026: Preventing and Mending the Fissures with Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners

Posted on March 11, 2024 by

Preventing and Mending the Fissures with Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners

Inside Community Podcast — Ep. 026

We’re closing out our second season with an examination of how to navigate inevitable interpersonal conflict and move towards restored connection. Social architecture can be what makes or breaks a community, business, or organization. How we process our own pain and trauma and interact with the trauma of others offers rich opportunities for growth and learning. In this conversation with Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners we cover emotional hygiene, strategies for reconnection, the importance of humility and validation, when to ask for help, and when to call it quits.

In this episode

  • Maintaining connections in intentional communities. (0:01)
  • Community building, leadership, and interpersonal relationships. (5:23)
  • Community building and potential pitfalls. (13:36)
  • Emotional hygiene for personal growth and community connection. (18:47)
  • Personal growth and community building. (26:23)
  • Avoiding tough conversations in communities. (38:42)
  • Emotional pain and relationships. (44:26)
  • Active listening and empathy in difficult conversations. (52:44)
  • Embracing humility and feedback in personal growth. (1:00:20)
  • Emotional maturity and social technology in the workplace. (1:07:15)
  • Embracing emotions in leadership and creativity. (1:15:15)
  • Creating a harmonious community with defined roles and evaluation criteria. (1:22:06)
  • Personal growth and relationships. (1:30:35)

About Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners, MA, MFT, Ed.D. is a social architect, community builder, and leadership expert who teaches leaders and organizations how to operate at their highest potential and resiliency by truly serving people, planet, purpose, and profit.

With a Master’s in clinical psychology, a doctorate in Organizational Leadership (Ed.D. Pepperdine University), and 20-year psychotherapy practice, she applies a whole human approach to consulting that nurtures body, mind, and spirit so the wisdom of the heart can be awakened. After years of witnessing the limitations of Western psychology, Jessica sought training in Eastern approaches to healing and wellness. With certifications as a yoga and qi gong instructor and massage therapist, she utilizes a holistic and somatic approach to her work.

Her penchant for social entrepreneurialism has led Jessica to consult for nonprofits, grassroots movements, start-ups, major corporations, and their leaders, helping align them with their core values and serve the greater good. The co-founder of an eco-village in San Diego, CA (theemeraldvillage.com), she is steeped in collaborative thinking and decision making, incorporating what she has lived, learned, and tested herself. The reclamation of our communities at the local level, she believes, is the solution to the panoply of problems we find ourselves in – ecologically, economically, and socio-politically. 

Jessica has had the honor of learning from countless teachers- whether clients, mentors, professors, or guides. She humbly recognizes that so many of the healing traditions she has studied were gifts given from native people with an unencumbered connection to creation. Jessica strives to deeply embody and pay homage to their wisdom by passing it on to her clients. 


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Show Notes


Books and Resources Mentioned:

Super Awesome Inside Community Jingle by FIC board member Dave Booda davebooda.com

ICP theme by Rebecca Mesritz

Thanks from Rebecca, your podcast host

Episode Transcript

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 0:01
Is there another meaning that you could make from this moment? Is there another way that you could see it? Could you Could you step out of your your clinging to a storyline to see that there’s another interpretation. And in that give the permission to choose another pathway.

Rebecca Mesritz 0:30
Henlow communitarians and welcome back to the inside community podcast. I’m your host Rebecca misreads. Well, we have reached the final episode of our second season, and it has been such an amazing journey. I just want to start by saying I am so grateful to each of you for listening along. We’re going to take a bit of a break after this episode while I have my baby. And just a side note, a big thank you to those of you who have sent your well wishes and have been holding my family and your thoughts and prayers through this portal. That said, I am happy and excited to announce that we are planning a season three to begin in the fall. And we’ll hopefully be doing some recording over the summer at a few different community based events and gatherings, you should definitely try to check them out. One is the full bloom event hosted by the Emerald village in San Diego, California, and the Twin Oaks communities conference in Virginia. I’ll have links to both of those in the show notes so you can learn more about them. During the break, I hope you’ll go back and get caught up on any episodes that you might have missed from this or last season. Or just have a re listen because there’s just so much beautiful wisdom shared by my incredible guests. And we will be looking for sponsors for our next season. So if you have a business that you would like to promote on this podcast, please reach out to us we would love to partner with you. The inside community podcast is meant to be an exploration of the realities of intentional community and collaborative culture. And for me, this means looking unabashedly at both the beautiful and the messy parts of what it is to choose this path. This season I really endeavored to cover the mess and the toughness and the grit. When I started this podcast even as a 10 year community veteran, I still had so many questions about how to handle the hard parts. And I think it’s really important not to sugarcoat or gloss over the fact that sometimes building community can be very hard. But honestly, I feel like that’s one of the things that true communitarians really love about it. It gives us lots of opportunities to learn and grow, become better versions of ourselves and create a model for the world as we endeavor to build living laboratories. This season, we’ve talked about intimacy and equity, having babies raising families, aging and death. We’ve talked about the challenges of designing both physical architecture and governance. We’ve talked about top down leadership structures and cults. If there’s one thread that seems to carry through all these topics, and really influence how any issues get solved. I think it’s actually the overarching theme of this show. Ultimately, I believe that success in any community or organization comes down to the social architecture, and how we handle interpersonal conflict and repair. To have this discussion with me today, I’m bringing on my dear sister, friend, co founder and collaborator of many years Dr. Jessica plants at shinners. We’re going to explore what it takes to maintain and rebuild connection when inevitable fissures occur. Here’s a few words from our generous sponsors and then we will jump right in.

Rebecca Mesritz 3:55
coho us is the hub of the cohousing movement, convening individuals and organizations with a shared vision for intentional community living. expert led courses and forums on the cohousing Institute, provide the skills and expertise to build and sustain your community. Available both live and on demand. Join coho us for the commons a monthly gathering space for the cohousing curious, the 10th of every month at 10am Mountain learn more@www.cohousing.org. For more than 50 years, communities magazine has been a primary resource for information stories and ideas about community living and collaborative culture. Over the course of the magazines history, communities has published essays and articles from community all stars, future thinkers and wisdom keepers on virtually every topic related to forming, maintaining living in an even leaving community. You can gain access to all back issues Use in digital form. Plus receive current print or digital issues by subscribing now, at Gen hyphen us.net/subscribe. A complete article, index, community index and issue theme list are all available online. To help you find the inspiration you’re looking for. Dr. Jessica plan set shinners is a social architect and community builder and leadership expert who teaches leaders and organizations how to operate at their highest potential and resiliency by truly serving people planet purpose and profit. With a master’s in clinical psychology, a doctorate in organizational leadership, and 20 years psychotherapy practice she applies a whole human approach to consulting that nurtures body, mind and spirit, so the wisdom of the heart can be awakened. Jessica has consulted for nonprofits, grassroots movements, startups, major corporations and their leaders, helping them align with their core values and serve the greater good. The co founder of an eco village in San Diego. She is steeped in collaborative thinking and decision making, incorporating what she has lived, learned and tested herself. Jessica has had the honor of learning from countless teachers, whether clients, mentors, professors or guides, and humbly recognizes that so many of the healing traditions she has studied were gifts given from Native people with an unencumbered connection to creation. Jessica strives to deeply embody and pay homage to their wisdom by passing it on to her clients. Dr. Jessica plants at shinners, thank you for joining us today on the inside community podcast. It’s so lovely to get to sit down and talk with you in this format a

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 6:51
long, long time coming.

