FLYING MEDITATION

A Kum Nye Exercise

This exercise calms the restless flow of thoughts and generates feelings in the Heart Center.

Kum Nye is a system of Tibetan Yoga brought to the USA by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche.

1. Stand with your feet about four inches apart and have your back straight and arms relaxed at your sides.  2. Lift your arms away from your sides until they are directly overhead with the backs of the hands almost touching and the fingers straight.  3. Close your eyes and feel the sensations of energy in your body.  4. Relax your thighs and minimize any backward arching in the spine.  5. Open your arms, increasing the distance between them and gradually let them descend to your sides, taking a full minute to bring them all the way down.  6. Pay attention to the feeling tones as you move and let energy flow into your heart center.  7. As the arms descend to your sides, you may feel heat and energy surrounding your arms and hands.  8. Take another full minute to move your arms up again.  9. When the arms are overhead, stretch up slightly, with your thighs and legs fully relaxed. This stretch clears and settles the mind. Be present with the sensations.  10. Continue the movement nine times, going more slowly each time.  11. At the end of the nine repetitions, sit for five minutes or more and experience the flow of energy with breath, body, and mind as one.  12. If time permits, journal about your experience. If your heart could speak, what would it say? If your heart has a need, how can you respond. If it feels right, complete by holding your heart with your hands and sending appreciation through the heart to the blood that goes to every cell in your body.

1. Stand with your feet about four inches apart and have your back straight and arms relaxed at your sides.

2. Lift your arms away from your sides until they are directly overhead with the backs of the hands almost touching and the fingers straight.

3. Close your eyes and feel the sensations of energy in your body.

4. Relax your thighs and minimize any backward arching in the spine.

5. Open your arms, increasing the distance between them and gradually let them descend to your sides, taking a full minute to bring them all the way down.

6. Pay attention to the feeling tones as you move and let energy flow into your heart center.

7. As the arms descend to your sides, you may feel heat and energy surrounding your arms and hands.

8. Take another full minute to move your arms up again.

9. When the arms are overhead, stretch up slightly, with your thighs and legs fully relaxed. This stretch clears and settles the mind. Be present with the sensations.

10. Continue the movement nine times, going more slowly each time.

11. At the end of the nine repetitions, sit for five minutes or more and experience the flow of energy with breath, body, and mind as one.

12. If time permits, journal about your experience. If your heart could speak, what would it say? If your heart has a need, how can you respond. If it feels right, complete by holding your heart with your hands and sending appreciation through the heart to the blood that goes to every cell in your body.

Basic Teaching of MatrixWorks

What do groups need to function at their highest level?

How can you “name” what is going on in the group? What language do you use?

MatrixWorks-logo.jpg

Living System

Complex Living Systems (bodies, brains, groups, nature) have a fundamental underlying pattern: networks of connection that seek dynamic balance between autonomy and interconnectedness.

To create a Living System, groups begin by building healthy relationships between individuals. These relationships form the matrix to reveal the collective genius living in the system, strengthening and nourishing the individual, the group, and the organization.

Living Systems acknowledge that “No one is as smart as all of us.”

 

Tracking

The following are phrases groups working as Living Systems can use to track and express where an individual is at any given moment within the group. Tracking gives team members a language to express what is living within the group.

In/Out – Is everyone feeling included? Is everyone engaged? For any reason, a team member may not be able to participate fully. Naming who is “in” and who is “out” fosters full inclusion and cohesiveness in a team.

Hot Spots – Is there a lot of energy around a topic? Energy has different perspectives and can appear chaotic. When attentive to “hot spots,” teams can address passion areas and remove obstacles to understanding that will accelerate progress in the long run.

Flying Fish – Is there an idea that seems to take off? Is everyone aligning with excitement in one direction? Is it as if all the fish were swimming hard and fast enough that they were able to fly together? “Flying fish” moments signal that the collective genius of the team is emergent. Celebrate!

Internal Squeeze – Is someone in the group holding back? Are there concerns or insights that are going unexpressed due to an angst within? Calling an “internal squeeze” allows team members to safely bring their truth to the group.

 

3 Golden Keys

Connection

In order to become a living system, teams must develop the skill of fostering nourishing and sustaining connections. The strengthening of connections will create the patterns necessary for all groups to become a living system, shifting their form to an interconnected matrix.

Chaos

Living systems alternate between cycles of order and chaos. Chaos has the potential to raise a team to a higher level of complexity and coherence.
Navigating chaos requires:

* Letting go of control

* Becoming comfortable with uncertainty
* Tolerating ambiguity
* Examining your relationship to power and the ability to empower others

Consciousness

Living Systems experience and express integrated consciousness that allows them to “live the paradoxes” and find a state of dynamic balance between two seemingly opposed concepts or poles of a polarity. Consciousness fosters a move from opposition to interdependence.

These spirals are taught experientially and theoretically, so that participants gain a felt sense of these stages living in their bodies.

Fractals

A fractal is a geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole. A fractal reveals its complex shape through continuous self-reference to a simple initial equation. Connections, chaos and consciousness at all levels of scale, integrated again and again provide a simple equation for Living Systems and fostering agility.

Going Forth in a VUCA World

The Calling of Our Times

Fruit is transformation. It’s the embodiment of vision. It’s abundance. The quality of the fruit is ripe, alive, nourishing. When the ground and the path merge into fruit, it makes doing more natural. Because in the natural great perfection the fruit is already there, it’s already done. We just have to relax into the flow.

To illustrate this notion, I’ll share a few words about that path of the Buddha. The Buddha was a human being, like us. And, like many of us he had privilege: a very good life–many people to care for him. He had many ‘mothers’ taking care of him. He was set to be the ruler of the Kingdom and was protected from all problems of life. As the story goes, he became curious about what the world was like outside of the Castle, so he convinced one of his servants to take him out. Once out in the world he saw sick people in Pain. When he asked what this was, he was told “This is Sickness”. Then he saw someone who had died and was told “This is Death”. Next he saw very old people, crippled and walking with canes and was told “This is Aging”. Finally, he saw a woman giving birth and heard the cries of Labor and was told “This is the pain of Birth”. The servant then told him that Birth, Death, Sickness and Old Age happen to everyone. The Buddha then cried and vowed to find a way out of Suffering. This is the subject of our endeavors. How we can become free of unnecessary suffering–the suffering about suffering.

