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For Learning — Project, Personal Quality, Self Care, Reflective Practice

Fire & Water Cohort in Connection, November 2019

I’m four days out of the first five day Fire & Water Leadership Cohort Retreat. Four days that have included a wee bit of rest. Much tending of other project-related email. Co-hosting another client system. Travel to return to Utah (I watched and enjoyed the film “Yesterday” this time). Arranging for my broken furnace to be fixed. Getting a few groceries. Some exercise. Reweaving with family. Some crossing fingers that there is enough time for enough of the all of it.

I notice that that these days with Fire & Water are lingering with me. We’ve invited and invoke significant layers of journey together that really began in August 2019 and carry forward to November 2020. Even the naming of the longer journey seems to enrich a bit more of it. Sometimes we choose the journeys. Sometimes the journeys choose us. It seems to work that way, doesn’t it. I find that both exciting and a bit scary too.

For this Fire & Water cohort, we spent some deliberate time in retreat on lots of things, including Project, Personal Quality, Self Care, and Reflective Practice. I’m holding myself to these. I’m cohosting, but of course, am in the journey also. I find that these reflections are lingering with me in an extra way. And as a community, we are holding / helping each other to such commitments.

Project — For me, the applied learning of Fire & Water is to all of my other work. I continue to be involved in helping to bring the Art of Hosting format and Participatory Leadership to geographic regions and to client systems. I continue to offer practicums, workshops, and online offerings for The Circle Way. I’m developing process and material for an online wisdom circle with Quanita Roberson. I continue to work in client systems that seek better ways of working together and being together. I continue to bring practice for better humaning together. My applied learning from Fire & Water initiation is to bring added depth, honesty, and clarity to all the rest.

Personal Quality — I think for me this is most fundamentally, a quality of flow. For me it has something to do with flow with life itself. There is a certain vitality that I know well from bringing myself and others to participative process and learning together. Flow — it might be better called courage. Or surrender. Or deeper intuition. Or trust. Or honesty. These all seem to go together don’t they.

Self Care — I can think of a lot that I do. I can think of a lot that I don’t do but keep saying that I should do. My most goto in self care practice (in this case, tending to my body) is riding a stationary bike. It’s not a lot. I ride pretty vigorously most mornings (just 3.5 minutes). I ride with less vigor most evenings, 15-25 minutes. It’s not a lot. But I notice I miss it (my body misses it) when I go a few days without it.

Reflective Practice — Again, there’s a lot I could do, or even should do, but I’m not trying to speak to that question. My goto is simple breathing 15-20 minutes. For me it is mostly in the morning. I journal when I wake. I write dreams if I have them to catch. Then I breath, often in the dark or by candle light. As slow of breath as I can get. For me that is 15-30 seconds per breath. I’m guessing there is a combo effect for the breathing and the journaling. Generally, I blog after breathing, which extends reflective practice. Side note — reflective practice with community is gold.

Yes, so, this Fire & Water Leadership Cohort stays with me. I’m naming these four aspects of learning. It seems like these will remain as post-it notes on the wall, for the duration of the journey, and will fade over the next year in appearance, but also likely deepen in awareness. Some journeys are like that.

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