Tag Archives: personal compass

Nonprofit Radio for December 12, 2022: Take Heart, Take Action


Trathen HeckmanTake Heart, Take Action

That’s Trathen Heckman’s book. He urges you to find and live your inspiration through reverence, ripples and relationships, which will lead you to resilience. He talks us through his thinking.



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[00:00:36.06] spk_0:
and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d need counter pulsation if you broke my heart with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Take heart, take action. That’s Trafton Hickman’s book. He urges you to find and live your inspiration through reverence, ripples and relationships which will lead you to resilience. He talks us through his thinking

[00:00:50.79] spk_1:

[00:01:17.30] spk_0:
Tony’s take two. I’m cheering for you. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s a pleasure to welcome Trevathan Heckman to the show. He is an award winning nonprofit leader with over 20 years experience cultivating grassroots groups and community networks. He’s founder and director of Daily Acts organization, which specializes in unleashing the power of community to address the climate crisis.

[00:01:27.59] spk_1:

[00:01:44.62] spk_0:
lives in the Petaluma River watershed where he grows food medicine and wonder while working to compost apathy and lack daily attacks is at daily attacks dot org. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:46.60] spk_1:
Thanks so much. tony it’s great to be here.

[00:01:50.74] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure to have you. Big pleasure. I love your

[00:01:51.93] spk_1:
book. Very

[00:01:53.51] spk_0:
inspirational. I’m glad we get, I’m glad we got a chance to talk for a good amount of time. And this is no no 15 or 20 minute run through nonprofit radio We we uh, we go deeper,

[00:02:06.71] spk_1:
but there’s

[00:02:12.65] spk_0:
all again, there’s always so much we can do folks you’ve just got to buy this very good book. You’re encouraging. Well, first of all, let’s make sure everybody knows where the Petaluma river watershed is. Where are you

[00:02:20.01] spk_1:
were in Sonoma county, which is in northern California?

[00:02:24.40] spk_0:
I think most people know Sonoma for, for lush wine country. Are you, are you a fan of wine connoisseur of wine or not at all? You drink soda? What

[00:02:36.14] spk_1:
do you

[00:02:37.23] spk_0:
have any relationship

[00:02:38.59] spk_1:
Since I’m a gardener, we’ve made a bunch of honey wine over the year beers. I have good friends who are winemakers and so tend to enjoy all the fermented beverages.

[00:03:08.10] spk_0:
Okay, thank you for reminding us that wine is indeed fermented along with, along with chocolate and coffee. All right. I did a show once. It was, it was not a successful show. Long time listeners will remember this many years ago because we were doing the podcast for 12 years, I had a show on fermentation with someone named Sandor

[00:03:11.37] spk_1:

[00:03:12.73] spk_0:
katz, but he goes by Sandor crowd because sauerkraut is fermented, you know Sandor,

[00:03:29.61] spk_1:
I know who he is, he’s pretty famous for his work in a couple of spots. Actually does have a little mention of him in the book. Um, making the connection between sort of homegrown gardens fermentation and agents of fermentation agents of transformation, how you apply that to community organizing things.

[00:04:01.36] spk_0:
I, I had Sander on when, when I was it was early years of the podcast and I thought, you know, let’s just do random shows about completely the things that are completely off topic for nonprofits, let’s do a show on fermentation. So I think I had seen an article where he was quoted or something and uh I had sand or on and then I, you

[00:04:03.15] spk_1:

[00:04:28.17] spk_0:
like 10% into the show, I realized this was a mistake but I wasn’t gonna, I wasn’t gonna un invite him or anything. So we, we talked about wine and chocolate and his beloved sauerkraut and the value and medicinal, the therapeutics of fermentation and we, we did a full show on fermentation. But uh then I I was going to continue that Until I was about 10% into this show. The next show off the topic was going to be um

[00:04:34.98] spk_1:
I was gonna

[00:05:26.56] spk_0:
have a paid santa claus so, but I I bagged the idea of going off topic and and and now of course in 2023 everybody knows, you know, podcasts or niche. You stick to your niche. If somebody wants to learn about fermentation, they’ll go to the fermentation podcast if they want to know about being a paid santa claus, there’s probably half a dozen podcasts about that career path if you want to take it. So, but there was early days, I didn’t really know what I was doing in podcasting. So we had a show on fermentation and Sandor was Sandor Sandor Kraut was the guest. But um back to, let’s go back to now, sorry, take heart take action a little digression about fermentation, you’re encouraging us to to find and live our inspiration and I find the I find the book inspirational, but in the opening pages it might even be the introduction or so talk about find and live your inspiration,

[00:05:35.54] spk_1:

[00:05:36.09] spk_0:
us ground that a little bit. What do you mean there?