When Buddha reached enlightenment, his first teaching was about the four noble truths. The First Noble Truth is that suffering exists. The Second Noble Truth is how we end Unnecessary Suffering and how we work with the inevitable suffering. Like the Time of the Buddha over 2,500 years ago, the kind of world we are living in now, in our 21st Century is a VUCA world. This world makes it hard for us to receive our fundamental human needs: safety, satisfaction, and connection.

We suffer whenever we want things to be different than how they are. Another way to say this is: We suffer because of Emotional Reactivity. This is our Problem. We can learn to be free of suffering by cultivating the three fundamental needs of safety, satisfaction, and connection. Rick Hanson advises us to take in the good through small amounts of focus and time that allow us to install new structures in the brain.

We can use VUCA as the fuel for transformation by knowing context, environment, and knowing that something else is possible. All groups have messiness–you just need skills to be a human being in relationship. It’s not easy. What seems to me to be fundamental understanding of the difference between what it takes to stay responsive rather than be caught up in reactivity.

When we have safety, satisfaction, and connection, we are in a responsive mode, which means we have choice. When we experience a lack or deficit of these fundamental needs, we become emotionally reactive, which means we have no choice.

Reactive-Mode-600x600.jpg
Responsive-Mode-600x600.jpg

Keys to Freedom: Recognize, Resource, Regulate, Relate.

  • Recognize the trigger. Pause to remove yourself from the situation and reflect on how you feel. Recognize the ways in which your heart may be closed, your amygdala is hijacked, and you may be building a case against the person or situation.

  • Resource yourself by providing some self-nourishment (go for a walk, practice yoga, meditate for a few minutes, cuddle your dog, etc. to self-regulate).

  • Regulate the situation by spending energy in peace-making.

  • Relate by sharing your experience, being open to feedback, and creating new intention for building the relationship.When we add this information to what we are learning about neuroscience, we understand even more deeply why learning new ways of being in groups and relationships of mutuality are so vital.In our MatrixWorks Training, we are exploring a template for groups as living systems that is based on love, connection and support. We are learning to live in a relational field where we use our “smart social nervous system” and let love and an openness of heart be the ground we rest in, be the ground we are.

Practice: Some Exercises to help us feel Connected

  1. Take a moment with yourself and answer these questions: How do you experience suffering in your life? Why have you come to this learning?

  2. Find a partner and share your answers with each other.

  3. Find another partner (maybe someone you don’t know) and share a challenge you had to overcome to be here tonight

  4. Find another partner and share a wisdom you have learned from your own Suffering. Share something you are still learning from your own suffering.

  5. Whole Group sharing

Practice: THE INNER SIDE OF LEADERSHIP

Working alone, journal about the following questions:

  1. What are 3 challenges you currently face in your work, or life?

  2. What are your current most vital sources of Love and Energy (work and/or life)

  3. What is trying to Emerge?

Reflection Questions: Reflect on the areas of your life where you are Reactive and where you are Responsive. Are you willing to work toward becoming more responsive?

 

 

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

A MatrixWorks Reading List

Aposhyan, S.; Natural Intelligence; Body-Mind Integration and Human Development, 1999

Explores the influence of emotion and motivation on an organic, level. Includes exercises, practical techniques, and case studies for personal use in achieving health and well-being.

Barkin, K.; Corporate DNA, 1998

Explores the influence of emotion and motivation on an organic, level. Includes exercises, practical techniques, and case studies for personal use in achieving health and well-being.

Benson, J.; Working More Creatively with Groups, 2009

Benson presents the essential knowledge required to set up and work with a group. He looks at how to plan and lead a group successfully and how to intervene skillfully. As well as covering the different stages in the life of a group, the book emphasizes the various levels of group experience and gives suggestions for working imaginatively with them.

Brach, T.; Radical Acceptance: Embracing your life with the heart of the Buddha

Brown, Juanita The World Café: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations that Matter, 2005

This book can help people break out of the linear, encapsulated world of every-day life, in which most are ensnared and help organizations and networks achieve collective intelligence and formulate future-focused plans. The book provides a means for engaging with many others in exploring important issues at a variety of levels: group, corporate, community, national, or international. It presents the World Cafe Process (Cafe or WCP), which generally consist of three rounds of progressive conversation, each lasting about 20 or 30 minutes, followed by a dialog among the whole group.

Capra, F.; The Web of Life, 1997

In The Web of Life, Capra takes sets forth a new scientific language to describe interrelationships and interdependence of psychological, biological, physical, social, and cultural phenomena–the “web of life.”

Capra, F.; Belonging to the Universe, 1993

The trailblazer of new science and a contemporary Thomas Merton explore the parallels between new paradigm thinking in science and religion that together offer a remarkably compatible view of the universe.

Chilton Pearce, J.; Biology of Transcendence

Clippinger, J.; The Biology of Business, 1999

The Biology of Business is a blueprint for sparking self-organization, knowledge, and rapid change in any company. Edited by Clippinger, the book is a collection of 10 essays about the complexity theory of managing

Conley, Chip; PEAK: How Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, 2007

Conley started the California boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality with the Phoenix Hotel. At the center of this how-to is psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a pyramid that ranks human needs from base to self-actualizing. Used as the basis for employee, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, Conley contends, it can transform a business and its people. Conley describes how using the pyramid saved his company from bankruptcy when the dot-com bubble burst.

Colman, Arthur; Up from Scapegoating: Awakening Consciousness in Groups, 1995

Arthur Colman was a practicing analyst at the Jung Institute in San Francisco and realized the psychological peril created when deep psychological work was done without awareness of the contextual group dynamics. This book is about finding balance between the individual consciousness and the group consciousness. Also it talks about the concept of the shadow and the scapegoat, which are the dark aspects of personal and groups that we choose to block out or push upon someone or something.

