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The heart of the matter of being a Convener is always “who am I in relationship?”


“No one thing exists without another. Cause and effect are one. Thus, one thing cannot cause another without their being one or joined in relationship.”

A Course of Love | Know YourSelf
https://acourseoflove.org/

 

Purpose Shared: A Conversation on a Journey into Sacred Discourse

Cultivating Connection Across Conflict/Division


In this week’s Purpose Shared post, Art of Convening Train the Trainer graduate Tom McSteen brings us the story of a journey of life as a corporate lawyer with a growing awareness of larger global forces at play. Experiencing and being moved by the power of indigenous wisdom led to a global exploration of his own healing from a lifelong disability, to creating healing conversations through founding Sacred Discourse, an intentional, heart-centered framework for having relational and connected conversations between individuals, within groups, and across society. 

Tom’s explorations and trainings have taken him Minnesota to California to across Europe, South America.

Ireland…

Ireland…

Craig Neal, originator of the Art of Convening Trainings, interviews Tom on how The Art of Convening has impacted his life and informed his work in the world.

More links to Tom’s work:
Sacred Discourse - Facebook - YouTube


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The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.


The Real Work 

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work, ...

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(Collected Poems)

 

Purpose Shared: WS Merwin 1927-2019

W.S. Merwin, a true master in the art of poetry and a profound ecologist


We have admired and been touched by the poetry of W.S. Merwin for many years. The line excerpted from this poem is particularly poignant in the midst of tragic events.

“Youth” by W.S. Merwin

SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 BY MERWIN CONSERVANCY

Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for

or what to call you I think I did not
even know I was looking how would I

have known you when I saw you as I did
time after time when you appeared to me

as you did naked offering yourself
entirely at that moment and you let

me breathe you touch you taste you knowing
no more than I did and only when I

began to think of losing you did I
recognize you when you were already

part memory part distance remaining
mine in the ways that I learn to miss you

from what we cannot hold the stars are made
 

— W.S. Merwin, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Shadow of Sirius (2009), and found in the newly released collection The Essential W.S. Merwin (2017, Copper Canyon Press), used by permission of the publishers. 

Copyright © 2017 by W. S. Merwin.  

From the https://merwinconservancy.org/: It is with great sadness and an abiding reverence that we say goodbye to W.S. Merwin, a true master in the art of poetry and a profound ecologist. Beyond the extraordinary legacies of his poetic and botanical achievements, William has left us all deeply inspired to make the world around us a better place through word and deed, and to see and preserve the natural world as the exquisite poem it is.

The Merwin Conservancy inspires innovation in the arts and sciences by advancing the ideas of W.S. Merwin as fearless and graceful examples of the power of imagination and renewal.


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*"She’s an athlete. She excels at charging at obstacles and past them."



In this NPR story yesterday “Cancer Leads Athlete To Tough Choice”, the reporter's closing words spoke to my heart:

"She’s an athlete. She excels at charging at obstacles and past them.”

As I rediscover my outer athlete (Sprint Triathlete at age 60), my inner athlete has re-emerged, too. An unexpected bonus!

Qualities and capacities emerge, get honed, re-emerge: The ability to focus on what is important. The ability to pace myself. The ability to gauge and direct goals and milestones. The ability to literally crash my bike and get up again. The ability to help my body and mind re-heal and re-focus. The ability to cross the finish line, competing only with myself.

May we all find our inner athlete today.

Love to hear your thoughts.

 

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Your calling matters. You matter.


As Richard Leider notes, “Everything that exists has a purpose. We were born for a reason and we live in a purposeful world. Every one of us has unique gifts and a purpose to use those gifts to contribute value to that world.”

 

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Listening as an ultimate expression of connection and caring.


Authentic engagement is, simply, a genuine expression of what is true for us, and an attentive listening to what is true for another, or others. Why this simple human interaction often eludes us can be a matter of habit, distrust, faulty modeling, lack of attention, or fear.

From The Art of Convening: Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings and Conversations

 

The World According to Mr. Rogers: Purpose Shared Daily

GETTY IMAGES

GETTY IMAGES

Leadership inspiration one conversation at a time.


When our children were young, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was a program I could absolutely trust to be thoughtful and fun. Recently I was reminded from two different sources the many leadership lessons we received, as well.

Kudos to PBS who aired "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" and Southern Living Magazine for highlighting the leadership that Fred Rogers stood for and demonstrated. Read on for words of wisdom that inspire, offer perspective, and remind us all of our worthiness and inherent ability to make a difference in the lives of others. In other words, leadership.

On Purpose

"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has--or ever will have--something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."

On Success

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

On Connection

FOTOS INTERNATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES

“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

“Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.”

On Making a Difference

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.”

“Whether we're a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we're acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”

“It's our insides that make us who we are, that allow us to dream and wonder and feel for others. That's what's essential. That's what will always make the biggest difference in our world.”

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

On "Disabilities"

"Part of the problem with the word disabilities is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities."

On Love

"Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now."

I hope these words have sparked some joy, inspiration, remembering of your true value and purpose in our world.

Additional reading: 20 Gentle Quotations from Mister Rogers, Mental Floss



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The World According to Mister Rogers


"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has--or ever will have--something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."

