I am on my way home from “The Art of Facilitation”, a 7-day-retreat held by Miki Kashtan – a visionary leader for social change. With this blog article I’d like to integrate my learnings and at the same time share it with you:
I begin with my assumption of my purpose to be in the world: I am here to enjoy and feel life as deeply as possible. I want explore life and my ways to happiness and freedom to the full extent possible.This moves me to wholeheartedly engage in social change to assure that I can enjoy and explore life today as well as tomorrow.
Today I’m sure that this vision of a different world includes the following goals to strive for:
- Free development and deep satisfaction of every human being
- Synergetic cooperation and peace worldwide
- Resource abundance in harmony with the Earth’s ecosystems
So, how to be in the world to fulfil my purpose? One of the thousands things during the retreat I got in touch with was to get clear about my strengths and weaknesses (calling them challenges from now on) . Actually, there are many strengths I identified:
- I can imagine a world that works for everyone and speak about any connected topic
- once I’m sure that something is important to be done, I do it, even if that means to do it alone. I’ve the courage to be the first to shape a way
- I trust that even if I fail in microscopic ways taking the “wrong” decisions, it will turn out as value to me and to the whole
- my appearance & care invites people to connect with me
- I take care of maximizing the synergetic integration of enjoying & exploring my life while engaging for societal change
There are a lot more. Knowing about my strengths helps me to take them as a gift. I stop denying or justifying them. They are part of me and I benefit from them.
However, as interesting as knowing about my strengths is knowing about my challenges:
- giving empathy without being afraid of losing the connection by losing the focus or by dealing with my own thoughts
- expressing my perception of situations in a clear and word efficient manner
- recognizing when I’m in a mode of fighting for my way to do something instead of patiently listening & inviting the integration of of other ways
There are much more, too. The most of them I probably don’t know, yet. However, I learned what I could do with my challenging weaknesses: I could put effort into transforming them into strengths. This might take some (long) time and energy. Nevertheless, as long a challenge stays a challenge I could try to install support / compensation systems. Taking my empathy challenge for example: when it comes to working with organizations I won’t probably be the one who will offer individual coaching sessions for the organization’s members struggling with deep inner-personal conflicts. For compensating my challenge to not get into a fight mode I could ask a mediator in case of heavier interpersonal conflicts with others.
The idea is to build my life around my strengths while recognizing, accepting, probably transforming but at least compensating my challenges.
This retreat was inspiring on incredibly many levels. During this week I grew at all life dimensions (except the physical ones). Since I’d like to boost social change in order to raise my hope that we create a world that works for everyone without tumbling in chaos a second longer than necessary I’d further like to maximize being much more radical in:
- naming my irritation, confusion or concern in case I see things happen I don’t like – whether in interpersonal contact, group dynamics or events happening in the world
- expressing clearer and stronger why I don’t like something proposing alternatives or amendments
- providing useful, empathic feedback once someone’s actions touched and maybe supported or challenged and maybe hindered me
- making transparent why I am doing things
In one radical skill I’m already an expert: Taking EVERYONE on this planet into my heart. No-one will be left behind. We do this together!
I arrived at home. Are you ready to tell me about your purpose, your vision, your strengths and challenges as well as your attempts to radically contribute to sustain (your) life and thus social change?
… and maybe you’d like to get some idea how the retreat felt like by listening to Paul …