On this page you’ll find the full collection of audio and resource archives from Year Nine of our monthly Gathering calls. Speaker bios, call summaries, audios and recommended resources for each month’s call will continue to be added to this page soon after the call.
Our theme for this ninth year of Gathering together is “Agents of Love; Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences.”
Along with our Year Nine offerings, please take some time to explore the past 8 years of program archives. This is a treasure trove of information, insights, strategies and practices to support you as an agent of purposeful change!
Year 1 Program Archive – “Mastering the Inner Game”
Year 2 Program Archive – “Align Your Outer Game with the Inner”
Year 3 and 4 Program Archive – “Integrating the Inner and Outer Collectives: The Dance of ME and WE”
Year 5 Program Archive – “Co-Creating the Global Collective”
Year 6 Program Archive – “Radical Relationship; Embracing the Gifts of Polarity”
Year 7 Program Archive – “Creating Agile And Sustainable Change That Matters”
Year 8 Program Archive – “Love in Action: Connecting for Impact”
- Download your copy of Tim Kelley’s article that was the foundation for the Gathering’s first year here: Internal Requirements for Change Agents
- Download your copy of Tim Kelley’s additional article Types of Change Agents
- Download your copy of Audrey Seymour’s article that is the foundation for the Gathering’s second year here: 12 Requirements for Embodied Action
Browse the Year 9 archives:
12/1/21: Harvesting our Collective Wisdom
11/3/21: Navigating Disruption; Finding Ease with Uncertainty
10/6/21: Reconciliation and Public Kinship
9/1/21: The Gift of Grief
8/4/21: Weaving our Collective Wisdom to Bridge Divides
7/7/21: Weaving Community One Thread at a Time
6/2/21: The Art of Reckoning: Transforming Survival Stories to Weave New Patterns of Love
5/5/21: Preparing Yourself and Your Community for Reconciliation
4/7/21: Experience Reconcilable Differences – As You Shift Your Belief
3/3/21: How Values Help Us Bridge Differences
2/3/21: Connecting to Inspired Love
This Gathering Review 2021 document provides brief summaries from all the calls for this year.
We hope you can join us for our first Gathering of 2022 on February 2, when we will announce our topic for Year 10.
12/1/21: “Harvesting Our Collective Wisdom”
This call was designed to harvest our learning and insights from the various programs offered during the year as we explored how we as “Agents of Love can weave the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences.”
We were honored to be joined by some of our speakers, Dena Wiggins, Anamaria Aristizabal and Quanita Roberson & Tenneson Woolf who fully participated in our discussion about where we are as “Change Agents” as we look out into the landscape of continued divisiveness.
We had a robust check-in with participants authentically sharing their current state of being. We summarized the highlights of the 2021 programs and have provided you with that summary in this document. We then had an opportunity to share our learnings and practices that we have developed over the past year. Those insights included:
- Being courageous, candid and speaking with compassion
- Letting go – of our position, not being overly attached to our beliefs/view; acknowledging that things don’t have to go a certain way
- Getting to the root causes of our differences, examining where where we get stuck
- Importance of self-care – meditation, walking, sleep
- Importance of community to support and feel supported
- Deepening our self awareness around the influence and impact of different “parts”
- The importance of reflecting love.
Finally we discussed potential themes for the coming year and the types of topics and speakers we thought would best serve our Gathering for the year that is ahead of us. Some of those ideas were:
- Continuing our exploration of the underlying causes of how we disconnect from ourselves, others and the community
- Moving beyond our stories and survival strategies and exploring our essence
- Somatic practices like Qigong to heal and ground ourselves so that we can create a space of love, curiosity and openness to differences
We also request that you consider the following:
- Reflect on the most essential threads for you in your experience of 2021—your life, your work, your story, your purposeful evolution? How can you weave these threads more intentionally, lovingly and powerfully into the tapestry of you… and your purpose? What new or upgraded threads do you want to weave in for 2022?
- Post your 2021 insights to our Facebook group.
- While you are there, share your thoughts for 2021 speakers and topics on our Facebook page.
11/3/21: “Navigating Disruption; Finding Ease with Uncertainty”
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Former Gathering co-host Tom Rausch is currently working as Director of Consulting for the Barrett Values Centre where he is devoting his efforts to create large-scale whole system transformation in some of the biggest and most powerful organizations on earth. If you know Tom, you won’t be surprised he is doing this to create a sustainable future for his grandchildren and all the children of the world.
