What happens when you are in the hills of north Vermont with 35 leaders from all over the world who lead diverse organizations from food production, construction, health care, environmental protection to universities being led by experts in the field of system thinking and sensing leadership, Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer?
One might expect that I would come away with a tool kit of strategies and new ways of thinking, plans for future action and processes to follow. While some of these have occurred, the biggest impact can be summed up in the word ‘connection’ and the value of time and space.
I discovered that my mind, body and spirit needed some reconnection requiring me to think less and notice more, to let those multiple thoughts go and to be present and connected. This allowed me to connect to the social field (others around me) in new ways, noticing, listening deeply, observing, and demonstrating curiosity and compassion. With 99 % of our sessions facilitated outside I also connected to nature in new and powerful ways. I realized that ‘systems thinking’ became ‘systems sensing’.
There was another connection, a very real presence of God, the creator of the most amazing, powerful, intricate, interdependent nature which I found myself very much a part of. I noticed God the creator of the people around me, each uniquely created with incredible passions, loves, challenges and gifts. I noticed God in the social field which developed as we collaborated around big ideas, challenges and opportunities. I also noticed, as I became no longer the slave to my multiple thoughts spinning inside of my head, God’s very calming, loving, accepting, strong, stable presence connecting every system inside of me and outside of me, creating wholeness.
1 Thess 5:23-24 “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together – spirit, soul, and body.” The Message
CEO Bill O’Brien states “The ultimate determination of the intervention is the inner state of the intervener”. We can become aware of the inner state of ourselves through reflecting particularly on our blind spots, however it is the Holy Spirit working in us that brings miraculous change and wholeness of self, to others, and to all of God’s creation, inspiring in us curiosity, compassion and courage.
Educational Leadership Director