Giving Thanks, Celebrating the Light, and Being the Gift…

I am writing this at my home in the Berkshires, here in the U.S. during this season between, the time after our harvest holiday of giving thanks, and the upcoming winter holidays celebrating the return of the light.

It is the darkest time of year, and in the midst of holiday preparations, many of us are in mourning, in one or another of the various stages of grief around the recent judicial decisions regarding the lethal use of force by policemen toward unarmed black youth (most recently Michael Brown) and unarmed black men (most recently Eric Garner.)

For some of us, the mourning takes the form of numbness, hopelessness and despair over the apparent futility of all of the efforts for change, for justice, and for racial healing that have been made in this country. For others of us, it takes the form of the active protest that have been taking place in the streets of large cities in the U.S. for the last several weeks.

In any case, it seems to me that we are all affected, in one way or another. And, from a facilitator’s perspective, the societal controversy regarding these cases serves as a powerful reminder of how seldom facts are able to “speak for themselves”;  rather, different people looking at the same situation, even the same video, will see different things.

And so, amidst everything else that is going on at this time, I want to take a moment to celebrate each of you, and the work that you do. If you are reading this, I am affirming the call that we share, to facilitate human understanding across differences.

I am celebrating you as a member of the facilitation meta-tribe. I am giving thanks for you, and the work that you do, as a practitioner of the Deep Listening Arts.

I am here to support you, in this work that means so much to all of us… the work of celebrating the light within each person, in the groups that we host or support or facilitate.

I am reaffirming here and now, my commitment to support you in the following ways:

–Continuing to offer, via my e-mail newsletter as well as this blog, well-curated information about what is new and interesting and inspiring, within our larger field.

This upcoming January/February, I am planning to write about the awesome MIX Mash-up I recently attended in NYC, where organizational leaders shared stories about the new forms they are creating to share power and tap collective intelligence within organizations; I will also be writing a review of The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership, the new book by Birgitt Williams. (Follow the link for a free chapter of her book.)

And, I will be posting both of those here, as well as sending them out via my newsletter, as I want to renew my efforts to spark some dialogue about all of this!

–Continuing to share announcements of upcoming facilitator learning journeys I am offering, both live ones and web-based ones.

I will be offering a  workshop on Dynamic Facilitation on March 27-29, sponsored by the Maine Association of Mediators. I will also be doing something April 17-19 in NYC as a benefit for Focusing International, but the info for that one isn’t up yet. And, those of you in Europe may be interested our third summer learning journey sponsored by Kommunikationslotsen, May 26-28.

What’s on my ‘growing edge’: I am thinking of offering some web-based learning journeys — small-group personal development opportunity for facilitators, mediators, and consultants, to share our truth with one another, deepen our presence and expand our range. Let me know if you might be interested in this…

And indeed, I would be honored if you would take a moment to let me know, what would be most helpful to you, to support you in the valuable work that you do. What is moving, in your mind and heart?

Celebrating each of us, and the work that we are called to do…

with much love,


3 thoughts on “Giving Thanks, Celebrating the Light, and Being the Gift…

  1. Rosa-

    I write in response to your request to those of us who read your e-mails to name what we enjoy about them (which is tantamount to: why we read them) and to offer words of encouraging improvement.

    I read your e-mails because I know you and respect your work immensely, as attested by the number of different projects in which I have been proactive in engaging you, both as volunteer and as compensated consultant, facilitator and/or intervener.

    I would not read your e-mails if I did not already know you and respect your work.

    In other words, if my response is any indication of wider perceptions, your e-mail is an excellent way to maintain communications with people who know you, respect you, pay your, and/or participate in your faciltation processes.

    You e-mails are not an effective recruiting vehicle. If recruiting — engaging and enlisting people who do not know you, and already respect you — it falls short.

    I suspect you already know all this, and write what you do, and send what you write to the people you do, because we are your intended audience.

    But: You asked, so I responded.


    John S. Gardner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s