Cooperrider, D.; Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change, 2005

This short, practical guide offers an approach to organizational change based on the possibility of a more desirable future, experience with the whole system, and activities that signal “something different is happening this time.” That difference systematically taps the potential of human beings to make themselves, their organizations, and their communities more adaptive and more effective. AI, a theory of collaborative change, erases the winner/loser paradigm in favor of coordinated actions and closer relationships that lead to solutions at once simpler and more effective.

Edelman, G.; Wider Than The Sky

Flaherty, J.; Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others, 3rd edition, 2010

This book frames deep questions about how humans operate across a series of interconnected domains such as the mind, body and emotions. He frames crisp distinctions about the coaching process which will generate new perspectives on the role of the coach. He leaves a trail of deeply researched threads that the reader can explore after reading to deepen their knowledge and understanding. You are invited to explore, with profound curiosity, your own beliefs on what we are as human beings and how we should show up as coaches. From his coaching metaphors, analogies and questions there are inexplicable possibilities that crystallize.

Fredrickson, B.; Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection

Gladwell, Malcolm; The Tipping Point

Gladwell, Malcolm; Blink

Goleman, D.; Working with Emotional Intelligence, 2000

Working With Emotional Intelligence takes the concepts from Daniel Goleman’s bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, into the workplace.

Goleman, D.; Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, 2004

“The fundamental task of leaders… is to prime good feeling in those they lead. That occurs when a leader creates resonance—a reservoir of positivity that unleashes the best in people. At its root, then, the primal job of leadership is emotional.” So argue Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) and EI (emotional intelligence) experts Boyatzis and McKee. They use The word “primal” is used, not only in its original sense, but also to stress that making employees feel inspired and empowered is the job a leader should do first.

Goleman, D.; Social Intelligence, The New Science of Human Relationships, 2007

In this companion volume to his bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, Goleman persuasively argues for a new social model of intelligence drawn from the emerging field of social neuroscience.

Hansen, R.; Hardwiring Happiness

Johnson, Steven; Emergence: the Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, 2002

An individual ant, like an individual neuron, is just about as dumb as can be. Connect enough of them together properly, though, and you get spontaneous intelligence. Web pundit Steven Johnson explains what we know about this phenomenon with a rare lucidity. Starting with the weird behavior of the semi-colonial organisms we call slime molds, Johnson details the development of increasingly complex and familiar behavior among simple components: cells, insects, and software developers all find their place in greater schemes.

Johnson, Sue: Hold Me Tight; Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, 2008

There’s something appealing about this book’s honest, no-holds-barred approach. By creating complete emotional safety and by willing to be fearless about it, it seems to me, not only can real love be kept alive, it can flourish

Kahane, A: Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change, 2009

War is no way to resolve our most problematic group, community, and societal issues, but neither is a peace that simply sweeps our problems under the rug. To create lasting change we have to learn to work fluidly with two distinct, fundamental drives that are in tension: power—the single- minded desire to achieve one’s solitary purpose; and love—the drive towards unity. They are seemingly contradictory but in fact complimentary. As Martin Luther King put it, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” Kahane reveals how to dynamically balance these two forces. Just as when we are toddlers we learn to shift from one foot to the other to move ourselves forward, so we can learn to shift back and forth between power and love in order to move society forward.

Kayser, T.; Mining Group Gold, Third Edition: How to Cash in on the Collaborative Brain Power of a Team for Innovation and Results, 2010

Based on practical advice rather than fluff or theory, the Mining Group Gold systematic approach is the essential guide to building and maintaining strong, collaborative organizational teams.

Kelley, S.; The Complexity Advantage, 1999

This is a very clear presentation of a difficult topic-the relationship of the new field of complexity science to business. It is particularly useful for anyone who is thinking “Complexity science is interesting, but what are the implications for the real world.” This book gets off to an outstanding start with the unit “The Main Point: Self-Organization.” This indeed is the aspect of complexity science that has the most relevance for business.

Koestenbaum, P.; Leadership: The Inner Side of Greatness, 2002

Believing that leadership is a “mindset and a pattern of behaviors” that can be learned and taught, Koestenbaum presents and illustrates the meaning of his “Leadership Diamond.” This consists of “four strategies for greatness”: vision (thinking big and new), reality (having no illusions), ethics (providing service), and courage (acting with sustained initiative).

Lemkow, A.; The Wholeness Principle: Dynamics of Unity Within Science, Religion, and Society, 1990

Integrative approaches to religion, philosophy, science and world affairs to shape a bright future.

Levoy, G.; Callings; Finding and Following an Authentic Life, 1998

How do we know if we’re following our true callings? How do we sharpen our senses to cut through the distractions of everyday reality and hear the calls that are beckoning us? Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and powerful stories of people who have followed their own calls, Gregg Levoy shows us the many ways to translate a calling into action.

Lewis, Th. MD; A General Theory of Love, 2001

A General Theory of Love, by San Francisco psychiatrists Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon, is a powerfully humanistic look at the natural history of our deepest feelings, and why a simple hug is often more important than a portfolio full of stock options. Their grasp of neural science is topnotch, but the book is more about humans as social animals and how we relate to others–for once, the brain plays second fiddle to the heart.

Lipman-Blumen,J.; Connective Leadership: Managing in a Changing World, 2000

Lipman-Blumen posits that organizations wanting to succeed in a world that is becoming more interdependent and more diverse simultaneously require a new leadership model. The book’s three parts examine the origin and evolution of the human need for leadership, detail what is described as the Connective Leadership Model and explore the empirical organizational results and philosophical implications of this new model

Lipman-Blumen,J.; Hot Groups, 1999

Hot Groups makes a passionate case for injecting strategic disorder into disciplined organizations. Packed with information, it is clearly written, superbly organized and entirely original. Anyone who has an interest in fostering quick and real organizational change to confront a rapidly transforming world will want to read it and refer to it

Macy, J.; Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World, 1998

At the interface between spiritual breakthrough and social action, Coming Back to Life is eloquent and compelling as well as being an inspiring and practical guide. The first third of the book discusses with extraordinary insight the angst of our era, and the pain, fear, guilt and inaction it has engendered; it then points forward to the way out of apathy, to “the work that reconnects”. The rest of the book offers both personal counsel and easy-to-use methods for working with groups in a number of ways to profoundly affect peoples’ outlook and ability to act in the world.

