Tracking: Part One

Simply put, Tracking is Paying Attention to verbal and non- verbal aspects of communication.

 

In the group, we hold the intention to be receptive and responsive to what each person is experiencing in the moment. This requires a capacity to let information come to you rather than you go out to get it. At first, we may only have hunches, guesses about what is happening inside another. However, with practice, we start to perceive more directly and learn how to check this out with the other. The information we receive is often telling us in large or small ways that the individual(s) feel seen, heard, received, safe or not; and how this matches or challenges their internal beliefs about themselves, other people, groups and the world. It is as if the ‘mind of the body’ speaks a special language we can learn if we attend to the non-verbal aspects of communication. Notice what you can notice about the following:

 

 

 

Tracking Body

 

How is the body held: stiffly, loosely, openly? Does it reflect Earth, or Water or Air or Fire? How does it relate to gravity, to space? Does it seem to draw you in or hold you out? What is the energy field around the body? Is it animated or subdued? Do the eyes shine or do they hide? Does the smile warm your heart? Does the smile seem to mask a pain? If this body could speak, what do you imagine it would say? What is the overall level of Tension/Relaxation?

 

Posture: Is the posture relaxed or rigid; comfortable and flowing or held and protective? If the Posture were expressing a need, what do you imagine the need would be: for contact? For space? For attention? For appreciation? Do any particular hand or face gestures seem to fit with the posture, or, feel incongruent with the posture?

 

Pace: How fast or slowly do the individuals in the group speak, think, move or interact? Do some have their ‘foot on the brake’ while others are pressing the accelerator? How patient are the Speedies with those more Slow? How pushed do the Slow ones feel by the speed of faster pace participants?

 

Feelings and Needs: How freely are feelings and needs expressed? Which ones seem hard to acknowledge? What do you sense are hidden ‘longings’ in the group members? Who seems to need attention from whom? Where are the natural affinities and allies in the group? Who seems cautious of/ afraid of whom? Is there a sense that nourishment is available for everyone in the Group?

 

Energy: What is the level of aliveness in participants? Do some seem over-stimulated? Under-stimulated? Is there a quality of play, humor, and delight? Or, is the energetic quality more serious, measured and careful? What metaphor arises for you as you experience the energy of this group? What calls your attention by its lack of presence in the group?

 

Health and Hidden Potential: What is the great health of each member of the Group? The Group as a Whole? What is their ‘hidden potential’? What is just beneath the surface, waiting for an invitation to emerge as a glorious gift? What is the experience that wants to happen in this moment? How do we, as facilitators, support the Relational Intelligence of this particular group to ‘make magic’ thru human connection that calls forth the hidden potential?

 

This is a preview excerpt from Mukara’s upcoming book, MatrixWorks: A Life Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery.

Tracking: Part Two

Simply put, Tracking is Paying Attention to verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication.

 

In the group, we hold the intention to be receptive and responsive to what each person is experiencing in the moment. This requires a capacity to let information come to you rather than you go out to get it. At first, we may only have hunches, guesses about what is happening inside another. However, with practice, we start to perceive more directly and learn how to check this out with the other. The information we receive is often telling us in large or small ways that the individual(s) feel seen, heard, received, safe or not; and how this matches or challenges their internal beliefs about themselves, other people, groups and the world. It is as if the ‘mind of the body’ speaks a special language we can learn if we attend to the non-verbal aspects of communication. Notice what you can notice about the following:

 

Tracking Relationships

 

Who sits by whom?

 

Who talks after whom?

 

Who talks a lot?

 

Who talks a little?

 

Who talks through using non-verbal language?

 

Who is paired with whom?

 

Who are the members of the natural Triads?

 

Who leads with feelings?

 

Who needs food for the left brain to feel safe?

 

Who needs to be invited “in”?

 

Who is sensitive to power dynamics?

 

Who is the oldest/youngest?

 

Who has the most/least confidence?

 

Who are you drawn to?

 

Who are you not drawn to?

 

Who do you ignore?

 

Who do you imagine is drawn/not drawn/ignores you? Who do you see as a “natural leader’”? Why?

 

Who do you trust?

 

Who do you envy?

 

Who do you feel more skilled than?

 

Who has access to their deep inner experience?

 

Who comes alive in connection?

 

Who orients to invisible dynamics in the Field? Who focuses on Task?

 

Who focuses on Relationship and Nourishment? Who is longing to be met with strength?

 

Who is defended against Intimacy?

 

Who is your peer?

 

Who understands that you are human?

 

Who touches your soul?

 

Who has a ‘hungry spirit to do good?

 

How might you see yourself using these questions when working with a group?

