Fire & Water starts today. This is a learning cohort that has been connected virtually since August 2019. Today begins our first face to face — through Sunday in residential retreat. There are 19 of us. This is the Fire & Water, that came into being in discussion and wonder 21 months ago as an idea. “What if, what if….”

Now, today, we have design created. It’s a template to guide us. It’s a container in which to invoke and fill with inspirited attention. Now, I find myself paying extra attention to the essential purpose that stands out. It’s not all of the words. It’s permission to be with just some of them. For me, these are about “coming of age in this age.” Oh, how relevant it feels to be together to be wise. To find wisdom within the box and outside of the box. To encounter each other — self and the group — with head, heart, belly, hands. I know that many of us ache for this kind of connection for living in times such as these.

Last night as I thought more — as I let myself be thought — it was transparency that was very much alive for me. It’s really an intention as I think about how I want to be with the group and with co-creator Quanita Roberson. Transparency — beyond the normal transparency — is what I hope for in all of our participants. I want to feel much aliveness together that can only be found together.

There are a few principles in that transparency that I’ve learned over the years. It’s like a supporting cast that helps to deeply enrich the movie that is this transparency. These are awarenesses. These are practices and orientations.

  • Start anywhere; follow it everywhere (thx Myron Rogers from Berkana of 25 years ago)
  • Get yourself in the room (thx Quanita — it is the first job of a facilitator and of a participant)
  • Support the encounter by being the encounter (the work, so often, is deepening the encounter, the engagement)
  • Contribute to the third space, the center (I’ve come to realize that it is this relationship with center, where intense community and emergence resides — and I count on circle to get us there)
  • Contribute to a courage to be in the river that is flow with life itself (yup, more story under the story — it’s all about flow with life itself)
  • Yes, confidentiality (for safe enough space; for brave space)
  • Yes, grace (because so much of the need of the times is about being in not knowing, and in departure from norms)
  • This is deep humaning (it always has been for me; your deep humaning, mine, ours; it’s self, team, community, organization — deeply humaned)

Today we start. For leadership. For coming of age. For initiation. For journey. For being together in brain, heart, hands, belly. For sharing energy. For growing wonder.

Transparency will help to guide us and grow us.

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