Community Resilience and Self-Reliance

Working with the Quinault Indian Nation on their strategic plan was a lesson in resilience. The stories of resilience, self-reliance and community wellbeing are abundant in their history.  The oral histories give clear insight for how to strengthen each. It is a blessing to live in a region where the stories and practices of resilience are alive in Elders.  These stories show us patterns of wellbeing worth living into in creative new ways.

“We used to follow the fish and follow the seasons.  Everybody shared everything.  My Mom’s family is Tulalip, my Mom arranged so we had relatives all around the Puget Sound. So if one tribe had a bad season then you came together and were provided for.  It was just tradition.”

“We used to travel all over and get what you needed through those relationships.  Traveling all over, hosted by the communities.  You have abundance and give away lots of food. Continue Reading...

Organic Models of Leadership

The past two weekends I hosted two General Assemblies for the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Mexico City and San Antonio.  They are an international and intercultural community working in education, healthcare, literacy, and social justice.

They committed themselves to developing an “Organic Model of Leadership” 4 years ago and have been living into what that means.  Within the community they named principles or values for how they work together:  Participation,  Relationships,  Co-responsibility and accountability,  Corporate unity,  Multiculturalism and Formation (continue growing).

Working from a Livings Systems Model

We explored several aspects of working within a living systems model.  First is the nature of change.  We explored the dance between Chaos and Order - and the challenge of finding the new forms of organization that serve the mission as the community and world changes.  The need to be adaptive as part of this dynamic.  This is the The Challenge of Walking the Chaordic Path.… Continue Reading...

Very Cool Tool: Groupworks Card Deck

One of the tools I’m really enjoying working/playing with is the Group Works Card Deck.  This was a collaborative effort of many many people to look at the underlying patterns for how we bring groups together and what we do together.   They are really fun to play with as an inspiration for design, to see what to do when stuck or just creative inspiration.  Tenneson, Chris,and I used them to design an Art of Hosting drawing cards to see what was at the heart of the gathering, what was needed and where we were going.   It was great inspiration for an awesome event.  Here’s the birth announcement for the cards and more info.    Thanks to all those who created these!  A true gift to all us process artists.

The Group Works card deck, the first product of the Group Pattern Language Project, is now out! You can order copies of the deck, download a free PDF copy and learn about our upcoming mobile/phone app version of the deck on the website, groupworksdeck.org .… Continue Reading...

Everything You Do is Sacred – Hafiz

My friend Abdi Sami has been living with cancer and all the treatments.  It’s been an honor to witness the soulful journey.  He shared this poem of Hafiz which seems like a good way to begin any day and any blog.

Everything You Do is Sacred

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
With veracity
And love.

…Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time
For you to deeply compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.

Hafiz