Masaru, E.; Messages from Water and the Universe, 2010

This fascinating book explains how our prayers, goodwill, and positive words heal us humans—as well as viruses and the universe as a whole—through water

McClure, B.; Putting a New Spin on Groups: The Science of Chaos, 2nd edition, 2004

A radical and innovative look at group dynamics.

Mindell, A.; Sitting in the Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity, 1995

this volume offers practical methods for working with conflict, leadership crises, stagnation, abuse, terrorism, violence, and other social action issues. It brings an understanding of the psychology of conflict and the knowledge that many disputes can be traced back to inequalities of rank and power between parties, providing tools that will enable people to use conflict to build community.

Mindell, A.; The Leader as Martial Artist: Techniques and Strategies for Revealing Conflict and Creating Community, 2000

Deep democracy, the inherent importance of all parts of ourselves and all viewpoints in the world around us, is introduced as the concept that facilitates conflicts in relationships, communities, and the world. Skills and attitudes needed in situations of chaos, attack, transformation and conflict are provided, and examples from all over the world illustrate the theory.

Ornish, D.; Love and Survival: 8 Pathways to Intimacy and Health, 1999

With best-sellers on reducing stress and modifying diet to alleviate and reverse the effects of physical heart disease to his credit, Ornish now tackles “emotional and spiritual heart disease,” the remedy for which consists of “love and intimacy.” The benefits of opening our hearts to others go beyond curing our bodies of disease; it’s also the first step toward healing our entire lives.

Oshry, B.; The Possibilities of Organization, 1986

In a disarmingly simple book, Oshry strips away much of the mystery and mythology of organization life. Part I deals with “Internal Warfare”, a painfully familiar scenario of organization life. Part II takes you into the distinctly different worlds of Tops, Middles, Bottoms and Customers of organizations. You see how misunderstanding and conflict develop across “worlds” and how cooperation can be achieved. Part III confronts you with critical choices faced every day, choices that can transform your life and the life of your organization.

Oshry, B.; Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life, 2007

Seeing Systems is a reader-friendly way to explore the powerful and uncomfortable truths of Oshry’s 25 years’ experience with workshops on power. His stories, poetry, and conversations will captivate and confront us all. It’s a timely book to read if you’re thinking something should be changed.

Pascale, R.; Surfing the Edge of Chaos: The Laws of Nature and the New Laws of Business, 2001

Extracting key “dynamics of survival” from the life sciences, these three management consultants successfully show business leaders how to turn their companies into agile and adaptable “living systems” that achieve long- term vitality and sustainability in a swiftly evolving environment. Their four “bedrock” principles are “Equilibrium is a precursor to death”; “Living things move toward the edge of chaos”; “Components of living systems self- organize” in response to turmoil; and “Living systems cannot be directed along a linear path.”

Pert, C.; Molecules of Emotion

Porges, S.; Polyvagal Theory, 2011

Porges is the mind behind the groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory, which has startling implications for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and autism. Adopted by clinicians around the world, the Polyvagal Theory has provided exciting new insights into the way our autonomic nervous system unconsciously mediates social engagement, trust, and intimacy.

Ramachandran, V.; Phantoms in the Brain

Sawyer, Keith.: Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration

Forget about the myth of the solitary genius: collaborative effort generates ideas and inventions, says this useful, upbeat book about how innovation always emerges from a series of sparks—never a single flash of insight. Judiciously wielding exercises and dozens of examples, Sawyer (Explaining Creativity) helps the reader understand how people think and function in and out of groups.

Schldrake, R,; Aspects of the Extended Mind

Schultz, M.; The New Feminine Brain

Senge, P.; The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, 1994

How to build an organization that learns – through Systems Thinking, Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Shared Vision, and Team Building. Includes practice and a ‘where do we go from here’ chapter.

Senge, P.; Presence

Senge, P.; The Dance of Change: The Challenge of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations, 1999

If you believe that people are the only long-term competitive advantage and lifelong learning is the way to fully develop that advantage, you must read this book. It’s about the real work, the work of implementation!

Siegal, D.; The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, 2001

Siegel creatively integrates state-of-the-art knowledge of emotional development, neurobiology, cognitive science, attachment research, and and complexity theory. The resulting model cogently describes how a developing brain/mind organizes itself in the context of an emotional relationship with other brain/minds. This cutting-edge volume is essential reading for clinicians, researchers, and anyone who is intrigued by one of science’s fundamental problems–the psychobiological origins of the human mind.

Siegal, D.; The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-being, 2007

Siegel blends personal experience with scientific research, attempting to capture the spiritual as well as the physiological phenomenon of “mindfulness”-or, in Siegel’s acronym-speak, COAL: the state of simultaneous Curiosity, Openness, Acceptance and Love.

Sills, F.; Craniosacral Biodynamics: The Breath of Life, Biodynamics, and Fundamental Skills, 2001

Craniosacral therapy is based on the belief that functions of the human system are maintained and integrated by a biodynamic force known as ‘primary respiration,’ or the breath of life. Found in the brain, spinal cord, and bodily fluids, this rhythmic pulse promotes healing and health.

Simmons, A.; A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to Overcome Fear and Distrust at Work, 2006

his illuminating guide gets people to tell the truth at the meeting–not in the bathroom afterwards.