On this call, Tom led us in an essential exploration of the nature of these times and our potential for creative responsiveness – even in the face of volatility and divisiveness. We had a really engaged and insightful conversation – with lots of useful information, ideas and resources including:
- The five pillars of human adaptive resilience
- How we can develop our self-efficacy: our beliefs around navigating uncertainty and disruption
- Where insights from modern neuroscience and eastern wisdom traditions meet
- How do we graduate from rearranging what has been – to creating something new?
- Practices for leaders willing to catalyze what wants to emerge
Disruption exists in the space between every thought – along with infinite possibilities, pure creativity, total uncertainty, pure unpredictability and non-local correlation (everything is connected). How can we consciously expand the gap between our thoughts and expectations to create more ease, possibility and creative responses – instead of overwhelm and reactivity?
Tom recommended these Resources for us to go deeper with the ideas and impulses that were sparked around this topic:
- Download the book “Rethinking Humanity” by Rethink-X
- Watch “Rethinking Humanity” as the Coming Age of Freedom with James Arbib, Tony Seba and Poonacha Machaiah
- Read “Life Is In The Transitions; Mastering Change At Any Age” by Bruce Feiler
- Check out the book “Rebuild” by Graham Boyd and Jack Reardon
- Take Adaptive Human Capital’s “Individual Resiliency Assessment” and identify some action steps to increase your ability to navigate disruption and amplify your resiliency
Tom also generously shared these pdfs from his leadership workshops on navigating disruption and cultivating resilience:
- Build a More Positive Social Network
- Navigating Disruption: Gathering November 2021
- Seek Perspective Feedback General Habit
- Seek Perspective Feedback Specific Skill
- Unlearning Unconscious Bias
10/6/21: “Reconciliation and Public Kinship”
Dr. Bobby Austin
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In this call, Bobby brought us into his life’s work of Public Kinship; he emphasized that public kinship is “an I thing,” an individual choice that we make. “If you let your life shine, you don’t have to yell at others to do what ‘they’re supposed to do, what they should do.’” Be a person who can actualize being kind, generous, and caring.
“Public kinship is a comfortable shoe if you’re willing to wear it.”
Bobby Williams Austin, for over thirty years has worked as a sociologist, author, educator, and leader of national nonprofits to strengthen the social fabric of urban communities and repair breaches of public trust across sectors of American life. As the Director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s National Task Force on African American Men and Boys, chaired by Andrew J. Young, he co-authored and edited the pivotal 1996 report, Repairing the Breach: Key Ways to Support Family Life, Reclaim Our Streets, and Rebuild Civil Society in America’s Communities. Based on that report, he developed the first major philanthropic and social infrastructure network in the US for African American men and boys, through which 30 national organizations reached 17,000 participants. Bobby Austin and the legacy of the Task Force were highlighted at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2014 conference, “Revisiting Repairing the Breach.” Austin also served as Chair of the State of the African American Man Committee led by Representative Danny Davis (D-Ill.).
Bobby Austin founded the policy magazine Urban Review and hosted the syndicated radio program “American Voices.” He has served as a James MacGregor Burns Leadership Fellow at the Moller Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge, and was one of two principal speakers at the 2006 Peace Conversations in Hiroshima, Japan. For his work in American culture and Public Kinship, he has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, held the General Hal G. Moore Chair in Contemplative Leadership at the Merton Institute.
He has held major positions at the University of the District of Columbia, including Special Assistant for Educational Licensure and, for the University’s Board of Trustees, Evaluation and Policy Specialist, Executive Secretary, and Policy Director. He was also the Assistant Director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s National Fellowship Program.
During the call, Bobby explained that being a Public Kinship agent is largely a function of suspending judgement and having common sense: do unto others as you want them to do unto you. He shared The Seven Steps of Public Kinship to guide us along this path and remind us how to be kind—treating everyone like we would treat our own children:
- Environmental scan and Self-leadership – what’s happening out there and within ourselves
- Suspension of judgement but not of common sense – letting go of old beliefs and biases
- Ethical leadership in the development of the Moral Mind – what does being moral mean?
- Taking a stand – taking moral action as a committed individual
- Participating – acting in good faith for the common good
- Connecting – being present and active as an individual
- Assuming common culture – co-creating a culture which over time shapes who we are as individuals
We explored Human Ecology, the study of how we all live together and Bobby reminded us that it begins with doing deep personal work to understand: Who am I? What are our values and what are the values we share with other individuals?