[00:07:13.39] spk_1:
Sure, you know, some of the deepest intrinsic motivators as human beings are around learning new things and finding your passion. And then if you could turn your passion is something that has a larger sense of purpose that does something good, then that’s incredibly powerful. And then if you have agency to continue to do that, that is incredibly motivating as well as um sort of building mastery getting better at something. And so, you know, this idea that the world is so there’s so many overwhelming problems, it’s easy for people to get overwhelmed by the scale of the problems, it’s easy for nonprofit leaders to get overwhelmed by, you know, how big our mission is. Um and it’s easy to lose sight of our deeper purpose, why we started, why we do the work we do. And so it’s important to continue to lean into um you know, this idea of inspiration as a divine wind that moves through you or something that connects you to something larger where you feel a sense of passion and a purpose and doing something good. Um so, you know, as far as sustaining and difficult work day after day, year after year in some small way, staying connected to your joy and your inspiration and how you’re part of this bigger thing is incredibly important and not easy to do. You know, growing organizations, raising families dealing with multiple confluence in crises at the same time, there’s a lot to deal with. Um and so I always love that we use internally in our organizations quote from Gandhi of, I’m so busy today, I’m gonna meditate twice as long what we tend to do when things get difficult is we threw out good habits, good rest exercise, whatever it is. And we just kind of burrow in. And so it’s important to remember when we’re doing really challenging work and we’re in challenging times. We have to double down on the things that help us take heart and take action that help connect us to that source of joy and inspiration and power that we get agency from

[00:07:38.14] spk_0:
and you encourage us to do this through daily actions. I love, I love the idea of just daily actions like you say, reclaim the power in your daily actions.

[00:09:09.55] spk_1:
What’s the only power that any of us have? We, you know, individual actions alone will not solve the climate crisis and address systemic racism and these big issues, but it’s our only power. And so we have to use our power to, you know, as has been said, be the change and affect collective action. Um and then, you know like classic Stephen Covey and other people of have a big circle of concern. We could doom scroll all day and be aware of all the problems, but focus on your circle of influence, focus on your actions and the things you can influence. When you focus on your influence your influence and power to affect positive change grows, you could build momentum, you could build trust and relationship with others to where then you could start to affect bigger change together. So each of us, whether you’re an individual or a nonprofit leader or a board member or a volunteer, um re centering in our own power, our own agency, our own ability to be proactive and move things forward then enables us to do the more difficult work of shared path finding of of finding our collective voice and collective action and then, you know, for nonprofits to then be larger forces for good. We have to work with a lot of diverse agencies and organizations at different players to try and drive bigger change. And each layer you get out gets more complicated and more difficult from the individual scale to the organizational scale to then stay an organization working in a lot of partnerships to them, building coalitions and so centering in ourselves our own power and building those skills and practices and then bringing that up to each new scale is really important.

[00:09:27.34] spk_0:
And running through the book is gardening

[00:09:30.95] spk_1:

[00:09:45.35] spk_0:
your garden metaphors throughout you have you’ve replaced lawns with with more sustainable gardens through the organization, through daily acts organization. Um talk about

[00:09:46.35] spk_1:

[00:09:47.16] spk_0:
gardening fits fits like in your life too in your life and through the, you know, in the message of the book

[00:11:57.97] spk_1:
sure there’s a couple of layers, well a lot a third of americans garden and so being exposed to, you know, so gardening is a big impact on me and daily access built a lot of its core strategy around landscape transformations and things that enable people to practically take action where you live to to do landscape solutions that are low cost, low tech nature source and people powered. And so there’s a lot of specifics for for us as our organization around these small, accessible actions and literally regenerating nature right where you live, it could be on a balcony, could be in a rental unit, could be in your front yard. But then whether you garden or not Understanding the underlying ecological principles of an ecological garden helps you understand how our planet works and you can apply that to a lot of things. So whether you’re a gardener or not, the lessons you learn in a garden in the metaphor by learning about how nature functions in a practical, accessible garden are really powerful for me. You know, I was waking up about 30 years ago, just what even then felt like an overwhelming state of our people on our planet and I started get exposed to these people who are regenerating farms and forests and they were aware of all the hurt but they were just, I didn’t understand words like presence and purpose back then, but they were connected to something deeper and richer and I was like, I don’t know what the hell’s in their wheaties, but whatever it is, I want some of it. And so I started going to these places where these people like pioneers, annual conference in different herb conferences and things where people were doing this really powerful regenerative work. And that led me to walking through a gate in west marin County into this what was formerly a water thirsty chemical intensive lawn and had been transformed into this lush taken forest of food and medicine and habitat and it was incorporating billions of years of nature’s wisdom right in the backyard. And it was then that I realized that my life and our world are really deficient in this kind of vitality but that we could regenerate nature. We can regenerate communication community. We can regenerate our core connections to ourself right in the backyard. And that not only do we grow a lot of gardens, but we can apply the lessons you learn in the garden to organizing neighbors, to organizing and transforming our communities.

[00:12:16.45] spk_0:
Your garden is important to you for in your own daily actions.

[00:13:09.13] spk_1:
It is, it’s literally I step out the door and its nature connection. There’s a light drizzle yesterday and it’s filling up the rain tank and it’s causing the soil to uh you know, get re moisturize which help sequester carbon, which dresses are climate emissions. We have a ton of different food, medicine and habitat growing half a dozen different plants at any one time. We give away food the neighbors. Um it’s a source of incredible community connection. People stop by and they want to talk so so for us it’s definitely, and at some level to address our crises, we need more people growing local food and we need to sequester carbon and we need to address drought and desertification in these major issues and a lot of people can address that into their daily lives. But again, even if you don’t garden, understanding the lessons that we can learn about how nature operates, which you can learn and garden are really powerful to apply to our organizations and our other change making work,

[00:13:18.40] spk_0:
understanding the ecosystem.

[00:13:25.42] spk_1:
And there’s this idea, there’s a great book called leading from the emerging future by auto Sharma and Catrine coffer. And it’s around emergent leadership and it’s this idea of moving from ego ecosystem to ecosystem, the ecosystem of being self focused to understanding at an individual scale, at an organizational scale, at a community scale. How do we fit with others? How do we work as a part of a larger hole to affect positive change in our communities.