Smith, Kenwyn K. and Berg, David:
Paradoxes of Group Life: Understanding Conflict, Paralysis,
 and Movement in Group Dynamics, 1997

In this groundbreaking classic, Kenwyn Smith and David Berg offer a revolutionary approach to understanding groups and overcoming the problems that often paralyze group members, the group as a whole, and relations among groups. They explore the hidden dynamics that can prevent a group from functioning effectively. And they show how an apparently paradoxical suggestion, for example, inviting a success oriented group to risk failure, or affirming the benefits of going nowhere to a group focused on moving ahead can break action barriers, overcome conflicts, and improve group performance.

Swimme,B.; The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era–A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos, 1994

Physicist Swimme and cultural historian Berry here examine and synthesize a vast body of knowledge and hypothesis from the fields of astronomy, physics, biology, anthropology, and history. They seek to provide a concise but comprehensive story of the development and evolution of the universe, the earth, and humanity.

Tharthang Tulku; Kum Nye Relaxation, Vol. 1, Vol. 2

The exercises seem simple and straight forword as they open avenues to certain feelings in you – the amazing part is, after you open that feeling flow so it flows through your body, you have established a permanent pathway whereby this “feeling” or “sensation” is available again whenever the opportunity.

Thich Nhat Hanh; Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, 2006

The book describes the four methods of mindfulness: mindfulness of the body, the feelings, the mind, and the object of mind. It teaches how to deal with anger and jealousy; to nurture the best qualities in our children, spouse, and friends; and to greet death with compassion and equanimity.

Tulku Thondrup; Boundless Healing, 2001

These are powerful, authentic and yet simple meditations to bring health to body and mind, heart and spirit. But most precious of all, Tulku Thondup shows that not only are well-being and happiness within our reach, but our whole life can be lived as a journey of peace and joy.

The Healing Power of Mind, 1998

A cosmic counselor of sorts, Thondup guides us first through simple exercises in relaxation and accepting present circumstances. His healing method centers on visualization, beginning with emotions and moving on to the body. With breathing and sound as part of the package, the meditator creates a sense of well-being and compassion that is ideally carried over mindfully into everyday activities

Waugh, B.; The Soul in the Computer: The Story of a Corporate Revolutionary, 2001

Waugh serves as a perfect role model for those who hope to effect change by “working within the system.” Part memoir and part how-to manual for corporate “revolutionaries,” Waugh’s story shows how successful transformation is the result of a series of “small wins.” She shares her victories and recommends “turning ‘enemies’ into allies; amplifying positive deviance; scaling up, scaling down; and playing with whoever shows up.”

Weisinger, H.; Emotional Intelligence at Work: The Untapped Edge for Success, 2000

EI can be developed and dramatically increased. This unprecedented book demonstrates how to master the core competencies of EI, abilities that include self-motivation, high self-awareness, mood management, and emotional mentoring. In addition, it includes scores of real-world examples and dozens of practical exercises that accelerate the process, along with step-by-step approaches to mastering a variety of EI techniques, and assure success in the workplace.

Wheatley, M.; Leadership and the New Sciences: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, 3rd edition, 2006

An extraordinary book. The new physics is opening frontiers of knowledge that are among the most significant of this century. Applying these discoveries to management and leadership is extraordinarily eye-opening.

Wheatley, M.; A Simpler Way, 1998

This book focuses on the basic themes of play, organization, self, emergence, and notions of coherence to explore how people really systemize their existence. The authors draw upon science, poetry, philosophy, and other unconventional corporate resources to suggest a completely original method of working together.

Wheatley, M.; Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, 2009

“The intent of this book is to encourage and support you to begin conversations about things that are important to you and those near you,” says Wheatley. “It has no other purpose.”

Whyte, D.; Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity, 2002

Gracefully using the metaphor of a sea voyage to depict the journey through the world of work, Whyte views work not only as a means of support, but as a means for interacting with the world and developing self-expression and identity.

Zohar, D.; ReWiring the Corporate Brain: Using the New Science to Rethink How We Structure and Lead Organizations, 1997

Revolutionary advice for achieving workplace change. Businesses should be operated like brains, she argues, utilizing all of the mental, emotional, and spiritual stimuli at their disposal. Ordinarily, however, most ignore the latter two and rely solely on just one-third of their “corporate brains”–a shortcoming Zohar shows how to correct so that truly effective responses can be crafted for myriad predicaments.

book_mini-100x100.jpg

Enlightened Feminine Leadership: Mitochondria

Our Enlightened Feminine Leadership 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.

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. This is an “Empty Chair” exercise to begin to dialogue with 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.

torus-gold-100x100.jpg

Mindfulness Pilot Project Underway!

On March 1st and 2nd, 2017 MatrixWorks initiated a six-month Mindfulness Pilot Project for a Fortune 500 Company in Germany. The purpose of the project is to support creative innovation in the company’s main innovation center. The Organization sponsoring the project is interested in improved product development, increased market share, but, also in enhanced employee satisfaction, engagement, and sense of personal development and fulfillment for each person.

Screen-Shot-2017-03-13-at-5.59.03-PM-1024x521.jpg

The group of 24 senior-level scientist leaders began the training with some skepticism and caution but soon warmed up to their direct experience of more relaxation, less reactivity and greater ability to listen to each other.

One participant reported that by practicing the guided meditations, a recurring pain in her body (for which there was no medical cause according to her doctor) simply went away and she was able to sleep well for the first time in several weeks.

Another group member described an experience of greater capacity to focus his mind after the practices so he felt his productivity will improve.

Finally, the group itself formed in such a way that SAFETY, SATISFACTION and CONNECTION– the three fundamental needs of all human beings– were present at the individual and collective levels.  Eager to see where we will be in six months.

Mukara’s work with the team includes four more days of in person teaching and facilitation as well as 27 small-group on-line coaching sessions, held 1-2x’s per month.

Check the MatrixWorks website to see a file of the presented material.

5 Friends

What are the 5 Friends?

The 5 Friends represent factors that individuals in a group need in order to be fully present and working at their best. They are also useful to evaluate the orientation of a group, and as a tool, to help the group work to its potential.

5-Friends-Card-Front-1-1024x314.jpg

Safety

A felt sense of safety comes from connection to self, community and something transpersonal. When there is safety and connection, fear of conflict diminishes.

