The thread we hold


with energy easing

connection, trust

opening the inside outsight

with a flame relit

transforming intention

with a fresh faith

regenerating illumination


the task ahead is demonstrating

learning, true love

expanding insight outside

nourishing the wisdom

of growing with

open minds, open hearts, open will

willingly showing



with bits of you in me

my soul huge

huge magical humility

as the highest in me

meets the hightest in you

reverberating renewed superheroes

pledging presence, soft support

witnessing more

shoulders to stand on

to stand with, deep gladness

meeting the world’s deep needs

with love and fear

with trust

with ba



* Thank you, in Japanese

_____ _____ _____

A harvest from Day 4′s closing check out at The Art of Hosting BIG Decisions – While Looking After Self, Others and Place, earlier this month.

_____ _____ _____



The duke of purple


The duke of purple

Imagine my surprise when

the duke of purple

struggles at every age

with deep compelling stories





I’ve always wanted to be with you



double ding


I’m ready to go

healing family flexing

showing up for me

now I know

what I need to know

nervous aching shifting

sitting in it


sitting in it




_____ _____ _____

A harvest from Day 2′s check out at The Art of Hosting BIG Decisions – While Looking After Self, Others and Place.

_____ _____ _____

Shifting masks


Creative knowing

shifting masks

awakening heart

an infectious energy

vulnerable without reservation

together in community

we pause


to see

each other


to slow

for clarity

for intention unfolding


to trust

uncertainty with anticipation

in a container

investing in surprise


humbly playing seriously

peacefully anticipating

slipping in

slipping out


_____ _____ ____

A harvest from Day 2′s opening check in at The Art of Hosting BIG Decisions – While Looking After Self, Others and Place. The question that got us started – what do you notice about hosting?

_____ _____ _____

Opening I’s


Opening I’s

Curiosity grows

in learning

the highest potential in a magical vortex

learning, exploring life

long leading, pointing to

big decisions

that live local

near and far

the universe conspires

to spend time here

to feel

the messy business

of life


I’m in my shoes and others’

to risk and grow

the edge


a big decision for me may not be for others

a big decision for others may not be for me

in the confusion to come

an atmosphere of many minds

intentional knowing transitions

in play

at all times

learning by doing

we open I’s


choices, connections, contributions

love and likeness of the human condition

humility in humanity

in listening

to the flame at the center

humbly ruminating

self and other

the tension outside and inside

clearing confusion

to slow and accelerate

leaning into excitement


ripe with rhythm


_____ _____ _____

A harvest from Day 1’s opening and closing circles at The Art of Hosting BIG Decisions – While Looking After Self, Others and Place.

_____ _____ _____

Boldly grow the Self


I spent Saturday with a group of women exploring their leadership by connecting their inner dreams and desires to outer action: Inside Outside Leadership. Our time together allowed us to tend to our “self”, a practice that unearths passion and desires and dreams. It reveals our senses of direction, our path, even if only a wee spot of solid ground on which to take new steps.

This is work that lifts the veil of our Higher Self, allowing our work, where we spend our time and energy, to best serve self, others and places. This is an essential part of how we make cities (and homes, neighbourhoods, organizations, countries, etc) that serve citizens well – by being good citizens that tune into our drive to thrive.

Boldly grow your Highest Self, and you grow a better world.

As we left the company of each other, we offered our individual intentions to our circle. Here’s the shape they took as a collective intention:

Self boldly growing

_____ _____ _____

This post is part of Chapter 8 – The City Making Exchange. 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:

_____ _____ _____


Laser beam precision

I received the gift of laser beam precision last week.  I needed a clone and had to make do with just me.  So I told myself I needed laser beam precision and I gave it to myself.

Here’s what I told myself as I headed into a fury of big tasks, all of which needed my full attention:

  1. Settle into the work.
  2. Pour self into the work.
  3. Love the work.
  4. Make meaning of the work.
  5. Share what I see in the work.

I delivered.  These little thoughts helped me create a habitat for myself and the work I needed to do. Stopping regularly to write in my little red notebook added focus as well. For Integral City 2.0 eLab participants, you will find my writing about integral intelligence, cultural/storytelling intelligence and building/structural intelligence for cities on the Harvest pages. It was a great week.

And two nights I was able to get up from my desk before midnight.  That is also success.



Willfully unfolding lemonade


The words willful unfolding have continued to unfold!  Relentlessly.

As part of the Integral City conference, I have four roles: co-design the eLab program with Marilyn Hamilton, interview many of the 50 visionaries we have gathered, speak to participants about the role of the Integral City master rule (take care of self, take care of others, take care of place), and harvest the meaning we make of what we are learning.

