I enjoyed this conversation with Dave Fearon. I know Dave through several conversations — primarily “Author’s Jams” connected to the Collaborative Change Library, shepherded by Steve Cady, Theo Forde Stiegler, Lisa Garcia, and others.
Dave taught in universités for 50 years. I enjoyed hearing his stories and commitments to creatively engage and cultivate the learner. And with Dave, it so often points back to “practice.” Ways of learning. Ways of leading.
It’s sponsored by Tacheria, an organization focused on interfaith spirituality. It’s my friend and colleague (froleague) Cathy Stafford that invited me to offer an online workshop on Circle. I loved our process of thickening and honing the purpose through our conversations.
Kinda proud of this description for the workshop. Because it points to the underneath stuff that most of us wish to practice personally and with people in causes that we care about.
First the title: Reimagining Together — isn’t this the wish of most of us. What also could this school be? Or this team? Or this community? How might we reimagine what it means to go together in wisdom? And in kindness? And in helpfulness? And in other life-giving ways? It invites reimagining what is possible, and I believe, a feeling that our hearts already know.
And then the subtitle: A Community Workshop that Reclaims Story and Skills for Going With Heart. Yup, that too points to the wishes of so many of us. We want to reclaim a story that invites us fully to presence, community, belonging. We want skills. We want animated spirit. We want meaning. We want breath.
You can read the rest of the description that Cathy and I wrote on the Tacheria page. And you can register.
Reimagining — it is some of the most tender, and fierce, calling that I know, and that so many of us keep practicing forward.
If you look closer at the bottom right framed picture, you’ll see small photographs of my maternal grandparents. That’s Grandpa Gould on the top, William Wesley Gould. He went by Billie. And sometimes “Grandpa Cow” to us grandkids, because he could make great mooing sounds. He lived to be 98 — he’s 93 in the photo. That’s Grandma Gould below his photo, Fern Janet Gould (formerly Brown). Most of us called her “Grannie.” She was sweet. She was firm. She had a great wink. She lived to be 95 — she’s celebrating her 90th birthday in the photo.
I’ve set up new office over the last several weeks. All part of a move. A move that has me resorting some of the old things to bring along, some of the things to let go of, and some of the new to make room for.
When the dust settles, two of the people that I like having near are Billie and Fern, Grandpa and Grannie. Because they center me. Because they anchor belonging. In what has been the past — values of kindness, hope, perseverance. In what is the present — movement, transition, courage. In what is the future — unfolding, thickening, surprise.
Sometimes the people that come with us are important family folk — grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, daughters, sons, dogs, cats, and goldfish. Sometimes the people that come with us are old friends and colleagues — mentors, fellow dreamers, fellow schemers, people we’ve learned life with, people who’ve helped make us who we are. Sometimes the people that come with are new loves — the simple gifts of people and path that awaken the heart of it all.
I’m glad for a new space. I’m glad for people that come with, no matter what. For the centering. For the reminder of belonging. Sometimes found in a few winks, and sometimes in the distant sounds of a few cows.
Sometimes the harvest is from working with a group. As in, the pictures above with written insights and gratitudes on post-it notes and flip charts. I recently co-created a process (thx Krista Betz) for 50 people who had been together for a week in learning. It was simple — personal reflection, then partner conversations, then small group conversations, then back to partners, then to an offered insight. It was good to cap the week with a little consciousness on important moments and gratitudes. It was good to cap the week with appreciation for the experience of being together.
Sometimes the harvest is from having family and friends together. As in, making soup together, with a dear one. As in, pulling out what is left in the fridge. It’s leftovers — turkey, brussel sprouts, zuchini, tomato, onion, celery. It’s thyme, basil, paprika, salt, pepper. It was also simple — use what we have, create it with experimentation and kindness. And again, an appreciation for the experience of such nourishing together.