The Great Divorce (From Plastic)

This kind of writing really matters. This kind of activism, that starts right in front of each of us, really matters. I’m really grateful for Christina’s ability and commitment to both.

I can’t wrap my mind around the volume of cast away plastic that has formed island amidst ocean, as well as mountain on top of land mass. I’m told, the oceanic island bigger than Texas. It’s not island, as such. It’s continent.

Read this, please, Christina Baldwin’s thoughtful post on reworking who we are and what we are with plastic. Pick a place to start. The first step typically isn’t a fix of the whole. The first step is often an interruption of the pattern that has created the current circumstance.

I’m in on this Great Divorce. I’m imagining too. You?


Christina Baldwin on Collective Urgency

My friend Christina Baldwin writes recently about flocking Starlings, murmurations, and what she suggests we humans can learn from them regarding our human organizing and participation in society. She writes about collective urgency.

Individual birds synchronize their flight by spatially tracking with the six or seven birds closest around them;


So first gather six or seven folks and empower one another: read and watch and talk together, practice taking actions, communicate outwardly. Hold onto one another.


Each small flock joins the larger collective, by slipping into activity already in motion;


Then with your small group join the next larger thing happening around you: where do you stand and with whom do you stand?


The great size and constantly shifting shape of the flock confuses predators: a hawk, for instance, cannot figure out how to get its talons around this mirage of energies;


This is the power of great marches: a sense of safety when moving in tens, or hundreds, of thousands in peaceful demonstration; occupying space, linking arms, singing the revolution into being. Is danger present? May someone get hurt? Even killed? Yes. It is always so. AND YET—the collective survives.


It is also believed that there is an exchange of information going on about good feeding grounds for the next day.


By acting in coordination, we leave messages, stories, maps,–evidence of our flight and fight, in these times when we rise together—a murmeration of starlings becomes an urgency of citizens.

The pictures and videos linked in Christina’s post are well worth following. They filled me with wonder.

For times such as these, I need the reminder, the simplicity, and the encouragement to have courage.

Thanks Christina and all who are murmering.

The Circle Way 4 Week Online Class Starts Today

I’m teaching this online class with Amanda Fenton, who is delightful. She doesn’t just do circle. She practices it. She lives it. I learn much from and with her.

Twenty-eight participants will gather for the first class today, offered twice. We capped registration at 14 per class to encourage a kind of intimacy and knowing each other. Delicious people, each who have expressed in writing some of what they care about. Schools. Meetings at work. Situations of conflict and mediation. Family. Community. First Nations. Healthcare. Government. Social work. Libraries. And more. It’s a big list. It’s an important part of the invitation to encourage real purpose and meaning. Today that will shift to voice and video together.

Nine countries in which these participants are living — USA, Canada, India, Australia, Austria, Wales, Bermuda, New Zealand, Spain.

What is exciting and attractive to me that is that each of us comes with a baseline assumption, or hope, that connection matters. We all want meaning and purpose in our gatherings. We are all looking for a simplicity to help that happen more regularly.

I hope, and intend, that together, we all find within us and among us the added witnessing and courage that helps us to be, practice, and live in the best ways in these many environments that we care about.

Ready, go.

Support Innovative Circle Initiatives

Resting at the root of all of the participative leadership work that I do is The Circle Way.

Sometimes it is explicit — we are learning and practicing The Components Wheel.

Sometimes it is implicit  — it would be nutty to not begin with a thoughtful startpoint (poem, quote, etc.) and a check-in.

Always, there is invitation to more thoughtfully connect and go together.

I believe we human beings — in our governments, in our education systems, in our nonprofits, in our corporations — need to further learn to bring out the best and the wise in each other.

I give to support all of that. 

Join me in that support this month?

Join the many others that are finding this practice of circle to be what makes all the difference.