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How an Intimate Conversation can Strengthen the Collective – PS65

Episode Introduction

In this podcast episode, you will be opened – both heart and mind.  I think you will also feel the concepts expressed by Deacon Richard Manley-Tannis, through his loving choice of words, in your body.  What unfolds is that it's the intimate conversation you have with another that potentially changes you and the other, thereby strengthening humanity's collective capacity to bring about personal and social change and even transformation.

Social Media – a Space for Intimate Conversation

Intimate Conversation - Richard Manley-Tannis with black dogRichard and I first connected over Twitter several years ago discovering our shared interest in Appreciative Inquiry.  As a fun opening, we exchange our own stories of how we found each other.  Richard has been playing professionally online and active on Social Media since very early days.  Since 2013, he has held the position of Minister for Evangelism, Mission & Church Development, for the Winnipeg Presbytery, and, one of the many hats he dons in that capacity is to train lay teams about social media and evangelism with an Appreciative Inquiry lens.  Specifically, how the digital process can richly inform the relational process by connecting people, and strengthening collective energy for meaning making at many levels – such as in the realms of finance, education, politics, ideology, social change and more.  He shares stories of how care and compassion have been deeply felt by people who have only ever met online.

Stories are Foundational to Intimate Conversation

Intimate Conversation - A Deacon's Musing Blog LogoRichard's blog, A Deacon's Musing, is dense with valuable content – stories and findings from his research, fiction, poetry and images.  He's been doing this for over 10 years.  Richard undertakes in depth exploration of a vast range of topics that reflect his post modernist Christian lens.

During the show, I invite Richard to expand on a number of his posts.  The language invites exploration and curiosity.  He seeks to build generativity so that his readers grow after musing, reflecting and taking a step further: take action. He writes:

I celebrate that all human truths fail to fully appreciate a universe & reality that cannot confine the Holy. In A Deacon’s Musing, I meander & ruminates, reflect & challenge. Hopefully some of it makes sense & I invite you to ask questions, push me to clarify & listen with intention.

Paradoxically, Intimate Conversation is more Prevalent in the Secular Context than Christian Institutions.

At the time of our interview, Richard had just submitted the first draft of his PhD dissertation which he is doing with the Taos Institute and Tillburg University.  When I askedintimate conversation - older and younger man talking. about high points from his research findings, he shared that in the secular world he experiences far greater openness and willingness to share personal stories and intimacies.  His experience of practices such as Narrative Therapy and Appreciative Inquiry open people up to sacred conversations more than the traditional modernist practices of Christianity.

You will be opened up to the irony and paradox of Richard's findings:  deep, rich and generative conversations are not happening, as they might, in the Christian institutions whose mission is to spread the very values that are not always experienced in the day to day conversations among clergy and their parishioners.  What Richard seeks to do in his role through his social constructionist orientation and his post-modernist Christian lens is to bring such potentialities and energies to those who want to change the world.

A Joy

My interview with Deacon Richard Manley-Tannis was a joy to produce, and I wish you much joy in listening.

How to Connect to Richard

Richard's Blog:  A Deacon's Musing

Richard on Twitter

Richard on LinkedIn

Richard on Google+

Richard on Facebook

Samples of Richard Writings

Appreciative Leadership and Church Leadership

Intentional Community: Moving from Monologue to Dialogue

A Deacon’s Musing|Solidarity – by Richard Manley-Tannis

Our Addiction to Violence Conflict and the Johannine Community

Spirited Reflection: White privilege & lament

Greek Arbitration: Homer to Classical Athens

Faith Based Mediation: A Discussion

Let's Stay Connected

It's always great to hear from you. Please connect with me to ask questions or leave comments about this episode or the podcast in general, and there are several good ways to do this:

  • Share your questions and ideas on the Podcast Feedback page
  • Leave a voice message here, and we may feature your question on an upcoming episode
  • Leave a comment on the show notes below

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I would be extremely appreciative if you would subscribe, rate or review our Positivity Strategist podcast. Your ratings and comments will help a lot to spread the message! Here is a guide to writing a quick review, click on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

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  • I'd love it if you can leave a quick review, on iTunes and Stitcher.

How to Stimulate Connection with Curiosity and Appreciation

International Podcast Day

Valuing Curiosity and Appreciation was the title of my session during the 30 hour live-streaming event on International Podcast Day 2016.   Seventy two podcasters from sixteen countries were represented over the 30+ hour live video event.  

