My intention within this work is to support the recognition that the workplace is a community and as such needs tending to the life within it. I don't work with 'organisations'. I work with groups of people who have a task they would like to achieve together, when such work is in service of 'the greater good', wherever they are.
What are the essential questions you hold about your work? What are the fertile conversations you long to have? And what values are the holding basket for all that you want to accomplish?
START CLOSE IN
Start with your own question....
My work starts with the Primary Relationship. Our relationship with ourselves. Nonviolent Communication is, in the first instance, about practicing a quality of listening for what is alive in ourselves, noticing how life impacts us and creating choice about how we respond to it. In the second instance it's about cultivating a hospitality towards that sense of life. From this ground warmth and compassionate presence is cultivated and we are then in a place to listen to and receive others.
'Start Close In' poem by David Whyte
David Whyte recites 'The Swan' by Rainer Rilke
All the swan does is move towards the water....
Finally I am living and working as a swan in water. Where the swan, unmoving is marvellously carried. I heard 'The Swan' by Rilke several years ago and celebrate that I have somehow responded to my longings in such a way as to find this work. I am, who I am, in part because of the violence in my upbringing. Witnessing my father in so much emotional pain, with no capacity to let it be know or to respond to it in a loving way, other than to harm those he loved. This has led me to cultivate a capacity to respond to my own suffering in a way that cultivates love for me and for others.
I've been working in many different ways over the years to earn a living. I have been a teacher within the Waldorf Movement, I've lived in Camphill Communities, I've been an administrator, a care worker and a florist. I have worked in the NHS as a personal development trainer delivering suites of training including conflict resolution. So, I have experienced what it means to complete a task and to have a joint purpose with others through work. There have been joys and I have been in a lot of pain participating within these systems. I experienced both authoritarianism and domination in all of these settings. This is because it is the prevalent approach of our culture and of our times.
I'm here now because I long to support the cultivation of environments in a field away from 'right' and 'wrong', where everyone's needs are valued, considered and where possible supported. Where there is a quality of listening that enables contribution from everyone and considers the wellbeing of everyone.
These qualities are often in the ether, somewhere, in every organisation, my task is to support them to come up for air and find life.