Glimpses of WholenessAugust 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Last Friday, as we closed our joint offering with the Center for Whole Communities, “Whole Measures: Transforming Communities by Measuring What Matters Most,” at Knoll Farm, participants and facilitators alike carried forward insights and ongoing questions about what wholeness is and what might help to create more of it in our communities and organizations. The timing was auspicious as the nation has been marking the anniversary of the March on Washington and reflecting upon the progress we have made towards wholeness as embodied in Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, delivered in a speech 50 years ago today. While individual assessments may vary, there can be no doubt that justice and wholeness elude us on many levels and in ways that are often challenging to grasp; that, as Maya Wiley puts it, “barriers to opportunity still have a color;” that we are all victims of what Donella Meadows called “lines in the mind;” that we are all diminished as a result. How do we move forward?
In a sense, this was the question that guided us over the course of our four days together at Knoll Farm. We delved into a variety of practices for surfacing and holding on to what it means and looks like to be healthy and whole at different levels – individual, group, organizational, community – as well as for seeing the lines and boundaries that get in the way and do us a dis-service. These practices included the following:
- applying whole systems frameworks
- reading poetry
- deep listening
- facilitated discussion
- values-based measures
- group process design tools
- mindfulness practice (meditation, yoga)
- music, games, breaking bread together, and other kinds of multi-sensory engagement
We spent one dialogue session in particular, beautifully held by Mohamad Chakaki, committed to talking about where we have seen glimpses of wholeness as a way to guide our work. The result was the following narrative, poetically captured by Jeanette AbiNader. Your additions are most welcomed . . .
Wholeness is sharing and laughing and crying together – having the space to grow together.
Wholeness is fear being balanced with the experience of being listened to – having my heart invited in.
Wholeness is looking at each other across the table as we gather for a community supper.
Wholeness is working with someone I love, big sister – little brother.
Wholeness in the workplace is having the courage to create a space for learning, investing in trainings, handwritten notes.
Wholeness is being totally in the moment, moving together as a flock of birds. Wholeness is beautiful.
Wholeness is being a mother – children are born whole, they grow and are broken and as a parent, you help them in the rediscovery of wholeness.
I asked him, “Why are you killing each other?” and he said, “One day, we decided not to fight, and it was so calm. It was like magic. And, then, it was the next day…”
Wholeness is experiencing the freedom to show up as my whole self.
Wholeness is being present. Being in a space to say goodbye, thank you. Moments of human interaction and sharing love.
Wholeness is transitioning from being a victim to controlling your destiny –it changes everything else.
Wholeness is being alive in your own imperfection, alive in empathy for others ‘situations and imperfections.
Wholeness is liberating, family, love, connected, mothering, personal sharing, empowerment, seeing each other, courage, healing, authentic, beautiful, magic.
Where have you seen wholeness? How can we practice it and bring it more into being for more of us?