 

 This is a preview excerpt from Mukara’s upcoming book, MatrixWorks: A Life Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery.

Tracking: Part Three

Simply put, Tracking is Paying Attention to verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication.

 

 

In the group, we hold the intention to be receptive and responsive to what each person is experiencing in the moment. This requires a capacity to let information come to you rather than you go out to get it. At first, we may only have hunches, guesses about what is happening inside another. However, with practice, we start to perceive more directly and learn how to check this out with the other. The information we receive is often telling us in large or small ways that the individual(s) feel seen, heard, received, safe or not; and how this matches or challenges their internal beliefs about themselves, other people, groups and the world. It is as if the ‘mind of the body’ speaks a special language we can learn if we attend to the non-verbal aspects of communication. Notice what you can notice about the following:

 

 

 

 

Tracking the Geometry

 

In this movement of focus of attention from oneself to others in the group does a lot to help us move from me to we/to broaden awareness of the whole.

 

Flying fish: a moment of magic when the group gels

 

Spark: delicious energy that could go into conflict or could fall in love

 

Swirl: not getting to the point, disorganization, not landing on the truth

 

Internal squeeze: Someone in the group uncomfortable, holding back

 

5 friends: where along this spectrum is the group? What does the group need to reach the next level?

 

Hot spots: tender, vulnerable topics that trigger members of the group

 

Near and far: who is resonating with the topic, who is neutral?

 

In and out: paying attention to who is included, and who is left out

 

How might you see yourself using these concepts when working with a group?

 

This is a preview excerpt from Mukara’s upcoming book, MatrixWorks: A Life Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery.

Tracking: Part Four

Simply put, Tracking is Paying Attention to verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication.

 

In the group, we hold the intention to be receptive and responsive to what each person is experiencing in the moment. This requires a capacity to let information come to you rather than you go out to get it. At first, we may only have hunches, guesses about what is happening inside another. However, with practice, we start to perceive more directly and learn how to check this out with the other. The information we receive is often telling us in large or small ways that the individual(s) feel seen, heard, received, safe or not; and how this matches or challenges their internal beliefs about themselves, other people, groups and the world. It is as if the ‘mind of the body’ speaks a special language we can learn if we attend to the non-verbal aspects of communication. Notice what you can notice about the following:

 

 

 

The Connection Spiral of Groups

 

Explore these primary pattern of relationships:
“Nice and Polite”
“Tough and Right”
“Inquiring and Reflecting”
“Magic and Flow”

 

How might you see yourself using these stages of relationship when working with a group?

 

This is a preview excerpt from Mukara’s upcoming book, MatrixWorks: A Life Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery.

Communicating with Mitochondria

Enlightened Feminine Leadership

One example of context is a class we teach called Enlightened Feminine Leadership. This class (and MatrixWorks in general) tends to attract more women than men, which sets up a different context or tone for the group development. Because women (and balanced men) tend to have a natural understanding of this work, we can weave together and give voice to some big themes that women naturally intuit. It seems important to give Feminine Leadership its own section because it is a large part of our focused work.

 

Weaving together some BIG THEMES: Enlightened, Sacred Feminine, Leadership, Embodiment… from the old story of separation and domination to the new story of possibilities of love and connection. Creating the context helps ground big ideas into present awareness, insight, and action. We begin to envision together what a new model of Leadership might entail. The following practice is a staple in our Enlightened Feminine Leadership offering.

 

 

Practice: Communicating with Mitochondria

 

We take responsibility by becoming more aware, and to increase awareness we have to continually resource ourselves. The deepest resource is to get in touch with wisdom in our bodies, one by getting in touch with mitochondria. Wisdom Traditions say the energy we inherit from our ‘Mother Lineage’ and pass on to our off-spring is in our physical body as the Mitochondria in every cell of our body. The Mitochondria produce the Energy of Life (ATP~150lbs of it each day) we need to live in every cell of our body. Mitochondria are 10% of our body weight. Lack of oxygen signals cells that it’s time to die, and lack of oxygen make the Mitochondria less efficient at turning glucose into the energy cells need to function. If there is a lack of energy, vitality, life force in our being, we can use our attention to connect with the original intention of the Mitochondria to support life. Burn-out of modern times. We can restore our own connection to the blue-print of perfection inside our cells. Here is an exercise you can try with your groups to get in touch with and restore mitochondria in the body.

