Civic practice starts with questions


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The Nestworks

How we show up, acknowledging that life is a journey at every scale, is a critical part of city making. Part of that journey is trusting that much of what comes us in life is not what we could have known. In the poem that has helped me shake out the structure of Nest City, John O’Donohue’s ‘Time for Necessary Decision’, these words stand out:

Feel the deeper knowing in us sure

Of all that is about to be born beyond

Access to deeper knowing is through having a willingness to learn and grow, a critical capacity to build and create the city habitats we need for our emergent journey. More specifically,this capacity is about a willingness for intentional learning, but this doesn’t mean choosing what I want to learn, but being intentionally open to what I need to learn. We do know know what is in the depths of each and all of us. We just know there is learning to be done, endlessly.

The 4 principles and 6 practices that end Chapter 8 – The City Making Exchange for now, form a solid foundation on which to begin exploring Chapter 9 – Enduring Civic Practice, the relationship between our individual and journeys and emergence. Questions play a big role in this exploration of civic practice. Here are a few I am holding as I write today:

  1. What does it take to be brave enough to invite ‘deeper knowing’?
  2. What does it mean to feel ‘the deeper knowing’?
  3. How much ‘deeper knowing’ can I accommodate in my being?
  4. If tension is an evolutionary driver of cities, what is my relationship with tension?
  5. As we emerge to new destinations, how do I explore my relationship with the thresholds I face?
  6. What are my personal practices to look after self, others and our places?
  7. How can I trust what I do not know?

Here’s the question at the heart of this next series of posts:

What do you do to find deeper knowing in your life and work?

_____ _____ _____

This post is part of Chapter 9 – Enduring Civic Practice. Here are some plot helpers of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, the book I am sharing here while I search for a publisher:

______ ______ ______


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