As we have been working on the conference, we have been struggling with making sure that we create the conditions for the transfer of wisdom from people who have been living the 12 evolutionary intelligences to participants.  These are the 36 live sessions that form part of the conference.  We are also aiming to create the space for an asynchronous community space that allows the participants to meet each other and make meaning together.  Holding this latter intention as been my role as the Harvester.

Up until today, I have had no idea how our harvest function was going to take place with our technology choice.  I have willfully held on to the intention to create the conditions where the emerging Integral City Collective is able to connect as a collective, rather than as individuals.  We wish to create the conditions to see the collective, to discuss within the collective.  To interact with the collective.  To be a collective.

The way to go about creating this kind of space has been very slow in unfolding.  I have had to be patient as we made decisions about the technology we use and whether it can hold the dream of a collaborative space that can hold us in our exploration really well.  Our challenge is that the technology platform we are using is moderately good at setting up individuals to connect with each other.  Not more.  And at this stage in the game we are not in a position to change our platform so we are making lemonade out of lemons, as one of my colleagues puts it.  We will make great lemonade together.

Whether we meet face to face or virtually, the quality of our interaction comes with what we each bring and the spirit in which we conduct ourselves.  Regardless of the structure, physical or virtual.  This is how we will make lemonade.  And the lemonade will nourish the next iteration of the technological structures that we need to serve us well in our virtual worlds.

The lemonade will serve the next unfolding.


_____ _____ _____

7  free interviews are posted on the Integral City Collective website.  Go to the conference page, scroll down to the bottom of the page to register for the free Integral City expo and you’ll have access to the interviews.  This is free time to learn with Don Beck, Ann Dale, Ann Duffy, Barrett Brown, Buzz Holling, Hazel Henderson and Terry Patten.  Enjoy

Go to the conference link above, then click on this button...


Plan a meeting, or plan a harvest?

Isn’t it funny how even when you have heard it before, it doesn’t actually “hit” you until some later date?  While it rang true before, the noise is a lot louder today for the meaning of this statement: when planning a meeting, we are really planning a harvest.

4 mates and I are preparing for an Art of Hosting (and Harvesting) gathering in Edmonton, Alberta next week  And of course, now that we are getting into the design of the gathering, we are contemplating what it means to harvest the conversations we will be having.  We are contemplating this diligently in service to the invitation we have extended to explore how to cultivate Albertans’ collective ingenuity in order to renew and sustain Alberta’s communities.

When in conversation with anyone, including myself, meaning is generated.  There is the tangible meaning, such as a record of what decisions are made.  In addition, there are the impressions we make of each other, the conflict we carry, the assumptions, the sabotage, the agendas, as well as goodness and love.  Yet we struggle with our conversations – especially the ones we choose not to have.   Bad feelings are clearly a pattern, and this leaves a lot of conversations never held.

But what if we are more than that?  What if instead of leaving the fruit to rot on the tree, we choose to enjoy it?  What if we consider every apple, blemishes and all, as a sweet treat?  What if we planned for that when we gather? More importantly, what if we planned to explicitly expose those sweet treats for us all to see?  What if we held the intention to fully harvest the abundance that is just sitting there – each apple, and all the things we can make together?

A harvest is about both content and process, the tangible and the intangible.  The content is not about a message to be delivered to others, but about pulling out of ourselves what is just sitting there waiting to emerge.  Our unconscious, or semiconscious knowledge.  In terms of contemplating a harvest, content is about knowing what the conversation is for: is it to explore ideas, or to nail down a plan for action.  To build a common sense of direction, or generate a diverse range of options?  Knowing the overall purpose of the conversation assists greatly with ascertaining the appropriate design for the conversation – the process- as well as sense of harvest (to design for) that is in service to the intention. Intention provides clarity for both content and process.

The form of a harvest is various and unlimited: photographs, a movie, a song, a poem, a report, a picture, a performance, a document.  The harvest at times tangible and explicit (such as a report or document) or more intangible and implicit (a song or poem).  Both add value and meaning when aligned with the purpose and context of the people gathering.

Skillful design for conversation is the process, and when aligned with the purpose/intention, conversation will provide wonderful fruit for harvest.  Our design choices dictate whether we gather effectively the collective wisdom.  The quality of our presence in the gathering will dictate what we notice – whether one apple, the whole tree, the whole orchard, the ecosystem, etc.

Whether from an individual or as a collaborative effort, the harvest takes the unarticulated and unconscious to the articulated and conscious that is an expression of value and meaning.  It is an expression of learning.

In times of abundance or scarcity, just like an apple, the harvest of conversation is nourishment.