Bobby emphasized that the framework for a moral mind is made from the language models you create in your mind and you speak; those models point you towards doing “good action” in life. Those models become the music or soundtrack of your life playing over and over in your head, dictating how you interact and are in the world.
When we take a stand, that is a moral action of a committed individual and becomes the place from which we connect with all other individuals.
He also reminded us to explore “what is it that we all have in common?”. What we have in common can supersede all the other individual cultural dynamics—Black, Jewish, Christian, Muslims, etc. We actually have many things in common, so what are the interlinking aspects that we all can connect with? We need to look for the positive—the connection. We are wired to connect and need to not get drawn into the media hype which so often goes to the negative and divisive.
Who am I? Who are They? Who are We?
We learn how to discuss issues of reparations, the ecology—all in context of how we hold these things in common. We are living in the midst of a change from an old world to a new one.
A Public Kinship agent stands “FOR” something, not just AGAINST something. The more you know someone, the more you accept them. You have to suspend judgement first. It’s heart work. “You don’t mess with my brothers and sisters”
Bobby Recommended these Actions for us to take:
- Read – Thomas Merton’s Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/113523/conjectures-of-a-guilty-bystander-by-thomas-merton/
- Interact with other people by looking to see what we have in common. You’re building a moral mind capable of historical empathy.
Additional Resources from Bobby:
- Neighborhood Associates’s website, especially The Public Kinship Think Tank; the Public Kinship page; and our Civic Stories Project (which includes a contribution from Think Tank member June Klees as well as features on the work of a number of our partners as well as residents living in our community network).
- The video of the webinar “Public Kinship: A Leadership Strategy for America,” which was produced as part of the ListenFirst Project’s National Week of Conversation this past June.
- Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ
- The Urgent Need for Compassion – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq3C9R8HNUQ
9/1/21: “The Gift of Grief”
Quanita Roberson and Tenneson Woolf
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This call was a rich exploration into our relationship and experience with grief, which in many cases get locked away without a healthy or socially accepted way to process in community. Quanita Roberson and Tenneson Woolf led us through a journey of discovery about our own relationship with our grief, opening up new channels for accepting and processing this very natural and healthy aspect of human existence.
“We think grief requires suffering,” Quanita said. “It doesn’t. Grief is sad, it’s not suffering. We create suffering by resisting grief. And when we take on other people’s grief, we’re not doing them a service. We’re preventing or limiting their experience. We can’t grieve alone. We’re too afraid to do it by ourselves. Community is essential to grieve.”
One way of changing our orientation with grief is not to think of it as an event, but rather as a relationship that offers us a new and deeper perspective. There are three layers of grief happening all the time: Individual, Cultural and Global.
Small group breakouts were offered this question to explore: How would you describe your relationship with grief as it is? Is there a different quality that you wish you had in this relationship with grief?
More wisdom emerged: There is something waiting for us on the other side of grief. The moment we grieve, and we allow it to go all the way through—we then experience joy and can laugh. One way we can find comfort with grief is to become more ceremonial—whatever that is for you. Something might be available if we let the “unseen” world be part of our grief process.
In a mic drop kind of moment, we contemplated two variations of our common language in this community around co-creating a world that works for all.
What if a world that works for all is NOT possible?
Can we live WITH the irreconcilable differences?
What if the world is already one that works for us?
Can we reframe why is that happening to me to how is this happening FOR me?
Quanita Roberson is a facilitator dedicated to addressing embedded trauma. She is a spiritual teacher, speaker, author, life coach, and a storyteller. Quanita’s work over the past 20 years has been focused in the areas of healing, initiation, grief, leadership, diversity, and inclusion. She has a background in Organizational Management and Development with a concentration in Integral Theory which has supported her in looking at the world in a more holistic way.
Tenneson Woolf is a facilitator, workshop leader, teacher, blogger, and coach committed to improving the quality of collaboration and imagination needed in groups, teams, and organizations — to help us be in times such as these with consciousness, kindness, and learning. His work over 20+ years has been to design and lead meetings in participative formats. From strategic visioning with boards to large conference design to communities just learning to listen again to one another. Lately Tenneson has been working with faith communities, educators, and foundation leaders.
ACTIVITY – Daily practice: During the week, set aside 5 minutes to notice how grief is residing in you or through you. If your grief is screaming at you—and you notice it—that’s good noticing too!
