Andrea Solza: “’Aletheia’ is a word from Ancient Greek variously translated as emergent truth, unhiddenness, the process of unearthing the truth about something – or someone. When we started this venture, Anita and I were looking for a name that would capture the essence not just of our own journeys towards more conscious relationships with ourselves and others, but in fact anyone’s. I think we must have looked at nearly a hundred, but no other word felt quite as accurate.
Alethya’s mission is to allow people to explore, self-determine and thrive in their personal and inter-personal lives, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship framework, age, and background.
We created Alethya because it was what we both needed and would have wanted 4 years ago when, separately, we both began exploring more conscious relationship choices. It can be hard to believe now that just 4 years ago this was not a topic for the mainstream media – especially now when hardly a week goes by without some feature on non-monogamy or different choices about how to live and love appearing. Admittedly they often don’t get it quite right but at least they seem to have started a conversation amongst broader audience – which is how you are here tonight.
Alethya is a way of life, a mindset and a set of behaviours that applies to all your relationships – whether romantic, family, sexual, work or friends and, most importantly, the relationship with yourself. With Alethya, we aim want to create a space to challenge rules and question stereotypes, debate the old, the new and the possible.”
Anita Cassidy: “There are four key ways in which we support people in doing this: events, professional listings and consulting, technology, and our website. Alethya.com features original writing on a vast range of topics: from change to obesity, parenting to desire, self care to dating. There are book and movie reviews, videos and podcasts as well as event reviews and recommendations. There’s a member’s community which you can use for something as simple as saying hi to someone you met at a social to keeping a private journal or just sharing news, images and ideas. The site also offers resources such as a well-written and comprehensive glossary and unique road maps that can help you navigate different relationship challenges.
As part of our effort to create a network which can support a truly global audience, we are building a directory of professionals who are aligned with our ethos and who can support you in different areas of your life, particularly professionals with hard-to-find expertise and experience. At cruise speed, we see family lawyers, psychologists, career coaches, PTs, etc worldwide being listed here.”
AES: “In addition to great online resources we host a quarterly social called NEXUS. These are lively get-togethers taking place in central London which are a great chance to get to know like-minded and interesting people from all walks of life. It’s a place to come and share your story, have a drink, and just enjoy the fact that we, as individuals and in our relationships, no matter what form they take, have more in common than we have differences.
Any and all of our relationships offer challenges as well as joy. Dealing with these is made so much easier by having a support network of intelligent and engaging people with who you can discuss and share stories. We’ve met so many great people through Alethya and the socials, people who are all navigating their own, individual and unique, journeys together. This is what Alethya is for, supporting you in making and then evolving the decisions and choices you make about your life and all the relationships you have whether they are sexual, romantic, work, family, friendships.”
AC: “It can be easy to dismiss socials such as these as something one doesn’t need if you’re in already in a relationship or if you “don’t need help”. So many of us are taught or conditioned to be ashamed of issues with our own emotions and relationships. We are taught that we should know what we need and that relationships just “work” ; that, when there is “love” , any and all problems can be overcome. Our community helps you to feel supported in sharing your joys and triumphs as well as challenges. It is a safe and welcoming place and one that recognises that change and challenges as well as happiness are all part of living and loving.”
AES: “Now, the events are a great place to be if you happen to be in London, and of course the site can be accessed from wherever you are: we have users from the US all the way to Australia. An even more impactful way of reaching out to the wider world is through the device we all carry in our pockets. Anita and I have been thinking of different ways of packaging the Alethya ethos in a mobile application that could help people on their way to more conscious relationships.
After over 9 months of R&D, it’s fair to say that we have a product that extends far beyond what we originally intended. We really see it as being a new framework for digital interaction: it harnesses the best of social technology whilst overcoming the known issues with privacy, data scraping and emotional harm. It makes it easier to discover, organise and share the things you love to do, on your own and with others. More on this over the course of 2019.”
AC: “We run workshops. In March, Lori and I will be running a MONOGAMY HANGOVER workshop – this is a day long session which helps develop our understanding of the ways in which the myths about relationships can get in our way. It will be a really practical and fun day that’ll see people developing real tools and skills to help them get more out of their relationship lives whatever that looks like right now. There are more workshops and talks planned for 2019 and beyond.
We also host adult play events such as NoMo, the only independent agency play party and we are working on an idea for an event that taps into a growing interest in primal sexuality. We believe that sex and intimacy can be playful, spontaneous and fun as well as safe. We see these events as a living and breathing thing, were people are encouraged to interact with each other and the staff play an active role in shaping the experience.”
AES: “The last 10 years have been an extraordinary phase of societal experimentation, marked by the rise of smartphones and social media. Although new technologies have opened up exciting possibilities, what I’m specifically interested in is the way in which they have heightened our sense of inadequacy and insecurity.
In the West, my generation – the Millennials – are the generation that while growing up was told they “had everything” and that “they had it easy”. Then, the Financial Crisis of 2007 happened, global balances shifted, and the world started looking very different from the one we had been raised in; today, many of us have degrees, some have a master or two, PhDs, yet we still find it hard to get a mortgage or a job where we are truly fulfilled, where we don’t feel like we are either wasted or lacking. We are the best educated generation ever, yet the most unhappy. It is amidst this complex web of feelings that we open our social media accounts and are overwhelmed with stories telling us of (allegedly) better lives than ours: better holidays, better homes, better-looking partners, better jobs.
After a decade of this, it seems to me like what many of us are now craving to hear, whether from our partners, from our families, or from society at large – and most importantly from ourselves – is: “You are enough. You are fine”. You are fine for being single. You are fine for wanting children. You are fine for not wanting children. You are fine for still being looking to find out who you are and what you want. All the stuff you are into, the porn you are into, whether you are cheating on your wife…That’s fine! But – you’ve got to acknowledge it. You can’t throw the rock and hide the hand. You have got to acknowledge it and bring it to light and embrace the consequences and take ownership. Developing this awareness is an incredibly hard process and something no-one should do in isolation – you must look for support and share the journey.
When you cross that line, when you stop giving yourself bullshit about yourself and where you wanted to be in life and who you wanted to be with…magic happens. Your existence is transformed. Completely and irreversibly – and for the best. It’s a different process for each one of us and it can happen in a different part of our lives and at a different time.
The route taken by previous generations, “behave, conform, swallow, please everyone; if you’ve got to do your thing, do it quietly and make sure no-one catches you” is simply no longer excusable. The cross-generational damage that such narrative has caused to all of us, and that it is still causing, is incalculable. It has got to stop. We must change the story.
You need to embrace the emergent truth about yourself. Embrace change. Embrace who you are, right now and who you are going to be, whoever that might be. This is Alethya.”
AC: “None of us know what’s next when it comes to ourselves or our relationships. So much of what we share and talk about at the socials as well as online are the foundational skills that help us all to build and have extraordinary conscious relationships in all areas of our lives. Nothing is static and one thing our community does is to remind you that you are not alone in facing the challenges as well as celebrating the joys of being alive.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the evening!”