Pointers for Navigating Group Dynamics

Pointers for Navigating Group Dynamics

I recently participated in a day-long retreat composed of people who want to develop a regenerative economy in Northeast Tennessee. I loved being with folks who have similar values and who are invested in addressing the needs of our community. I plan on writing more about regenerative economics and why I believe this type of system is healthy and necessary for our region, so stay tuned.

For today’s article, I decided to focus on the way our retreat was facilitated. I was so impressed with the facilitator’s skill and their kindness that I had to share some of the lessons I learned by observing and by receiving their good work. I figure we all could use some pointers on how to navigate the needs and the desires of multiple people, even people who like each other and have similar goals. As always, take what you want and leave the rest behind.

Find the courage to be with the mystery.

Find the courage to be with the mystery.

In a country where “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are considered “self-evident” truths and “unalienable rights” there are still discrepancies, based on sex and gender, to the application of the law.

Gender and sex discrimination are not exclusive to the United States nor is this type of discrimination a recent phenomenon. Historically girls and women have been perceived and treated differently than boys and men. I know you know this.

My purpose here is not to regurgitate facts or to remind you of notable injustices. Rather, I invite you to notice how humans treat people and ideas that they do not understand, and consequently, fear. We make them smaller…

Barriers to change: Pro tips for creating an intention or goal

Barriers to change: Pro tips for creating an intention or goal

Happy New Moon! Today is a wonderful time to begin anew: to sit quietly, to reflect, and to set an intention. To support your intention being realized, I offer the following guide which I learned from listening to Lisa Lahey, founder of Minds at Work and co-author of Immunity to Change.

The gap between stimulus and response.

The gap between stimulus and response.

My mission in life is…to close the gap between when something happens and when I react authentically to it. ~ Geena Davis, episode 145 We Can Do Hard Things

The gap between stimulus and response can be a tricky space to navigate. There are so many variables which affect how we respond. The following recommendations are based on the assumption that you are not in fight, flight, or freeze mode: involuntary responses which occur when you are over-stimulated by a perceived threat.

Assuming that your pre-frontal cortex is still engaged (not so much in fight, flight or freeze mode), you have the ability to pause and to choose your response. This ability to review and to pick from a variety of options is contingent on two things: consciousness and competence.

In the web of life, there is no hierarchy.

In the web of life, there is no hierarchy.

Last Saturday, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, a Mexican American poet, novelist, painter, mother, and plantswoman, guided a School of the Lost Arts’ workshop entitled “Decolonizing the Garden.” Through beautiful and thoughtful conversation, Raquel shared the following tenets which guide her relationship with the Land.

• The Land can hold trauma, bad intentions, and curses.
• The Land can be healed.
• The Land contains spirits and is a spirit.

As we dove deeper into the significance of the tenets, Raquel encouraged us to acknowledge humans are part of a vast and interconnected web of life. She also invited us to recognize this web does not rank any being – animal, plant, insect, bird, stone, fish – as being better than or more important than another. In the web of life, there is no hierarchy.

Pin It on Pinterest