April 29, 2009
Hosting today in Pembroke, Ontario. We are about to head into the third day together with a focus on "getting to work in the journey." The group is alive. Very well connected. Very oppened to relationship with each other. Their work will look different today than it would have on the 27th -- the level of community is much more than seems possible in such a short time.
One story that I loved from yesterday was from Sister Alice. She is a long time administrator and leader of the Marguerite Centre, which is where we are meeting. We invited her to tell us a bit of the story of this place so that we could know more of where we are. What she told in 5 minutes was grounding, insightful, and delightful.
This Marguerite Centre used to be a home for the sisters of the order. This included many older sisters, between 80 and 95 years old. Sister Alice described how they had moved in here expecting to live their full lives here and to die here. The Order knew that they would need to move into a new place across the street in order to give the care that they needed to the sisters, as well as shift the Centre into a place that can host groups like us and produce some revenue. Sister Alice described the need to let go of the old so that the new could be born. She described in an inspiring way these principles of working with the women:
1. Asking the question, "What gives?" And invitation to relationship and to understand in a shared way.
2. Get them involved. It was commical the way she described this. They held circles. Not "committees." "Those women are old enough to not want any more committees so we called them circles."
3. End with ritual. When the move was eventually happening, their was invitation for each sister to take an object from the old place and carry forward the symbol to the new place.
These three little steps feel like great guideposts for working with change. I love it when these just show up in the context of telling a story. They are real, simple, and to the core.
Sister Alice reflected a bit further. "I've never seen such life. They trusted and became alive because of those circles. They were called to be alive." She told of talking with some that were resisting. "You may be old but you aren't too old to think!"
It was a tale of calling forth that comes from the freedom to let go. Was beautiful to hear.