Rebecca Mesritz 6:54
Absolutely delights me? Well, you know, we’ve obviously known each other and been friends and sisters for quite a long time co collaborators and CO creators on in many realms. And over the time that I’ve known you, you’ve spent a lot of time and energy and just developing your capacity to hold people and see people through some of the hardest parts of building together, building businesses, building communities. And so I’m really thrilled to be able to talk to you today about, especially for this last episode of the season, that has been really focused on when things get kind of messy and tough and rough in collaborative culture, how we can look at those things on kind of a meta level. A lot of the conversations I’ve had with people so far have been very much about specific topics that can be tough, but I think it’s nice to take a zoomed out look and look at the whole structure, how things are organized and how people can be supported. And moving through that journey. So I’m super excited to be able to talk with you about this because I know it’s a deep passion of yours and has been for quite some time.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 8:20
So yes, yeah. It’s just the dirty, dirty, you know, if you’re going to endeavor into this messy human being thing, you got to be prepared to get messy and, and get in there. And most of us are not trained how to do so. We’re not, we’re not prepared. Our schooling doesn’t prepare us. Often our parents and our ancestors aren’t passing on that wisdom like they used to. So I find myself in the position often to come in and perform a bit of interpersonal CPR, and triage when it gets really bad. And so hopefully we can have a conversation about how to avoid the emergency room of interpersonal relationships.

Rebecca Mesritz 9:19
Well, before we dive too deep into all of that, I love to start talking to people by asking them to tell us a little bit about their community, their community journey. Obviously ours overlaps quite a bit but wanted to give our listeners a little snapshot of your community life.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 9:41
I think I first got keyed into the fact that a community life was for me because I watched how hard my own parents struggled in our little micro nuclear family. And then when I became a social worker and a psychotherapist. And I started working with families, I started working with foster families, in doing community based mental health, it was just abundantly clear to me that we’re not meant to live in separate ways. This is not our human design, that humans are here to support one another, to share resources, to share responsibilities, and to hold each other through thick and thin. And that so many of the families that I worked with, were struggling with multiple jobs with limited resource, and barely making it and needing a lot of additional support, to prevent their kids from being in and out of institutions and higher levels of really intensive care. And I just knew that, before I brought a child into the world, I wanted to figure out another way to do it. And so I waited a little bit longer in my life, intentionally to gather the people that I thought would, I wanted to do life with. And my own family of origin, was not positioned to be a close in my realm in my world. So what is chosen family look like? For me that look like the people that I had traveled with, that I had done deep, spiritual work with produced events with, you know, we had been through these thick and thin moments, and tested and tried. And instead of looking at what we were pushing against, we came to this place on that Telltale rock where we are sitting after the conclusion of a beautiful event. And you and me, and what would become my future husband, I would have laughed at you. The moment if you told me that. That would have been the case that we sat and we said, well, so we can’t just keep on doing this forever building and tearing it down. What if we made something that really lasted set of leaving no trace, leaving awesome trace. And so that set off a series of decisions to bring chosen people together, I had been meeting with folks for a while to try to put my feelers out, I’m one of the connector type, and listening for the overlap. And in that brought people together and we started doing deeper spiritual work together. And coalescing as a group and seeing what it was like to do life together. And only a few of us had children at that point. And what would it be like if we dreamt awake a reality where we could do the very thing, share the resources, share the responsibilities. Remember how to be a family again, and unlearn this disparate way of operating that, in my opinion, leads to a lot of dis ease and discord. And that was the beginnings of the Emerald village. And somewhat like 12 years ago now 13 years ago, almost. And through that journey, I became a mom, I went back to graduate school to study organizational leadership, because it became really clear to me that we were testing out in our little micro community, how to use the social technologies, and that organizations needed a similar framework. And so I did just that I devoted myself to research about how to advance leadership consciousness, and how to bring these social technologies into the business place and to encourage leaders and the charges that they lead to embrace our humanity and still get work done. And so here we are 13 years later endeavoring into another chapter or 10 years into it, we endeavored into another chapter on the on the edge of the forest in in deep, deep wilderness and another version of commune It is upon us. And we just keep evolving, and it’s shaped me greatly.

Rebecca Mesritz 15:11
So as you as you look back into, you know, that the hindsight, the 2020 hindsight of, of that journey, you know, I’m curious, first of all, you know, where have you seen the greatest struggles? Like, what are the what are the biggest dangers? I guess for people who are thinking like, oh, wow community, that would be cool. As well as people who are already in it, you know, maybe haven’t haven’t quite hit the pitfalls yet. You know, what do you see as the biggest traps, if

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 15:51
I’m going to the epicenter of it, I would say trauma bonding. If I’m just being really honest, because oftentimes, we are looking for an alternative family to heal and mend the pains and the unresolved pains that we’ve been through in our own families of origin. And I think that the human spirit is questing, to mend those injuries. And instead of going to the center of it and doing that work, first or concurrently with choosing a community, oftentimes, people just look to shop out new people to work it out with, but they are not committing simultaneously to what it takes to move through that and metabolize those early experiences in a good way. And so I think people bring that unknowingly to a community experience to their parenting, and then replay a lot of that interpersonally. And then on top of it don’t have the tools internally, or as a group to be able to cope with that when it arises. They don’t have the the emotional maturity, the spiritual maturity, the emotional hygiene practices, and the agreement fields in place for what to do when it gets sticky and nichy. Because it will. And in addition to that, I think that people often push away from something as their, like their shared vision instead of the compelling future that they want to move toward. And so that against that pushing against something is kind of scarcity, energy, it, it’s not the inspired future that we want to see. And so in addition to that, when we’re not clear on our values, shared values, and the thing we’re moving toward, and what we’re going to do when the interpersonal stuff or when the physical stuff gets challenging, we’re going to continue to move toward that Northstar, we’re going to continue to go beyond our own discomforts. Because what we’re moving toward is worth it.

