adrienne maree brown

adrienne maree brown is the author of We Will Not Cancel Us and Other Dreams of Transformative Justice, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, and Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds and the coeditor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. She is the cohost of the How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia’s Parables podcasts. adrienne is rooted in Detroit.

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Embracing Pleasure, Fractal Responsibility, and the Po...

adrienne maree brown is a social justice facilitator and the bestselling author of Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good; Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds;  and We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice. She cohosts the How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia’s Parables podcasts. In this episode of Insights at the Edge (which first aired as part of our Walking Together series), Tami Simon speaks with adrienne about the concept of “fractal responsibility” and how the world changes as we change ourselves; engaging in “critical relationships” and finding the courage to hold ourselves accountable; cultivating 1,000 percent honesty and trust; figuring out your right work—or what adrienne calls “your most elegant next step”; pleasure activism and “reclaiming your erotic yes”; holding the grief and suffering that seem beyond our capacity; and imagining a future that works for the majority of us.

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Ep 6: The H-Word

When it comes to the state of our world, the concept of hope can feel elusive. Joanna teaches Jess that the future may be uncertain, but that means that there’s still room for something beautiful to happen. This episode offers insights into embracing uncertainty, cultivating joyousness, and understanding the intricate interplay between hope, courage, and action.

In this episode:

  • “Active hope” is about acting in service of the future we hope for
  • Whenever Jess asks about hope, Joanna talks instead about courage 
  • When hope eludes us, courage and our devotion to life remain steadfast

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 5 Bonus: Breathing Through

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 4: There is No Future if We Go Numb and Episode 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing, deeper into your life. 

Both of these episodes are about the second phase in the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, Honoring Our Pain for the World. This bonus is a recording of Joanna leading a meditation called Breathing Through, recorded at a retreat in 2006. In it, she’ll guide you to create space to acknowledge and honor the pain for the world that you carry without numbing or getting overwhelmed. All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is a place where you can close your eyes and relax.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

Ep 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing

Now we get to what may be the toughest part of reckoning with our planet’s situation: dealing with numbness, grief, and despair. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the many crises around us, and natural to want to numb ourselves to the pain. 

Joanna and Jess speak with great vulnerability and candor about what it takes to navigate our darkest feelings—and the strength and beauty that can be found when we honor our pain. 

Trigger Warning: In this episode, we discuss suicide.

In this episode:

  • When it feels like our pain could swallow us whole, it helps to remember that all feelings come and go
  • Desperation can take us to dark places, but we are more than our despair
  • Numbness—Jess opens up about her familiar tactic for escaping pain
  • Our pain becomes sacred when we allow it to deepen our connection with the world
  • Bonus Exercise: Breathing Through

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

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