IF YOU CAN’T PLAY NICE, ROLLER DERBY.

OK. Not really. But kind of. 

One of the things I am most proud of at The Catalyst Collective is our commitment to collaboration. This agency is a collective by design because we believe that all of our efforts, contributions, voices are amplified when we come together. But it’s not just about collaboration and sharing power.  

The kind of relationship we are talking about is one where we call one another up to our best selves. Where we create space for everyone to be a chief contributor. Where we celebrate one another’s unique gifts as a necessary and valuable part of the whole.

And it is not easy to hold that practice in our culture. It requires a strong belief that there is enough to go around. That there is space for everybody to be great. That allowing one another to shine does not take away, it ADDS.

Brene Brown calls scarcity “our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress”.  Scarcity comes from shame, comparison and disengagement and plays out in competition, criticism and dominance. And while it is a belief perpetuated by society, it originates within us all. 

We need to push back on the culture of fear and combat it with fearless connection. We need to reclaim our belief that WE ARE ENOUGH so that we can operate from that place in the world. We need to learn how to “play nice” again and not knock each other down in the derby. We need to fight with love. That will do it.   

ON THE MAT

Go to a group class today to explore what it is to be a part of something bigger than yourself. As you assess how you are arriving at the beginning of class, notice how you meet yourself. Are you welcoming yourself with acceptance? Are you making space for your whole, honest experience? Or is your inner critic getting the best of you?  Your inner critic is the one that picks apart every little thing that is not perfect or expected. The one that can’t tolerate discomfort and vulnerability. Can you acknowledge that part of you and politely ask it to take a back seat? Then (and this part is hard, I know), be kind and inclusive of all of the ways you are showing up. Your relationship to YOU is the very thing that is going to inform your relationship to everything around you. 

Next, pay attention to your relationship to others.  How much do you look around? How much do you check people out? How much do you compare body shapes, performance, appearance, pacing, depth, etc? Can you see that comparing is the same as judgement? It says ”you are more or less than me”.  It doesn’t feel good for anyone and it is simply not true. But what it perpetuates is worse- a disengagement from one another, suffering and the belief that we are alone. Yuk. 

Repeat after me: “My practice is perfect the way it is and so is everyone else’s”. Didn’t that feel better? Now, believe it. 

OFF THE MAT

Off the mat, it’s the same thing. Pay attention to how you interact with others today.  The practice of including and not comparing requires the following: 

1 Know thyself: What is your secret sauce? What makes you uniquely YOU? Can you know your gifts and the ways you add value to the team?  

2 Self-Responsibility: How are you participating in this cycle of scarcity?  How can you own your vulnerabilities AND gifts so that you can make space for others? 

3 Fake It ‘Til You Make It: Stand in this knowing of yourself as whole and complete in such a way that you can stand for that in others. Embody it even (especially) if it feels unfamiliar and awkward. After all, we love awkward :-)

And then, maybe, do something radical - celebrate someone else for their greatness. Whoa.