Rebecca Mesritz 18:47
You know, I’ve heard you over the years talk about emotional hygiene, and I love that phrase. I think it’s really apt, especially when you’re talking about just the day to day upkeep of our emotional center. And I’m wondering if you could just describe a little bit you know, what is emotional hygiene for you? You know, not just your your personal practice, although that could be helpful for people but you know, what are the aspects of emotional hygiene that you would want to see communitarians and collaborative culture buffs, integrate, so that they can have the most success. I think, first

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 19:31
and foremost, it starts with a commitment to personal mastery. I’m a huge fan of Peter sand gaze work, called The Fifth Discipline, and it’s all about creating a learning organization. And the first tenant is really about personal mastery. So it’s a commitment to growth. It’s a commitment to continuing to deepen one’s knowing of self as a lifelong process, devotion to lifelong learning. And in that comes a curiosity, a willingness to challenge assumptions to be wrong, to have your previously held belief systems updated, to fail. And to try again, the growth mindset. So it starts with it, before you even go into the practices itself, or the practicality of it. It starts with willingness to even embrace this as a way of being in life. Because we can go with all the tips and the tricks, and you can journal and you can, I don’t know, all the things that self help gurus purport. But if it doesn’t start with a deeper commitment to that process, I don’t think that anything on the surface is going to really get there. And then, once once you embrace that, internally, the way that that shows up in in my life and in the people that I work with, is, first and foremost, the knowingness that we get sludged all the time, we will we wake up, and we don’t even have to go far out of our own doorstep, to get overrun with the to do’s and the worries if we’re sharing space, intimately, whether you’re in a romantic partnership or not, whether you have children or not, if you’re in the field of other people in the vicinity of others, you’re even if you’re not a quote, empathic person, you’re going to pick up on what’s going on if you’re paying attention. And I think people who are in community want connection, not trying to be further away we’re trying to lean in. But if we don’t have the skill set for how to deal with my neighbor’s, you know, domestic disputes, or the child or children that are tantruming, or having conflict, then that can become really overwhelming. So understanding that even if we have the most hygienic approach, we’re going to pick stuff up. And so it’s almost like taking out the trash every day. And that can look like a lot of things. Every person I think is is slightly different. So I wouldn’t say that there’s a tried and true checklist, but it’s about moving energy. Really, some people move energy somatically I need to move my body a little bit every day and get my heart rate up. I really think that earthing putting our feet on the ground, not in concrete, touching the earth being in natural spaces, however it can come because I know people are in urban spaces too. But being around natural sunlight, getting vitamin D, discharging some of the, what we take on, we can do it through play, we can do it through dance, we can do it through laughter, we can do it through creative outlets. My husband is a Chinese medicine guy, and he’s constantly ingrained in me that that the liver energy is is the creative energy, right. And it’s the energy of the spring and it’s very expansive. And if we’re not moving that energy in regular ways, it’s almost like a root bound tree. It gets snarled and gnarled on itself and hot and agitated. That’s before anyone even comes near you. Let alone have someone or something or you know, that meeting goes sideways or whatever it is. So I think that we just have to prepare for the fact that we are exposed to environmental, technological, socio political onslaught of stuff and things. overstimulation for the most part, most every day, and if we’re not putting in the rotation, natural times when when we can be in our own space and I’m a busy mom, I’m not talking about an hour of, you know, on the mat, even 10 minutes of just feeling myself at the beginning or the end of the day. reflecting on how that day went, checking in with myself and allowing, giving myself the permission to acknowledge what I’ve just been through, and I think that the more that I do that or when I do that, then I’m not seeking that from other people. So that when somebody doesn’t give that to me, I’m not resentful. I can acknowledge doing I cooked a nice dinner tonight. Or as, as a mutual friend of ours said, No one died today. It was a good day. We cheeky with ourselves, sometimes we gotta give ourselves a break. Not every day gets to check all the boxes and, and, you know, as Instagram perfect for those of us who are raising families, and, you know, businesses give ourselves the pardon. And being gentle with ourselves. And I think is a another huge part of that. long winded is I could go on and on about this truly, I can’t say enough about taking ownership and responsibility for the version of ourselves that we’re bringing to community.

Rebecca Mesritz 26:23
Yeah, you know, I had this realization last night as I was like, laying in bed and just, I’d come home I’d had a very long day out lots of errands, lots of input from the world and people and I came home and the first thing I said to my husband was I just need to sit down for five minutes and sit down and just decompress for a second. And of course, I didn’t do that at all. I just immediately started streaming, you know, streaming lard and measuring my oxtail, stew for postpartum and two bags so that I could get the chicken broth started and like getting dinner together. And probably every half hour, my husband looks at me, it’s like you still haven’t sat down, you still haven’t sat down. Just Just let me get through these last few things. Just let me get through these last few things. Finally, at the end of the night, I’m, I’m laying there in the bed, just actually laying still. Not not ready, not ready for sleep at all, just just resting. And I had this image of how they say that, you know, after you eat a big meal, you should wait 30 minutes before you go swimming. And I was thinking like, Yeah, we really need time to digest our day. We really need time to be still and just Ah, okay, what what just happened? I mean, at least I know, my personality type definitely does. I’m a very kind of type A, go go go doo doo doo kind of a person. And I think it’s very easy, especially when we’re managing families and communities and obligations and events and things that we’re trying to build and create. And then there’s the laundry and all the things to just keep going from one thing to the next. And I think that that that digestion period. Yeah, just just occurred to me. Finally, last night, yeah, this

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 28:33
is actually really important or important.

Rebecca Mesritz 28:38
Not only for like, the 100th time in my life, but once again reminded

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 28:45
your words, it’s good when we have our own revelations, they stick more deeply. Yeah, yeah. You know, that reminds me just I’m not to, for those of us who are in partnerships of any kind, and they can be friendships that are not necessarily always romantic or intimate ones. Even taking 20 minutes at the end of the day. And take 10 minutes each to just empty the basket. And have someone actively listen to you without trying to Edit Delete, problem, solve solution find. And in that not only like, get, get empty, take out the trash and that doesn’t mean you’re taking it out on the other person. sit side by side. That’s my technique to like, instead of aiming at it the other person and in that hopefully acknowledge yourself acknowledge your victories because we tend to go from i could show you my checklist it’s kind of ridiculous but like dopamine hit to dopamine hit without actually high fiving ourselves and then we get resentful that the other people around us aren’t Seeing what we’ve done when we haven’t even acknowledged ourselves. So, you know, there’s that mastermind thing that we’ve been through where it’s like a brag, you get to, you get to actually acknowledge yourself, that’s the thing. And you get to make requests, you get to say, here’s what didn’t go well to. So, and then you trade. And there’s something that happens in that process of B of listening deeply to somebody else, putting yourself aside for a moment, and being able to unwind your nervous system that I think is really, really helpful.

Rebecca Mesritz 30:42
So, you know, after you’ve taken all of the steps, the personal emotional hygiene steps and, and whatnot, and then you begin to look outside yourself, at your community at your party, not just your partner, but like your, your business community, your intentional community, the people that you’re living with the people that you’re creating, with. Where, where do you see the most likely pitfalls in that in that realm, as people start to, okay, now I’ve I’ve done my work, I’m, I’m journaling, or I’m digesting or I’m making sure I’m in my body, I’m doing all the things. But now I have to interact with these people, and they are kind of jerks. Or they’re, they’re not doing what they said they were gonna do, or, you know, like, we made an agreement and someone didn’t fulfill their obligation, or whatever those things are, you know, how? What are the next steps in that? Because I feel like that. I mean, as I look back on on the community journey, and I think about where does it get really messy? Those are the places you know, and you’re trying to be accepting and have forbearance and accommodating and all the things and also, you know, people can be disappointing. Straight up, or frustrating or infuriating. Right?