Support

The key to finding support comes from finding shared themes and providing opportunities for members to be seen and recognizing what we need.

Creative Expression

Creative self-expression comes from cultural development that allows for individual freedom rather than the imposition of external control.

Truth

Each person has a genuine truth. Recognizing another’s truth does not mean we agree with that truth or hold it as our own, but that we honor and accept it as theirs.

Value / Worth

Our sense of value and worth is intrinsic, does not need to be proven and is not dependent on our accomplishments.

 

How can I use the 5 Friends?

A useful exercise is to understand your personal disposition to the 5 Friends by considering the following questions:

Safety

Do we have a safe environment?
How is safety manifest in our environment? How can we nurture safety?

Support

Can I say what I need?
Do I ask for help when I/we need it?
How can we encourage each other to ask for, and give, support when needed?

Creative Expression

Does our partnership allow for creative expression?
Do we encourage each other to be fully self-expressed? How can we further inspire each other?

Truth

Is my truth accepted?
Do I appreciate my partner’s truth, even if I don’t agree with it?
Do I seek to understand my partner’s truth? Do I seek to understand my own truth?

Value / Worth

Do we each feel valued?
How do we show that we value each other when we disagree? How can we help everyone feel valued?

 

5 Friends Mandala

Mandala is Sanskrit for “circle” or “completion”. It has been used for centuries as an intentional manifest of a wholeness. In this case, the wholeness has to do with the group and the ‘5 Friends’.

  • As a group, review the ‘5 Friends’. What do they mean to you?

  • Complete your personal mandala relative to the group. Which of the 5 friends:• do you offer to help this group? • will you now cultivate?
    • is your greatest challenge?
    • is most natural to you?• does this group need now?

  • In pairs, compare your mandalas. Discuss how you came to make the choices you did and how you were impacted.

  • Share with the group. What did you discover? How did comparing mandalas help you understand how you might work with this person, or what you both bring to the group?

Scapegoating

The theme of the scapegoat goes all the way back to biblical times, when Aaron scarified a goat for God, and also in ancient Greece where the community would cast out a lower member of society to represent purification of the community. One was a higher sacrifice and one was a banishment, but either way, scapegoating doesn’t feel great for the castaway. We understand this in modern psychological terms as the tendency of a group to cast out a member who may represent a source of blame. This is a factor of projection or displacement of uncomfortable feelings, which we assign to others instead of processing within ourselves. It is a way not to own our own shadows, whether individually or as part of a group.

AncientCircle-1024x1024.jpg

When a group doesn’t accept all of itself, scapegoating can occur. Scapegoating is the dis-integration of what the group considers “Negative archetypes.” The concept goes back to ancient times and there’s something about the idea that I can purify myself by banishing another with my sins.

What happens in groups, if one person is fired or moves on, then the next most disconnected person from the matrix steps right in and starts creating problems. If scapegoating is active, the system isn’t seeing itself and it is distorted from the whole. Nothing is moving: blocks energy of transformation if stuck in the duality of right and wrong. Doesn’t allow for higher third polarity to emerge. If you remove the scapegoat, the energy will still look for another to attach to. The healing impulse wants to integrate by seeing alternate solutions. It’s really the system trying to make itself whole. The scapegoat is like mistaking the part for the whole. If we can pause, practice mindfulness, and begin to be curious and inquire what is going on behind the objects to see the system. Mechanistic viewpoint that thinks it can get rid of the part if its not working. Scapegoat is the dis-ease, disruptive, more primitive, and dichotomous of right/wrong.

In MatrixWorks, we bring an understanding of this archetypal pattern to the forefront of group awareness, so that a group may come to understand this tendency, and find new tools to work with it.

 

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

Polarities

Knowing who we are in groups is just as important as knowing about ourselves. And understanding how we show up in groups gives us insight into how we might try something new, outside the box and into the freedom of authentic relationship. There are universal energies, or archetypes that predominate group roles and help us see what part we are playing. When we claim our own archetype we gain the freedom to truly express ourselves. Polarities, archetypes, scapegoating, and victimhood all give us tools and insights into how to facilitate paradigm shifts in our lives, our work, and our world.

Polarities are opposite forces. Oppositional, understanding or acceptance of a creative tension. Group is systematically moving through the polarities that are present in the group. An energetic perspective informs the understanding of polarities. There’s a whole body of knowledge on polarity theory and therapy about different positive and negative points in the body. For groups it’s the playground.

Body systems come in polarities: fluids and bones, structure and flow, process and output, inhale and exhale. Diagnostic tool because if a group is stuck it’s because poles of polarities have gotten frozen and there’s no movement between them. Autonomy and interconnectedness are both essential to health. So obsessed with inter that don’t develop inner strength then not healthy or happy and if only in oneself not open to power or pleasure of relationship.

Polarities are a part of chaos. Once there’s enough safety and the group is ready to move naturally into creative chaos or be perturbed is the experience of chaos and differences showing up as preferences and predispositions. People are safe enough to risk sharing themselves.

Polarities are important because we often learn by contrast. For example: I learn about expansion by experiencing both expansion and contraction. If I only experience one side of a pole, then I don’t have much freedom. Conflict arises because people are attached to one side of a pole and can’t see an upside of the opposite, or downside/ shadow of my side. Prior conditioning (i.e. the need to be right, the need to maintain one’s own perspective at the expense of the other) can predispose us to close-mindedness, results in the inability to take on another’s perspective, and ultimately inhibits growth and evolution.

Being able to identify, to track and name the polarities in each particular group is fundamental to facilitation mastery. It is a fundamental diagnostic tool. Skillful facilitation practice to keep in back pocket what polarities are operating in a skillful way and which ones are really polarized. Pointer to what contributes to wholeness and where do I get paralyzed in the parts and when poles are frozen then I’m captured in the parts and needing to have access to what’s absent. Poles are two sides of one coin. The goal is right relationship with both sides.

