Focus and Spaciousness

Recently, I participated in a zoom video conference call involving three cohorts of peers who have gone through the life-changing and world-making Evolutionary Leadership Workshop with master facilitator, Gibrán Rivera. We came together to build relationships across cohorts and to share our hopes for a summer reunion which is intended to prepare us to take our evolutionary leadership projects to the next level.

Gibrán is keenly adept at creating intimacy and deep conversation between members of a group whether gathering in a Hollyhock retreat lodge on Cortes Island or a virtual meeting room. Two core practices I’ve observed in his facilitation of virtual spaces are scheduling one hour calls and centering the conversation around 1-2 important questions that will help the group move together in a direction not fully known beforehand. As a participant, I experience the moving together prioritized over coming to a definitive outcome. This sense of moving together is cultivated through focus and spaciousness in conversation that stimulates co-creation and nurtures connection. In every virtual gathering, something powerful and beautiful emerges.

Too often, we experience focus and spaciousness at odds in meetings. Focus in these contexts is driven by the need to get a lot done in a limited amount of time. Focus feels like a corralling of attention rather than a bringing of what is essential into clearer view. Coming to decisions is prioritized over moving together even when our intention is to create an equitable container for discussion. There is a lurking sense that we are racing against insufficient time.

In Gibrán’s facilitation, I experience a practice of abundance. He regularly reminds me that we have the time to ask essential questions and to respond to these from the depth of our being and the expansiveness of our imaginations.

The current crises and potentialities of our communities demand no less.