From The World According to Mister Rogers 

 

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Dawn Revisited…


Dawn Revisited

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,

the future never happens. 
How good to rise in sunlight, 
in the prodigal smell of biscuits -
eggs and sausage on the grill. 
The whole sky is yours

to write on, blown open 
to a blank page. Come on, 
shake a leg! You'll never know
who's down there, frying those eggs, 
if you don't get up and see.

~ Rita Dove ~

(On the Bus with Rosa Parks)

'Joe Riley' jnriley@comcast.net [Panhala] <Panhala@yahoogroups.com>

 

Empathy: The Surprisingly Crucial Business Skill

In the back reaches of our professional mind, we know the people and relational aspects of business life have perplexed and stymied managers and leaders alike.

In our upcoming book, "Touchy Feely: The Soft Stuff is the Hard Stuff," we reveal the powerful and liberating truth that empathy and compassion along with vulnerability are not the weaknesses we've hoodwinked ourselves into believing, but are core strengths of successful leadership.

Below is an excerpt from an article from our friends at Korn Ferry that stimulated some related ideas. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.


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Empathy: The Surprisingly Crucial Business Skill

October 16, 2017 | DANIEL GOLEMAN, Contributor, Korn Ferry Institute
We all know empathy matters in our personal relationships, but how does empathy matter for business? You need empathy to work effectively with other people, especially in sales and client management, on teams, and in leadership. Empathy is the core of the competencies in the relationship management domain of Emotional Intelligence, the basis for more complex relationship management skills, including influencing other people or having a positive impact, mentoring other people, managing conflict, inspiring them as a leader, and teamwork. Read more…


We are just beginning to understand why knowing your purpose is key to good leadership. So why is it surprising that empathy is a crucial business skill?

Through empathy your purpose comes alive because you can see best where to serve. When we realize that our success is tied to others’ success and that interdependence (empathy) is not a personal liability but strength, then watch and experience miracles to happen.

Our book, The Art of Convening offers a roadmap of how purpose shared can get you there.

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#purpose #PurposefulLeadership #leadership #RichardLeider #ThePowerofPurpose #TheArtofConvening

2017 Center for Purposeful LeadershipThe Art of Convening


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Who are you willing to be…


 

Purpose Moment

The door to gratitude opens.


Purpose Shared: Creating Sacred Space @ NCDD Annual Conference

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Changing the world one conversation at a time.


Craig joined 400+ intentional “cooleagues” at the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation in Denver last month. He presented at the Showcase and convened an inspired Open Space breakout session on “How Do We Create Sacred Space in Dialogue & Deliberation?” with Salomeh Dastyari Diaz.

NCDD is a hub, facilitative leader & clearinghouse for a community of thousands of innovators. NCDD conferences are about having fun and enjoying the company of our field’s movers and shakers, as well as forming new partnerships, strategizing how we can tackle our field’s greatest challenges, showcasing some of the coolest arts, technologies, and methods for public engagement — and so much more.

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The workshops, presentations and Open Space breakout sessions all focused on how do we create opportunities to convene people in inclusive and creative ways, to nurture and support a world that works for all.

A report on the learnings from “How Do We Create Sacred Space in Dialogue & Deliberation?”: Salomeh and I knew the word “sacred” could be edgy. We asked: how do we talk about the areas of human contact and connection that bring in our whole selves? How do we describe the whole human experience beyond our intellectual and cognitive capacities?

The people who joined us were excited to have an essential conversation around how to create spaces of depth and affinity in any situation, knowing that creating containers of mutual trust and respect is one of the greatest challenges of our time. No matter our social, religious or spiritual foundation, we found a common sense of what the word sacred meant to us and why it matters as a reminder and expression of our core values and beliefs.

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What purpose do you serve?


Purpose Shared: Stringing the Beads

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Each human is viewed as a unique and beautiful bead.


Today we give thanks for dear friend and longtime collaborator Pele Rouge who introduced us to what has become a core practice in our lives and work. As a form of “Hearing All the Voices” the 6th Element of the Convening Wheel, Stringing the Beads is at once a sacred yet practical practice of joining people together in an authentic way. In our experience, it is the fastest way for people to reach connection and alignment, in what we call “The Arc of Recognition.”

By Pele Rouge

Why the name – Stringing the Beads?

Each human is viewed as a unique and beautiful bead.

As each person speaks, the talking piece goes around the circle and becomes the energetic “needle” carrying the thread of connection from person to person, “Stringing” the Beads together into a complete necklace and an energetic whole.

The talking piece and our words are the thread of connection that create the larger fabric, the “We”.

Much like a shuttle moves back and forth in a loom connecting/expanding/transforming the “independent” strings into a woven fabric that contains the beauty of each thread and creates a larger beauty.

Click here to read more.

Creative Commons License - Use with Acknowledgement of Pele Rouge and writing her at pelerouge@timelessearthwisdom.com
2018 Center for Timeless Earth Wisdom


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Good evening from the lake. Find your wild places wherever they may be. The untamed parts of your life, inside and out, that call out to you. They may take time to find, however, you'll know them when you see and feel them. The hunt may save your life. As it did mine.