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To We Can Do Hard Things. Today is a special episode with two of our favorite sisters in the entire world. We've got four sisters on for you today, two of whom are Amanda and I. The other two are Adrienne Maree Brown and Autumn Brown. Adrienne Maree Brown grows healing ideas in public through writing music and podcasts, nurturing emergent strategy, pleasure, activism, radical imagination, and transformative justice. Adrienne's work is informed by 25 years of social and environmental justice facilitation tion, primarily supporting Black liberation. Adrienne is the author and editor of Emergent Strategy shaping Change, Changing Worlds, Pleasure Activism, the Politics of Feeling Good, Grievers, and Maroobs. Autumn Brown is a mother, organizer, theologian, and artist with 20 years of experience facilitating movement strategy and strategic development with community-based and social justice organizations. She grounds her work in healing from the trauma of oppression. She was a founding member of the Rock Dove Collective, a radical community health exchange, a past president of the board of directors of Voices for Racial Justice, and is currently a facilitator with Aorta. Together, Adrienne and Autumn co-hosts an excellent podcast, How to Survive the End of the World. If you haven't listened to our first We Can Do Hard Things conversation, which everyone freaked out about, with Adrienne, please go back to episode 239, Why are we never satisfied?


Now we give you the hilarious, the beautiful, the two who are just truly rooted in joy and love, Adrienne and Autumn.


Here we are. I feel so humbled.


Wait, I'm so geeked out that you all are meeting Autumn round. I don't know if you know this, but last week was her 40th birthday. So she not only turned 40, but she released the first single off of her new album, which is incredible. And she released a music video because that's how a Sagittarian turns 40.


Oh, of course. It's true. I do believe it might be the most Sagittarian thing I've ever done.


Yeah. She had a release party as her birthday party with her sweetheart there who had just met her kids. It was just brilliant, beautiful, intentional, awesome. So you all are meeting her in this peak moment of life that is unfolding during the Apocalyptic.


It's amazing. Yeah, that's right. It feels.


To me that you live on many peaks, though. It feels like you're always doing a million trillion things. It just doesn't surprise me that this just happened at all. I know that you think I don't know you, but I do. Veryvery old friends. Oh, Autumn, the times we've cried together, the times we've walked together, the relationships.


We've had. You all have a lot in common because you both have had what I call real marriages, like bad ones with men that.


Were like- Real marriages.


-real marriages as opposed to non-marriages. Then leaving that, realizing your queerness, leaning into a queer life and making art from that place. There's a lot there.


I was thinking about that coming in, knowing that we're both divorcees. What do I feel like I can say now?


And Amanda, you're a divorcee also.


Yeah, but I wasn't as creative as you all. I just married another man.


I think there's nothing wrong with moving. There's a lot of mandating happening in the circle these days. I'll just say. Okay. All right.


My new sweetheart, the person that I'm currently deeply in love with, is a CIS man. Yeah.


And he's okay. He's great.


One of the things that's been really beautiful about this latest, this newest love relationship that I'm in is I'm so sorry. One of my children is calling me. And why don't the.


Three of you- Is it who? Is it?


Which one? It's Mairead. I'm just going to try texting her and telling her.


To- Please. How old are her babies? I don't know that. So this.


One who's calling now is 10, going on 45. Okay. She is like a suburban mom as a child somehow. It's amazing. She wears high waisted jeans. She's got things. And all of these are decisions she's making for herself.


Is she on the HOA board?


She wouldlike to be, she would like to be. The list of things that she wants for gifts right now is like a very specific list of facial care, like a facial care protocol that I've never had a protocol anywhere close to this. And what you said, I only want these things. Oh, my God. So don't get like the knock off face.


Washing pads.


It's heart shaped ones.


Are the only ones. I think that's smart to call that out, though, because when my sister and I were little, we wanted it in the whole world was Cabbage Patch Kids. I don't know if you guys remember.


These things. Oh, I remember that. Okay. You wanted those.


Yeah. That was like all... I was at that age. Just one Christmas, that's all we wanted. And then so we got our Cabbage Patch Kids and they were homemade Cabbage Patch Kids. They weren't Cabbage Patch Kids.


They were like soft face. They weren't so good that Yeah.


The whole idea is I'm supposed to hurt if you hit someone with it. Yes. Yes. And not going to take your homemade Cabbage Patch Patch Kids to school and.


Say, here's his fake birth certificate.


But here's the.


Thing about that. It is actually interesting. We didn't have much money. I get it. But also there's a little bit of like family dynamics because it's like, so you all going to be the ones to say that this isn't a.


Cabbage Patch.


Patch Kid? We're all here and know this isn't a Cabbage Patch Kid. But we're going to have to perform-.


We did have to perform.


-use a Cabbage Patch Kid and act.


As excited. And we did.


And we sure.


Did because we sure.


Were not going to do that. And you did.


All all in that- So something interesting there.


Because there is like a gratitude practice. There's some gratitude where it's like if you really unwind it and think about the love that your parents was trying to show you within the the of their economy. I think as as we have this internal thing of I don't want to hurt your feelings, or at least generationally. I don't know if that's still the case, but I feel like there was this thing of I don't want to hurt your feelings and I'm receiving the thing. But I do also remember a certain age and recognizing, Oh, this is privilege. I was like, Oh, this is privilege. The fact that I say I want something even is privilege, as opposed to just being like, If someone gives me a gift, I should be like, That's so nice of you. You totally didn't have to do that. Thank you. But now we've normalized the culture such that there's an expectation of like, Of course, you're going to get me gifts on these five days throughout the year. And here's exactly what you're going to get me. That's just a sign of where we live and the time we live in.


Yeah. And it's compulsory. It's not a gift. It's not.


Universal at all.