More resources to explore from Quanita and Tenneson:
- Fire & Water Leadership Journey and Rite of Passage – https://fireandwaterleadership.weebly.com
- Quanita’s website: https://www.nzuzu.com
- Tenneson’s website: http://www.tennesonwoolf.com
8/4/21: “Weaving our Collective Wisdom to Bridge Divides”
As we continue to explore our 2021 theme “Agents of Love, Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences,” it’s becoming more and more clear that we’re in a potent and persistent state of change and uncertainty. That said, this state continues to challenge us and we yearn for a time of connection and agreement.
On this call, we came together to share our stories, suggestions and collective wisdom to support each other in finding new ways to bridge the polarized divides we’re experiencing in hopes of weaving some of these tangled threads into new patterns that honor all perspectives. We had an opportunity to see the boundaries of our own tolerance for differences and observe how our “parts” contributed to our ability to be open and curious.
We were grateful to our firestarter, Katherine Anne Porter, whose life so beautifully exemplified what’s possible when we learn to grow and evolve regardless of what life throws at us. We were all inspired and impressed by her resilience to the many challenges she faced including the recovering from tuberculosis and the Spanish Flu of 1918, financial difficulties despite recognition of her superb writing skills and overcoming the biases of being a female journalist during the 1920’s through the 1950’s.
As we shared our stories and insights, we saw that what’s needed most for us, as change agents to create “a world that works for everyone,” is to remind ourselves and others that we are all in this together and resist the temptation of dehumanizing or making the “other” wrong. We learned that we too have to embrace all our “parts” to strengthen our resilience.
For those who want to go deeper in exploring and strengthening your resilience to the change and uncertainty that we face, we invite you to examine these questions and check out these resources:
- What stories are you telling yourself about the “other”? And how are those stories helping or hurting you in weaving the tangled thread of irreconcilable differences into a beautiful tapestry?
- Read “Embracing our Selves” or “Partnering:Creating Magic and Excitement in your Relationship” by Hal and Sidra Stone
- Review Chapter 4 on Parts in Tim Kelley’s book, “True Purpose: 12 Strategies for Discovering the Difference You Are Meant to Make”
- Check out Richard Schwartz and Internal Family Systems https://ifs-institute.com/about-us/richard-c-schwartz-phd
- The organization Braver Angels is committed to creating opportunities to depolarize political differences https://braverangels.org/
- Check our this informative website – In this Together America
- Check out Byron Katie’s work, “The Work” https://thework.com/
- Find a partner to do some Voice Dialogue work
- Reflect on what you are inspired to do as a result of this call. And then do that!
7/7/21: “Weaving Community One Thread at a Time”
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This Gathering event was a magical weaving of conversation, ideas and stories. After the Women of Gee’s Bend grounded us and lit our shared campfire, Shannon Downey regaled us with her unexpected journey of weaving community. Shannon helped us see how being together in circle and making art together are profound ways to show up in community as Agents of Love – Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences.
Shannon demonstrated how her success in building community didn’t happen overnight and wasn’t at all planned out. Quite the contrary over the past year, as her life took her on a road where she taught more than 5,000 people to stitch over Zoom. Something previously unimaginable has fueled a new energy and enthusiasm for the power of “stitching” in community.
One story that is particularly powerful is that of Rita’s Quilt, which was a collaboration between dozens of quilters and fiber artists. Quilting brings together disparate pieces in a way that’s new and intriguing—colors and shapes that you might never think to put together come together to become something new. We could imagine these different pieces to be tangled threads of irreconcilable differences, that become “reconciled” once they are stitched together to create something even more stunning than the individual pieces.
Similarly Shannon brings together people from all walks of life who get a chance to see themselves, connect and express their passionate beliefs through embroidery, stitching, conversation and community. As this beautiful diversity of people come together and share disparate views, we co-create bridges into a more just future. How can we as change agents use that insight to weave new relationships and collaborations of people with different ideas, views and opinions?
Shannon’s work focuses on raising voice and expression for people who typically are marginalized in our culture—namely women throughout history. At the same time, her work and gatherings are open to everyone. She doesn’t hold back from strong messaging, which creates a kind of intentional dissonance when presented through fiber arts. Everything from the message to the medium is rooted in opening people up to perspectives that counteract and transform dominant narratives.
We were left to continue pondering questions such as:
What is the value of community?
How do we invite each person to build community through their unique gifts?
What other mediums (art, music, poetry, etc.) can we leverage to bring people together?
