, see it as adding a new distraction. This sounds easy but we have already programmed our brains to shift focus constantly, this is why we always are reaching for our phones.
After 14 years, I deleted my Twitter account and removed the app from my phone. This was spurred on by the change to X, in a weird way the visual change prompted discomfort but also made it easier to delete and let go, so thanks for that Elon! Since then, I notice myself whilst routinely checking Facebook and Instagram my thumb automatically going to tap the Twitter app. My brain is fully in a trance, it’s terrifying! Another thing I noticed, whenever I think of something funny my brain frames the thought as a tweet. It’s like an ingrained desire and need to tweet it, again…terrifying!
I feel like I do not need to delve into the problems around phones too much as we all experience it daily. I did consider counting how many times I picked up my phone whilst writing this piece but I feared it would be too shameful of a number. However, I do not believe that a complete detox, hiatus or banishment is the answer. Nor is blaming or shaming ourselves. I think it’s more important to consider the good things phones and tech can bring to our lives. Think of how much time has been saved through emails, online banking, google and life admin. We just need to be more aware and purposeful of how we use this tech.
For me, it’s the small impromptu moments of time where picking up my phone is becoming a problem. The automatic reflex to have a quick look always turns into at least ten minutes of scrolling. It is entirely passive consumption and is the definition of needless. I’m really good at misplacing my phone, something I’m weirdly proud of. It means that it’s not constantly on my mind or in my hand. Now when I lose track of it, instead of hunting it down straight away I purposefully question why I need to find it? What do I need it for? Unless the reason is valid, like calling my nan or if there’s a fire that needs tending to, I do not bother looking for it.
‘You want to read a book, but you are pulled away by the pings and paranoia of social media. You want to spend a few uninterrupted hours with your child, but you keep anxiously checking your work email. You want to set up a business, but your life dissolves into a blur of facebook posts that only make you feel envious and anxious. Through no fault of your own, there never seems to be enough stillness.’-Johann Hari, Stolen Focus
By detaching from our phones, time alone can become more nourishing, remove the need to compare and focus solely on ourselves. Instead of taking to social media for a ‘break’ try out some meditation, a little day dream, a quick stretch or a wee stroll around. Maybe what you’re craving is in fact a quick brain reset! Choose to feast on your own life, instead of small snippets of others. Rember, tech is designed to be addictive but we can choose to have a more purposeful relationship with it.
Don’t forget, habit is key and habits are harder to break than they are to form.
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“Around one in five women report experiencing health challenges relating to menstruation or menopause. Among the 15% of women who report experiencing health challenges related to menstruation, over 40% say they work through the pain and discomfort.”-Women at Work
I am 26, I was not educated about menopause at school. I feel as though I was barely educated about periods at school. And here I am now, writing a blog post about menopause, some of you are thinking, ‘little young to be writing this’. But therein lies the problem. And whilst we’re talking directly, men, you should keep reading too. The only information I have been exposed to about menopause is through mainstream media. Even then, it is at most a joke about a character going through the change and experiencing hot flushes and dryness…
By not educating people from a younger age about menopause, it neglects the notion that it even happens. Like it’s make believe or that you will somehow naturally have the resources to hand when the time comes. I remember hitting puberty and my mum panic throwing books my way titled ‘have you started yet?’ and ‘girls only’. The illustrations on the covers would have teen girls whispering between themselves, this only reinforced the stigma of periods needing to be an uncomfortable secret, never to be spoken openly about.
Thankfully (hopefully?), we have come away from this. Which as I grow older I see growing importance in. By gendering menstruation and menopause we only gate-keep vital and important information and care from the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken a long time, and I am still in the process of understanding my ever changing menstrual cycle. Thankfully, I’ve always felt a strong attachment to understanding my body’s natural process and hormone fluctuation. I only started to meet and converse with others that felt this way in my twenties.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that if it has taken 13 years (that’s 156 cycles!) to get to grips with periods, I can only imagine the loss of control one would feel during perimenopause. When we think about menopause, we should think in terms of the time taken to complete the whole process, much like we do with puberty.
“The Change” unfortunately still generally remains a taboo subject, even amongst many women. That’s why we need to talk about it, to your mums, dads, brothers, sisters, children – anyone. And for those dealing with this, or about to, it’s so important to learn about it. Do your research and approach your GP armed with the facts and knowledge.”-Menopause Mandate
The most powerful conversations I have had with friends and confidants have sparked from one person saying to the other an honest or uncomfortable truth. No matter the subject, be it partners, periods or mental health, a friend saying I’ve felt that or I’ve experienced that too can completely shift your mindset. You are no longer alone or alienated in your feelings and experiences. It’s in this scary sweet spot that experiences and knowledge can be shared.