Yeah. Okay, speaking of holidays, I was listening to one of your many episodes that I've listened to. To. You were talking about family holidays. I think I heard Adrienne say that your family holidays used to always end in an explosion. Yes. I bet a lot of folks can very much relate to that. So many people are trying to figure out how to do the holidays different, which when you think about it, is really just how to do family different. Yes. Just how to do family. Why are holidays so hard? I don't know. What's the common denominator?


Why is family so hard?


Right. I'm I'm around people.


Yeah. You guys actually found a way to make holidays different, which means you must have found a way to make family different. What I find so fascinating about you two is that you you just you do is what you do everywhere. You're doing this love, liberation, justice work all the time in every avenue of your life, which means that family, which for a lot of us is a frontier of struggle.


For for you to- It's spark for all of our struggles. Okay. It's like the starting ground. The particular struggles that most of us are going to experience in our lives starts in our familial space. Space. So like all the norms that were set, all the insecurities that our parents had, all their their limitations, the structure inside of which family is happening, and which also means all their parents' limitations and all the economic crisis of their time and what diet culture culture was So you and I are surviving eating disorders. All of those things create the family dynamic. And I get astounded regularly when I think about how young my parents were trying to generate something new in the world, which was a family that was coming from two different cultures, two different races, two different places in the Deep South. And I'm like, Oh, you all were 21 and 23 deciding to try to create something that you had not seen before. The limitations of that experience for us are like, what were you deciding to do as a 22-year-old mom or as a 26-year-old dad or a 34? All these are ages that are far behind us now, and I'm just now figuring out how to live inside my own values.


If someone had asked me to do that 20 years ago, I have no idea what person I would have generated in the world, but it probably would have had a little monster in there. Then we go back and we get together every so often to be like, How are we doing? But I think in our family, there's a blessing because our parents were intentionally like, There's some stuff that we don't want to replicate as we create this new space. We didn't grow up around a lot of our extended family. When we were younger, we were really in a little unit of five, that unit of five that was like, we're traveling around together. So the issues we have are really shaped by that. I think we've all been, as adults, learning how do you sustain relationships longer than two years and how you build friendships that can last a long long Then I think from what we've learned, that's what we've come back and brought into our family space. I will say, I think we're doing really well. It's not that stuff still doesn't come up, but I feel like now we have much more built-in sense of practice and repair, like being like, Oh, even if stuff gets tense, we're like, Okay, but we know how to find our way back to each other.


We have a regular practice with the the of doing a sister check-in, and then we have a regular weekly, not meeting, but a weekly gathering of the five of us with kids and spouses or whoever else is around who wants to plug in. That that started during the the pandemic. The sister check-in we've been doing maybe a decade or more now.


What does that look like? What do you do? What's a sister check in?


So this is something... This is actually a practice that we evolved in direct response to the explosions. So So and I have a sister in between us, April. And we noticed that within 24 to 48 hours of getting home together, we would end up in a a emotionally.


A very passive-aggressive passive-aggressive bra. It was like moving things around and being mad.


You tended to be more passive-aggressive, but April and I would scream at each other. You're the oldest.


Oldest. So has their own roles. You and April, you go at it, but but.


Adrian is Adrian is not going to yell at anybody. That's not her style of conflict. I will yell. Yeah, you're good at it. April will just say very mean things. Things. So it's She.


Remains in control of herself, but she's like, I shall shall She's like.


Oh, vicious. Yeah, exactly. I can think of any number of those explosive moments where all of us are feeling victimized inside of the conversation. Everyone is feeling misunderstood. Everyone is feeling hurt, unseen. And that's what we figured out, that the explosions were happening because we felt like the most important things that were happening in our lives were not visible to one another. Another. Of course, a family like ours, a very global global family where, Adrienne named, we grew up moving around as a pod of five. And then as we moved into adulthood, we sometimes live continents away from each other. And so there's a pressurization that can happen around our family time because of how far apart in the world we live. So that was a contributor, the pressurization, the need for it to go well, our mom's need for it to go go well, of it, our dad's dad's about it not going well. All of the dynamic. It's like.


It's been a great.




You all. It's been a great time.


Exactly. We're together. We're all alive. What's wrong?


And then what would happen? The explosion would be followed by tears and and catharsis. But would be draining and exhausting and leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth around the holidays. And so at some point, a little over a decade ago, we had the idea to have this intervention of let's make sure that the sisters, at the three of of within the first 24 hours of being in family space, that we get into a room together and close the door. And at first, we would set a Timer and have a rule. It was like the three most important things that have happened in your life since we all saw each other last. And no more than 30 minutes, oftentimes we would go way over. But we tried to keep it contained. And it was incredible the difference it it made our experience of one one another suddenly things that we're feeling so... The The that I'm feeling that feels so personal to me is like, like, of course, the way you're behaving is not about me. It's never about me. I mean, it's the truth of being a human, human, right? Is that someone else's terrible behavior or difficult behavior or negative behavior or whatever word we want to ascribe to it is almost never actually about us.




And it's hardest to see with family, I think, which is why I think Adrian and I are both of the mind that family is such an excellent dojo for practicing a different way of being because all of whatever patterns I'm trying to heal in myself are all right there available to me as soon as I'm with my family. Whether I want to be working on that healing or not.


That's right.


And now we're all at ages where we can be like, I don't think I want to work on that this year. Yeah. I like that, too.


I also think it's like everything shows up right away with family. I also think family is like, I don't care about your mantra. I don't care about your talking points. I don't care about the story you're telling everyone about what you're doing. I know you. Either you have changed and I can feel that or you you and I know how to push your buttons. We started doing that as as and we still do that as as and the whole family knows the value of it. They actually support us. It's like, Hey, you all, we have to do the sister check-in because it's going to impact everyone here's experience. And so everyone is like, they're on the porch. Don't interrupt them. They're doing their sister thing. Everyone makes a really big deal. And we have our little tea, our little coffee. It's very important that no one can hear us. We leave our phones far away from us so that it's just like no distractions. We're really just being present with each other. And then I think now that we added the family practice on during the pandemic, what I'm finding is it's making it easier to have hard conversations because we have a practice of being in conversation with each other.