 

  • “Empty Chair” : Begin to dialogue with your Mitochondria. Inquire how they are and if they have a message for you.
  • Work in groups of 3: Three Roles: Experiencer, Guide and Supporter
  • Experiencer sits or stands with Supporter behind and Guide in front. Guide invites Experiencer to focus on her Mitochondria, moving from feet up to head and back down again. Allow several minutes for this to deepen. Do several rounds of the Torus energy flow.
  • Guide asks the Experiencer: “If your Mitochondria could speak to you, what would they say?” Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Supporter writes down what experiencer says and reads back to Experiencer at end of the session.
  • Shift roles: Each person has a turn at all 3 roles. End with whole group sharing about the impact of the experience. Opportunities and Challenges to your expressing Enlightened Feminine Leadership in your life.

 

This is a preview excerpt from Mukara’s upcoming book, MatrixWorks: A Life Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery.

SURFING the EDGE of CHAOS to find FREEDOM

We’d all like to have greater access to subtle realms and increase our ability to see through surface confusion and into core confidence and fearlessness. To work this as a process, I choose to face an issue I have been avoiding at the interpersonal level with someone I care deeply about. Just the resolve to ‘face into’ the situation liberates incredible energy for me.

Drawing upon MatrixWorks principles, I remember that chaos and conflict often need a larger matrix than just the conflict pair, so I ask a second friend to hold space for me and my conflict partner. She agrees. More energy is released.

The next step is my internal preparation. Here are three questions I use to prime my inner pump and prepare for new possibilities:

1) a) What awareness or personal value will help me drop my defensiveness and truly open to a genuine curiosity about our misunderstanding?

b) Answer: Remembering the basic goodness of myself and the ‘other’, and being willing to take 100% responsibility for myself, my actions and intentions, and to sincerely care about my impact on my friend.

2) a) What resources can I draw upon to upgrade my ability to “listen well to feedback” about my blind spots?

b) Answer: I can practice something I recently learned about 3 levels of Listening. These listening levels are: 1. radical receptivity; 2. total interest; and 3. deeper currents and depth.

3) a) What mindfulness or meditation practice can I engage in daily to create a field of positive potential for this meeting?

b) Answer: I choose a short, 15 minute practice using the Tara mantra and commit to doing this every day to strengthen my intention for a deeper relationship with my “friend-conflict-partner”.

Through this process I have greater trust in the restoration of right relationship and in the power of chaos and conflict to create the sweet spot of Freedom.

Share with us: How do you ‘surf the edge of chaos and find this sweet spot in your life’?

4 Principles of Living Systems

I find myself reflecting on the 4 Principles of Living Systems as a trustworthy guide to living a meaningful life: I offer these musings and invite your responses.

4 Principles of Living Systems:

1) Understand the parts and pieces of our lives: Are they resonant? Is there enough diversity? Is there depth and breadth? Are they of my choosing? Or are they from the past? And most importantly…

2) Do the parts leap into a coherent Whole that is greater than the sum of the parts? Does the Larger emerge into the center of the mandala so that everything finds its right place and allows genuine meaning to un-conceal itself in a state of … ?

3) Dynamic relationships that continually self-organize and self-create: which means the creative principle of the universe is moving things and people into and out of our lives as part of a divine design. This design can be felt, if not seen. Welcomed or resisted, we come to know ‘relationship is all there is’ and we give the value of relationship first place in line.

4) Finally, we acknowledge that the only answer big enough to meet the question of “WHY?” is the fact of the choice to SERVE LIFE. Not serve as in Subject/Object/Action, but serving life by being life. Fearlessly BEING life.

As the poet, Dylan Thomas says, “(being) the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.” Nothing is more satisfying than being driven by this force in community with others with whom ‘the green fuse drives the flower.’ I will meet you there.

Enlightened Feminine Leaders

Who is She, this ENLIGHTENED FEMININE LEADER?

 

 

She is one who…

 

  1. Has the strength to ask for help
  2. Sees herself and others, not as machines, but as Living Organisms (Living Systems)
  3. Can improvise brilliantly: takes risks and enjoys ‘working live’ with situations.
  4. Creates cultures of connection, compassion, and care.
  5. Uses intuition and empathy to make decisions and choices.
  6. Attends to personal needs, grows her own gifts and talents.
  7. Values emotion, presence, passion, pleasure (play).
  8. Has clear core values and serves a noble purpose.
  9. Employs humor, laughs at herself and learns from mistakes.
  10. “Is always evolving: being something and becoming something new”.

We invite you to read each of these capacities several times in a mindful state of consciousness. Then when you are ready, rate them in terms of importance and embodiment for yourself. In other words, in your own personal leadership context, which of these would be #1 in importance to you and which would be the least important, i.e. #10?

 

If you want to take the exercise one step further, share the list with a friend you trust, including your assessment of the most and least important quality to you. Ask them for feedback: do they agree with your self-assessment or do they have a different perception of you.

 

This willingness to ask for feedback is one of the many magic tools the Enlightened Feminine Leader has cultivated.