[00:13:51.71] spk_0:
You tell us that reverence plus ripples plus relationships will equal resilience.

[00:13:59.40] spk_1:

[00:13:59.71] spk_0:
I’d like to that’s a great uh great organizing principle. I’d like to talk about these, these are s plus, I happen to love alliteration. So I was very, very appreciative. I have another one somewhere in my notes, I want to point out that I loved. Um but reverence, what what is you sort of say, sit skillfully, you know, in the present moment. But you

[00:14:52.95] spk_1:
Sure. And one piece of context before is a lot of people have asked me over the years like how has such a small organization as daily acts affect so much community scale change. And then how have I stayed sustained in this difficult work for two decades plus. And so the four R’s reverence, ripples, relationships and resilience are also daily X organizations for core values and operating principles. And so the structure of the book has a sequential flow that you can apply to yourself as an individual or you can apply it as an organizational scale. And even if your values are different kind of our point is especially covid difficult times of now for all of us, I think we have to re center on who we are and why do we exist and what’s our mission and what our core truths. So that’s kind of, you know represented throughout the book that this is the secret sauce of how we do things. And

[00:15:22.63] spk_0:
as you mentioned earlier, best to start with what we have the most control over ourselves.

[00:15:28.00] spk_1:

[00:15:29.01] spk_0:
And then scale.

[00:16:49.85] spk_1:
Yeah. So so the, the idea of the four R’s is you know, first start with your heart, there is a lot that is heartbreaking in our lives in our world and nonprofits are working to address really important missions and difficult work. And so for for an individual and organization or an organization or beyond re centering on what’s the intersection of where you know, the thing that breaks your heart, the issues you want to address, meet your, your heart’s greatest inspiration. And so if you find that inspiration of what breaks your heart and what deeply inspires you again as a person as an organization, that’s an incredible source of power. And then there’s this also, you know, sort of like a driving intent. There’s a definition I cite in the book from author Deng Ming DAO, that said, reverence is the stately determination to make something worthy of the materials in the moment. Um and so as leaders, you’re working with this, this moment right here on this call and this fall seasonal pulling in moment and this big crazy climate, economic political moment. There’s a lot of layers to the, to the moment and kind of our job is to make sense of how those things fit together and then bring it down in actual ways that help us achieve our mission and sustain our work and our people. Um so starting with your heart and that intersection is the first piece and then once you you’re aware of like what breaks your heart and what inspires you to action, then it goes to action and that’s ripples and that’s this idea be the change you wish to see. It’s about taking action in your life. It’s about taking action to find and use your voice and then honing your compass as a person. What’s the purpose? Vision values? What are all the things that help show you true north?

[00:17:16.97] spk_0:
And I want to I want to take these in in pieces

[00:17:19.77] spk_1:

[00:17:37.88] spk_0:
we have the full, you know, we have a full hour together. So I’d like to yeah. Um you know part of what you talk about in in reverence is is you know, be willingness to to make changes and changes a very difficult thing for a lot of people it made. I mean it could be something as simple as a change in a daily routine which you advocate and urge or it could be something as big as a change in a marriage or or a career or a job

[00:17:52.53] spk_1:

[00:17:52.89] spk_0:
us through. You know, the the difficulty the fears that a lot of people have around even you know, sort of simple change,

[00:19:38.10] spk_1:
there’s there’s so much to that, but just simple version is most people have incredibly hard time will change at any scale as you note. And so knowing that if we’re trying to change our say it selves to make the world a better place and help inspire others to change. How do we address those barriers? The fears, the insecurities? The resistance is that come with that change. And and again, starting with what inspires and empowers you is a great way to go. Go to what you’re drawn towards changes easier when there’s something really compelling and you’re learning and you’re focusing on things your pay passionate about and things you could have agency and that you could affect and you feel a sense of control and you can start to build a lot of little wins in that way. Um and having, you know, having mindfulness or movement practices are really valuable things that help us get present and recognize when the fear comes up. Um, you know, victor, franko survived. Nazi concentration camp, you know, family spoke about, you know, our true power. Is this an instant in this instance between sort of something happens in the world. And how do we react? He says it much more eloquently, as I quote in the book, but in that instant is the source of our true power. Do we respond? Out of fear, out of lack, out of anger, those things? Or can we take a breath and recenter and choose our response. So doing things that help us get present, help us act from our heart that help us focus on what we feel inspired and empowered and connected to are all great tools to remove some of those barriers.

[00:21:45.94] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. If you want to be a thought leader in your field, you need to have relationships with people who publish thoughts because they’re the ones who will get you heard journalists, op ed editors, bloggers, podcasters and other content publishers. These are the folks you want to get to know before you want to be heard so that when you want to be heard, they already know who you are. They’re more likely to take your call, reply to your email. Turn to can help you set up these relationships, anything guaranteed you guaranteed to get hurt and get press. No, no. But do you greatly increase the odds if you’re calling on someone who you already know you already have a relationship with when you want to be heard? Yeah. Yeah. Turn to has the relationships and they are former journalists. So they know how to help you set up relationships with people like journalists and bloggers and podcasters. Turn to communications. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o Now, back to take heart. Take action. Say a little more about the value of a daily movement practice. And you even have a page in the book which uh as I had told you before we started recording, I need a hard copy of books. That’s, that’s the way I work. One of the reasons is because I tear pages out. So I, you have, you have a daily movement practice called. Well that happens to uh let’s

[00:21:48.01] spk_1:
see what

[00:21:48.89] spk_0:
happens to be page 71 because I tore it out of the book because I, I wanna, so it’s no longer no longer in my copy. I can’t pass it. Maybe I’ll pass it on, but I’ll have to make a photocopy and stick it back in for whoever I give the book to. Um, but it’s an example of a simple daily uh daily movement practice this towel qigong, but generally why, why you’re such an advocate of daily daily movement practice.

