Clear the space
Inviting support for collectively clearing the space
SUMMARY: We invite leadership and self-organizing, to mourn, celebrate, connect to self-responsibility, and “clear the space” to permit something new to emerge
When we joined the CNVC Board, over two years ago, we had a sense of there being pain in the network that was, if not universal, widespread and often very deep. We had a strong sense that there was a great deal of mourning that would need to be done before the NVC network could fully thrive in the way we were most wishing for. I (Bob) imagined that supporting a collective mourning and celebration process might be one of our first steps as a Board.
Many, many things got in the way of that happening. And, perhaps the time was not yet ripe. I (Dom) suspected it would be most healing to begin a mourning process once substantial change was underway. Some of the pain that we perceive relates to a hopelessness in many about CNVC ever being able to respond effectively and satisfyingly to feedback about the collective needs and longings of the community. In the absence of demonstrated change, it would be understandable that many might not want to open themselves up to their pain about the situation. It would be easy to choose to instead focus energies elsewhere.
Now, we are at a new moment. For some, the process we have announced offers a sense of hope, and perhaps excitement. For others, who have "felt burned” in the past, the conditions may not yet be present for it to feel safe to connect to much hope. Whether or not you feel hope, it seems to us that this could be a good time to mourn any unmet needs in relation to CNVC and this network. Bob suggested this in his teleconferences, and we have also received email from a number of people who have suggested this independently.
We long for this process we are beginning together to occur in what one might call a “clear emotional space,” in which we can look at what we want as if for the first time, with fresh eyes, and open minds and hearts. We believe this would support creativity, balance, and insight. We trust what we imagine might emerge from this state of mind and heart.
If pain about what has been are strongly alive in us as we work, I (Bob) worry we might “over-correct”, going to the opposite extreme of whatever extreme we currently imagine being expressed, leading to a subsequent need to “pendulum back.” And if we are lost in pain about how things are, or contracted around our struggle to defend what we value about how things are, we worry that the scope of our vision will be limited. We long for us all to be able to see and act on the many wonderful possibilities that could emerge from our coming together, previously unimagined sweet opportunities to serve life.
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With this in mind, we invite those inspired to do so to offer leadership in supporting the community in “clearing the space” prior in the launch of the Synanim (“Framing the Big Picture”) process. By this, we mean supporting processes that will contribute to freedom from the grip of emotions and thoughts that may make it difficult to move forward and participate in the process with full access to our inner resources.
Processes that we understand as supporting “clearing the space” include
- mourning, and celebration;
Mourning might be done via grieving circles, where our pain can be witnessed and allowed to matter.
Addressing self-responsibility might involve asking ourselves questions such as, “What is my role in this?”, “How have I contributed to creating or maintaining a situation I wish were different?” or “Are there ways that I have given away my power?” — and later, “How would I be showing up if I were fully in my power, recognizing interdependence and serving what I value?” Such questions can be particularly helpful in situations where we am telling ourselves stories that cast ourselves or others as victims, villains, or heroes.
We have a goal of inclusiveness for the “New Future” process. We would like the “clearing the space” processes to be inclusive by:
- including not only certified trainers and certification candidates, but anyone who values NVC and carries pain about what has been;
- facilitating participation, and making invitations, in whatever language people are most comfortable in using to express what is in their hearts;
- offering events that either local, in-person events, or are teleconference events at times suitable for people anywhere in the world.
We would like for this to happen within the next 4 or 5 weeks.
We would love to have all this happen — and we are clear we do not currently have the capacity to organize this ourselves, given other work that needs to be done to implement the upcoming change process. So, our invitation to you is to take leadership, and to self-organize.
We appreciate that Catherine Cadden, Gayano Shaw, and Jesse Wiens have already responded to an earlier informal invitation and have announced a despair circle on the trainers list. And, we are hoping this will be simply the first instance of a comprehensive variety of opportunities for people to participate in “clearing the space."
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Some of you might not be carrying a lot of pain. You might not feel a need to have such a process for your own sake. And, we invite you to consider participating anyway, with an intention to bear witness and to supporting healing for others, who are carrying a load of pain.
We don’t kid ourselves that what we do in the next month or so can heal all the pain that has built up. Yet, we hope that we could collectively a least take a step that could be significant to those who are able to participate.
Maybe there are some completely different types of processes that you think would support “clearing the space." We would welcome any types of processes that support this aim.
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Are you willing to self-organize and team up to make this happen?
We also welcome hearing what comes up for you as you read all this.
With hope and gratitude,
Bob Wentworth & Dominic Barter
May 1, 2014