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 32:26
Right. All those things. 100%, that can happen. My observation is that whether it’s intentional community, or building businesses, becoming parents, we don’t have often have conversations about what we’re going to do when it gets hard. We don’t plan for a breakup. We don’t plan or breakup moments, what could be breakup moments, we don’t plan in advance, like, what is our fallback? What is our net? What’s going to catch us when we lose? Ultimately, what I think is our connection with the Divine. I had a grad school professor say that we were going through all this theory, he said, you know, really, as, as therapists, we fall back on theory, when we lose our connection with our higher self. And when you’re in a group of people, it’s often it’s going to often happen that at least one person is going to lose that connection with their higher self. And with the aspect of themselves that can see a bigger picture that isn’t traumatized that. And so I think it’s incredibly important to talk about that in advance. There’s usually a lot of initiation energy that’s really exciting. And what are we going to build and how much money are we going to make? And how awesome is it going to be when we have shared childcare? And, yeah, except for when that person doesn’t show up for childcare and you have work scheduled? What’s going to happen when somebody is sick and didn’t alert anyone? What’s going to happen when that person who’s providing child care, feeds your kid or treats your kid in a way that you don’t agree with? And all of these things can and do happen. But I think that our modern world doesn’t have the fallback like I think our ancestors in some way did with shared spirituality or religion, or places where clergy people or or counsel folk would hold containers for resolution. So, because we are often in a shared, I just say, beyond beyond ourselves, container, whatever that means for you, because I know some people here are probably have religious backgrounds or spiritual backgrounds, whatever that is we don’t have that often as a shared tenant, and are what’s bringing us together. So let alone the eldership. And the the guides, those who have tread before us, a lot of our intentional communities struggle with having intergenerational representation, and having the elders be able to hold containers. And, and show us the way. So these income in a lot of different forms, it could come in the form of the Emerald village, it came in the form of our, our shared spiritual practices, for the most part, our commitment to like, speak from the heart, listen from the heart, take radical responsibility for ourselves, and where we could take the challenge of the moment and reflect for our own growth and evolution. And then from there, be able to make clear requests. And because we had guidance and teachers to support us, before it got hard, then when it got hard, we could call on them. So that’s maybe the other thing too, is that if you don’t make these choices in advance, kind of like in business, I encourage people to think about their operating agreements in advance. It’s not the sexy stuff. Nobody wants to talk about the Swype prenuptial, so we’re really like edgy, like what do you mean, we’re in love, we don’t want to talk about how we’re going to divvy up our assets or what happens in the event of a divorce. But if that’s in place, when you’re in love, and you make agreements, when you’re in love, then it can hold you when someone loses that connection with their higher self. So, for others, it could look like nonviolent communication. It can look like restorative justice. There’s a lot of sociocracy there’s a lot of frameworks and social technologies that have taken the place of a lot of our spiritual technologies, and that are more inclusive.

Daniel Greenberg 38:10
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Rebecca Mesritz 38:42
Cactus is not your everyday architecture firm. Their interest and regenerative and community supportive design has cultivated an expertise in intentional and cohousing communities, with the focus on rich and healthy human experiences. Design Excellence and pragmatism are at the core of their work, as is an ethic of service to the client and natural or urban environments. caddis is a leader in sustainable design, Zero Energy homes, passive house and delightful neighborhoods. They are experts in grassroots community engagement and apply attention sophisticated design and creative solutions to every project. If it’s worth building, it’s worth building it well. Find Catus on Facebook and Instagram and at caddis pc.com That’s CADDIS pc.com. Well, I guess where I’m going in my in my mind right now is to some of the things that I’ve seen over the years as we’ve watched other communities, other businesses, even things that were a part of sort of rise and fall and and Where the stumbling blocks are inside of that, when you really don’t have those agreements in place are those arrangements in place? And you know what, why, like, why is it so hard for people to? To make those agreements up front? You know, why is there so much process? Why is there so much resistance to? That kind of not sexy work? Do you think? You know, I’m like, I’m curious about it, because I feel like if we, if we could understand a little bit more about why people don’t want to do it, maybe there’s some solution inside of there to help encourage them to do it. And it’s not just if you don’t do it, then it could be really bad later, you know, but is there a way to make that? more fun, more sexy, more interesting, more loving? You know, it feels like, just the idea of talking about the tough stuff. I’ve seen. We’ve seen recently, people that are just like, yeah, no, no, we’re gonna get there. We’re gonna get we’re gonna talk about it. But 100% Oh, god, my kid has this thing right now, though. Like, let’s push it, you know, let’s punt it. Let’s put it let’s punt it. I mean, we’ve done this in our in, in our creation, where it’s like, there’s always some other reason why that that important conversation doesn’t want to step into the forefront.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 41:37
Well, I’ll tell you as the person who’s often because of my background, and I’m usually the person that’s trying to point to having the hard conversations, yo guys, I was just, like, speak to the elephant in the room that nobody wants to address. And I’ve definitely had to learn how to how to bring this up in a more come hither way, in a more in engaging way, that doesn’t have to feel so heavy, that doesn’t have to feel so hard. When I’ve used everything from puppets, to kazoos to mandating that everyone in the room speaks with an accent. But when they introduce themselves, you know, just getting the some of the guys out, shaking some of the resistance off. And being more flexible, more malleable, more playful, so that we’re not taking ourselves so seriously. And that’s a real art form. And I would hope that whoever is helping hold the container for these tough conversations, first of all, not doing so alone, because I, I don’t recommend doing it alone. I think we need partners to hold containers like this because it’s, it’s intense. And I think that it can be psychologically overwhelming to be the person in a community who’s designated with, like an HR professional, who’s just constantly scanning for what’s out of order and, and who’s got beef with who and it’s exhausting, or it can be. And if we don’t have these regular, okay, we’re going to have a meeting rain or shine, folks, rain or shine, we’re going to have a conversation about the kids rain or shine, we’re gonna come together and listen to each other. If that’s not baked in, then life is gonna get in the way. The laundry is gonna get in the way, organizing the sock drawer is gonna get in the way, whatever the hell we want to throw in there to avoid discomfort. And if there’s one thing that I see most is that as a species, our threshold for tolerance of discomfort is fairly low. We’re in an instant gratification culture, we can distract ourselves endlessly with all kinds of digital, you know, interference. This is what we learn about in Vipassana. That and, and mine mindfulness training, that our tendency to avoid discomfort and covet pleasure goes deep into is deeply ingrained or being an in our culture. And so what it takes to get through the hard stuff is a group of people who are together, willing to dilate beyond their zone of comfort, and into places that are, are challenging. And this is where things like plant medicines and breath work and non ordinary states of consciousness often get us beyond what we thought we could tolerate. And a little bit further, a little, not taking it as personally, getting curious, a little bit more flexible and nimble, so that it doesn’t feel so piercing.

