Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Trull

It’s that time of the year. I can feel my bones stirring, getting ready for new beginnings. It’s that wintery feeling that comes when we get ready for the spring and summer to warm us up and get us out into the world again. In SoS terms, it’s the “January Gathering” time of year when we get together to plan our projects and programs for Summer of Solutions and all of our solutionary endeavors. And though I didn’t go to the January Gatherings this year, I still feel that sense of stirring, beginnings, and excitement. It is time to connect with people around us, to share ideas, dream up new possibilities, and get ready to grow in new directions.
As Solutionaries around the country organize and prepare for their Summer of Solutions programs, I’m getting ready for a new Solutionary launch of my own. This spring I will be rolling out Sol Chariots Pedicab Cooperative, a worker-owned and operated bike taxi service in Providence, RI. I’ve been organizing with my fellow founders and worker-owners to plan and prepare to kick off this spring with our self-created green jobs that sustain us while providing sustainable transportation in the city we live in. I’m super excited to be building my own job and creating a workplace that is autonomous and democratic, as we redefine work and the workplace in a way that is in line with our values. This past month we successfully completed a grassroots investment campaign to raise $5000 that reminded us of the community of support we are opening with and how powerful a cooperative economy can be. Continue reading

Courageous climate-saving superheros?

Last Wednesday night, a group of about 15 Worcester Solutionaries sat around a community fire hosted by our local librarian, advisor, and spiritual teacher Rachael Shea, checking-in for the week after one of our delicious, abundant potlucks. Rachael and her fellow friend, shaman, and healer Dan Sprinkles, who was a special guest visiting us, posed the questions, “What motivates you to do this work for Summer of Solutions?” “What brings you together as a community in ways that seem so natural to you but yet take time and practice from so many others?” and “What gives you the courage to do what you’re doing?”, not necessarily expecting an answer, but just hoping to understand how and why we’re doing what we’re doing this summer. The last question struck me as particularly interesting and maybe misdirected because I did not consider what we were doing “courageous” per se; to me that sounded too gratifying or pedestal-deserving than what we were actually doing. After talking to Dan about it more and asking what he meant by that question, he told me that “courage” actually comes from root definitions meaning “action from the heart”. All of a sudden it made more sense to me, and I do see our work this summer as full of courage; not in a medal-deserving way, but in a way that we maybe don’t know exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing, but it feels right, important, and coming from a natural pull from our hearts to action.