So as the pandemic was unfolding, it was like, we need to have hard conversations about how everyone's holding these boundaries around COVID-19 and hard conversations around masking and vaccines and- Travel. -are we going to the theaters? Not going to the theaters. Are we traveling? Are Are not traveling? Traveling? And got the reps in and it's so helpful now because it's like, okay, there's this situation going on in in and we actually have a family practice that allows us to get on the phone with each other and say, We're going to spend two hours and we're going to talk about this and we have different perspectives and small things. But I really appreciate that my dad, for instance, if I interrupt him, which I might do because I get in my feelings, I'm like, I already know everything you're going to to say, and pause me and be like, if I can finish what I was saying. That is like a cue to me that I'm like, I'm not hearing him. I may think I know what he's saying, but that doesn't mean he doesn't get the right to say it. That doesn't mean I actually do know.


Let me slow it down. Let me hear him and then be able to come back from a place of not like, I'm trying to correct you or fix you, but just like, like, are telling me where you're at. Let me tell you where I'm at and we're not going to resolve this in our family. Me, it's not resolved in the world, so we're not going to resolve it it here, we can get more information. We can get more in alignment around this in such a way that I feel no shame about where anyone in my family is sitting on this because we've talked it through. I I and I can feel the humanity of each person inside of it. And then I feel supported in the actions that I'm taking or the risks that I'm taking. I feel like I'm out here being like a loud voice of of ceasefire, I know that my family is at my back like, We love you. We understand that. I look over and I'm like, Oh, there you are, Autumn. Ceasefire on you. But things like that, I think, matter so much in these moments where I have so many friends who are like, I'm fighting it out in the world and I'm trying to fight it at home and I'm trying to fight it with my friends and with my funders.


It's like, Well, where do you feel flanked? Where do you actually get to take a position and be a human being in it.


Where do you feel flanked?


That's a question.


Yeah, my family has the first experience of flanking, but my sisters, when I came out as queer, my sisters were like, we are here on either side of you. And if our grandparents are not going to let you come visit and bring your partner, then they will not be visiting by us either. They did not go. They didn't take the kids. They would not go until I was was I'm like, flanked. No questions asked.


Yeah. Not even a hard decision.


It's It's so wild that we usually don't do the things we know to do out in the world with our family. Like, what you're talking about. So you're saying people need to feel seen before they can hang out.


Like, oh, some.


Revolutionary shit. You know that. That.


You know But it's ironic that family.


Is the only- We don't do that. -place that we're like, we know that's best practice. Everybody agrees. But you can't bring that shit to your family.




I think there's an interesting dynamic where I think we've certainly noticed this and we've navigated it in our family. I navigated my family that I'm now guiding. It's the balance of family is a safe place to dissolve and come apart. With my children, I want them to know that I am a safe place for them to have some level of dissolving and coming apart, particularly if they have places in their lives where they feel like they have to be really armor up. And that can get out of balance because it's one part of our coping and healing. But I feel like as we get older, as we become more adult, as we become more responsible for our own selves, and we build the resilience to be able to dissolve and come back and dissolve and come back. And I think part of what can happen in some families is that the family system itself itself doesn't the resilience around that dissolving, reforming, dissolving, reforming. Reforming. So people come together and they just come apart and they don't feel responsible for their behavior.




I don't feel like I'm responsible for how I behave with my siblings or with my parents and feels feels like, anything goes in this, then I'll do things in that environment that I would never do with friends or with colleagues.


I love that. It's so true.


Do your parents get real and show up? If you're not talking about issues, like if you're not talking about Gaza, but you're talking about your own personal lives, do they bring their their full to you like you do as sisters?


I feel like they do. Our parents are Southern people, so I do think there's a certain degree of what is the right time and place for conversations to happen. But when it's just us, I can really feel them. And I'm not sure when this shift happened. Maybe, Autumn, you have a sense of it. I really feel like there's been a shift such that our parents now are really like, like, We learning from you all. And so a lot lot of they will come to us with something that's like, What do you think about this? Or here's something that's going on and I'm not sure what to do about it, but it feels like they'll turn because they know that we have opinions, but also I think they know that we are working on this stuff. We're working on doing our own healing work around our bodies. We're working on figuring out how to have justice in our workplaces. We're working on these things. There was recently a conversation that was around body image and and body And for me, I'm like, okay, I'm working on this eating disorder stuff, and it's an opportunity to come into the conversation and let them be curious.


I noticed that they were able to to I'm feeling triggered. Triggered. They're like- Is that the word you crazy kids say? Triggered? What do you all say? But I'm feeling like it's hard for me to be in this conversation and here's why it's hard. Hard.






I was.


Like, like, is huge. This is huge because in the past, I think what what and what mostly happens amongst humans is it's hard to be in the conversation, and we don't say it's hard to be in the conversation. It just shows up that we are struggling and we try to get ourselves out. We're like, How do I finish this or shut it down? So a lot of times we'll be like, like, know what? I'm not talking about this this or I'm leaving or whatever.


Except all.


The way out. It's your fault anyway.




