Reflection, Inquiry, Planning

It is always good to feel part of ELT in a more active way.  It is also often confounding.  I am often confused by our legal and financial issues and compelled to explore more our social and political context and culture.  No surprise there, that's how I often feel at PRAG.

Seeing as we just met, I've been thinking a lot about what it will be like to facilitate the next meeting in an unfamiliar place with an increasingly familiar, but still new group of people to me.  There are some logistical points that I want to get clear on, but more importantly I want to hold space that is not only efficient and productive, but feels safe, trusting and honest.  Many on the board have been working more intimately together over a longer period of time and then there are a few of us still discovering where our strengths are most needed in the group dynamic, including me.  These are things for me to consider as one of the new members of the board.  (Has it already been almost a year?)

I heard several folks express empathy and recognition with those at Sunset who are struggling on many levels to find balance.  Can we on the board foster more safety, trust and honesty; even though all may waver, than we sometimes feel capable of in our communities?  As conflicts ebb and flow and as personal psychologies are stimulated or triggered, as is normal, can we try to override some of our impulses and reach for and attain our aspirations in our human interactions?  Well, Hell Yes!  I think we already do this, are capable of this.  One of the things that I've been thinking about though is, can we ask ourselves if some more refined and committed practice around difficult issues can make us more capable as we return to our communities, tying us all together?  Again, Hell Yes!  There's always room for it. 

I know I often walk into these kinds of meetings with an aspiration to be on my best, at my best, and speak with honest inquiry and honest interest.  For the most part, I do pretty good.  Sometimes I see conflict where there is none, due to my own vulnerabilities and cultural background.   Sometimes I experience conflict that no one else senses or witnesses; and sometimes, or rather often,  I am oblivious to the dynamics of issues or personalities colliding.  All of these things effect how skillfully we can handle any given moment.

So where does this bring me.  I want to get to know all of you better and do really hard work together with as much integrity as possible in the short amount of time that we have together.  I've been coming up with some ideas that I think might be helpful to set the stage for holding space at our next meeting based on some of my musings; basically setting up a brief and useful tool for starting our meeting with that fosters our best.  I'm trying to get it moving while our most recent meeting is still fresh.  In any case, I will flesh some of them out via this forum and probably with a couple of you more directly, but I would like any personal suggestions, stories or experiences that you would like to share that you think might be helpful.

By the way I just finished a fabulous book by a very wonderful, disarming author called A Hidden Wholeness:  The Journey Toward and Undivided Life - Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World by Parker J. Palmer.  It's heavily Quaker influenced and a wonderful example of one way we can create spaces of deep trust and listening.

Bianca @ PRAG

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