“Is it joyful to use a medium that has historically been used as a tool of subjugation as a tool of subversion.”
Shannon’s recommended activity for this month is to make a piece of art. Create something! Explore your process. Where do you find your inspiration? What barriers arise? How do you navigate them?
For those who want to go deeper with your exploration of weaving community, here are Shannon’s resources and suggestions:
- Shannon’s Badasses United Patreon Site – www.Patreon.com/BadassCrossStitch
- How To Be A Good Human – https://www.badasscrossstitch.com/how-to-be-a-good-human
- Disrupting Craftivism: reducing harm and creating greater impact – https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6LJ19VuooY-53dV26dwSiBLbikf6ByV
6/2/21: “The Art of Reckoning: Transforming Survival Stories to Weave New Patterns of Love”
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To say there’s been a lot happening in the world is truly an understatement. Collectively, we’ve managed to tangle up a bunch of contrasting threads that might ordinarily connect us to each other – to the point where it feels pretty overwhelming, fear-based, and sometimes… utterly “irreconcilable”.
On this call Dena led us in an exploration of how the selves/parts that shape one’s personality may have reacted to the life-altering events, perspectives and experiences that have emerged and/or become more energetically charged in recent months… and years.
Selves, that is – parts of the psyche – can get stuck in patterned perspectives and strategies that focus on fear and survival. And yet, as well intentioned as they may be, at some point, they can create more stuckness than thriving.
What could be possible if you release
the pent-up energy, commitment and determination of these parts…
in service to activating the transformation
that you are perfectly designed to offer?
Dena shared some of her own survival-stuck patterns and how she has been transforming them into new patterns of love and purposeful flourishing. As she says, “Sometimes the thing between our greatest possibility and current activity is a survival-stuck pattern.” Then, she facilitated the participants in a journaling exploration of a survival-stuck pattern that might be ready for transformation – which could be personal, collective, from a client, or even a family member, colleague or friend. This journaling exercise was followed by some really powerful, touching and inspiring shares. This work we do with parts is such a game-changer!
Dena (she/her) is a Best-Selling Transformational Author, TEDx Curator, and MBA informed Purpose Doula. She wholeheartedly believes that purpose is the birthright of humanity and intentionally refers to all of humanity as Purpose Peeps. Dena’s sweet spot of service is to transform the many ways of living survival as a lifestyle into the many ways of living thriving lives of purpose. This shift is vital to members of BIPOC communities who experience systemic oppression and is an invitation to do our individual and collective parts to end intentional oppression that is the antithesis of thriving lives and places of purpose. Her style is to be a voice of shared experience meeting clients where they are on their sacred path to purpose journeys with empowering frameworks reflective of her lived experiences, Divine guidance, and learnings in–spark, facilitation, purpose, human design and system awareness strategy–all working in service of clients delivering purposeful expression into the world. Dena is a certified purpose coach through Imperative, pioneers of fulfillment in what you do, and earned her MBA in International Strategic Management at the University of Maryland. She represents a bridge between the art and science of results that matter. Learn more and grow in connection at www.denawiggins.com.
For those who want to go deeper with your exploration of transforming survival-stuck patterns into new patterns of love, here are Dena’s resources and suggestions:
- Consciously and intentionally shift from survival-stuck patterns to new patterns of love.
- Try the guided process that Dena offered on the call.
- Keep your pen and journal handy
- Watch for survival patterns. Catch yourself in the act and make a note of what’s happening – without judgment.
- Work with your parts to shift from survival-stuck patterns to new patterns of love. CELEBRATE what has been and what is evolving.
- If you find yourself in tension spots, experiencing difficult things to be with, know that you are in good company
- Read Resmaa Menakem’s book “My Grandmother’s Hands”
- Check out Mastin Kipp’s work on Polyvagal theory
- Read Bill Plotkin’s latest book – “Journey of Soul Initiation”
- Contact Dena:
- @denaforyourpurpose on social
- Reflect on what you are inspired to do as a result of this call. Do that!
5/5/21: “Preparing Yourself and Your Community for Reconciliation”
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On this call Anamaria led us on a journey to explore her own relationship with conflict and forgiveness in her personal life and communities. At one point, we even heard the protesters outside her window in Colombia, which felt very appropriate given the topic of “Preparing Yourself and Your Community for Reconciliation.”