In diagonal. Exactly. Exactly. And then what we're waiting for after that is for the other person to figure out how wrong they were and come and apologize correctly about all the wrong things. And then we will re-engage and we never get that. And life goes on and people die and we miss them. And I think that for us, the idea is, oh, in this moment, while this person is still alive, we're having a hard time talking about something and we can say, why? Why? Oh, because we all created some of of these fucked conditions for our bodies bodies together our family, it's like none of us are innocent here. If I have an eating disorder, I was in an eating disorder family family structure we all are having to unlearn diet culture. Culture. All are having to unlearn fat phobia. It's not like I will just go off and do that by myself and return and be this fundamentally different creature. I also think there's something about the growing up, the idea that we're all growing, which for me is really helpful. And my parents, I'm like, Oh, you're still growing. And I feel like maybe sometime after college that clicked for me that I'm like, Oh, you're not completed.


I grew up like, You're done. You're my mom. You're done. You're finished. This is what you're doing.


And you.


Should be better because you're grown up. And you should be better. Why are we talking about this? You're an adult. And now it's like, like, you're going to keep changing- They're still growing up. -until the last moment. And I'm going to keep changing until the last moment and getting our parents to see us as adults and be like, like, you all are grownups, still changing. But you're not the kids you were. You have grown up issues, and we're going to have grown up conversations. That to me has felt like such a revelation.


And I think collectively building the wisdom within our family to know that we all might also be wrong about most things that we think and believe.


That's right.


And it's so easy as the the younger I think in some ways, me having children and then my children aging into their teenage years, it's been one of the places where I can see it with the greatest ease. It's easy as the teenager becoming an adult, becoming middle-aged person to be able to really believe I'm right about the things that I'm right about and my parents are... They did the best that they could for the time period that they lived in. And then... But I'm here knowing the actual facts and truth. And then my children are coming along and they're knowing their actual facts and truth. And I'm like, Oh, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. To expand and make sure that my mind is flexible enough that I can keep up with the things that are now becoming true that I couldn't have foreseen because it's so far beyond the horizon that I can see. And then that wise mind, trying to develop the the wise of just knowing, yeah, I might be wrong about almost everything. So then if most of the things that I think I'm right about, it's not knowable to me, then I have to get really focused on my values.


I have to be really focused on my values and my purpose and what motivates the way that I behave.




For me, it feels like it's like a step behind what I speak into the world.


Yes. I feel that too, Autumn. I feel like I'm always just writing. I feel like I'm my own self-help author. I'm writing it, and then I'm like, I'm trying to do that.




The smartest version of me.


All the time. I'm actually like... I'm working right now with people who are like, You know that book you wrote, Emergent Strategy? We're going to use it. We're going to use it. Okay, what does that mean? Mean? Like you? Yeah, we're going to use it. We're going to budget with it. I was like, I need to stop this war right now. We need to do something big. They're like, but small is all. You know that that's how change happens is relationships, and you know that you have to create more positive. They're just like, we're going to use it. What is the most effective thing you can do that's at the scale of your actual existence? I'm like.




Sounds really smart. No, this is really helpful idea. It's really helpful. This is great. Then bringing that into family where it's like, like, sister, you you talkabout I'm just like, Oh, yeah, we are living in a family of people living in the the with white family that are still struggling with race, struggling with what it actually means to be a white person. I'm like, Oh, yeah, Autumn is writing the text that is going to liberate our family, that was also learned in part from living in our family.


I have a question for you, Autumn, about that then. I was trying to explain to my my how am I going to ask this this question? Okay, so Good luck, luck, Good luck. Good luck, luck, Tessie.


We all.


Believe in you.


Thank you. You. You can do it. Okay, I heard you on a podcast long ago talking about how when you were young, everyone would say, say, What are What are you? What are you? What are you? So they could figure out all the things, how to treat you, where to set you up in their mind's hierarchy, which is how I feel about gender completely. You said that you used to just start saying white mom, black dad.


Mom, white, dad, black.


Mom, white, dad, black. Mom, white, dad, black. Okay. Okay. So you said that I just can't stop thinking about it because my children children are race. Race. Yeah. And son is not white presenting at all. He's Japanese. Japanese. And just is in a new world of figuring out who he is. Is. And took him to get to college to where now he's like, Oh, these are my people. This is who I am. You didn't teach me shit. I actually don't know you. Anyway, talk about thinking. I feel like I'm between generations. I spend most of my day looking one way and saying, Why didn't you do better to my parents than looking the other way to my kids and saying, I did the best I can. Can you please just relax?




And not seeing the irony. Okay.


But right now you.


See it. Right. I do. I do. Actually, it's.


Just in the moment. You're like, I can actually see it. But in the moment when they say something to you-.


Because it's devastating. It's devastating. Nothing helps you forgive your parents more than watching them grow up behind behind you. Going, Oh, my God, you really do just do the best you can in the moment you're in and we don't know shit. My question is is this, does it mean? Because now I understand right now that I am not just my children's mom. I am my children's white mom. By the way, just PS, I'm my children's white anorexic recovering mom. So I'm like, whiteness is is like.


Look real white.


Over there, Doyle. Real white. I won. I won white woman.


You're like, I'm all.


The way. Okay. They gave me a a and I fucking nailed it. I'm dead. I almost died.




I just know that there is so much in my babies that is from being a mom white, from being of whiteness that they're unlearning. Unlearning. So does it mean to have a mom white?


A mom white. A mom white. Yo. Yo. It's such a beautiful question. Thank you for asking that question. As Adrienne referenced, I have been doing a lot of work around the political concept of fugitive practice or the notion of in order to practice freedom or that we can practice freedom as a temporal state that we can create even inside of unfree conditions. And so much of it is about finding inside of ourselves the places where we feel safe inside of white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, et cetera, et cetera. We feel safe through through or we achieve a false sense of safety through compliance with the forms and norms. It's helped me, I guess, re-express to myself something that I have held very true my whole life related to my mom white, which is that if I truly don't believe believe that supremacy should shape the the I have to be able to release all of the lies associated with white supremacy, including the way that resisting white supremacy might make me want to reject her or would make me think that in order to find my dignity and ground, it has to come at the expense of hers.






