In episode 14 of season 2, Emma shared the minutes from our first internal meeting. This was huge progress, and really took a lot of time to pull off and a lot of energy to figure out how to do. We have been working on this for over a year with our therapist, and then the last month in group as well. Our first big effort as a system was this meeting about meetings as we planned what our meetings would look like, and how we would gather people to come to the meetings. It was really a lot of work! It was also exhausting, and we slept for almost twenty hours after our first meeting.
But here’s what Molly’s Meeting Minutes looked like:
You can see it was fairly simple in the beginning, just noting the date and where we were and who was present. We also noted a few that watched without participating. The main section, then, was the actual minutes from the meeting, which Molly typed as they happened. At the close of the meeting, there were assignments made for everyone attending, as well as a list of topics brainstormed to cover at the next meeting.
Maybe that gives you some simple ideas for starting meetings for your system?
Be sure that everyone is invited, even if they cannot come!
It’s the same for those who do not wish to come - they are still invited, even if they don’t want to come.
But no one has to come. Everyone always has a choice. That’s a really important thing for everyone to know.
If you listened to Episode Four of Season Two “Unboxing Ourselves”, Sasha shared our new experiment in journaling!
We always use simple spiral notebooks for journaling because we write so much that we go through one or two notebooks a week. We take the notebooks to therapy, leave them with the therapist, and then fill up one or two more during the next week. I don’t know how many pages we have filled up since finding our therapist about a year ago!
But this was a new experiment. We wanted a communication notebook specifically, rather than only journaling. One thing we remembered was THIS VIDEO from Power to the Plurals, that included the suggestion of making some kind of orientation page at the very beginning of your journal so that any new insiders could know what was going on a bit if they needed help remembering the present time. Here is what our orientation page looked like in this new journal experiment:
Then we made a list of 14 questions we thought would be helpful toward getting to know each other, and wrote them on the next page as you can see. Then we just left the journal out, and let people respond when they could. We left pages between each response, so that we can respond to each other a bit or ask follow-up questions if we want or leave any comments.
Now, remember, this was not just magic or easy to do. We have been working toward this for a whole year, or twenty, as Sasha explains in the podcast. And then intensely for a week, and got about 23 responses. You can hear this “unboxing” on Sasha’s podcast. But here are a few pictures, since we had also recently talked about different handwritings… this is not everyone who replied, but a few examples that we could share without revealing too much content or anything too private.