Anamaria defines herself as a catalyst for personal development, social innovation, and creative expression. She is a certified coach and facilitator, as well as culture transformation consultant. She published a book in Colombia called “Life Re-Vision” and with this methodology, she guides people through a 6 step journey to clarify their vision, not only for their life but for the world they inhabit. Anamaria is the founder of Re-Vision Academy, where she trains and leads a community of purposeful and soulful change agents. To get there, Anamaria went through a major reinvention of her life to align more deeply with her passions and talents, and recover lost parts of herself. A biologist by training, her work is full of metaphors from nature to remind us of our place in the great web of life. Consultant at SweetRush, Faculty at New Ventures West, founding member of Aldeafeliz Ecovillage and the Foundation for Reconciliation, Anamaria is a member of various organizations and networks that promote personal and societal transformation.
First, we were led on a guided visualization to meet our inner daemons, which we drew to make it tangible. This is a way to identify a tangible character form of our protective and combative energy. This is typically an animal or a combination of animals. Part of the animal can lead to conflict, and part of it has tremendous power for us in the world.
Then, we listed the shadow patterns, triggers, genius and support we have. One way to share this deeper gift of the daemon image is to share it with your community so that people can help you recognize when this daemon is taking over in a conversation or other interaction. In a community rooted in love, people can use this awareness to provide the support you need to reduce the demonic energy after being triggered, and come back to the genius.
Developing this awareness is a key part of building a culture of conflict immunity, so that these tools are in place prior to the inevitability of conflict arising between people.
Finally, after much discussion and sharing among the group, Anamaria walked us through the essential steps in building a conflict immune system:
- Build reflective capacity
- Draft an Emergency Response Plan
- Build a Support System
- Walk the Talk
- Make a Declaration
- Talk “Forgiveness as a Foundation for Peace and Prosperity” (20min)
- The Life Re-Vision Model capsule (5min)
- Anamaria’s Re-Vision Academy – Free course “Re-Vision Chats” (40min per chat)
- The Center for Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
- Communication Dojo
- Drama Triangle / Power of TED
- Focusing (based on the work of Eugene T. Gendlin)
4/7/21: “Experience Reconcilable Differences – As You Shift Your Belief”
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On this call, Lion shared his knowledge and insights about how working with our own beliefs can help us reconcile differences and “Weave the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences.”
Lion Goodman, PCC is the creator of the Clear Beliefs Method, a process for clearing limiting and negative beliefs from the core of the psyche, healing childhood wounds, trauma and inherited programming. More than 500 coaches, therapists and healers from more than 50 countries have graduated from his Clear Beliefs Coach Training.
Lion is the author of Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting, and numerous eBooks including: How to Clear Your Clients’ Limiting Beliefs; Menlightenment; and The Narcissism Primer. He has taught workshops and trainings online and in person across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and China.
Lion is CEO of Luminary Leadership Institute, a consulting firm dedicated to bringing high-achievers and leaders into alignment with their true self and their highest virtues. He has more than 40 years’ experience as a professional executive coach and businessman, consulting to hundreds of business leaders, tech start-ups, consulting firms, and Fortune 500 corporations.
What beliefs might you be holding
that get in the way of welcoming and respecting others
whose beliefs trigger a divisive reaction in you?
How could shifting your beliefs and perspectives
create a bridge for you to reconcile and connect at a deeper level?
The energetic tension of opposites can carry so much fear and shadow energy that we (conscious and/or unconscious) judge the “other” as dangerous, intolerable, and/or worthy of contempt. Evolutionary biology explains how our instincts perceive what is known and similar as ‘safe’ – while what is unknown and different is treated as ‘dangerous’. This embedded safety system is so hardwired that even those who believe in oneness or enlightenment have to contend with opposing biological messages and drives.
These opposing tensions exist between you and the external world and also within your inner world. On the call we crowd-sourced a great list of external and internal opposite perspectives including:
- Liberal and conservative
- Abundance and scarcity
- Being and doing
- Structured and unstructured
- Patient and impulsive
- Tolerant and narrow minded
- More cookies please and health+fitness
- And so on…
What could we learn if we just get curious with each other—yes, even people who appear to have opinions, perspectives and behavior that flies in the face of what matters most to us?
How might our views, feelings and relationships evolve if we just talk—and listen to each other—without judgment, defense or agenda?
If you missed the call, you missed a rich session with lots of facilitated and group sharing, plus several experiential opportunities to try on different perspectives and beliefs—and feel how the experience with an “other” shifts—often in surprising ways.
