Lingering September practices

September was a busy month, full of life and excitement.  Now a week into October at a totally different speed, I notice some new practices in response to the life conditions of September that I choose to continue.

  1. I visit the river every day.  Every weekday in September we had contractors on hand to put a new roof on our home.  I work at home, and before I get to work I have a routine of some physical practice and journaling. The contractors’ noise was too much, so I walked over to the river valley for a beautiful view and a bench.  (See Writing from the red chair.)  The contractors are gone, but I still head out in the morning for some time alone with me, the river and the city.
  2. I write at night.  Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in September I was working as Interviewer and Harvester at the Integral City 2.0 Conference.  We hosted 36 sessions (three each day, twelve days) and interviewed over 60 visionaries. I played the role of interviewer, and when not interviewing, supported the host and interviewer by catching audience questions and crafting questions for break-out groups’ exploration.  At the end of each day, I wrote a ‘harvest’, my meaning of the day for immediate publication on our web site.  This schedule meant for some very late nights during the week.  I am finding now that I am inclined to write for a couple of hours each evening.  I am not totally exhausted in the morning because this somehow fuels me.
  3. I stop to breathe. In the middle of September’s craziness, I took some time to pause and deepen one of the ways I gather with people: circle.  I attended Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea’s Circle Practicum.  One of the most meaningful learnings for me from this experience is the importance of pausing for breath.  Ring the bell, take a breath, then ring the bell again.  This is useful when feeling frenetic, or when something profound has occurred, when there is a transition of some kind, etc.  We even came up with a way to articulate this by text in the digital world: *~*  I am no longer sitting in circle for several days in a row, but I circle up with myself and I choose to notice when I need to stop and breath.  Sometimes I even use a bell.
  4. I pay attention to my energy. There is a lot of synchronicity in my life right now around personal energy.  At the Circle Practicum, and several times throughout the Integral City 2.0 Conference the word ‘energy’ and practices around knowing and cultivating personal energy surfaced. I recognize that I have been intrigued by this for a while, but not yet able to explore this in my personal development.  I sense a whole new area of learning here for me.  One of the gifts of September is curiosity about where my energy is, where I choose to put it and how it moves throughout my body. I am also curious about how energy behaves between and among people.  I choose now to pay attention to the subtleties of my body and being.

Each of these new practices are in response to my life conditions of last month, yet I have chosen to stick with them even though the reasons for them are gone.  In some way, each of these are responding to today’s life conditions too.

There is a virtuous circle at work within me, allowing me to see myself well, and see when life conditions change and when I need to shift in response.  Regardless of what form my habits take, they serve what Marilyn Hamilton and I call the master rule:

  • look after self
  • look after others
  • look after this place


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This post forms part of Chapter 4 – An Uneasy Journey, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities.

Nest City is organized into three parts, each with a collection of chapters.  Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.  Click here for an overview of Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence, chapters 4-7.

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