When Less Is More

I love it when the Crocus blooms in Spring. They are delicate. Yet, they are also bad-assed, working their way through some of last years died-off and dried stems from Fever Few Daisies. The Crocus doesn’t last long where I live. Usually 2-3 weeks. But their impact is significant. For me they emanate “less is more.”

On the weekend I co-hosted with Quanita Roberson an online World Cafe for a Board and Staff of a conference within the United Church of Christ. Overall, it was fun to do. And simple. Yet, I feel had significant impact.

Cafes, and so many forms of turning to one another, are about multiple things at the same time. For me, I find myself so often emphasizing the importance of connection. With relationship comes renewed ability to learn. With connection and learning comes support to try things. Tasks. Experiments. To-dos.

This cafe was simple.

  1. Some opening words to set context on how it is bold to tend to the health and connectivity of the whole. This was a group of 35. And some opening words about the importance of sharing story and witness together. And some opening words about the theme of the cafe — authentic yielding to spirit — witch is a rather core competency for these folks’ in their aspired ways of being.
  2. In groups of 4-5 people for Round 1, 20 minutes, share a story of a time when you experienced ease in authentic yielding to spirit. Groups are random, Zoom style. When back in the whole group, popcorn a few headlines from the groups.
  3. In different groups of 4-5 people for Round 2, 20 minutes, share a story of a time when you experienced struggle in authentic yielding to spirit. Again random Zoom groups. Again, a bit of popcorn harvest.
  4. In different groups of 4-5 people for Round 3, 20 minutes, what principles do you recommend we remember in our journey forward that help authentically yield to spirit?Harvest from this was three recommends per group (fewer than the number of people so that there is some navigation together) written by participants on Google Doc “sticky notes.” And then noticing patterns together in the whole group.

It’s not complicated design. It’s not arduous detail of invitation. Less is more. Share stories. Listen to others in their stories. Look with soft eyes to see if there are patterns. Enjoy a moment to see similarity and to see difference. Welcome reminders for something that is a long arc, yet still experienced in the every day.

I’m grateful to the many people in my life that have taught me, or reminded me, of the power of “less is more.” Including the yellow Crocus.

One Reply to “When Less Is More”

  1. It was helpful to me to read this early this morning. It speaks to me about an opportunity I have to be present as a facilitator of a sharing circle that I have been reluctant to step into. It is faith-based, and I have not felt I am “qualified” to be a leader of a faith-based group. But the truth is that if I follow the principles you’ve spoken here, I am qualified. I know how to ask a meaningful question. I know how to listen carefully, to find what is similar and what is different. I know how to be curious about my own faith, and that of others.

    “Less is more. Share stories. Listen to others in their stories. Look with soft eyes to see if there are patterns. Enjoy a moment to see similarity and to see difference. Welcome reminders for something that is a long arc, yet still experienced in the every day.”

    This is something I know how to do. And when I see that on three occasions, people are calling me to do this thing, then I have to consider what is holding me back.

    I will take the time to discern. It is not mine to rescue others. It is mine to recognize an opportunity to share my gifts in a way that brings more life to myself and others

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