Rebecca Mesritz 45:39
Yeah, I’m very aware of those times that it’s felt really obvious, to ask for help, it’s felt really obvious to say, Okay, this is a conversation that we should have some mediation for this is a conversation that, you know, clearly there’s some stuff we could really use some external support. And then thinking about the times when I’m, when that hasn’t happened, as well, the the call for greater held container, and things sort of slip really easily into the digress. They devolve rather quickly. You know, when we’re not when we’re not being mindful, and we’re not being careful, or we think we’re having a conversation about one thing, and then it all the sudden, all this other stuff from, you know, years ago, or whatever, three years ago, comes up, you know, or, or conversation starts, you know, something that, you know, the other day happened, where, oh, at the beginning of the conversation, this person might have been relatively sober. But by the end of the conversation, this person was definitely not sober. And things are said, and things are, you know, boundaries are crossed. And I think about that, because I feel like, you know, we’re so fragile each each of us, you know, we try so hard to be resilient, we try so hard to have our hygiene practices and build our strength and build our tolerance and build our empathy and build our connection. And it’s amazing to me how quickly and easily, sometimes even the deepest bonds can be really damaged by carelessness and thought, thoughtlessness, and, you know, hope is something that’s come up in this podcast before where we’ve talked about, you know, how sometimes it’s like, the people that we love the most, and we trust the most or have the deepest bonds with we feel the freest to be our worst self. You know, we like let that side of us, you know, our families get to see the, the shittiness of who we really are. They get to see the greatness of who we are, but they also get to see our deepest trauma and our deepest pain. And we really do as, as relational beings push the boundaries of what other people can hold for us a lot. And, yeah, I just, I just wanted to sort of drop that in here. Because I feel like there’s a place in this conversation where, you know, I, it’s something that we come back to a lot is like keeping. Having that willingness to keep coming back to the table and keep working through things. And when you have a relationship based on trust, and a commitment to growth and a commitment to learning and a commitment to shared, deepening understanding. We can do that. But so often, I think, especially in the default world, it’s really easy for us to just be like, yeah, no, I don’t want to deal with you anymore. Like what you said is, like, Fuck you, basically, and just turn and walk away. And while you’re at that, or lawyer up, yeah, or create a whole story about why this person is a horrible person, and it’s not my fault. It’s their fault and, and all of those things. God just so much pain inside of all of that. And, yeah

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 49:49
it’s so painful. It’s so so painful. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called on when things are at their very worst Just or hanging on by a thread that things are like someone’s about to hit the red button that that terminally blows up the whole thing. And I come in, they’re like, whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, like before you do irreparable damage that just incurs more harm. Can we just again, pause? Can we dilate the moment just a little bit more to see, is there another option here? Is there another interpretation interpretation that we could make of this moment, there another meaning we could make instead of jumping to the one that is the most hurtful, because honestly, Gabor Montes work really speaks to this. And I respect him a lot, that when we’re in these conflicts, what often comes up is that we’ve made meaning of a situation that is directly related to an earlier unresolved pain. And that all of those feelings, all of the neuro pathways get fired again, as if it’s a, it’s almost like a PTSD moment, we are getting taken back and hijacked to that very earlier place that we’re mostly unaware of. And then all of those feelings come flooding into today’s scenario, as if it was occurring all over again. And if we can, again, have these frameworks and agreement fields that say, all right, when we’re triggered to this degree, can one of us or could we call upon someone in this moment to go, is there? First of all, let’s validate what you’re what you’re feeling? I believe you, I believe that this is really painful for you, I believe that you are having a deep struggle, and not just minimize it and not just shut it down. And then from there, get curious, when was the first time that you felt this feeling? Chances are it goes really far back? And what if you went straight there and mended that from the inside? Because you’re looking to this, you’re playing the situation, or you’re reenacting the situation so that you can have a new experience? Is there another meaning that you could make from this moment? Is there another way that you could see it? Could you Could you step out of your your clinging to a storyline to see that there’s another interpretation? And in that give the permission to choose another pathway?

Rebecca Mesritz 53:06
I mean, how do you do that? With someone else? You know, it’s like when you’re in the, when you’re in the head to head and you’re, you feel very deeply, like, you know, or the other person is the one that’s coming with the the story, the trauma, the, you know, the story, or there’s not really any simpler way to put us like, Oh, this is this is the story, and this is the meaning that I’ve made, and you’ve wronged me, you’ve wronged me, you’ve you’ve, you’ve wronged me, you’ve wronged me, and they keep saying that to you. You know, it’s I wonder how, how best to open that up, you know, from a loving place from a caring place. I mean, I think I think, you know, you’ve kind of gave the first key, which is the validation, which is to say, like, wow, I could see how that would feel really painful for you. I could see how from from that perspective, gosh, that seems horrible.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 54:19
So it’s kind of a two part thing. This is heart centered listening approach that I learned from some dear elders, teachers of mine. That first is active listening. Here’s what I heard you say? Because if we don’t first take that step, we all selectively hear according to our own lenses and our own pains. It happened the other day between you and I, and I went back and unlike did I actually say that? And I went back to the recording, you know, on the phone that I unlike No, I didn’t actually say liar. I didn’t actually say that I say I said, tell lies, is different than liar. But, you know, like, we’re tired, we’re busy, we’re in the car. There’s lots of things that can happen to selectively hear things. So I think it’s really important that we actively listen and reflect back what we heard somebody else say first because it can go real sideways without that piece, and and then from there, be able to say, to actually take this step and not just say the words of Yeah, I could really hear how that that how you could feel that way that can feel patronizing, without the critical step of going inward. And tuning into how, like the feeling state, the felt sense of that sadness, of that frustration of that anger. And although you don’t have to agree with the other person’s stance, you don’t have to see it their way in order to conjure Yeah, I know what it feels like to feel misunderstood. I felt misunderstood before I know it, deep sadness around, a lack of inclusion or belonging feels like I’m going to tune into that myself, in my own heart and how I felt that when I this is like the magic sauce right here, tune into how it feels to be in in the state that the other one is in. And from there, convey with your words, and your body language that you get it. And in that you’re able to join and your nervous system, you can see the other person’s nervous system almost visibly exhale, because you feel seen and held, and you’re not trying to fix or edit or be right. You’re just joining for the sake of reconnecting. And in that reconnection, when you’re working on the same team, again, when you feel heard, then you can make a request. Hey, next time, we’re in this scenario, it would feel so much better to me if you could do it this way. But it comes from not that charged place where we get hijacked by the amygdala, and instead are anchored in our hearts. And then it can become about the the matter itself and not about all of the charge around it. Because it’s this is the hardest part is that often the delivery of the hard thing that someone wants to say, is going to miss the mark, we’re going to fuck up. We’re going to use the wrong words, we’re not going to be in a sober state, we’re going to do it late night, we’re going to you know, misspeak misstep, it’s never going to come out. Right. When you have to say something hard, it’s never going to come out. Right? There’s, there’s likely going to be some some trip somewhere. And if we can acknowledge from the beginning, I’m going to say it wrong. If we can give the benefit of the doubt, if we can understand that even to come to this place requires a lot of courage, and a lot of bravery. That hopefully, we can come in with curiosity and compassion, to be able to find the through lines. And in that not get tripped up in in the fact that the delivery wasn’t perfect. Or that someone’s voice was too loud or their tone was too much, and be able to distill it down to what’s the actual take away. This person is telling me something about how my behavior affected them. What part of that could be true. As Kate Byron Katie’s work, where Is there truth in that and actually scan for that? Instead of defend for it? Where can I see that that was true? That’s true now or was true in the past? How can I actually validate someone? Wow, I could see how you could feel that way. Because you’re right. I was defensive. My face was all scrunched up. You I did cut you off. I I wasn’t as patient as I could have been. And actually use it as an opportunity to learn something about yourself and to have Pull yourself and to see where there’s an opportunity to join with the other through through acknowledging the misstep. Because guess what? These things don’t happen in isolation. It takes to always, it’s a cocreation. Yeah.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:00:20
Yeah. I love I mean, I feel like just that word humility. There’s something so on the nose, about that, about the idea of allowing, you know, each of the interactions that we have with people, and especially most, especially the ones that are tough to be an opportunity for us to embrace a level of Yeah, humility, like, Okay, what’s here for me? What’s here for me to learn? You know, I also, I think there’s another side of that, for me, at least, like one of my sort of shadows, I guess, is that I can sometimes take other people’s feedback almost too deeply, like I can, I’m very willing to hear bad things about myself. And

