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Harvest — Salt Lake Practitioners Group July

“Artists often have a lack of voice. And yet the expression of art, in its many forms, opens doors for people. Doors of mindfulness and a spiritual component. There is huge potential. I want to support or create an umbrella organization, or a forum in support of local artists. An organization that can help with funding, resources, and recognition for local artists.”

This is how Tay Haines began our Practitioners Circle this week. There were 15 of us gathered to meet in circle to support Tay, to learn together about the broader approaches to participative leadership in groups, and to further connect us in relationship.

With framing I learned from friends working in indigenous communities, “it is kind to ask for help,” Tay and I welcomed the group. Tay shared more on her specific desire. We invited check-in on how people connect to Tay’s project. I heard many beautiful expressions in celebration of artful communities and artists. My friend Bruce, a painter, talked about his desire to make people happy with his art, and the accidents in his work that become beautiful art. Others shared desires for the devine and sacred, welcoming of authentic expression, the importance of creating in community, and being swept away in beauty. As I listened and participated, I could feel the strengthening of a question I’ve been asking for a while now: Is it even possible to be human and not be artful? Regardless of whether in work, community, family, etc.

For 45 minutes, the group shared insights, stories, questions, and thoughts. I mapped this into a planning tool called, “The Chaordic Stepping Stones.” It is a process I use all of the time to make visible some of what is being shared in conversation that can help support the clarity of action on a project or initiative. Here is some of what I heard about Need, Purpose, People, Principles, Concept, Limiting Beliefs, and Structure. Helpful for telling the story of this project as Tay further invites people to join her. It is also helpful as a tool to name the next conversations that help to support the work.

Erin Gilmore captured some of the harvest. We asked people to share some of what they felt was particularly energizing. To name what they were hearing — to be another set of ears to help name for Tay what was present in the circle. Much richness there about building bridges between artists and supporters; awareness that art matters to all of us; just go with who is going with you to start a movement; letting go of any feelings of being crazy; strengthening an identity with clear purpose; working with joy and fun that speaks to the heart.

We closed our evening with appreciations. And as Tay shared, with awareness of the sweet and simple courage that is born in being together.

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Purpose (thanks Jennifer Hamilton for this harvest)

Our next Practitioners Circle will be August 19th.

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