A while ago, a colleague on a professional e-mail list invited us all to write about “why we do what we do”. Coincidentally, in a women’s leadership group, we had been exploring this same question. Here is my response:
What I love about my work: I love creating an environment where people can explore divergent perspectives safely, with curiosity and interest instead of fear. I love helping groups engage differences in ways that feel creative, empowering, and energizing. I love co-creating spaces where people can tap into their own deep caring for the larger whole, as well as tapping into their own fresh thinking and brilliant creative genius. It’s intense, passionate, and playful “deep fun”!
My mission: To support people around the world, in learning to safely tap into the abundant & renewable energy of apparently-conflicting perspectives. To help us all learn to use this powerful energy in safe ways, as fuel for creativity, social healing, and greater wholeness.
What keeps me going: The experiences I’ve had, let me know me that it really is possible for groups to engage in creative ways with challenging social conflicts. Seeing others work with the Dynamic Facilitation process, especially in the many Bürgerräte (Civic Councils for participatory public policy-making) that have taken place in Austria and Germany.
The vision of communities as places where we can not only learn to appreciate differences – but beyond that, to welcome differences as opportunities to grow, to discover new possibilities, to gain deeper understanding, and to ultimately feel more connected with one another.
The needs I see: I see the need for a greater social capacity to work constructively with disagreements. I see the need for all of us to develop these bridging capacities, so we can become more resistant to “divide and conquer” tactics. I see the need for enjoyable and sustainable ways to arrive at practical ways forward, together — so we can continually be renewing ourselves as we do so.
What inspires my ongoing commitment: Knowing, in my bones, what’s possible. Knowing that we really can learn to hold space for groups in ways that support deep transformation. Knowing that our future as a species, depends on our developing these kinds of skills.
What I most enjoy receiving from my teaching: The sense of aliveness I feel, when people connect with their own deep caring and sense of possibility. The deep joy at being in a space where people are love-wrestling with significant issues in meaningful ways. The sense of hope I feel, as I see others catching a glimpse of the possibilities, and deepening their own skills in this practice.