“Don’t believe everything you think.” – Byron Katie
Autumn is here! As the nights grow longer and the days become cooler, Nature reminds us all that change is a constant in life.
Here at FTC, we’re undergoing a big transition as well: hiring two new team members and moving into a bigger office space, offering projects at two new prisons, and starting up a weekly Youthful Offender Program (for men between the ages of 18-22).
Deep in the process of transitioning to a scalable, heart-centered enterprise, we’re also gearing up to raise funds to help us sustain this growth (and take it to the next level!) in 2020 and beyond.
Your dedication is both what has gotten us this far and what will help us move forward! Please save the date for Giving Tuesday (December 3) and our end-of-year campaign (November 19-December 19), which will honor FTC’s 15th anniversary. More details about how you can help spread this good work far and wide are to come!
As FTC is committed to transformation at the deepest level, when we zoom out, we remember we must shift our thinking– and the stories we tell about ourselves and our lives– to truly change. This month’s newsletter will support you in doing just this.
Thank you for being here. Enjoy!
- October Community Call: October 17 2019 | 12-1pm
(Call-in details– and recordings of past monthly calls–are available when you join our FTC Online Community in Mighty Networks here.)
- Pathways to Freedom Workshop at SATF: November 11-13 2019
(This is our first, large workshop at one of the new men’s prisons we’re working with in Corcoran, CA. We still have room for volunteers! If you want to join us, please apply here.)
- Giving Tuesday: December 3 2019 (more info TBA!)
- Honoring 15 Years of FTC: An online celebration from November 19-December 19 2019(more info TBA!)
In Your Words
At the end of July, we took a small group of pioneering volunteers to help launch our Youthful Offender Program (YOP) at SATF. A day full of heart, joy, and ease, we received this email the next day from one of the prison staff:
You guys wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would, because you’re used to it) the feedback I’ve been getting back from yesterday…. The mentors were lined up this morning to tell me how much they truly enjoyed it…. amazing. I remember when we first started our program I felt a difference being made and it gave me a joy that hasn’t really been there since…. until today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you….. I hope the guys lived up to the expectation and I hope to see you guys come out again soon. Have a good day!
Let’s Practice: Freedom from Assumptions (It’s Just a Story)
On our pathway to freedom, true liberation is the result of freeing ourselves from the limiting thoughts that imprison us. Freedom comes from within; the negative stories we tell ourselves block our awareness of the freedom that naturally exists within each of us.
This can be achieved by turning our awareness inward to an unexpected source of pain – our thinking. Any time we experience pain or disturbance of any kind, we need to look at our thinking and get curious about the truth/untruth of our stories. It is these stories and judgments that create most of our suffering.
We make progress with consistent practice. Here’s an experiment for the next month:
- Set an intention at the beginning of the day to be aware of your thinking and to choose to focus on self-acceptance and learning (rather than self-criticism and negative judgments).
- Before going to bed, review your day and notice if/when you judged yourself. Experiment with releasing the judgments and looking for what you learned.
A Little Inspiration: Why Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You
In 1991, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was, he says, “a drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol.” Jailed for second degree murder, that could very well have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was the beginning of a years-long journey to redemption, one with humbling and sobering lessons for us all. Watch this inspiring TED talk here.
We look forward to seeing you this Thursday in our Monthly Community Call! And stay tuned for more information about our upcoming 15-Year Anniversary Celebration.
In the meantime, enjoy the second half of October!
Your FTC Team