This is also why menstrual health should not become a gendered conversation. How can we gain vital support from our partners and loved ones if they also have no clue or understanding over what’s going on? Being in touch with yourself, at all stages of life is a crucial ally to your wellbeing. Even when looking into the future is a scary prospect, understanding your body’s natural processes and forming a connection ultimately influences your comfort and welfare.
“A strong theme coming through from research on this issue is that perimenopausal symptoms ‘can be quite disruptive and distressing, particularly when women do not know why these things are happening to them in the first place’. If their partners do not know either, we have the seeds for an inauthentic challenge to even the most healthy of relationships.” -Richard Hull
When we can’t rely on governments and policies to support and educate us, this is when community and allyship becomes a necessity. With that in mind, we took to our community to ask questions about menopause, here’s what they had to say:
Each month, we offer a free talk open to the public. Our next Tribe Talk will be delivered by Yellow Empress Acupuncture. Hannah will be offering an evening around self-care for perimenopause with holistic perspectives for a healthy transition. To find out more and to book your free space, click here.
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.
Thanks for reading,
When I first started at Tribe Porty and Dani asked for me to start writing blog posts for the newsletter I was excited. I’ve always loved to write despite finding grammar and spelling challenging during my school years. I found these years tough as I was made to feel ashamed of my mistakes. It wasn’t until university that my self confidence grew in my writing abilities, it no longer felt like a struggle to impress my tutors and I took great pride and joy in writing about my subject matter. Post-Uni I fell off the writing train (amongst other trains), I struggled to find a reason or an intention to write. I feared becoming the cliche friend with a blog that nobody read, yet deep down the desire was there. When friends and colleagues who are studying complain about word counts and deadlines, I often catch myself saying ‘you’ll miss it when it’s not there’ like some bitter old man…
The first few pieces I wrote for Tribe I threw myself into it, there was no fear of the audience, I wasn’t second guessing myself, I was simply happy to have a reason to write. It was the type of joy that causes you to phone your mum to say ‘HEY MUM, I’M USING MY DEGREE AT WORK…I TOLD YOU A FINE ART AND ART HISTORY DEGREE WOULDN’T BE A TOTAL WASTE’. It was a buzz.
I think I made it to three blog posts before the self doubt came rolling in. I found myself questioning my own need, desire and intention for writing. On reflection, I noticed that these thoughts stemmed from me overthinking who would be my reader and what their responses would be. Who cares what I have to say about my very wholesome but mundane life? My troubles are (thankfully) very vanilla, no complaints there… I love vanilla! But what do I have to say that hasn’t been said before? Or said better? Or said to a bigger audience? Here I was, finding more reasons to not write than to write. I very quickly shut the door on writing blog posts and quietly hoped that Dani would simply not notice…
“When that impostery feeling comes up, treat it not as a sign to shrink and self-reject, but as an opportunity to play with expectations and enjoy your outrageous luck.” -Poppy O’Neil, Writer’s HQ
Already you can see where my brain went wrong: I thought more about other people than myself. Write for yourself, no one else. It’s the only way you can build authenticity, intent and consistency in your writing style. Publishing writing is scary, no matter the subject or size of the audience. Writing, like all art forms, opens up a direct window into your life and thought processes. As a reader, we read, to learn, discover and feel. When I think about the type of writing I’m drawn to there are always common themes of a brash humour and the ability to give everything away (even the ugly bits). The book I’m currently reading is Meaty, a series of blog posts by Samanth Irby. The most memorable part for me so far was an account of making an Instagram worthy Frittata out of the scraps left in the fridge. You can’t get more mundane than that (maybe butter on toast but that wouldn’t be a very long passage). So why do I in turn invalidate my own writing by convincing myself my boring stories aren’t funny, gripping or interesting.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. So I usually take a break, which often involves admiring my beautiful pile of uniformly cut vegetables while drinking coffee and wondering whether this will actually be worth it in the end”. -Samantha Irby, Meaty
So what’s the resolution? The quick fix? The gaffer tape holding back the self doubt and imposter syndrome? I think it’s to just…you know…write! A quick fix doesn’t exist, you must simply just write! I am thereby going to make a public declaration (how fancy). Once a week I am going to write freely, no pressure, no word count, just one piece of writing about absolutely anything. A weekly journal if you will. Not only will this help build an informal body of text that might spur on a blog post, or longer piece, it will help develop my writing, my confidence and with time remove the fear of the dreaded writer’s block. I invite you to join me on this quest, perhaps we can share this writing, or our thoughts over time during social lunch!
Maybe this is something you already do, and you need something that packs a bit more punch? Writers’ HQ are back with in person writing retreats. They are here once a month in Tribe Porty for procrastinating busting one day workshops. Find out when the next one is by clicking here.
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Thanks for reading,