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:01:27
very willing to tell yourself bad things.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:01:31
Oh, totally, totally. But I’m very willing to if there’s a correction, or, Hey, you could have done this better. Like, yeah, no, I totally could have flick. You’re right. So I think there’s a there’s a both and to that, as well. You know, there’s also there’s, there’s got to be the willingness to be humble, and to allow yourself to hear the other person’s feedback and thoughts and receive that. And also be judicious inside of that as well, and say, Yeah, you know, there is something there for me. And also, this is the part that I, you know, one of the things that I’m very aware of is that it has to be a two way street, it can’t just be Oh, yeah, you want to tell me all this bad stuff, or the ways that I’ve upset you the ways that I’ve offended you. But I also, in order for me to feel safe and good about having that shared experience with you, I need to also know and trust that you’re going to take some ownership as well inside of this, and that this isn’t just going to be like, alright, let’s dump. Let’s dump on who, you know, the other person, there has to be that deeper acknowledgement. Yeah, and that can be really challenging, you know, especially when the emotions are high.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:03:03
And this is why frameworks are really important to have something to fall back on. Because in this exercise, I was just explaining the other person has an opportunity to share. And it’s often best if you don’t have the other person share right away, like, let it land for a second. Because when you get that kind of hard feedback, I think there’s a, everyone processes that in a different way. And in these moments of conflict, the people who processed the fastest, you know, I’m one of those people, I can verbal jujitsu, right back and the other person’s like, whoa, what just happened? What the fuck? You just pinned me and I didn’t even see that coming. Yep, that’s my power. But it’s an overuse strength.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:03:54
I’m gonna, I’m gonna just vouch for that being true.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:04:00
And I’ve really had to learn the grace and the Art of Letting someone’s feedback land. Deeper deeply. And so giving a little bit of space, even a couple hours, or even a day of, let’s come back to this in an hour, 45 minutes. I’m gonna go for a walk and be with this so that my reaction isn’t reflective. So it’s not actually a reaction. It’s a response after some reflection. And our culture is very, very, very much a reactive one. And most of us probably listening to this are were raised by parents and in a culture where you didn’t show your flaws you did didn’t show your weaknesses where we went to any cost to cover our tracks. And to academia does this all the time we don’t celebrate our our, quote, failures and get curious about them, we just need to do better next time. Instead of how do we use this as an opportunity to learn I love retrospectives for this very thing that can we get curious about this, and actually lean in with instead of pointing and wronging and shaming and blaming, like, tell me about this decision. And because we don’t do this, I think when we get heard feedback that the tendency is to defend, deflect, minimize, because it’s painful. And we see this a lot in in spaces with bipoc, folks who were like, hey, all I’m asking for is for you to acknowledge harm done. Don’t Don’t wash over me and this so quickly, that you’re not just with my pain a little bit longer to know that you get me and you feel me. There may not be anything else to do besides that. But if we can just be with someone’s pain and breathe into it, and whether or not we were the penultimate cause of it, or that it’s probably a series of of 20 things that led up to it. And that this moment is bringing it to the surface? Can we be with that person just a little bit longer?

