Staying to Create ChangeJune 30, 2010 Leave a comment
I wanted to share this link to a short discussion by Pema Chödrön about the importance of staying with the hard stuff – not the story we create about a situation, but the underlying feeling itself – to create change. This follows along with previous posts I’ve made about the importance of “staying” – with conflict, in situations of privilege. The message being the same – the importance of learning to stay! And so I wonder how this applies to organizations and movements. I hear it this way – rather than trying to fix a situation too quickly, stay with it, learn about it, learn to live with the tension while we look for ways to create change. What do you think?
It makes total sense to me! It certainly feels like the right thing to do when I’m facilitating. Just yesterday I had a moment at a retreat I was facilitating when I said in my head “sh*t, this is when all hell breaks loose,” my role was precisely to stay with it and I think that doing that gave the group strength to stay with it and in the end, it was nothing bad at all! I’m not saying that this will always be the outcome of staying with it, but I’m saying that we staying with it is more likely to give us outcomes that are outside of our pre-established patterns.
Another endorsement of the idea, plus an extension. Danny Martin (dialogue practitioner and former IISC affiliate) always said not just to stay with the discomfort, but to actually follow it. Usually leads individuals and groups to really important stuff!
Great additions Gibran and Cynthia. I’m also thinking that after communication gets opened up in an organization, it often gets more uncomfortable before solutions start to be discovered. This is a critical time – and shows the real generative power of conflict to create change.
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