Practice, Practice, Practice

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

IAF Workshop

I’m just getting back from the International Association of Facilitator’s North America Conference and co-leading a workshop focused on the facilitator’s inner journey.  It was a cool set up.  The presenters included our convener, Larry Dressler as well as experienced facilitators, Erica Peng, Roger Schwarz and Beatrice Briggs.

We began with a sort of “fishbowl conversation” during which the five of us discussed the relationship between our inner lives and our work in the world.  We then moved to small group conversations based on what our topic evoked in the participants and we closed out with a full group circle – it was a three hour workshop.

I was left impressed by my co-presenters, and by the diversity of our approaches to the inner life.  If I had to pick a single piece that I will keep with me it is what we all had in common – a recurring practice for tuning into ourselves.  In Larry’s words – “what is clear to me is that we do not want to wait until a challenging situation arises in order to start practicing, practice is instead what we draw on when all such situations arise.”

The work of holding space for people to move their dreams forward is one of the most privileged roles one could play.  There are a lot of teachable skills, good trainings and tools, but to me the most important part is our inner state and how we tend to it.  At IISC we turn to the mantra found in Otto Scharmer’s quote of William O’Brien – “the success of an intervention is directly proportional to the inner condition of the intervener.”

I constantly practice opening my heart, it is a somatic experience, a literal psychic stretch of my heart center.  I do this over and over again, I rely on my devotional spiritual practice to guide me, I am intentional about it.  This relentless practice, with a strong dose of trust and surrender is what allows me to open up my heart, and hold a room – specially when the going gets tough!

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