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:06:52
Yeah, I see you. And I’m right here with you. And I know that I had a role to play in this moment. Without taking the whole thing on, but owning the part that is true.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:07:15
I love that I had a conversation last night with my sis and we were talking about this kind of thing that I think actually does happen a lot with bipoc folk and where you are receiving a message. And are, it’s so easy to be like, Oh, I don’t like I can’t hear what you’re saying, because of how you’re saying it. You know, and too, as like a deflection technique. And I just wanted to drop that in here to like, be aware of that. Be aware of how when someone comes with a lot of emotion, it’s really easy for us to fully minimize whatever it is that they’re saying. Because they’re angry, they’re upset, clearly, you need to work on this in your own space. I think we saw this over the years at EVO as well sometimes where it’s like, you’re, you’re, you’re processed. So once you go deal with that, then you can bring this concern to the group. It’s like, Ah, no, actually, it’s, it’s, I mean, of course, it’s not appropriate for someone to come in and be abusive. You know, that’s, that’s not going to work. But also to, to minimize emotion of the other person. Because whatever it is that they’re saying is uncomfortable for you. And their emotion is uncomfortable for you. Like I think there’s a there’s so much opportunity for everybody to do work in that realm of like, wow, like, you’ve got a lot of emotion right now. Like I can tell you’re really upset. Can I can I be here in the face of the fire a little bit without taking it on without allowing myself to be abused, but also, to still hear what you’re saying. Even though I don’t like how you’re talking. I don’t like the way that you’re presenting it. It does make me uncomfortable that you’re so upset. And finding that kind of middle ground of who? Yeah. Sometimes the sometimes the message comes in a rough way, but it’s still the message that needs to come through.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:09:36
Right. Right. I totally agree. And I think that that’s like what white fragility is all about. And I I also see it show up with our children. You know, how you’re being right now. Is not what I want to be with so I’m I’m going to remove myself from your tantrum, or I’m going to ask you to take that over there, or I don’t have time for this, when in actuality, they, they need to feel as though they’re still loved in their pain. We need more, not less love when we’re hurting. We need more not less love when we’re hurting, it doesn’t mean to take it all on and let it pierce your heart. But to be able, there’s that Araya mountain dreamers like can you be with your pain are my pain my pain mine and your own? Can we can we get to that place where not sitting in a dirty diaper as I like to say it’s not about joining in the muck and not getting out of it because that’s that Edie isn’t helpful either. But if we can get to these places where we can, again, deeply acknowledge, go beyond our own discomfort that it’s bringing up and going back to emotional hygiene, when we have emotional hygiene practices to metabolize this stuff, then we can be more gracious with somebody else. And we can hold, you know, the bucket out here, not not right here, and allow someone to discharge that. And love them through it with with parameters with safety, this is a big part of what I’m really curious about and what I want to keep writing about in my organizational work, which is, I think with the uptick in D and I work in a sense of belonging in wanting to bring more vulnerability to the workplace or in organizations and with the understanding of trauma informed reality and mental health neurodivergent realities, that there is a sincere desire to make, or in some spaces, make more space for and more acknowledgement of the diverse and messy field of human being that we’re dealing with. And a lot of that awareness cannot land unless we have the emotional maturity and, and social technology and personal cultivation to do so. So whether it’s, you know, C suite psychedelic experiences in the, in the Amazon, or it’s all these best LEED D and I train trainings, I think that there’s a real fear to open all of that up in the workplace. Because for good reason, because we’re not prepared for this. By and large, we have a lot of defensiveness, and it can get really messy in a way that then hijacks our mission. And then we’re not doing anything we’re not, we’re not centering on our Northstar anymore. We’re just in this eddy of process. We’ve seen this a lot. So how can we create little micro communities of practice, where we can process safely where we can have the trust and the psychological safety to work through these things? Maybe not in the boardroom. But in in smaller groups where that’s established where it where we agree not to weaponize these things, and do the work necessary to then be be able to bring our full human to our endeavors? Because we need all those intelligences we don’t want to dismiss our emotional capacity. It’s a superpower if we can learn to use it, as is our somatic intelligence as is our musical and our geometric intelligence. We need all of our intelligences on board if we’re going to solve our most pernicious problems. We just need safe containers to hold us because if we’re going to increase Ah, the whole human to come to work, and we still want to get or to our communities, and we still want to do the thing we’re here to do, we need to have containers to hold us. It’s what I think.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:15:15
And I love that I love thinking about that in terms of, you know, just the rise of the feminine in our culture, and the sort of this deep honoring of the, of the feeling as actually important and not trivial. And just sort of moving out of a patriarchal, hierarchical structure in our, in our world and our government. I mean, this is my hope, we’ll see, we’ll see how it goes. But that, you know, inviting these other kinds of intelligences and these other kinds of wisdoms and, and honoring the feeling state, honoring that the imperfection, honoring the flow honoring the messiness. And leaving space for that, and again, you know, if you’re working on a project, a collaborative endeavor, you know, sort of brings me back to something that Dinah leaf Christian talked about, we talked when we were trading and sociocracy is that, you know, you need to make sure that your meetings are about your, your meetings, you know, you have your agenda, these are the things that you’re talking about. But you also have to inside of that, acknowledge that there’s people in these meetings, and people are very complex and messy, and have whole other things going on. And so when you go into a meeting, and one person is obviously in a state of emotional distress, or having, you know, their dog died over the weekend, or they’re having a sick family member, that they’re taking care of where they were up all night with their kid, you can’t just expect people to completely come out of that space and still be effective in their role as a performer as an actor, when you’re having a meeting or trying to get things done. And so finding these like really beautiful ways for for both and to exist in that space. You know, and I mean, I think we still I feel at this stage of our development, we’ve we’ve gotten pretty good at that. But there’s, it’s, it’s a tricky line to walk, it’s a really tricky line to walk because feelings are scary, especially other people’s feelings can be really scary. And we do live in a world that has quite often equated mastery of your emotions and ability to present yourself as this fully put together. Perfect package that doesn’t have a personal life is more like a robot as being the pinnacle of what we’re trying to, to achieve as excellence in in production. And I love the idea of turning that on on its head and and having more feminine leadership and having more the feeling state be allowed to be a part of, of what it is to be a masterful leader.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:18:31
I agree. And I think it can be a really slippery slope because we’ve seen through social media, the fact that most everyone has a media producing device in their pockets, that at any moment they can share with the globe, an update on their emotional status, that we can see the pendulum swing to TMI really quickly. Right? So going from your grandfather’s boardroom, where it was very top down more oppressive businesses business personal life, his personal life culture, to Oh Brene Brown’s work and bring vulnerability is the superpower. And well what where’s the middle ground in this so that we can acknowledge the totality the full spectrum of our human being that makes for dynamic interaction and creativity and imagining the impossible dreaming that awake? We need divergent like holographic representation all around the wheel in order for this to happen. And what are the containers that are going to support that? That creative diversity, that intellectual diversity, that creative tension that isn’t divisionary, but actually makes that grist makes for something more polished and beautiful. That’s, that’s the trick. And that’s the magic. And that’s where I think we need to call in, learned people to, to support frameworks to support technologies, so that we don’t get taken asunder, and then go to an extreme when we can walk that both online.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:20:51
Mm hmm. Well, I was, I was talking to our mutual friend, Dave Buddha, before this conversation and just sort of talking about this topic. And, you know, one of the questions that he brought up that I wanted to throw in here, before we wrap it up today, was really around, you know, when the way he worded it was, When are people on redeemable? It’s so I really love you, Dave. It is so Dave. But it’s also like, it’s also kind of a good question. Because I think about, you know, we all have our have our thresholds, we all have the place that we are capable of getting to and willing to work and be in the fire and do our personal hygiene, and end and end. And then there’s the place where it’s like, actually, I can’t. Now I can’t like this is the end of my, my capacity here. And I think particularly when we’re in complex relationships, not not in the boardroom, not in not in a business setting, but complex relationships, meaning, oh, we’re in an intentional community, we’re in a collaborative culture, we’re in a space that acknowledge that is wanting and needing to acknowledge emotions and personal growth. We’re in deeply interpersonal relationships, deeply intimate relationships with other people. And we’re also doing business and we’re also managing projects together. My,