Very complex. It's very complex the ways that we all get pitted against each other. And then as I've started to see over time that the world definitely wants wants for whatever set of of to reject my mother. But my mother would never reject me. My mother has always been, and this is not the case for many people with our racial identity have white parents who did not protect them. We are very in the lucky position of having a badass white mom. I have so many memories of this woman walking up into schools that I attended and having direct confrontations with with teachers. Particularly over race.




She would come into school and she would say, You do not get to tell my child anything about her racial identity. She is the only person who gets to decide what language she uses for her racial identity, and you will not say a word to her about it. That's not your job. Your only job is to teach her math.




She never hesitated to protect my dignity. Now I'm an adult, and I've had to ask myself, Oh, would I hesitate to protect her dignity? What do my politics actually require of me? As I evolve in my understanding of this massive collective lie that we are constantly navigating together, surviving together. And many of our adaptations for survival make a lot of sense. And I have so much gentleness, compassion for myself and for everyone living under late stage racial capitalism for the ways that we have adapted to survive it. And yet, as you were naming Adrienne with the emergent strategy concepts, if I do believe that small is all, if I do believe that everything important is going to happen ina side of relationship.




I have to take seriously that how I orient to my mom white and to my dad black, how I orient to them as individuals who are worthy of inherent dignity and freedom themselves, that will matter. Even if it doesn't make immediate, obvious sense to me or doesn't feel like there's immediate, obvious impact. So it's been deep as we've navigated conversations, as a family, because I have mixed-race kids who also two of my children really present as white and one doesn't. I have that too. So that's a dynamic too. As we've been navigating their unfolding childhood, I've brought the same sensibility that my mom brought to me, which is I'm really encouraging and creating the conditions for my kids to self-define, protecting their room to to self-define, though it actually... I have so much compassion for her now because creating room for them to self-define means that they're going to self-define in ways that I don't necessarily feel comfortable with. So it's pressing on my edges. And then I have to say, say, well, again, what do I mean when I say freedom?


Oh, listen, that is so correct.




What does freedom mean? I mean freedom my way. It reminds me of Abby when our kid dresses totally butch and she's like, freedom. And then my kid puts on some fem shit. And Abby's like, she's just just totally listening to the the I'm like, like, I think.


I think we have to.


Support all of it.


Well, but I do think that there's this also thing of phase. I think the only thing I want to add, Autumn, because I feel like you really captured this beautifully, maybe two things. One is there's this non-monolithic aspect. Like, for me, I'm like, I don't want to be set in a group and dismissed because someone has externally defined something about me. And so they have decided, Oh, Oh, you're Anytime I'm fighting against racism, against transphobia, Islam of any of it, I'm like, That is the fundamental behavior that is most harmful to to is being like, I have decided externally who you are, and I dismiss your humanity because of that. I'm like, I don't do that to anyone. If I don't like you, it's specific to you. I know know I listen to what you said, and I don't like it. It. It makes me into.


A pattern. No, sure I don't like you. I can tell you all the reasons.


Why even.


If you're curious. Exactly. Right. And part of that is because I'm like, I've grown up around Republicans. I've grown up around people who are conservative. I've grown up around gun toating people. I've grown up around farmers. I've grown up around people who are way under the poverty line. I've grown up around all the different kinds of people. And what I.


Have found is- And the lead of Democrats.


Don't forget those. And so many elitist Democrats. And what I have found across the board is there's a goodness of heart in people that doesn't fit into a lot of these things and is not visible necessarily on the surface. Surface. And is an evilness of spirit that is also not visible in those ways. Ways. And I'm curious about is that part of us that I think is beyond socialization. I think each of us has a part of us that is beyond socialization, which is how our parents found each other and fell in love because they both came into circumstances where everything around them them said their lives were going to be a certain life. There was a certain path. There was a certain person they were going to marry. It was all predefined, and neither of them felt that that made any sense for them. When they found each other, it was like, You make sense to me, and what we're going to create will make sense to us. Our little weird family makes a ton of sense to everyone who's in it, and it's love-based. That means that every friend that we've had over the years of every background, background, all partners we've had, everyone who has come around, love has been the primary experience that they have received from interacting with our family.


That to to me, is where my deep respect for my parents is rooted in that, where I'm like, I don't know how you got there, but it gives me faith in humanity that you got there. Now you get to keep growing. The fundamental quality that my parents parents both of them have, mom white, dad dad is a a deep that they're like, I'm so curious about who you are. And when I came out to my mom, she was like, And what was that like? Like? It wasn't like... There was no She She wasn't surprised.


Wasn't surprised.


My dad dad also wasn't. Was like, Well, I knew that one time when you went to go to New Year's Eve with that person. And I was like, That's when you knew? Why don't you tell me? Somebody tell me. Me. I've been all this stuff. Anyway, but they're both fundamentally curious, both about themselves and for my dad in his black, southern family to watch him and his black, southern family is so magnificent. Magnificent. So curious with each person about what they're experiencing and how he can support them, how he can help them. And my mom with her family, and it's challenging. I would say the most challenging place in our our familial is actually our white family in terms of how we relate to them. I feel like we're in a tender moment right now where my parents have moved back south and we're slowly reconnecting. I think the emphasis is on the slowness. For a long time, I was like, I don't have to do this. I will pull all the way back and I will never talk to you all again and I will be okay with it. I'm sad that it went this way, but you had all this time to know that I was a black person and to choose something different and you still voted for Trump and I just can't deal with you.


Now I'm like, okay, I still might have to make that choice. Every time we interact, I'm like, this may be it. But one of the things that's most interesting to me is I can feel how much these people love me, and I don't know what to do with that. I'm like, I don't understand how you are sitting here looking at me, and I can feel the authenticity of love that is in in you, as I know know in next moment you might say something that is highly offensive. Offensive. And part of humanity befuddles me.


