How we work now is killing us… because we’ve taken the sacred out of work.
We can talk all day long about oppression, capitalism, injustice this and freedom that.
But when it comes to our daily work in the world, our moment-to-moment practices, interactions, processes, Radical projects and enterprises… we still operate within the frameworks of a producer/consumer culture (good old capitalism). Even and especially when our work is in the space of social justice.
We critique corporate culture yet in so many ways, we emulate its working style.
We emulate its creation process. We push, we overstretch, we agonize and burn-out. And when we can’t meet its standards we consciously and subconsciously feel like failures. Especially when our livelihood depends on it (as it often does).
Produce, produce, produce! Results, results, results! Little rest! forget play! No desire or sense of wonder! All at the expense of our mental, emotional and physical well-being.
That is what we’ve learned to do to survive. That is what we’ve been told we need to do to be earn a living.
Most of us associate the process of work with drudgery. Even when we like what we’re creating, we’re often deeply frustrated and at war with THE WAY WE CREATE. So what’s the point? Especially if the outcome is really just the period at the end of a long process sentence. Why do we put up with oppressive processes and spend most of our time creating with angst, stress and frustration? To what end?
Is that really the kind of life we were born to live? A life with little joy, desire and wonder?
The truth is, most of us still use outdated creation processes inspired by either capitalism or the non-profit industrial complex and they make us miserable and unwell.
And yes some of those are dressed up as ‘radical’ and pushed on us in the name of freedom. Or… we have no conscious process at all (which can be worse).
Let’s be honest.
How many of us actually have a creation process that is as thrilling as it is effective? As beautiful as it is challenging? As impactful to others as it is healing for us?
How many of us have a creation process that is both rooted in our well-being and financially sustaining? A creation process that is stress free and joy-filled?
How many of us have a creation process that is as powerful and wonderful as the outcome, product or result we seek?
A process that does not deplete us but that brings us alive, day by day, moment by moment. A process worth waking up for every day. A process worth living for no matter the outcome.
How many of us are IN LOVE with our creation process? Not just in like, or ok with but IN LOVE.
Everything we create is an extension of the process we use to create it. Yet, we’re often way more invested in the outcome than we are in the intricate process of creation. We rush, we push, we stress, we burn out.
At Turtle Tank there is no difference between the means and the ends.
We believe that being IN LOVE with our process is what makes life worth living.
Being in love with our process is necessary for our thriving.
Being in love with our process is what brings forth brilliant, ever-emerging creations.
Being in love with our process is what founds a radical economic system.
Being in love with our process is what creates worlds of Radical Love and Freedom.
So, we developed our own nature-inspired framework to guide ourselves and others in developing their unique love-based creation process. And yes, our framework is rooted in the lineages of queer, people of color creative practice and afro-indigenous ritual and cosmosystems.
This framework brings the sacred back into the creation process.
Our framework brings the sacred back into work.
This framework was born through years of observation, on the ground and in practice. Observing natural processes like the evolution of a butterfly or the growth of a tree. Observing how the nervous system settles and how we heal trauma. Observing how radical enterprises and organizations develop over time. Observing how social change comes about. Observing the patterns of the Odu Ifa, the Yoruba cosmosystem and Elm El Raml (or the science of earth), an Arab cosmosystem.
We, the Turtle Tank community, use this framework to guide us in birthing our own unique radical, love-based processes of creation that are aligned with our values, desire and unique radical life purposed. In fact, the framework itself, as used in practice, constantly re-aligns us with our values and unique radical purpose. And of course, this framework also grounds us in our lineages -- both ancestral and the lineages of the work and practices we operate in.
Our framework guides us to creation processes rooted in love.
And with creation processes rooted in love our work becomes sacred ritual. Work as Sacred Ritual actively and practically creates worlds of Radical Love and Freedom