[00:24:33.02] spk_1:
You know, there’s, I found over the last 20 or more years, habits and practices in general, there’s a whole huge section of the second section of the book on ripples which just digs into habits and practices and developing what’s called a keystone of core practice of hundreds of practices. I apply every day from a core morning routine where I ground and I practice gratitude and I go over my vision of my purpose and my values and things that recenter, my compass to journaling to Recenter when I take a shower, a range of meditation practices. And so I think the most important habit of practices, the habit or practice of acquiring new have and practices and refining existing ones because they’re, you know, there’s a quote in the book, I said, I’m not gonna remember the quotes offhand but Aristotle said something to the effect of we are what we do repeatedly excellence then is not an act but a habit. There’s a lot of great quotes that have talked about, there’s this idea of, but wherever you go there you are of of the regular practice of shaping ourselves and it’s true and organizations of shaping cultures. Um and so to me and I read a bunch of years ago and you know, Stephen Covey book of famous leadership author, this idea about spending one hour in the morning, the core Four of his seven habits, the seventh habit sharpening the saw is about honing your your compass in a daily practice about how one hour a day will improve your sleep and every aspect of your life. And I was like Wow, that’s kind of a big statement. But for 20 plus years of having a core practice, I firmly believe in those words and I found them to be true myself. Um so I think you know, don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do it all, you just start small if it’s, it could be like if you want to pick up a meditation practice, remove the barrier that saying that I’m gonna, I’m gonna meditate one minute a day or I’m just gonna write down three pieces of gratitude each day, do something that just gets you started and then you often find once you get going, you have inspiration, momentum to go a little longer and you just keep on building from there and then when you fall off the habit, you just put yourself back on, you don’t make a big deal of it, but developing from movement practices to rituals to start and close your day to good habits when you get really emotionally triggered or thrown off, how do you re center? Um I think developing good habits and practice is just one of the most important things we could do to be fulfilled human beings and then effectively want, especially if you want to be effective humans and leaders in our work,

[00:25:13.99] spk_0:
you say that we only care for and respect what we understand and feel connected to, so talk about permaculture and Mark Cohen and bark the organization in Belize share some of that with us.

[00:27:35.11] spk_1:
Sure, so and I frame up in the book of you know and sharing how we’ve been able to do what we’ve done effectively and how to stay sustained, kind of like I said the book sequentially lays out in a framework anyone could apply, but then a lot of more personal stories and experience in the first couple of sections that how I became who I am and lead to helping create daily ax and so permaculture, Mark Cohen the bellies Agroforestry Research Center, you mentioned are these some of these key reference points that kind of cracked open my mind and paradigm that there’s a different way to be and I didn’t know what any of it was, I’m like wow, what that is this idea chip and dan heath right about called bright spots, you know, when there’s a lot of gloominess out there, you look for the bright spots of who’s doing something different and that creates a roadmap of success. And so the belly’s Agra Forrester Research Center is this incredible jungle farm in southern Belize that I got to spend a good amount of time at over a decade. And part of why I start going there was I met this guy Mark Cohen, who’s a permaculture teacher at a conference and I was just like what is this guy doing? I just need to spend more time with him, he has a level of awareness and brightness, I just want to spend more time with and and use a permaculture teacher and for folks who are new to permaculture, it’s this ecological design science that’s rooted in the core ethics of caring for the earth and caring for people and ensuring a fair share and it’s this accessible, you know, you can apply it to your home to your life, to your neighborhood, to your organization to regenerate the world around you, it’s it’s really accessible, practical um toolkit, it’s really good stuff and so permaculture is most generally known for being applied to farms and landscapes and that and so seeing it applied at the scale of you know, an Agra Forrester Research Center is really powerful and then going to the permaculture into the northern California, I mentioned that backyard garden where I saw all these permaculture principles applied um was incredibly powerful. And so in essence though like the take home message is for for mark and other reference points of mine and then places like bark and the permaculture garden is exposure to transform people and transformed play cases has an incredibly transformative effect on us. And and so that impacted me personally and then we use those core strategies to grow daily acts over the years because when people get exposed to people in places that are operating in a different way, it’s a very inspiring and infectious and you want to figure out what that is and how can you do it,

[00:28:02.70] spk_0:
you encourage us to take heartbreak and use it as a catalyst for positive action.

[00:28:06.60] spk_1:

[00:28:06.84] spk_0:
tell, tell us, you know, tell us the story of your heartbreak that you’re telling the story in the book and and how you how you transform that to to positive action.

