Reflections on the EE Community Conversations – February, 2017

By Andrew Carter MacDonald for Enlivening Edge Magazine

What does the Evolutionary Impulse want for our Community Calls?

Leonard Cohen described his writing as so much ash left behind after a passionate burning. Something was hot and alive and multi-faceted, but now all that’s left is this cold, pale gossamer stuff that crumbles when you touch it.

I’m reminded of Leonard’s observation as I imagine telling you about the two Enlivening Edge Community Calls this month. Even if I could list all the insights (and I certainly can’t), the math is such that they wouldn’t add up to the conversation. A live community call via Zoom is more than the sum of its parts, more than what was said. And it’s that “more than the sum of its parts” part that is the most juicy, exciting and relevant.

So far on the calls we’ve been asking powerful questions that invite us to share personally about different life and work areas. There’s been a very positive energy around that sharing. What we haven’t been doing as well (yet) is providing continuity—tying one conversation to another so that a participant can carry a thread forward through the calls, deepening the exploration.

These observations (among many others) surely deserved more development, rather than being left for ash:

  • Refined discrimination is needed so commitments aren’t so much fixed entities as something lived into and through life
  • A commitment can make you as much as you making it. Commitment can take me over rather than me having to make something happen.
  • If you don’t sense fear then you know it’s not yours. You need to have skin in the game.
  • We need community to respond to complexity.
  • “We allowed our conversation to wander onto Trump and Brexit and for a while it didn’t feel like we were talking about Possibility at all – but out of that, I felt like I could see that difficult, adverse situations can actually call forth more possibilities than stable continuations of the status quo can.”

We’re open to the Evolutionary Impulse revealing what better continuity and follow-through from the conversations will look like. We’re open to you, dear reader, particularly if you’re familiar with the calls, helping us discern what this would look like.

We want to move beyond mere words and insights about Possibility and Commitment (and the other conversational areas of Dissent, Ownership, Gifts, and Invitation), to actually embodying them.

Will Van Inwagen, leader on the EE Community Conversations hosting team, articulated this vision nicely the other day. The work in the community calls, he said, is “a commitment to the larger collective, the field. It’s a commitment to its evolution. This evolution is already started, already birthed. How do we now as a collective grow and mature and support each other? We’re in the infant stage now and it’s good to acknowledge that we’re birthing ourselves, and to do it in a kind, gentle, and supportive manner. Not to put pressure on ourselves.”

That’s it! Fiery, evolutionary conversations are happening at Enlivening Edge. The door’s open for you to engage in this experimental space in whatever way serves you.

Join us on the first and third Thursday of each month, 10 AM US-Pacific, 6 PM UK, 7 PM Austria. There’s no financial cost to participate . . . just the energetic cost of showing up and being exposed to the exploration.

The next call is Thursday, March 2nd. You can sign up for notifications here.

Featured Image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine.