Unpack Biases Now™ 21-Day Challenge (Starts Nov 8)
I was scrolling through Instagram (the only social media tool I now use - although my patience is wearing thin) and saw a tag from a new patron who goes by the username ShaiUnleashed. Curious, I went to her stories and saw this:

(I added the hands and the words, "I LOVE this!")

#NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month...

The goal during NaNoWriMo is to write once a day for 30-days in the month of November to get that novel out of your head.

I participated the during my year of writing and wrote an 80,000 memoir (not a novel) during that month. It was a taxing exercise, but I'm happy I did it.

I'm not a writing coach; I'm a racial justice advocate...

And I believe in the power of expressive writing to help you, a highly sensitive introverted leader (HSIL for short), question your unconscious biases using guided prompts. 

According to research done by Dr. James Pennebaker, considered the leading expert in writing to heal (or expressive writing as I like to call it), write therapy has as much impact in changing human behaviour as does talk therapy. Woohoo!

There are close to 40 expressive writing prompts in the library...

Take a look at this mindmap I drew that gives a visual outline of the prompts in the library:

The prompts are grouped into FOUR categories...

  • Ancestry / Family - Designed to help you break generational wounds and get rid of ancestral amnesia
  • Boundaries - Created to help HSILs learn how to stop giving up their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual labour to over-demanding people, algorithms, and exploitative work
  • Privilege - Break through biases around skin colour, race, and ethnicity
  • Sustainability / Ecology - Ways to honour nature and respect its wisdom


So, I reached out to the new patron and told her that I love the idea so much, I'm going to launch this as a challenge for the entire community...

So, this is my invitation for you to join! We'll write through one expressive writing prompt per day during the weekdays (no writing over the weekend).

Here are some additional details:

What: Unpack Biases Now™ 21-Day Challenge
Start
: Thursday November 8, 2018***
End: Thursday December 6, 2018 with a LIVE gathering over Zoom at 8pm Eastern (connection details to follow)
When: You choose the time of the day to write (here's a suggested way)
How: Go through the library of prompts in chronological order, or jump around and choose your own adventure (watch this video for tips)
Where: Choose a space in your home, car, office, train, bus, or outdoors where you can write uninterrupted for at least 30-minutes
Why: To unpack your unconscious biases so you become a better leader in your home, community, company, corporation, or team

***No writing on the weekends. Use Saturday and Sunday for reflection (and NOT for catching up as there's nothing to catch up on)

To prepare for the challenge starting on November 8th, do the THREE actions below...

I calculate that you'll need about 45-minutes to complete the actions below.

Action #1 - Form an identity-based habit

If you focus on the outcome (writing daily), you'll become discouraged if you miss a day or two. Then, it may lead to you not writing at all.

Do as James Clear suggests in this essay - develop the habit around who you want to become. That way, if you miss a day or two, instead of beating yourself up, you'll jump back in knowing that writing daily is bringing you closer to who you really want to be.

Action #2 - Review the terms of use

The expressive writing prompts are for your personal use ONLY. You are not to download them, or share them with anyone else. Read the terms of use here.

A licensing program will launch in 2019 where you can use the prompts ethically in a group or individual setting. This will be of interest if you're a yoga instructor, therapist, teacher, business coach, workshop facilitator, or community leader (just to name a few). The application to license the prompts will be launched in December 2018. 

So, to reiterate, DO NOT SHARE the prompts. DO NOT POST them anywhere. Please read the full terms of use here.

Action #3 - Schedule when you'll write

Take a look at the library of expressive writing prompts (click here). There are more writing prompts than there are days in this challenge. Decide on the 21 you'll write through during the 21-days.

  • If you're an INFJ (or someone who loves planning), get your journal or calendar out, and start scheduling.
  • If you're an INFP (or someone who feels an aversion to details), you can decide on which prompt you'll write through depending on how you feel before you sit to write. That's a great way to honour your need for spontaneity while sticking to the structure.


Write expressively before choosing another form to express yourself...

Some patrons choose to express the answers to the writing prompts through different forms of art. Patrons have posted paintings, poetry, illustrations, even crochet projects. I LOVE seeing the various forms of artistry, and I encourage you to use them during the challenge.

And I'd still like you to write FIRST. You'll find a sense of clarity for your art if you first get your thoughts out through words. There are nuances that will flow through your words that will only enhance your artistry. 

  • So, if you'd like to just write, that's fine.
  • Or, if you'd like to create another form of art, that's fine too. But write expressively first.


And if you've already started the challenge on your own, keep going...

Don't stop! The only thing I suggest is that you modify according to the suggestions above so you can be in community with the rest of us. 

Please post your thoughts and reaction below...

I can't wait for us to get started on November 8th!

And if you're not already a patron and you'd like to participate in this challenge, click here to become a patron.