[00:29:32.06] spk_1:
Yeah, I started daily attacks shortly after the intersection of 9 11, you know, big national tragedy, huge loss of life and then my mother suddenly died about a month later and there was this confluence of sort of national and personal heartbreak um unfortunately I have been in these recent years, been exposed to all these positive solutions and models. And so when the heartbreak did hit me, it, you know, it kind of really catalyzed me as tragedy often does, it makes people step up and say, hey, we need to do something different, we need to be different. A lot of good comes out of heartbreak consistently. You look at all the great organizing efforts that come out of all the tragedies of recent years. Um and so it’s a vital catalyst which is why having those inspiring reference points to pull from, to go, okay, what am I going to do differently? And you look to what are the things that people and the things that really inspire you? And so, you know, those were the initial heartbreaks that got me going and anybody who knows who does this work through time is staying awake to the state of our world. There’s a lot of heartbreak out there. Um and so this, this idea that Joanna Macy speak about of the heart that breaks many times is big enough to contain the whole world. And so heartbreak doesn’t feel good and we often want to go away from those things. But it’s sort of, that’s where the idea of reverence of finding the intersection of what breaks your heart and what inspires your heart to start to remove that barrier of avoiding what hurts us and leaning into it with some good support. It’s a powerful vehicle to affect positive change and to transform our lives in our communities.

[00:30:02.40] spk_0:
That section of the book. You have a quote from paris a Pinkola estes

[00:30:08.24] spk_1:

[00:30:49.86] spk_0:
and I’m gonna read it. Ours is not the task to fix the entire world at once, but to mend the part that is within our reach. One of the most calming and powerful things you can do in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. Struggling souls catch light from others who are fully lit and willing to show it. I love the idea that it’s, you know, you can you can empower others by, you know, shining your own light.

[00:30:53.68] spk_1:
And it

[00:31:06.60] spk_0:
goes back to, you know, living, you’re finding and living your inspiration. You know, you’re unique. And if you can show your light to the two others struggling souls, you can you can help others

[00:31:37.03] spk_1:
exactly well, and that’s what I found personally. Um, and then within that too, there’s some other good operating instructions it talks about. You don’t have to fix the entire little once. Focus on the part within your reach. That’s the same thing as that Stephen Covey idea of your circle of influence. Have the daily calendar. One of our volunteers produces on my wall and has a great quote, I’m looking at for this month from the Talmud that says, do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. And so how do we find our part to lean in of B with the heartbreak and then

[00:31:48.55] spk_0:

[00:31:49.05] spk_1:
center on, Okay, what, what’s, what’s my part of that work?

[00:32:09.47] spk_0:
This is also the uh, part of the book where we talk about reverence, where you have the uh alliteration that I appreciate because I appreciate them generally regularly remembering to reverently recenter. So, you know, we sort of to me that speaks to self care, re centering yourself,

[00:32:16.73] spk_1:

[00:32:17.25] spk_0:
time to do

[00:32:18.41] spk_1:
that regularly

[00:32:19.98] spk_0:
and reverently

[00:33:32.28] spk_1:
and and doing it more than you would think again that Gandhi quote of, I’m so busy to meditate twice as long. I think a lot of us with our responsibilities for families, community, our organizations, we say, oh, I don’t have time to deal with that. That’s self indulgent. But for us to be able to show up at our best and, and and be really present to skillfully path fine with others in difficult situations. We really need to double down on our self care in practice self compassion as well as we’re practicing compassion for others in the world. It’s just really important. And it’s great to see in recent years we call it an organization, personal ecology or mind body medicine practice, but this increase self care, especially for change agents in the world. Um, I think I think most of us could use more of it and you look at the difficulty of recent years, like everybody, nonprofits, leaders, communities are going through so much. It’s really important. And now, you know, december, we’re in this moment where the seasons and the earth are pulling in. Yet our schedules usually continue to go full force for fundraising for the end of the year. We’re planning for next year, all of that. So there’s a lot of forces that, you know, we need to step up to. But it is important. It’s an important belief shift. I think that taking care of yourself is is a powerful step. Like they say, on a plane, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others. Right?

[00:33:48.81] spk_0:
While I was preparing, reading the book and thinking about our our conversation, It occurred to me that

[00:33:56.39] spk_1:

[00:35:07.03] spk_0:
the past six or eight weeks I’ve I’ve had more shows about self care team care. Uh, there was one guest is uh, as a researcher in building relationships, you know, being good to your friends, finding friends that are supportive and then being good to your friends. Um, had someone talking about living in wonder. Um, you know, I just, This was not intentional. You might think, you know, the guy should be planning out the shows for the year or so, at least for like three months or the quarter. You know, it’s it’s not intentional, but it occurred to me while I was thinking about our conversation that, that I have done this and I think I’m I’m sort of unconsciously responding to what I think a lot of people are feeling now, the end of 2022, the waning days of the pandemic. Hopefully they continue, but you know, between recession and pandemic and political turmoil, uh world turmoil, war in europe, you know? Yeah, I just I think I’ve I’ve unconsciously found myself gravitating to these topics of self care and team care and and friends and relationships.

[00:35:14.42] spk_1:
It’s a lot to be with. It’s important to call out, it sounds like that that divine wind of inspiration speaking through you for what’s the moment called for?

[00:35:58.07] spk_0:
I’d like to move to the ripples if we can you break it down. And of course, you know, listen, this is a, this really is an inspirational book. I encourage you to get this and and as as truth and I said, you know, work for work for yourself first and then think about scaling to to your organization, but trough and you break it down and like take action, find and use your voice and then developing and maintaining your personal compass around ripples. But what ripples. You started to say it earlier, then I cut you off because I wanted to, I wanted to spend a lot of time with reverence and then ripples and then relationship etcetera. So so if you can you’re welcome to repeat what you were starting to get into with with ripples earlier.

