I talk with Nkem Ndefo, founder of Lumos Transforms and creator of the Resilience Toolkit, about the power of coming home to the body, how doing so can help build capacity for hard conversations, and why we have the chance to remake culture in every single interaction.

This episode was originally recorded in front of a live Zoom audience on November 30th, 2021.

Key takeaways from this conversation:

  • How the concept of “resilience” gets weaponized to individualize systemic problems
  • The power inequities and dynamics around overwhelm and resilience
  • How we can build capacity to have hard conversations and stay in them
  • Discerning between feeling unsafe and feeling uncomfortable when doing transformative change work
  • What role individual and collective transformation have to play in liberation

Favorite Quotes

“There’s a real poverty of language around our internal experience. The word is interoception — a real poverty of interoception in our culture because it’s devalued. And so as people begin to have the language and then they start to notice the patterns of when things show up and as they become aware of them, more choice points open up and intentionality about, oh, look at this pattern. And so then as you start to feel it because you are the one who observed it, you start to feel, at the beginning of the pattern, I feel this… then a choice point starts to be like: Do I want to go down the rest of this pattern? Or might there be some discernment about what might be useful?”

“Often, especially for people with a lot of trauma, being uncomfortable can feel unsafe. So learning to discern the difference is super important. And so really can we ask: Am I materially in danger right now? Is someone running at me with a knife? Is there somebody armed here? Am I in danger of losing my job? I mean, there’s not just physical danger, but is there emotional danger? Is there economic danger? And to be able to ask those questions when we’re really pressured and in that state, we’re going to often see danger where there isn’t danger. But even asking the questions starts to get us like, you know what? Maybe I’m actually a little safer than I thought and you can let some of that go and lean into a little bit more discomfort.”

“We have a chance to remake culture in every interaction, every conversation, every email, every text, every time we talk to ourselves, how we cook for ourselves. I mean, everything you do has a chance to remake, right?”


The articles and ideas that we mention in this epi:

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