A paradigm is something that serves as a pattern or a model of how things work in the world. Paradigm shifts are a fundamental change in view of how things work/should work.

Polarities in right relationship create the paradox that allows for paradigm shift; stuck polarities keep the paradigm stuck. Life requires polarities: to stay living I have to stay in difference and allow for higher 3rd to emerge.

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

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

module2-image-100x100.jpg

Archetypes

Knowing who we are in groups is just as important as knowing about ourselves. And understanding how we show up in groups gives us insight into how we might try something new, outside the box and into the freedom of authentic relationship. There are universal energies, or archetypes that predominate group roles and help us see what part we are playing. When we claim our own archetype we gain the freedom to truly express ourselves. Polarities, archetypes, scapegoating, and victimhood all give us tools and insights into how to facilitate paradigm shifts in our lives, our work, and our world.

The way I use archetypes is pointing to a universal energy of how we show up in groups. For example, I’m a mother, but when I invoke the divine mother I move from the personal to the subtle universal larger energy. When I change perspectives to the divine mother, it’s not so personal, its more universal. This is a fluid approach to understanding larger forces of energy. All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes of self, shadow, animas, and persona. What we’re trying to do is link the person and their sense of empowerment to this larger energy to find it in themselves as a beautiful integration of personal and universal. The exercise: “Tell me something unique about you” is based on that.

We first work with polarities to establish a field of opposites. When you work with polarities and choosing, you open a field that has archetypes in it. The exercise we do is set up to help people discover (important that its a self discovery process) what is their anchor into goodness and truth, those things that hold us in the place we want to be. What is the symbol I can hold when I am pulled into opposing forces. It is also the armor and protection that keeps us from being pulled into the scapegoat archetype. This relates back to the concept of living systems in that all parts are essential to the whole of the system, and being able to connect to the whole gives us a greater appreciation for all of the parts, even if there are differences. We want to be able to operate in the field of the personal, but also in the transpersonal and universal, and this is the attempt to pull them together.

Usually the exercise in the class is one after we’ve explored the integration of love and power and the many aspects of confused chaos. We offer this exercise as a way for people to claim their power while staying in relationship. It is done in small groups with feedback from the people in the groups.

Archetype Exercise:

This can be done in small groups of twos and threes. With a guide, experiencer, and supporter. The guide asks questions:

  1. Name a power you have, something you feel confident in, a potency you have (example: I have the power of being interested in consciousness because it gives me energy).

  2. Name a quality or characteristic of your person (example: I am a person who loves to be a rascal, bringing forth the first step into the second step.

  3. Name one or more roles you play that are important to you (example: to be a good friend, to teach in a way that people learn to become leaders).

  4. Consider – have you ever been stereotyped or stereotyped yourself for any of the first 3 steps? (example: I’ve been told I’m a troublemaker, I’ve asked myself why I can’t just keep quiet, to open door for negative archetypes to become more conscious and integrated and accepted).

  5. Inquire which Archetype that runs through the steps.

If there’s a unifying energy that runs through all of these things that represents the deepest truth about you right now in this moment. The guide and supporters can help refine this. (Example: The energy that’s a deep truth about me is I’m a creator. I like to create. And I can own this truth to ground me.) Holding onto that deeper truth, answer questions: how does your archetype relate to your calling in the world (Ex: I want to create a new and innovative way of working with groups). There’s something about the claiming that allows us to self-recognize the energy trying to manifest instead of taking on other’s projections of me. It’s very empowering. Do you feel empowered? Group sharing of archetypes to welcome these powerful energies into the group with love.

This exercise supports self-recognition, supports empowerment, and gives a counter-balance to the scapegoat. The archetype becomes a guardian to protect against the scapegoat. There’s something that happens when we support others through this process with another and then when we go through chaos in the future it helps us see their light.

 

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

solar-eclipse-100x100.jpg

Fractals

Fractals are complex patters that are self-similar across different scales. This natural phenomenon is exemplified by the structure of a tree, which mimics the micro scale of a leaf in the macro scale of the roots and branches. Fractal nature means that if something is true, then it is true at all levels of scale (cellular, individual, group, organization, and planet). In MatrixWorks we teach models that are fractal in nature.

Fractals remind us of the truth of the whole and parts. The hypothesis I’ve worked with is that the fractal equation of MatrixWorks is the simple equation of connection, chaos, and creative evolution. When applied to life and unfolding of group, we see patterns of health and life become more complex. To become a living system the group has to continuously go through this simple equation.

Fractals-combined.jpg

In my work and in the work of MatrixWorks, we see this phenomenon with self-similarity at different levels of scale (from the personal, to the relational, to the team, to the organization, to the world). Because they are associated with a living geometry, fractals help us in how we see the group. Finding the formulas and seeing what happens when you continually iterate/repeat that intervention in the group. Therefore, there is an abundance of threes that we track. When working with groups, we believe it is essential to track what we call the Three Threes. Because the Three Threes are constantly spiraling and shifting, it adds a degree of complexity to working with groups. It is not always easy to learn to track these components. Ultimately the complexity of tracking these stages, levels, and capacities forces our mind to shift (or perhaps we should say relax) to a broader, more inclusive, holistic view.

  • 3 stages of group life: Connection, chaos or conflict, creative evolution

    1. 3 levels of connection: Intra-personal connection, interpersonal connection, field connection (the more connection, the more health-Dan Siegel)

    2. 3 functions of a group: accomplish task, attend to relationships, nourish members

    3. 3 parts of the brain: reptilian, mammalian, neocortex

    4. 3 aspects of being: inner, outer, secret

In a living systems model there’s a pattern of thesis antithesis and synthesis is a dominant pattern in anything living, and more dynamic. This whole/part relationship, called “holons” by systems thinkers seems to be a key pattern of organization of the body. These holons express both autonomy and interdependence and are able to respond, protect, defend and support life, acting with an intelligence and creativity that is beyond the capacity of 6,400 computers all linked together! Now that’s creativity! Candice Pert, PhD., Neuroscientific Researcher and author of Molecules of Emotion says, “The mind is in every cell of the body… intelligence flows throughout the system, happening all over, all at once.” What this means for us is that we can look to the body as both a metaphor and reality for how living systems distribute intelligence throughout all parts of its system.