That I'm like.


I don't understand it because I don't have a whole framework for it. Maybe someone does. But to me, that keeps me curious about humanity also that I'm like, I think socialization makes us say things, but I'm really interested in getting under that to the part of us that feels things. I think the part of us that feels things is the part that that be able to knit together and move forward together as a species, as the structures of socialization fall apart.


That's how my therapist told me to think think about we talk about our kids and what we probably did that that and we thought we were right, but then they're going to have have said I used to obsess obsess about is he going to think about this thing? Or, What does he think about what I think about this? What do they think about my stance about this? My therapist just said, Could we just, let's for a a stop talking about what they think of you. What would you say they feel about you? Yes. How do they feel about you, Glennon? Do you think they feel loved? Do you think they feel safe? Do you think they feel cared for? For? That, just helped me so much much I don't know what the hell they think of me. I can't figure it out.


They don't either.


They don't either. But I think I can say what they feel.


Feel. And also like the family is not a social media app, which also helps me is I'm like, Oh, I'm not trying to perform something or present something to keep myself from being being as a human. In my familial space, I'm being in all of my relationships, I'm being every day I think maybe I'll get off of social media and just spend the rest of my life just being because I'm like, in that space, it feels like people are constantly like, like, Well, do you think about who you are? Are you real? Are you good enough? Enough? And you this this enough and I'm like, I don't know. But I do know that when I get off of this space, what I find myself doing is is singing to playing games with my friends, doing organizing that I really care about, writing stories that I really care about, and being in real relationships with real humans, all of whom have a multitude of stories and lineages that are flowing in and through them. I think that's how we get to the other side of the painful impacts of all these constructs because I'm like, These things were done to us.


These things were done to us very strategically. It's so smart to be able to create a condition where someone thinks they have to turn against their mother. Disney kills off all the moms. There's something really structural about the way our society tells the story of a parent, that it's like a parent is something you have to survive and get rid of, as opposed to in so many other places I've traveled to. It's like your parent, your elders, your ancestors, you honor them, you respect them, you listen to them. You don't follow every single thing that they say. You challenge challenge them. In in a relationship. It's a relationship of like, Oh, my God, you gave me everything and I want to give you everything for the rest of my life. I think that that feels more righteous to me than this other way where it's like, I can't wait to be done with you. This is the other thing I've been telling Autumn's kids who I text with. I'm like, We cancel bad ideas. We don't cancel people. A lot of times the people who are older than us were socialized by really bad ideas, but that doesn't mean that they're people and we don't give up on them and you can't save everyone.


But I'm like, there are a couple of my uncles that I'm like, I do want to pull you further along on this this path I will keep looking for the openings that help you to see that you're out of alignment with your own humanity and your own relationship to God. God. And I'm also out of alignment in some way. Way. Like, I really know how to plant anything? One of my uncles is such an amazing gardener and planter. I'm like, I would want to be near him when the Apocalyptic hits because he really knows how to make food. He'd keep you alive. He's going to keep me alive.


This is how he survived the end of the world.


He's going to to survive every meal. But I think he could also call me up. He's like, You love to talk talk this stuff, but do you actually know how to grow some collard greens? And I'm like, like, growing collard greens is a little triggering for me because of what your ancestors did to mine. But to me, being able to have a sense of of we can talk about.


Reality- What our our ancestors to us.


Oh, yeah, exactly. Thank you. That's the complexity. That's the complex.




Tricky, man. That is tricky. That's complex. That is tricky.


Autumn, do you know the answer or an answer to what Adrienne was just talking about? Because I want someone to tell me about- To answer her. -the like, I love you, queer person. I love you, trans person. I love you, black person. These are the decisions I'm making politically, which I had always just been like, Well, that's bullshit. That's not love. That's something different. But then I'm listening to you with the wise mind, and I'm like, Maybe I don't know shit. Maybe it's the same thing as the parents. It's like, You love me so much, but you did this thing. You love me so much, but this happened. Is that the same construct as the I love you, but I vote? What is happening there?


Tell us, us, I love you, but I vote. I mean, to me, me, this is... Juicy questions, this is where I love to live. First of all, I just want to say that I love being out here on the edge. Happy to be confused with you all. It's like, like, we're all right out on the edge of our own thinking right now. I feel like this is where I've been spending a lot of of time the last last is just being on the outer edge of my own thinking, being like, I don't know, maybe this, it could be this. Again, for me, this is where fugitive practice comes from. The fugitive from the plantation plantation know what's beyond the border. All they know is they have to get out. And so they go off into the forest knowing that that could be more dangerous, but probably better than to continue being enslaved. I like being being in borderland on the edges. Because to me, it comes down to this. The question is also like, well, what do I actually believe the human heart is capable of? If I can hold the nuance and complexity that, yeah, we're capable of feeling incredible love, incredible grief, incredible joy.


I really believe that joy and grief are actually the same emotion. We can feel all of that and also still act against our own highest good. It leads me to some interesting places in terms of, what do I think a human is? Because when we do things like that, it's like when we're like, we love, we.




And then we kill. Then oftentimes what initially comes up inside of us is like, that's so inhumane. What's happening in Gaza right now is it's so abhorrent and it's so hard to understand. It and I think it breaches our sensibility of what humans are capable of. And yet this is also humanity. It's not not humanity.


Humanity. Too. It's a cyclical humanity.


Exactly. And we exist inside of a lot of dissociation and and confusion. That dissociation and confusion that we experience on a daily daily in our relationships, inside of ourselves, inside of our families, I think that that's all strategic. It's very strategic for these these for us to feel confused, for us to feel feel for us to not fully feel what we we because the more confused we are, the more dissociated we are, the more at odds we are with ourself, the less we can act, the less easily we can act in alignment with what we believe. And so that question you asked of like, like, how is it that someone can love and then vote in this way that's so obviously counter to a love ethic? That to me, it's dissociation. Dissociation. That it's fundamentally any behavior where you're acting against your stated beliefs or you're acting against your own best interests or the best interests of your family or the best interests of your community, you can only do that if there's some some cracking that's happened where parts of yourself are not making contact.