[00:39:41.02] spk_1:
Sure the I think, and especially for people who are engaged in trying to affect change in the world, it could be so disheartening to, you know, recognize how little impact we can have on our political system or climate or these sort of things. And so the importance again, individual action alone isn’t going to solve our problems, but for us to embody our values in a practical way. For me, it’s things that regenerate the earth in the garden and meet neighbors in that. But you’re also when you’re doing these small acts, you’re connecting to these larger intrinsic forces that are at the core of our planet’s function. So, so as far as the mindless of consciousness, like yes, be aware, you know, small actions aren’t going to, you know, save the world completely. But when you could recognize and acknowledge that you’re acting from your values, when you do that small thing and you get a little dopamine hit and you feel good and it gives a little motivation. And then you connect that to recycling isn’t just recycling life on our planet flourishes because of cycles. The hydrologic cycle, nutrient cycles, all these big cycles. And so you’re literally connecting into these larger intrinsic planetary forces. So you get to connect with something much bigger and that’s the beauty like permaculture as you’re tapping into the operating instructions for our planet and so taking action in whatever way you can. And in particular if you could get out and get your fingers dirty and connect to the earth and connect to the air and the water and the people around you. But taking action is the first level. And as you’re taking action it could be imperfect, but start to find and express your voice. Whether you’re an extrovert and introvert, it doesn’t matter. It could be using a lot of words or not. But what is the voice that wants to speak through you that ties to your passion and your purpose and why you’re here on the planet in this moment? Um and so for each of us to connect to to our voice, that’s our ultimate sense of agency. And then how do we bring that to work with others? So so I think taking the time. Journaling is a great tool. There’s a lot of practice is paying attention to the people and the things that inspire you again. That is where you feel a sense of inspiration and juice and you know just really pay attention to to what what lights you up so to speak. And then through time, um you know the compass is a really important thing like finding what your true north is. There’s so much destabilizing change in the world and so developing a compass which is you know different for each person. But around what your purpose, your vision, your values, your strength sort of, your your core coordinates. Who are your key reference points. Is it a famous leader? Is your grandmother and so Bundling those things up? It could be in a folder. Could be internalized. But so what are those core reference points for your compass? And then what are the sets of habits and practices that help you work? That I recommend having some sort of daily practice to start the day. But really it’s developing on my wall. I have kind of quotes and mantra and images. I listen to music each day, have tons of practice and I keep on adding more. And you know, like I read in a book, um, there’s a book on habits. I come from atomic habits or another one, but it talked about how Michael Phelps the, you know, all time Olympian, his coma, The swimmer. Yeah, helped him develop these habits where by the time he got to the pool, he had had success like 50 times or 100 times that day. And so how can you get lots and lots of little winds that build momentum and motivation and confidence. Um, so developing a compass is, there’s a pretty big section in the second section on ripples, on developing your compass. I think it’s one of the most important things any of us could do in whatever form you do it in.

[00:40:10.09] spk_0:
I love this idea of, of so many wins before you even sit down to your desk at, you know, 8 30 in the morning. You’ve already had a dozen wins or something

[00:40:37.21] spk_1:
versus the opposite effect. What happens when you look at your email or you have an emotionally charged conversation or you feel besieged if you start the day with your cup already empty and if you’re a leader and you’re dealing with a lot of things coming at you, um, it’s important for all of us down to in um, trying to think in the power of habit. The author talks about a keystone practice and the simple act of making your bed and how studies have shown it has this cascade of positive influences relative to, you know, better exercise, managing your finance better. A whole range of unexpected things of just getting little winds and building on them. So

[00:41:01.57] spk_0:
your mother was right when she told you to make your bed

[00:41:04.19] spk_1:

[00:41:05.25] spk_0:
you were five years old, your mother was teaching you about your intrinsic worth

[00:41:25.16] spk_1:
and making it easier to to have good habits, put your shoes by the door, that encourages you to go for a walk, put a little note on your computer, what are the little things you could do to remove barriers and encourage the positive practices and habits you want to develop, you know, And then, well anyway, so positive. But then, you know, how do we apply that stuff at an organizational scale is where it goes?

[00:43:26.28] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two, I’m cheering you on this time of year because it’s the last month. I know you, you may very well have weekly production goals maybe even every couple of weeks every a couple times a week. You’re checking your, where you stand against last year, I’m in your corner. I know it’s, it’s high stress. Um, something like 45% or 47% of gifts come in after December 25. Uh, end of year gifts. Sorry, that’s not of the whole year. That’s the end of year gifts, which I think is defined as last quarter, almost half come after December 25. So whatever the numbers are, I know it’s high pressure. I’m thinking about you. I’m wishing you well. Also remember from last week that regardless of how you perform, how your, you individually and as your organization performs today, there is a tomorrow, regardless of how you do this week. You have next week and the week after. And that goes for this year too. I hope you do very well this year if you do less well than you want. If you don’t do well this year you have next year lots of opportunities to grow. Remember your past does not define your future either as a person or as a nonprofit. That is Tony’s take two, we’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for, take heart, Take action with Trevathan Heckman.

[00:43:33.22] spk_1:
You have a

[00:43:44.76] spk_0:
quote from Martha Graham that, that goes to the point you made about. You know what we each bring individually and uh a little longer, but I’m gonna read it. There is a vitality, a life force and energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all of time,

[00:43:57.20] spk_1:

[00:44:08.99] spk_0:
expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.

