Beginning Invitation

Today begins a 4-week series that I will be cohosting with Quanita Roberson. The series is on race, equity, power, privilege, diversity, inclusion. Yes, it is a lot. It will be with a group of 20 people. The invitation to offer this series came from a good desire — from an organization that wants to be good citizens. Attentive citizens. Kind people. Awake people. I’m excited about this series. I’m also a bit nervous.

As is often the case for me, particularly for beginnings, I find myself thinking and feeling my way through what might be some of the most clear and simple words to share. That set context. That welcome people. That settles the feeling of people there. That softens all of us. That gets me in the room (on the screen) and that helps others get in the room (on the screen). Beginnings matter. Tone matters.

As is often the case for me, I can find multiple key points, but find myself needing to winnow them down to two or three. Well, here’s some of what might show today. I am learning to trust the words that come through in the moment, my hope being that whatever I speak contributes to a commitment to be belly true together.

  • It matters that we be in good, inspired learning spaces together. That means being curious together. It means contributing our stories and experiences. It means that we be willing to be surprised. It means that we be will to sit in an unsettledness together. But let’s be clear. This is about deliberate learning in a community of people that want to do good.
  • It matters that to be in good, inspired learning together, that we create even more relationship together. All of what we do is relational. All of the learning that we do is relational, and can be amplified because we are deliberately in learning as a group. Relational means with self, with others, among others, with circumstance. It means we need our brains, our hearts, our bellies. We need clear thinking. We also need intuition. Without relation, information is too often a hollow and disappointing shell.
  • It matters that to be relational, we start with assumptions of kindness. With grace. With patience. With pace. Kindness, conscousness, and flow with life itself. So that we might each and all be good noticers together and contributing to the journey of the whole of us. It matters that we find paths together. Even tiny experiments that grow and improve what we are all discovering together.

Yup. Here we go today. In complex journey, yet I hope framed to simple essence. We don’t have to know it all together. We just have to have spaces to find more of our way, and I believe, to celebrate the efforts we are making, and to further enculturate ourselves to lives of learning and practice for good. That starts with a good, simple beginning.

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