It was a couple of weeks ago that Quanita Roberson and I were coming up with a simple process for our Fire & Water small groups to harvest a bit of learning and a bit of clarity. One of the small groups sat at this fire pit, knee to knee.
We were aware that some groups were very tight, traveling well together in their learning and support of each other. We were aware that some groups continued to struggle to find groove.
The point of the small group process was deliberateness of noticing. It was not to resolve old problems. It was not to dissect all of the details, which so often promises fruitfulness, yet so often lands in more quagmire.
The point of the small group practice was to cohere energy, momentarily, to the reality of transitions. The point was to bring focus and energy to learning, which is of course what most of us are trying to do well, whether from the traveling well together or from the struggle together (or from the struggle within).
We asked these three questions to be held in circle, passing a piece to steady the listening and the sharing into the center.
- What is one thing that you celebrate from your experience in this small group?
- What is one learning you wish to carry with you from your experience in this small group?
- Are their agreements you need to clarify in relation to this transition?
As is so often true, these questions were meant to evoke both data (story, insight) and energetic coherence (vibration).
The first question is deliberate to bring energy of celebration and appreciation. And here’s the catch, to bring celebration and appreciation even when all is not easy — this is one of the disciplines that we encourage in Fire & Water.
The second question is deliberate to bring energy to learning. All of life can be learning — this is one of the key orientations that my grandmothers encouraged me to adopt. Being deliberate to see life as learning helps stabilize some other very human experiences (stuck complaining, or stuck lamenting). And because both this question and the first are personalized (“one thing you celebrate…one thing you wish to carry with you…”) there are no wrong answers. These questions help to create witness among the group and witness for the person sharing response.
The third question is deliberate to bring energy of clarity. For some, the agreement is to continue meeting. I’m glad that their connection continues to add life and vitality. For some the agreement is to stop. I’m glad for this too. It’s OK to call an end to a specific form, particularly when a transition is marked with the first two questions. For some the agreement is new form. I’m glad for evolution that is centered in learning and in celebration, that welcomes mystery, yet also trusts intuition for endings.
So, I celebrate these groups in these questions. I carry with me the learning that simple form can create energy to honor and cohere transitions. I carry with me the learning that clarity of endings, or transitions, can be such a gift. It’s basic stuff. Yet it is often basic stuff lost in misdirected purpose or neglected focus.
Here’s to the skill and simplicity to honor these many transitions that are part of human living. And a bow to these beautiful Fire & Water people for engaging in these ways that cohere.