[00:44:17.95] spk_1:

[00:44:18.17] spk_0:
is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly to keep the channel open,

[00:44:25.08] spk_1:

[00:45:27.91] spk_0:
yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Uh Martha Graham, you know, renowned professional dancer choreographer, identifying that we each bring something unique and we’re impinging on the world if we don’t share it. You uh well you’ve you’ve said you’ve said a couple of times uh stressed the importance of journaling and and and and you you also make the point in the book that, you know, this is not, you know, there will be uh like a school journal. You know, you you use a journal that doesn’t even have lines on it. You know, it’s just it’s thoughts and your your underlining and circling and you know, so you know what people may think of as a stereotypical journal is is not at all necessarily what your journal needs to look like. Um and meditation, but then also, you know, you talk about breathing and stretching, connecting these these these physical practices as well.

[00:45:59.12] spk_1:
Yeah, my originally, what I was fortunate to come across of was I started studying tai chi nei gong and the internal chinese martial arts and so that kind of early on really grounded me in body based practices which are really important for healing and re centering and increasing awareness and that. Um, so so that’s long been a core piece to me and then through time layering and other habits in practice, this is and layering in mantra Xas and integrating and clarifying one’s values. Um, you know, things like developing a purpose statement. So those sort of pieces which hone your compass but rooting that in a physical practice that gets you in your body and your breath is really important personally. And then collectively we do these practices organizationally as well and through a leadership institute.

[00:46:25.73] spk_0:
Oh you do in the organization. Yeah,

[00:47:28.54] spk_1:
well and you know, the on that point you mentioned a self care piece, we also advocate for this from a climate policy perspective of the if if if we don’t deal with this sort of mind body aspect of of of the existential traumas that people are facing and the traumas that are getting unearthed by dealing with things like historic oppression and racism in that we have to, that has to be a part of our climate work to we can’t just assume everybody, he’s gonna figure out how to reduce all the emissions and and sequester the carbon and do all that. There’s this human component which involves sort of like personal and collective self care. So we’re advocating for this, this kind of stuff should be in our climate policies as well. It’s not just at the personal organizational scale. If we don’t support people to address and move through these traumas, we’re gonna have a hard time facing reality and changing. Let’s

[00:47:37.38] spk_0:
move to relationships. And you urge us to invest in the power of small groups, flush this out for us. The value of relationships and what small groups can do.

[00:49:27.34] spk_1:
Sure, I think probably I’m sure a number of people on this have heard what always stuck with me is that that famous Margaret Mead quote about never doubt the ability of a thoughtful committed group of people to change the world that that it’s all that it’s ever been. And so that always just resonated really powerfully. And then through time, you know, in growing daily Acts organizations as a small committee based organization and then serving on a number of boards at the regional state and national scale for for grassroots networks. I got to see again and again the power of these small groups and through coalitions and that. And so I think what’s interesting about in recent years is a deeper sort of understanding and analysis of how small groups affect change. And so there’s a great book called Forces for Good, which assesses a lot of different nonprofits based upon Jim Collins Leadership authors leadership framework and then um emergent leadership and books like that. And so how small groups affect change is in through networks and through shared leadership and through inspiring evangelism and by working as, you know, what we call ecosystem catalysts. And so how you could go from one garden to doing 600 gardens in a weekend is not by yourself with two or three staff or volunteers, it’s by engaging 2030 40 organizations, agencies, businesses and other partners towards a larger collective goal. Um when, you know, these organizations, these small groups of people, that that’s when they’re working towards a collective impact with others. Then when you start to build coalitions and work with government, you know, it’s really how can the small groups um work together and leverage collective power in a bigger community. And so for us that that’s really which is sort of this ecosystem approach, it’s not about any one tree in the garden or organization in the community. It’s how does the whole thing function as an ecosystem?

[00:49:50.88] spk_0:
Why don’t you share one of the stories from the book? I should have asked you to share stories earlier, but I your host is lackluster. I’m sorry. You got the book is teeming with with lots of stories share, share one of the so the relationship network networking scaling stories.

[00:53:12.48] spk_1:
Yeah, well kind of maybe like a meta story of how they fit together. We went from this idea of like sharing inspiring gardens on a tour. So then mobilizing 150 people in a weekend and working with our city and transforming a landscape in this ecological garden. That blew everybody away and addressed multiple the city’s needs vs. One department focused on water. It addressed food and community engagement and stormwater by taking this holistic approach. It addressed a lot of issues. And so then we went from one garden to a bigger garden, transforming a city hall landscape in a day with 250 volunteers and multi Partners. And then we went for a while what if we didn’t just do one big garden, but we did lots of gardens. And so we had this crazy idea of planting 350 gardens in a weekend. And by mobilizing dozens of community partners, we registered over 600 gardens in a single weekend and that kept on doubling and doubling and doubling through time and reached about 100,000 actions and projects and so going from education to action to transformation. It’s a more collective transformation. Then we started moving into coalition building and so in response to record drought and record fire and the climate crisis and the pandemic, we then started launching numerous coalitions in different aspects of health equity, environment, watershed protection. Um and so so kind of this is where moving to that more bigger collective space at a coalition scale. And and recently, you know, to give one example a few years ago, when the climate crisis was really feeling extreme and there was a lack of political action. We helped form a coalition with a handful of other commune members called Climate Action Petaluma, and we rallied our people and showed up at the city’s policy setting session and got about 400 people to sign a petition and maybe 50 organizations and businesses sign on. And we asked our city declare climate emergency and to create a new Climate Commission, an appointed body and to take action. And based upon this effort, the city became the first city in the Sonoma County to declare climate emergency. This led to the other municipal jurisdictions doing so on becoming the first county in the whole country to do this. This quickly led to helping the city form a new Climate Commission and then City pedal became the first city in the country to ban new gas stations. And now that’s rippling throughout the county and other places. And it’s led to this effort where then more people are running for council and you have new community voices or on city council and they’re running for commissions and new groups are forming to get behind this 2030 0 mission mission, you know, uh to achieve zero emissions by 2030 which is a big daunting goal. Um but it’s just creating all kinds of transformations and new groups are forming in the city and the community are working together in new and exciting ways. And this all came from this small group taking a collective impact effort and working with our agency in a we are in this together way versus a pointing fingers and then encouraging other people to step up and grab their parts and it started to grow the garden or the ecosystem of players where now you have really wide buy in in our community, it’s rippling out on, on achieving these goals in different ways by working together. Um, and there’s a dozen or more examples that that’s a good one, but throughout the book that shows these sort of different efforts of working collaboratively to solve problems and all kind of crises.