How would you take these teachings into your work with groups?

 

 

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

Social Engagement System

Social Engagement System

“We are impressed by mounting scientific evidence suggesting that, in two basic ways, the human child is hardwired to connect. First, we are hardwired to connect to other people. Second, we are hardwired to connect to moral meaning and to the possibility of the transcendent. Meeting these basic needs for connectedness is essential to health and to human flourishing.” (from HARDWIRED TO CONNECT: The New Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities)

Dr. Stephen Porges developed the Traffic Light Metaphor for the human nervous system. Humans have evolved a “Smart Part” of our nervous system. Vagus nerve is the nerve of compassion–and is the body’s caretaking organ. Has evolved to support bonding between humans. Centered in face, head and is impacted by connection, especially in face-to-face contact. Connected to a rich network of oxytocin receptors, the hormone associated with Love and Trust. (note: eleven seconds of eye gazing releases oxytocin in large amounts as does a 20 second hug…)

We have learned to use Connection to establish safety for ourselves. (Green Zone). If we can’t establish safety through connection, then,…. we go to fight, flight (yellow) or freeze. If we go to Yellow: only Fight or Flight available If we go to Red: only Freeze is available

Social-Engagament-System-1024x827.jpg

Practice: The metaphor of safety

Allow yourself to remember all the people who have helped you become who you are, who taught you about connection Parents, Teachers, Work and Life Partners, Mentors. Let yourself recall the kindness and good will and care you have received. Feel a long line of people behind you, supporting you. Let yourself know how you have been there for others. Allow yourself to recognize your great good fortune to be who you are and where you are in this moment. Feel once again that second intelligence, already completed and preserved inside you. A freshness in the center of the chest. A second knowing that moves from within you, a fountainhead, moving out.

Reflection: Where are you Tracking Green, Yellow, and Red in yourself, your teams and organizations?

 

 

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

Victim/Creator

Victim/Creator

The empowerment triangle, developed by David Emerald gives groups a healthy way of working with scapegoating. It’s the alternative to the drama triangle that transforms the persecutor to challenger, persecutor to coach, and victim to creator. Way of seeing negative dynamics that makes it easier to work with.

In the drama triangle, the persecutor works with issues of power, the rescuer works with issues of responsibility, and the victim works with area of vulnerability:

Triangle-Flip-768x768.jpg

Work the energy so that it’s a transformation. If you can work this in a group, then you’ve subdued the scapegoat archetype. Notion of the transformation shows how you work with what you’ve got and you aikido (Aikido is a movement from point a to point b) it into something more life affirming.

The most important thing about the drama triangle is to make people aware of it and how this is a kind of destructive pattern that somehow we all know inside ourselves. Uncouple that from our organizational and personal lives is the key. The personal part for me is: I find myself often in the role of rescuer, fighting for the underdog, and I couldn’t see the system for so long, I would only see what is in front of me. It was illuminating to feel what it was like when I started to be pulled in either of these roles. Group as a whole can embody a role to create safety and make sense of the system. If it takes the placeholder for the energy, then it looks for others to project the other energy’s on. For example, “it’s marketing’s fault” “its designs fault” “its Naropa’s fault”. Claiming your own archetype instead of falling into one.

Transformation from the drama to the redeemed starts with a pause, then an inquiry of what’s happening here, then a recall of the 3 roles and who is playing what role in this context, then throw in the question: “what else is possible?” “How can I become so centered that something new can happen? That some new perception can take place?”.

I once taught a workshop to a very sophisticated professional group of about 35 people in Brazil. I love the Brazilians for their expressiveness and culture. I had split this group into three subgroups and led them through the process of connection and chaos. As we were entering into the final session on creative evolution (which I also call consciousness), one of the groups exploded into conflict. These sophisticated and professional stars started throwing things, running out of the room, and cursing each other. They were as expressive as anything I’d ever seen. On the last day of training, I met with a conflict pair that was spitting insults at each other, and none of my interventions with this pair changed anything. So after all of my attempts, I told the pair “I quit,” and I really did step back into trusting the healing impulse.

Needing to complete the session, we moved ahead as planned with each of the groups doing their final presentation. The first and second groups went, and when it was time for the last group to go, the whole room could feel the mean vibes of their hatred for one another. One woman in the final group stood up to present, but instead of going forward with what the group had prepared, she started singing the word “connection” over and over to the tune of “Frère Jacques.” Her singing and movements were so loud and boisterous that they began to change the dynamic of the group’s energy. One at a time, she held out her hands to both of the members of the conflict pair, and they joined in, eventually inviting their whole subgroup and then the rest of the participants. By the end of the class, everyone in the room was singing and dancing and crying and laughing in connection. All of a sudden, the love in the room has been transformed and restored.

I had truly let go knowing I had done my best in the situation, and when nothing else had worked, the Brazilians will sing and dance. The moment when healing peaks through is the moment of new creation. This begins the next cycle and turning of the wheel in connection, chaos, and creative evolution. You can’t do anything to make it happen, but it’s always there. The more I remember it, the more I can offer myself to it.

Practice: Consider patterns in organization and what pattern they get captured by. What role am I in? What’s happening to me? How did I create this? How do I work with this? Start to see experiences not happening to me, but for me. How can we work together to create a new reality?

 

 

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

Limbic Brain

Limbic Brain

In between the Neo-Cortex part of the Brain (for higher functioning) and the Reptilian part (survival functions) is our Limbic Brain. The Limbic Brain is unique to mammals and is how we bond, care for our young and each other. Through this brain we ‘feel’ for each other, and engage in learning through play, nurture, and communication. Welcoming this part of our Brain, invites relational creativity in groups.

Key: Green-reptilian, Red-mammalian, And Blue-neocortex

Key: Green-reptilian, Red-mammalian, And Blue-neocortex