And that dissociation is very... It's such an effective tool of systems of dominance and supremacy. All systems of dominance and supremacy use that tool.


That's right. I've been thinking about that too. It's like the demonic energy. I don't think there's demons. I think there's a demonic energy that shows up as this this numbing, confusing, enforced in humanity. That it's like, I'm going to create a condition where even your story of yourself doesn't make sense. Because I think that that happens so often where you're listening politically to someone and I'm like, What you're saying doesn't make any sense to me. Me. Like telling me that you are a Bible-thumping Christian, and so thou shalt not kill is the top thing on the list of things that you should not be okay with ever, period. It doesn't say thou shalt not kill, except for these little clauses. It just says don't do it. Who? Thou? Yeah. Who? Thou? Thou? Say it with me.


Who? Thou?


Shall what?


Shall Shall Shall not and shall never. And it's so interesting because I'm like, it doesn't doesn't thou shalt not fornicate with your girlfriend. It It thou shalt not kill, but you are killing to keep me from fornicating with my girlfriend. It literally doesn't make sense. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. That I'm like, if you're telling me a story and it doesn't add up, then I feel like there's a demonic energy afoot. I'm like, Who benefits from you being so confused? Who benefits from you being so confused? I think at this time, so many people are benefiting from our mass confusion, our lack of critical thinking skills that were not developed. We're really in an interesting bind right now where I think think is the only thing that's going to pull us through.


It's not a meme or a graphic or saying the right thing on social media. That's what you're saying. It's not that.


Damn. I don't think that we're going to be able to do it through social media. I think that practice of fugitivity that you talk about, when you talk about, Autumn, what I think about is like, who would have to show up and be like, like, are are and I know a way to freedom that I would trust to be like, like, you're saying everything around me that feels normal and and safe me, even though it's scary, but I have survived it thus far. You're saying it's worth it to leave this condition and go with you. What we're saying to white people all the time is the thing that you think is great where you have this superiority complex, it's not great. That's why everyone's depressed. That's why everyone's killing each other. That's why no one ever feels secure. It's not actually working. It hasn't worked.


It's not good for you. This thing is not working. Any system that's like, we are superior in some way and we deserve deserve literally is at odds with the whole species surviving. The sooner we can get you to leave that, come out here into the wild land where we don't know what we do if no one's superior. We don't.


Actually know yet. We also don't know how to grow collard greens, so we'll learn.


I bet we all have to learn how to grow collard greens, though. I bet that that's actually a part of of it grow something. I'm trying to be like, Can I just grow this this.


Is that the the movement? Two over and over over again, are the the movement. Are part of the movement, we are the movement. What is the movement? Where are we moving to?




We're leaving the plantation and we're going into the forest and we don't have a map of the forest. That's where we're moving to. That's why it's so scary. That's why it's so scary.


But we've.


Heard stories. We've heard stories, some from the past, some from the future. So we know that there are some islands. We know that there's water. We think that there might actually be other people who are already free, and so we have to go find them. But there's a lot we don't know.


Okay, I'll follow follow too.


And I think we we have I love what you talked about with when your kids start coming back and being like, I know more now than you do. And I remember that when your your sat me down and was just like, I'm going to give you a lecture about communism. And I'm like, like, to You're going to tell me about it? And then they did. And I was like, Damn, you're right. I did not not know.


You literally had done more research than the rest of us combined.


I was like, Wow, you read more books. I took several classes. I've been living my life. There's this beautiful moment about youth shall lead us, indigenous peoples shall lead us, the Earth itself shall lead us. And if we can listen to any one of those three, we can head in the right direction.


So true.


I love you both. Thank you for this hour. I think seriously, we got to one of our questions for you.


Awesome. Well done. If you.


Can just come.


Back nine times. I knew that our sibling relationship is going to be like we might have to do an annual gathering or something. Oh, please. Because I don't feel like there's a lot of people out there who are sister pairs or sibling pairs doing a podcast that is all about revealing as much as we can about what it means to be a human being in this time. It's so exciting for me to know that you all exist and that you're covering the pod squad and you have your folks. It's so exciting for me that we exist and we've got... I do think there's something about about and about the the honesty the love and the like, we're going to be in this for the rest of our lives, this this that is actually a part of the medicine that we all need right now. So it's so good to get to be with you all.


Let's keep doing that. Yeah, what what What a gift to be here with you guys.




Wild. Every minute has been magical.


I really want to thank you for this hour. My head is flooded and I can't wait to just go digest it all. And I really appreciate what... Adrienne, what you're saying about not giving up on our people and, Autumn, what you were saying about my mom would always step in for my my dignity. Would I step in for hers and about the dissociation, how we don't make any sense and aren't acting in alignment with our values when we dissociate from ourselves. And like you're refusing to follow the world's pressure and disassociate from your mother, is keeping that unity of you too saying, I'm not going to make this real tidy for you world, but this this is the truth. Is my truth. And you all work out your confusion on your own. That is so beautiful. I'm just thank you.


For all of that. It's the answer.


I'm going to be thinking about it for a long time.