For those who want to go deeper with your exploration of how to use the lens of beliefs to “weave the tangled threads of irreconcilable differences”, here are some suggested resources:
- Learn more about Lion Goodman’s amazing work and highly recommended courses here:https://liongoodman.com/
- Try using the Compassion Exercise that Lion shared.
- Check out this Super Bowl ad from Heineken called “Worlds Apart”
- Reflect on relationships that have triggered you to the point where you feel that the differences are “irreconcilable”.
- What are you believing, that may be fueling these feelings of intolerance and division?
- What might shift if you try on some different views and beliefs?
- Are you willing to facilitate some inner transformation in service to reconciling this connection?
- What will you do?
- Here are some additional links that were offered by participants:
3/3/21: “How Values Help Us Bridge Differences”
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Through connection, a brilliant and loving future is possible. In disconnection, we are driven apart by personal fears that are amplified by our collective fears.
On this call, we explored the power of the Barrett Values framework—and the general topic of values—to offer us keys for structuring our dialogues to meet each other where we are and connect on foundational common values where they exist.
Our guide, Tor Eneroth, suggested we use the model he shared (and perhaps all models) as a structure to support and encourage deeper dialogue together—and not as “the” answer or “the” way to explain things.
Here is some of the wisdom that emerged from our rich community dialogue:
- What we are faced with—in this world at this time—is something that none of us can solve alone. We’re connecting and learning to interact in a world that we’ve never experienced before. Everyone is searching. Nothing can be done if we don’t start with ourselves.
- Values are a reflection of the needs we must satisfy to experience inner peace and wellbeing—a description of what motivates and guides our thinking, feeling and behavior.
- Perception is everything and is often manipulated at scale. How do we reconcile our relationships with perception? Change agents need to maneuver consciously in this environment and not react from the perception of threat.
- We need to create space inside us—and a safe space around us—in order to slow down and make long-term solid decisions, or we will mathematically drive more fear.
- Our job is to come from a place of love. If you’re having difficulties with basic needs, it’s harder to show up with love.
- All anger is a reflection of fear—an unmet need inside me. Embrace your fears, for they helped you become who you are—but they may not be serving you anymore.
- Embrace the tension of the opposites within. If we aren’t in alignment with our own values, we’ll tend to project our fears, anger and judgment onto others who demonstrate the values that we hold dear but are not honoring ourselves.
In our ongoing work to explore this year’s theme of “Agents of Love; Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences,” Tor invited us to take your free Barrett Personal Values Assessment, which will help you understand your current energetic priorities based on a quick values assessment. You can also watch this video to learn more about the Barrett Model.
Use this assessment to reflect on your values and how you want us to use that in your life today to make a difference to be the change you’d like to see. Are there values that hold you back? If so, what do you need to feel at ease with those values?
You can view Tor’s slide deck here, which also gives more information about Barrett Values, particularly through a lens of shifting energy priorities for each of the four living generations.
2/3/21: “Agents of Love; Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences”
Beth Scanzani & Andy Swindler.
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On this call we introduced our new theme for 2021 – “Agents of Love; Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences.” In this moment, I’m reminded of a quote that draws me into this theme:
“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”
In our gathering, we talked about the challenges and opportunities that are ahead of us – and offered lots of space for people to share their responses, reflections, suggestions, and creative ideas about the theme and how our exploration of related topics can serve us, our clients and the world we share.
Many people asked the same questions that we did, when we were checking in with ourselves and our trusted sources about how to express the invitation in words. “Agents of Love; Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences” is a bit of a conundrum right? There are some intriguing paradoxes – which we love! – just like the world we live in right now that invites us into this work.
Below are some representative comments that people made.
- “In my own life, people aren’t really “other.” They might be different but we actually do have a lot more in common than we realize. It gives me hope and makes me want to continue. Inspires me to want more of that type of connection. One of the things we really need at this point is hope.”
- “I wonder what it is in him that he sees that particular point of view / political candidate to be attractive. He does not see my world view, my allies as attractive. What is in me that I reject – that holds the view that he held that he defended?”
- “[It’s important to start] with the foundation – getting our own house in order. If I think I’m an authority or I’m triggered, I haven’t looked where there is pain. Owning my own pain first, integrating it so I can listen, and not judge [is essential]. Provide a sacred space for someone else.”
- “Weaving. Not trying to blend or make things go away. Things come together to make a new pattern.”
- “… All different colors of weaves and tangles. Hold space for that to untangle itself. As you fill the weaves, it will soften. Redefine the basket of humanity.”