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:22:43
my greatest prayer and hope is that when we come to these, please aside from from massive abuse and harm, because I’m just going to acknowledge as somebody who worked in a domestic violence shelter in my early career, there’s absolutely times to walk away when it gets to a boundary crossed place that just needs to have the eject button right away. And I think every community should define that from the beginning. Absolutely. What is zero tolerance? We defined that at EVO really quickly with all of our residents, this won’t be tolerated. We are intending here to create safety on all levels. And if this is crossed, this is just grounds for removal, because we can’t have that here. But everything leading up to that is what you’re really talking about. But then I think hopefully, what we’re doing from the start is mutually defining, what does success look like? How do we know that we’re trending toward a mutually beneficial outcome? And that we’re together coming to looking at these things through a critical lens so that it’s not just a top down hate you, you this person aren’t working here? If we’re going to out you instead? Is it every six months that a new person has you know that we come together and counsel and mutually reflect on how is this going? How would we know what are the indicators that were trending toward a mutually beneficial win win situation? Everything from the very mundane and practical like are you fulfilling your agreements are you like showing up in the in the places you said you would all the way to are you feeling a sense of so the objective and the subject that subjective could sound like are you feeling a sense of connection belonging Are you finding yourself in general getting along with people are having a lot of conflict, that kind of thing. So that from you have evaluation criteria is one of my favorite parts of sociocracy is defining what success looks like. And then having everyone be able to reflect on that at regular intervals, because what I find is that, when given the opportunity to get curious around these things, that the, the irredeemable person has a lot of INS can have a lot of insight about themselves. And if they can bring that insight to the table, like, you know what, if I’m being really honest with myself, this isn’t working. And so instead of kicking the can down the road until it is so painful that we have to enact some of these policies, can we have a coming together an an A curiosity about this criteria, that then leads someone to self select out, that’s what I’ve seen, more often than not. And in those where I’ve seen that not happen is when we don’t have the courage to have hard conversations. And we’ve seen this, we saw this at EVO, with a handful of people like, oh, that person, we don’t even want to come near that with that person. So they’re just gonna live over there. They can do their own thing. As long as they’re not egregious, they’re kind of really helpful in this way. So we want them to stick around. Because we don’t really want to deal with the messiness of having that conversation. And we didn’t really do the work to define what the terms of their agreements are anyway. So shame on us. That’s where I seen it gone wrong. So ideally, if you’re, if you’re slowing the role a bit, to make clear agreements, have arrangements in place for how you’re going to resolve things when they go sideways, that you have regular ways of coming to the Center for each party to critically reflect on how well it’s going, because you’ve defined what success looks like, then, more often than not, I found in my 25 years of being a social scientist, and 1000s and 1000s of hours of listening to people resolve their issues, is that when given the opportunity, people will, when those things are in place, they will see that it’s not a right fit, and they will move on. Because then there is a as a an executive director I worked with once said you’ve earned the right to work elsewhere. You’ve earned the right to not live here anymore. Like this was your choice. We’ve we’ve come together and we’ve defined this together. And now here we are. Yeah, so congratulations on your next leg of the journey. Place that’s a better fit for you. And then you actually get to instead of it being you know, again, this this top down ousting, it can be at there’s another place that’s going to be best for you and we want you to find that place.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:28:33
Is there anything else you would like to kind of drop in here on these on these topics before we wrap it up?

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:28:46
I guess the only thing I’d want to underscore even further is to do you know, this podcast is such a resource for learned, folks, you have you have done such a good job bringing forth wisdom tenders and keepers who have walked this path to not be afraid of reaching out from the beginning to have a board of advisors of sorts. I think everyone needs a board of advisors. I think we need personal boards of advisers. We are our primary relationships need them and our communities definitely need them. And it’s not a one size fits all they’re there for you know, different guides hold different keys. But it’d be really really wise an save yourself tremendous headache and heartache, let alone money if you can, but it might feel costly in the big Learning to bring somebody in but an ounce of prevention better than a pound of the cure. If you can onboard someone who can be woven into the fabric of your endeavor from the start, who can serve as kind of like your family doctor, or as the person you go to when things get sticky, or just as a preventative measure, I can’t say enough about that. And, and how important it is, even in the fervor of lifting up an organization to put these things in place from the start. Dr.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:30:34
Jessica plates at shinners. It’s so great to have you here and hear your wisdom on this topic. And just great to be able to walk this journey next to you. So thank you so much for being here today and sharing.

Dr. Jessica Plancich Shinners 1:30:52
Thanks for asking me, I think you first asked me right before we moved like three years ago, like I want to get a podcast like those boxes are not going to let that happen. So here we are, you know, years later, and I just treasure the opportunity to walk along side of you and all the things that our friendship, our sisterhood, our deep deep relating our CO creations have brought to my life.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:31:27
Thank you.

Rebecca Mesritz 1:31:33
Thank you for joining me for this conversation with Dr. Jessica plants at shinners. You can learn more about Jessica and her work and find out about all of her amazing offerings through her website fierce Grace consulting.com It has been such a privilege to have all of these amazing conversations and share them with you here on this second season of the inside community podcast. You can learn more about the show and today’s guest as well as access show notes with links to all the things that we’ve mentioned and find transcripts@ic.org slash podcast. While you’re there, I hope you will consider making a donation to the show. I know I know it is the end of the second season. But the third season is right there on deck and your contributions are going to really help us to make that vision a reality. If giving is impossible for you right now. No worries, my friend. There are so many other ways that you can help support the inside community podcast, you can share it with a friend, you can go on to the Apple podcast and rate and review that is a really great way to help us to reach more people. You can stay connected to the inside community podcast, through Instagram at inside community podcast. If you are on Instagram, you might also want to pop over to fic dot intentional dot community and follow them as well. I just can’t express enough my gratitude at being able to do this show and have these incredible conversations with so many fascinating learned and wise people. It’s been such an honor to be able to continue to bring inspiration to you and thank you thank you for listening. Even though a lot of the topics we’ve covered have been quite messy. I think it’s been a beautiful season. And I look forward to seeing you in season three of the inside community podcast so long. Who

Dave Booda 1:33:36
left the dishes in the shared kitchen sink? Who helps her Johnny when is too much to drink? How do we find a way for everyone to agree? That Sinsa Can you it’s a podcast y’all

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About the Show

The Inside Community Podcast brings folks along for an inside look at all of the beautiful and messy realities of creating and sustaining a community. We provide useful and inspiring content to support people on their quest for resilience, sustainability, and connection.

Meet Your Host

Inside Community Podcast host Rebecca Mesritz is a community builder living in Williams, Oregon.  In 2011, Rebecca co-founded the Emerald Village (EVO) in North County San Diego, California.  During her ten years with EVO, she supported and led numerous programs and initiatives including implementation and training of the community in Sociocracy, establishment of the Animal Husbandry program, leadership of the Land Circle, hosting numerous internal and external community events, and participation in the Human Relations Circle which holds the relational, spiritual and emotional container for their work. 

In June of 2021, with the blessing of EVO, Rebecca and 3 other co-founders relocated to begin a new, mission- driven community and learning center housed on 160 acres of forest and farmland.  Rebecca is passionate about communal living and sees intentional community as a tool for both personal and cultural transformation. In addition to her work in this field, she also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from San Diego State University and creates functional, public, and interactive art in metal, wood, and pretty much any other material she can get her hands on. She is a mother, a wife, an educator, a nurturer of gardens, an epicurean lover of sustainable wholesome food, and a cultivator of compassion and beauty.

The Inside Community Podcast is sponsored by the Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC). Reach out if you are interested in sponsorship or advertisement opportunities on the podcast.

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