You could call it an end. That would be accurate. Yet, there are many attached thoughts to ending. I find it takes discipline to hold an ending as a transition. To hold it with grace. Without apology.
Last week was one of those times. I so appreciated the group that gathered for our Participative Leadership Practitioners Circle. This is a group that has met monthly in different constellations of 6 – 16 people for the past 3.5 years. We’ve met at times to share projects. At times to listen, to learn, to witness. At times to catalyze work, inspirations, and surprise together.
Below is the description I’ve most often used for this group. It has felt clear. Centering.
We are a group of learning friends, colleagues, and practitioners. We support a culture and practice of participative leadership in the Salt Lake Valley.
We meet the third Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Meeting space is offered by the Holladay United Church of Christ, 2631 East Murray Holladay Road.
We meet to strengthen our learning field, our relational field, and apply what we learn to projects that help in this valley.
We meet in varied constellations. You do not have to have participated in all or in previous circles. There is no fee.
We met last week to discern whether there was energy for a new cycle together, and, if others wanted to offer their leadership to continue it. It was clear for me — I was happy to be a participant but my attention has moved into other local projects and initiatives. Thus, we met to also explore the possibility of putting it down. Releasing it.
Releasing it was our discernment.
There was some important learning for me as we closed this group. Was it to be held in shame? As a “falling apart?” What really happened? These were some of the expressions during our evening together.
However, these questions are what I experience as thought traps. They come from a well-intended place of commitment or longevity. Yet, I wasn’t holding it as falling apart. Rather, as graceful letting go. “It was good. Now it is complete.” This was more accurate for me. For me it was important to notice how I felt the energy of this group, mine in relation to it, moving to new forms. Not a loss, but rather a redirection of energy.
What solidified from this group? These are the words that came to me that evening. A rhythm for potential to be realized because of our attention together. And then, to be released when it is time. Many of us found each other because of this circle. Or, found enough to follow a few sparks and offerings for this community. My friend Caitlin Frost is an important teacher of this for me. “It is until it isn’t.”
I appreciated the questions we asked of each other. What is this group to you now? What energy do you have for it now? And after discerning that letting it go was the natural energy, what do you celebrate in this decision?
I loved the reflections shared. Warm. Memories. Gratitudes. Appreciations. For calling it. For friendship. For learning. For movement of energy. For service. For the grace of letting go.
“Something has been added to me. I’m more because I came here.”
Thank you friends. All. The Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community for inspiring me to start it. Erin Gilmore and Glen Brown at the United Church of Christ for offering space to meet, friendship, and co-hosting. The Berkana Institute, a key point of lineage for me that has taught me some essentials of social architecture. For all of you that have participated along the way.
I look forward to the pause, to welcoming others in new ideas, to joining in with others.