Your public voice and your unique voice

Recently I’ve had numerous conversations, in workshops or intentional places, with people responding to the question, “What are you experiencing now?” It’s a naked question, a brazen question, a rude question. Certainly an unfamiliar one when it’s really asked and there’s room to respond. Yet people can powerfully moved by having five minutes to respond to it – perhaps no one has ever asked them before. (Here’s the simple presencing practice I’ve been using for […]

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Being effective in this bewildering moment

Martin Buber wrote an amazing book in 1923 that has endured and perhaps will endure as a classic. It was called I-Thou. In vivid poetic language that is as fresh today as it was then, he spoke a timeless truth. (Here are excerpts that give the flavor of his writing.) Humans have two modes, I-Thou or I-It. I-Thou is relational and we speak to and from the whole of ourselves. I-It is transactional (my word) and […]

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How to get from breakfast to lunch without losing your mind

The world is well on its way to waking up. If it doesn’t blow itself up first, which it’s also well on its way to doing. It’s the best of times, the worst of times. But do we have to choose, good reader? Old Aristotle suggested no: “The mark of the truly educated is being able to entertain an idea without accepting it.” But how do we do that? I’m not talking about abstract notions […]

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Telling My Story

I’ve been avoiding telling my own story. For several days I was writing a blog post about how we needed more honest personal story, more sex and gender in our  conversations. Then I noticed I wasn’t telling my own. Telling is unfamiliar because I’ve been very close-mouthed about great chunks of my own story, forever.  Though much easier, it’s still difficult to talk about my early childhood and the pervasive experience of abandonment that persists […]

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Risk in consciousness groups

I’m lucky to have places where I can speak frankly about what’s most important to me.  I can be well heard and hear other too. I learn, stretch and grow in those generative depths. But pleasure and expansion aren’t the whole story. Quite often I’m careful, walking on eggshells, wondering how to get my messy as-yet-unformed experience into a common space with others. This evening I was in conversation with a male counselor and a […]

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The way of not-knowing

Going down rapids in a canoe is a thrilling experience because you’ve no time – and no way – to figure out what to do. It feels like having the mind  vacuumed, not a thought in there. The habitual pattern of thought is thoroughly interrupted. Our current world situation, the one we’re all in, has overtones of this. The journey is much too complex for rational processes to capture usefully, too much for “knowing.” Our […]

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Risking seeing – and being seen

I’ve been learning recently that I’m not always so good at receiving gifts of the heart. From others or from “the universe.” The common factor of course is me, the receiver. But how to learn  to receive better? Last year I published a book about evolutionary self-development.  It’s a good book and it points to a particular slice of our predicament in a unique and telling way. (I think you should all read it. :)) […]

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Activism and “the other”

How do I make room for those who don’t see things the “enlightened” way I do?  American professor Jonathan Haidt focused this question the beautifully the other day comparing two groups we’ll all recognize – however we might feel about them. On the one hand are those for whom John Lennon’s Imagine is an anthem. We love the open borders with no countries or possessions, and no religion too. On the other are those for […]

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Belonging comes first

I wanted to share a few words about what I think is at the core of groups that help people grow. It’s that belonging (attachment and connection) come first  and if that’s taken care of, everything else – emergence, integration and more – can follow. But to  the  extent that it’s not there, growth and movement are compromised. Belonging is to humans as soil is to plants. We grow in the soil of the relationships […]

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A Collective Intelligence Cluster

The small group is the core evolutionary unit of growth-oriented people. Alone we’ve almost no chance of not being swept up in the craziness. The tides of politics, entertainment and mass emotion have hidden undercurrents we’re not evolutionarily equipped to notice in the moment. We fall for those undercurrents (primarily the need for tribal belonging) every time – until we don’t of course. We need another “culture” to notice, a micro-culture for “awakening.” I don’t […]

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