I also feel like family is the antidote to policing, if that makes sense. So much of what you're talking about is that people are going around and they're policing how everyone else navigates their relationships, their family, their identity, their actions. Policing has gotten so deeply ingrained in the West and especially in the US, so that we're constantly walking around either policing or being policed by others and thinking that that's a normal interaction. That it's normal that someone would be like, You need to drop your mama. What are you talking about? My mother? My mother? I need to navigate my relationship with anyone in my life based on what a stranger interprets the circumstance to to be is policing. That's policing. My job is to love. In this lifetime, I'm trying to love as many people as I can, as deeply as I can. That's my work. When you love people, you don't need to police them. You hold them relationship and you change together. That's what always happens. Sometimes you're changing in the direction of the good, and sometimes you're backsliding in the direction of things that cause harm. But it's my life. I've got to live my own life the whole way through.


The whole way.


Through is how you're doing it. From the start to the end. It's It's it's it's and I've got to live live and I've got to be be accountable I've got to find out who makes sense for me to be accountable to. One of those people is my mom. The other is my dad and my sisters. They're always with with and and they care what anyone else thinks about me. They care how I treat them. The biggest changes that I've made in my life have come because my family was like, We want you to be more present. We want to feel you more. We want to see you more. We want to know you more. If you're out there struggling with your food, we want to know. If you're feeling suicidal, we want to know. That has actually changed me much more than any external pressure from anywhere else. I'm like, These people love me and they're in this for life. Now, I know we're lucky. We have a family that is dedicated to doing this, but I think we're also a model that other families can look to. That's why we're telling the story of it.


That it's like, I think you're giving your family for a reason. I think there's things only your family unit can heal. I think only you and your family know what they are, and that shouldn't be something that someone's blasting in from outside. But the youth will tell you. The youngest people in your family are the ones who will come back and be like, Hey, family, here's the next piece of work for us to do. Do. Children will reach them. Just like all these these leaders. See all these people's children who are coming out and being like, I don't support what my Senator dad is doing. The Jewish young people are leading all these actions. I'm telling you, I have so much faith in what kids can do and what young people can do. And that's also a big reason why I'm like, cease fire, cease fire, because all these children, we need them. We need all of the kids. They're the ones who take us to into the future.


And that spirit is different, though. That spirit.


That you're you're talking I.


Bring to you my gift to this family is to come bring tidings of great joy, which is that there is betterness for us. There's better. As opposed to I have a tendency to mix the the with the family, which is it is my job to defend my humanity by policing the shit out of you people.


Exactly. Exactly.


And telling you what you did.


I'm going to tell you- Instead of saying I get to change the culture of our family, I get to change the culture of our family to being one where where we ask I get to change the culture of our family to one where we have hard conversations. We don't have to have them all the the because I do know there's people in my family who, I don't know, for some weird reason, don't like talking politics all the time.


Weirdos. My 10-year-old being one.


Of the main ones. Literally, every time we're sitting down and she's like, Are we going to talk politics?


I've got a face regimen to take.


Care of people. She's like, We're going to get my face together and play monopoly. I'm like, Oh, no.


Monopoly. Watch out.


She's playing monopoly. But then we just have have to her through this so that it can be a phase and not something she has to rigidly like.


I will tell you, I have no doubt about where she will land. And I think that she will make a great manager of the revolution. Okay, great.


I already.


Believe in her. She's got big CEO energy.


She does. She's She's she's the.


Ceo for freedom. I think, Adrienne, you know this. My call for cease-fire that I did on the inter-webs inter-webs a direct result of watching my baby and their friends and the work they're doing. Their Palestinian friends, their Jewish friends, what they're risking. It's just what they're doing together in their little groups, what they're doing with their families, what they're doing out in the world. It was family. It was family.


Oh, I love.


Hearing that. That. And was backwards. It was them. It was and it wasn't policing. It was it was nothing. None of that. It was learning what they know and watching what they do and being so, so, yeah, of course, that's the way. Way.


That's Yeah. It's that deep moment of being like, How dare any of us think that we are taking a risk by saying the truth? Exactly.






Amazing. That's the privilege of the young people. But being young young enough be like, I'm adaptable and flexible. I can make the change. If you want to rescind to the offer you made to me because I speak up on behalf of not killing kids, then that's okay. I want a job where I can do that. By doing that, your kid and all these other kids kids the culture so that free speech is actually a real thing that can can happen and so never again means means something and these these things. Are cultural shifts we're inside of. The people I feel the hardest for are the ones who are like, resisting it, like going rigid in the face of the cultural cultural shift. Where you end up with the most painful things inside of a family or inside of a society. It's always inviting that softening. You softened when you saw your your standing up for something. You're like, I'm going to soften and move towards it, and I'm going to let it reshape me. That's so beautiful. It's beautiful.


Good job, mama. I love you too so much. Much. And next time we talk, I want to talk to you guys about how you love each other, but also differentiate because I haven't nailed that yet.


We're actively working on this, and I'd be so excited to talk about it. Okay, good. Let's do it.


Yeah, we can do it. Part two. I'll say the quickest thing is as the older sister just to know that the person is another person.


Okay, so I need you to start before that. That's That's going to.


Require about an hour of conversation. Too advanced. That's my thing. Okay, God..


We'll get.


Into the deep end. Let's get to that at the end. We'll get to the next time. But I will just say it's blowing my mind that I'm like, Wow, you're just a different person, not influenced by me.


No, I don't understand.


I am influenced. No, but there's things you do now that I'm like, Oh, you just did did that.




You. That was completely without. She just was like, I'm doing my album release release party, I'm like, Just with other people? I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of you. I'm happy for you. But I'm like- Intriguing and.


A little aggressive. Thank you. I thank you for your support. I know that you love me.


She knows that I love her and I'm.


Like- It was so nice to meet you both. Oh, my my Thank you.




Having me. You're the the best.


We love you all.


All. We love She knows it's time to end.


I have to go pick up my child. No, you go get your daughter.


I'm going to text her to come for her until you get.


To her. Okay, pod squad. We love you. We've just tried to.


Record you. Trial and fraud. Oh, my God. We love you all.


See you next time. Bye.




Thank you.


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