Leadership is the capacity of people to develop, to create, and to sustain over time. Paradoxically, the very acts of leadership that enable people to self-govern are often invisible, and rarely seen as leadership. We seek to discover, give voice, and create visibility for these subtle, yet critical, forms of leadership.
In our retreats and circles, we explore invisible and unclaimed aspects of leadership (defined as the archetypal feminine) such as relationships, community, connection to place and history, and the appreciation and affirmation of life and life cycles. These aspects are often overshadowed by the more prevalent leadership practices (the archetypal masculine) of focus, power, control, and achievement.
When integration of both feminine and masculine occurs, we move towards wholeness and tap our greatest potential for leadership and creativity.
We are guided by a set of principles and practices that have been developed by community members and evolve as we practice over time. These principles and practices support us to be authentic, congruent, and more powerful leaders, creating healthy lives, organizations, and communities.
Principles and Practices
Our work focuses on the integration of theory and practice
and is based on the following principles:
Respect: Both the individual and the group are equally honorable. We hold a stance of deep respect for all people and a place where our most authentic selves can be present. We "make room for one another" opening new possibilities for learning together.
Awareness: As we illuminate the assumptions, beliefs and feelings that root our actions, we learn how these either help or limit us in creating what we want. We strive to create greater consciousness within ourselves as individuals and within the communities in which we live.
Wholeness: Wisdom encompasses more than the intellect. Balancing heart, body and mind with tasks and relationships is key to creating healthy environments. The journey of wholeness is a healing process, integrating all parts of ourselves, the archetypal feminine and masculine, and connecting us to one another.
Authenticity: We support and encourage development of authentic self-expression; to peel away the layers that cover our gifts and bring greater power to our leadership work.
Memory: We seek to remember the past, our journeys as individuals and the collective story. We explore our mythology and claim the truth of our own experience.
Emergence: We explore a generative approach to leadership and how we participate in the unfolding future. We tap into and participate with the flow of energy and resources all around us. We look for what is trying to emerge in our lives, our organizations, and our communities.
Within our learning communities we have found key practices that enable
us to learn about and from others and ourselves:
Story/Image/Myth: We use storytelling to understand ourselves, our organizations and our communities. We view culture as an unseen organizing force that conveys patterns of meaning. Myths, images and stories are the carriers of this meaning system.
Action Learning/Reflection: To become more fully aware and conscious we must become observers of ourselves as individuals and as organizations. The more we are able to surface and examine our embodied assumptions the more we can learn and change. We follow a spiral learning path that moves from reflection to action. The path circles back on itself, allowing the learner to hear and see with ever-deeper perspective.
Centering: Grounding and centering in our wholeness – mind, body, spirit – helps us integrate all parts of ourselves. We return to center again and again when we find ourselves pushed off-center by the realities of daily life.
Dialogue: We practice open inquiry where participants speak authentically, listen deeply and pay attention to what has heart and meaning.
Intention: Choosing a focus sets energy in motion, creating a powerful magnet that attracts resources and support and moves us to new growth and creativity. In working with our intentions, we look for what is emerging, attend to the next steps and let go of predetermined outcomes.
Ritual: Our co-created rituals help us maintain and pass on our traditions of CEL and create a continuity of experience together. Rituals help us build and sustain the CEL community as we grow.