- “We stand together in appreciation of our differences… When we talk, we share more than we have different… Our differences won’t go away. We are in council regardless of our differences.”
What does this theme bring up for you? What topics and speakers would support you and others in up-leveling our perspectives, skills and practices as “Agents of Love; Weaving the Tangled Threads of Irreconcilable Differences?” Let us know! Post your thoughts and suggestions in our private Facebook group or send Beth or Andy a private email.
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About Beth Scanzani
Beth Scanzani is a highly respected and multi-faceted transformational coach, teacher and speaker. A lifelong student and curious soul, she has enjoyed exploring and integrating a wealth of knowledge, resources, and strategies that draw upon a wide range of psychological, scientific, and spiritual teachings. Prior to her transition into teaching and coaching in support of evolving consciousness, Beth enjoyed a successful career as a human resources executive in the high tech and healthcare industries.
True to her nature, Beth’s studies encompass a purposeful blend of psychological, scientific, and spiritual perspectives. She has attained numerous coaching certifications including True Purpose Coach™, Belief Closet™ Practitioner, Master Career Coach, Dream Coach™, iPEC Empowerment Coach™, Energy Leadership Coach™ and Theoretical Foundations of Coaching with David Rock. In addition, she is a trained facilitator and teacher of the Voice Dialogue™ process.
Beth is deeply passionate about sharing knowledge and strategies that create meaningful and sustainable transformation in service to co-creating a world that works for everyone. Beth has co-developed and/or co-taught many tele-seminars for the True Purpose Institute ™, the Shift Network and others including Voice Dialogue Mastery, Inner Harmony Practitioner Training, Evolving Beyond Your Wounds, Shadow Quest, Purposeful Coach Training, Blessing Yourself, Divine Guidance on Purpose and Purposeful Marketing. Beth also serves as a valued guide for those who wish to explore deeper meaning, insight and guidance through their sleeping dreams and waking life stories. She co-developed and teaches Stories from the Night Shift, a NASW CEU eligible seminar for therapists, coaches and other practitioners who want to increase their competence and confidence in accessing the treasures buried in sleeping dreams.
People who work with Beth value her insightful, strategic, fun and results-oriented coaching which helps them to achieve breakthrough results on short-term goals while simultaneously creating fundamental shifts that build a strong foundation for ongoing success and fulfillment, personally and professionally. Her eclectic approach and natural agility enable her to customize her coaching style, strategies and processes to help clients create a clear vision, navigate their way out of uncertainty and restrained momentum, and successfully achieve their desired outcomes.
Through her work as a teacher and coach, Beth demonstrates her dedication to providing transformative courses, workshops and coaching in service to those who are ready to reclaim their inner wisdom, embrace their life purpose and true nature, and wholly offer their unique gifts to others…and to the world we all share.
About Andy Swindler
Andy Swindler’s brings hearts together. He envisions a world that embraces healthy tensions to nurture dignity and agency for every person. Andy’s Chicago-based practice, Lead From Love, empowers conscious leaders and inclusive organizations to shift the dominant narrative from fear to love through an embodied expression of purpose and values.
He began his entrepreneurial journey at age 24, which led to owning a boutique digital marketing & software development company for 14 years until exiting at the end of 2016. Andy’s journey of studying human interaction and shepherding human flourishing now culminates in FeelReal, which he has incubated and evolved since 2007.
Andy is a Certified True Purpose® Coach & Consultant, Barrett Values Centre® Practitioner, Collaborative Operating System Consultant and Voice Dialogue™ Practitioner. He co-hosts The Gathering For Change Agents each month and is the Strategic Partnerships Chair for Conscious Capitalism Chicago Chapter. Andy speaks and writes on issues of equity and inclusion. He developed The Metamodel framework to visualize the alignment between more than 100 different conscious leadership, business and dialogue frameworks.
About Susan Alexander
Susan Alexander, PCC, is an executive and life coach with an extensive business background. She created her company Rosebud Coaching and Consulting to specialize in helping individuals to create new possibilities for their personal & professional life to fulfill their most important goals and aspirations. Her work focuses on individuals connecting with confidence and clarity to what’s most important to them (their purpose) and removing barriers of beliefs and assumptions that stand in the way of their full and authentic expression. Susan helps individuals be extraordinary leaders in all aspects of their lives. She coaches executives, managers and individuals with a special emphasis on the power of self-perception and communications and their impact on job performance.