[00:53:45.22] spk_0:
You mentioned something as you’re talking about building these small groups and getting getting things started, that it’s not so

[00:53:50.31] spk_1:
much the

[00:53:57.18] spk_0:
fool, but it’s the fools. First followers. The fool being the guy who’s got the person who’s got the idea, uh he he or she there all by themselves. But but when you get the first, like three or four people, there’s, you know, that you’re pioneers, I guess before the early adopters, you get your pioneers to join the join the

[00:54:14.59] spk_1:
fool. Say,

[00:54:14.91] spk_0:
say more about that. I like it’s a small thing you mentioned in the book, but I I liked it.

[00:55:44.89] spk_1:
It’s a great if anybody who hasn’t seen it, a number of people haven’t been viewed by millions and millions of people, but there’s a great video called leadership lessons from a dancing fool and it just shows this guy dancing all crazy and then one person comes in and eventually creates a tipping point and the core ideas, it’s not about the lone nut, but will the lone nut encourage someone who first tries to join him and the second follower and the third follower kind of really the key people that translate what the nut is doing to make it more socially acceptable and move on. And so you need your your founders and your loan nuts creating something, but then you need those first few people are like, okay, I can contribute to this, I can help make sense of this. And it’s just kind of paying attention. Are you the lone nut called to create something new or are you a first follower or you know, do you just need to be ready to jump in when the effort starts to grow when the movement starts to build? Um and that’s true for for affecting change at scales to to affect systemic change. There’s these different core lessons we need to apply around developing shared leadership around creating community and nurturing networks around facilitating but giving up the idea, we can control change being adaptive and responsive of knowing change could take a long time, but be ready to jump in. Um these are some of these systems change strategies that you know, you can apply to your organization and community change work.

[00:56:02.69] spk_0:
So the reverence plus the ripples plus relationships are going to give you resilience. What’s that?

[00:56:25.21] spk_1:
Just the work and the practices of you know, personal organizational scale continually starting with our heart. What breaks our heart. Re centering on our inspiration and then centering on our action. What’s the best we could do in ourselves and our family and our community and our organization. And when we are working at starting with our heart and focus and proactively on what’s in our our power shining our light and sharing it and we do that in a way that’s in right relation with our planet with our people doing those three things. The first three hours is how we build resilience, how we build resilience in our lives and our homes and our organizations in our communities.

[00:56:44.89] spk_0:
So so say more about resilience, what what what what do we have to look forward to

[00:57:18.50] spk_1:
resilience in the book, Really just kind of shows how when you’re doing these things for a long time all the pieces could come together from the individual scale to the household garden scale to the organizational scale to the committee scale and sort of create a pop where the elements start to synergize and function together and that we could affect much larger change than we often think, you know and so not getting overwhelmed by the scale of the problems centering the power of small but the power of small can affect really, really big change. Um, and so that’s kind of the take home and then just pulling back into our places of power and re centering and taking care of ourselves and our communities are organizations to just to put our oxygen mask on first as we, as we sustain in the long work.

[00:57:41.41] spk_0:
That’s what I wanted folks to hear the pop. It’s

[00:58:06.40] spk_1:
a great metaphor. It comes from a book, it’s a longer thing. Um a permaculture book by a friend who passed some years ago Toby Hemenway called Gaia’s Garden and he talks about how when all the core elements of the garden come into come into concert, there’s this pop of the whole ecosystem surgeon with vitality and you could able harvest any drop of rainy scrap of carbon or sunshine into this lush thriving ecosystem. And so that’s a metaphor. How do you apply that to creating a pop in your personal life at your organizational scale. How do we create the pop at the neighborhood and community scale and our movements.

[00:58:43.26] spk_0:
Jason Heckman outstanding. Thank you. The book is take heart take action. The transformative power of small acts groups and gardens. It’s 2022 Trenton. Thank you very much. Real pleasure. Thanks

[00:58:46.39] spk_1:
so much for having me tony it’s been great to be here.

[00:58:48.39] spk_0:
Thank you tell folks where they can find, take heart take action

[00:58:54.02] spk_1:
Sure. If you go to our website, Daily Acts dot org, a C T s dot org, then you’ll you’ll see a link that clicks to our crowdfunding campaign for the book and we just ordered 1000 sustainable, sustainably printed copies, which will be arriving next week. Um, and then we’re also hiring for a number of positions. So since this is out to the field of nonprofit leaders, please check our website for the positions we’re hiring for as well.

[00:59:29.10] spk_0:
The book and the jobs, they’re all at daily Acts dot org. Tristan. Thank you again Next week, Alex Counts returns with his new book, small loans, Big dreams.

[00:59:36.90] spk_1:

[01:00:13.60] spk_0:
you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great