I was deeply honored to be invited by two amazingly generous and committed individuals, David Lee and Steve Lee of International Podcast Day .  In the video below you will hear how I was lucky enough to be invited.  I put it down to serendipity – being in the right place at the right time – and that place was Twitter.  I don't hang out every day on Twitter, but this day I did and when the opportunity was presented, I seized it.   It was so much fun for me.  I hope my message will impact my podcaster colleagues and their audiences way into the future.

An Affirmative Question Shifts Energy and a Curious State Invites Appreciative Inquiry

In the video, you'll learn more about Positivity Strategist Podcast. The show is an interview format where I talk with people who are positive change agents in all areas of life.   Its purpose to provide a platform to showcase the work of those who are innovating social change and who serve as an inspiration to all.  My hope is to  inject a good dose of optimism and possibility into our lives. It seeks to marry the ideal with the practical.

During the video, I talk about the transformational change methodology, Appreciative Inquiry that informs my approach, providing me with a framework to stimulate connection in the most generative way.  Story telling and valuing oneself and others is key to deepening connection and strengthening relationships.  It is my experience that when you come from curiosity and appreciation, you really do stimulate connection whatever the situation and, as a podcaster, I would suggest those two states are essential for building rapport and serving yourself, your guests and your audience.

Curiosity as a State

Think back to a time when you were curious; and when you remember that time, it most likely aroused in you feelings of  mystery, adventure,  novelty,  anticipation, hope, possibility.   I expect your attention was focused, and you experienced a heightened sense of  alertness and aliveness. Some of you may have to think back to childhood, as that's when living in a state of curiosity is almost the default.

How about the State of Appreciation?

Now remember a time when you experienced appreciation.  Were you the giver of appreciation because you showed appreciation to someone else; or, were you the receiver of appreciation, because someone showed appreciation to you?   How did appreciation make you feel – about yourself and about the other?  I expect both situations made you feel good because you were able to stimulate connection at a different level.  Not only did you and that other person feel good, I bet others around who observed it also felt positively impacted.  If you want to see this in action, you may enjoy my TEDx talk.  There is something magical about the reciprocal nature of the act of appreciation.

Positive Emotional States Stimulate Connection

If you're not convinced that experiencing positive emotional states do bring out the best in us, try a little curiosity and/or appreciation when you next have the opportunity to be in conversation with someone.

Recently, during a Town Hall debate, the two debaters were antagonist the entire time.   The final question:

… regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?

That question was a state changer, and for a short time, we witnessed a shift in energy, we might say it served to stimulate connection, and as an observer, I felt a positive possibility, and I suspect it impacted others in the same way.

If you believe a good dose of positivity can serve you, please subscribe to Positivity Strategist Podcast to listen in to stories of people who are positively impacting the world.  You will be inspired.

 

 

Four Keys to Live Every Moment More Richly, With Achim Nowak – PS049

Episode Overview

Achim Nowak On Every MomentMy podcast guest is Achim Nowak.  This is an especially special show for me as I’m welcoming Achim Nowak for the second time.  I was a year ago when Achim and I enjoyed a flow state together as one of the topics we talked about was the book that he was writing at that time.  Well that book was recently published.  It’s called “The Moment, A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World.” It’s published by Career Press in NJ.  Our conversation in this episode focuses on golden nuggets in “The Moment.”

Episode Introduction

But first, a brief re-introduction. Achim Nowak has two previous books (see below) and is a sought after speaker and coach, and you’ll understand why as you listen to him.  His business is Influens, an international coaching and training firm.  Achim puts his energy into helping C-level business leaders and entrepreneurs to show up with radiant presence and be more influential.

Achim draws from his own richly lived life, right from living as a young boy in many different parts of the world. He’s been an actor, a theater director in NYC, a windsurfer in Tobago, a teacher in meaningful programs related to HIV/AIDS and UNESCO peace initiatives.

Achim writes and speaks beautifully. He’s quirky, funny, and has deep, intuitive wisdom coupled with a practical bent!

Every Moment Matters

In this beautiful little book that’s so easy to read in one sitting and so easy to come back to to re-acquaint yourself with the insights and inspirations, Achim gently reminds us that every moment matters. Such awareness awakens us to the reality that moments happen, moments slip away; yet, in the moment, we know there is something special to be experienced. He invites us to experience the moment more richly and more fully.  Imagine if we didn’t just let moments slip away! What if we were to recognize and embrace the life-force of the moment?

How The Moment Transcends and Includes

Achim offers us much more than what we may have come to expect and understand from terms such as “living in the moment”, “mindfulness”, “being present”. He totally supports learning to meditate, having a beginner’s mind, and being in the flow.  And, he offers us more.  He demonstrates there’s a lightness, a joy, a freedom in co-joining memory and meaning-making to enhance, embrace and appreciate every moment.  The book is filled with sweet, touching and funny, ”wickedly playful” vignettes, many from his personal experiences.

The Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World

Borrowing from his acting training and his experience as theater director, Achim presents to us that “The space is empty.  Every moment is waiting to be born.”  From this premise, he invites us to explore the Four Keys to experience the moment more fully. These explorations are available to us at the conclusion of each of the Four Keys.  We are invited to be the designer and the practitioner of our every moment.  It’s seductive. It’s easy. And it’s life altering.

Noticing the Difference

Achim’s different and energising approach to “be present” and “in the moment” is one of taking the glorious and perhaps inglorious stimulants of the external physical world as the opportunity to be in the moment – through our senses –  rather start with “working on” our interior world – the conventional approach.  Both are valid, yet for a refreshing take on how to strengthen our capacity to be in the present moment, try the Four Keys outlined in this book.

1 Key 1  Awaken the Senses –  I can know my world more deeply; I can engage with it through all my senses and awaken my emotions.  After reading this chapter, you will want to take acting lessons. I do.

2 Key 2  Crave meaning –  There is instant meaning in addition to the kind of meaning that comes from hindsight.  Meaning includes both the deep intuition available to us in a spiritual sense, and a playful, whimsical meaning that is fun in the moment. When I crave meaning, I enhance my experience moment to moment.

3 Key 3  Wave-Ride Energy –  Energy (in the Eastern philosophical tradition)  presents itself in a number of forms – mental, physical, spiritual, emotional.  It comes to us through many channels, through other people, and many other ways, and I can chose to ride it or block it.  Life connoisseurs are those who chose to ride the energy wave, offering us both discomfort and joy.  It can be in the same, and/or different moment.

4 Key 4  Make time stand still – I experience the gift of “making time stand still” when I  find myself in the flow state, where challenge and grace are co-creators, activity is totally absorbing and time is unnoticed.  This flow state allows me to know me more deeply.

The Blink of an Eye

The German word, Augenblick, translates into English as blink of an eye.  With some knowledge of the German Language, I personally loved the significance of referring to Augenblick – the blink of an eye in the opening pages of the book.

Achim writes:

“Within the blink of an eye a moment can happen.
Within the blink of an eye we may notice.
Within the blink of an eye the world can change.
Within the blink of an eye it can all slip away.
… That’s the beauty and the terror of a moment.”

In the closing paragraphs, Achim writes:

“Moments are such a slippery and ephemeral thing. They come and go with the blink of an eye. That is their beauty and their curse.  Miss too many moments, and you miss your entire life.”

Bravo!

 

Links Mentioned In This Episode

Books Mentioned In This Episode

Let's Stay Connected

It's always great to hear from you. Please connect with me to ask questions or leave comments about this episode or the podcast in general, and there are several good ways to do this:

  • Share your questions and ideas on the Podcast Feedback page
  • Leave a voice message here, and we may feature your question on an upcoming episode
  • Leave a comment on the show notes below

Help Spread the Message of Positivity!

I would be extremely appreciative if you would subscribe, rate or review our Positivity Strategist podcast. Your ratings and comments will help a lot to spread the message!

Listen to Stitcher

Subscribe-iTunes-180x120

Subscribe Via RSS

 If this episode was helpful or enjoyable to you,

  • I invite you to share it using the social media buttons on the bottom of this page.

 

Finding Energy for Positive Change will Boost your Productivity

positive changeWe’re educated to use our so called “left brain” to be analytical and solve problems and make endless lists and focus on things that need changing because they don't work.  Think about your meetings at work and other social interactions throughout your life.

This trajectory most likely started with how your parents taught you to be a good boy or girl growing up. It continued with your relationships with teachers at school, and then your bosses at work.

This meme seems to be the traditional way across most post industrial cultures.  We value our analytical brain, our executive brain, but that brain doesn’t run our lives when we are faced with fear or anxiety or the unknown, or when feeling discomfort or insecurity and especially when we feel vulnerable.

Recently, I was present in a meeting after a software roll out in an global bank.  They name these meetings “post mortems.”  Really!  The language is already ominous.  It smells of death.  The leaders of the meeting, by default, as most of us do, focused immediately on the things that went wrong and failed in the rollout.

Indeed, these things needed addressing, but the tone of the meeting within minutes of starting was spiraling downwards fast and people’s energy was deflating and eye contact dropping to the floor for fear of the blame game.

Energy Spiraling Upward

So, imagine if the team members (or the leader) had started the meeting with:

“We’ve just had a global roll out of a product we’ve been working so hard on together for months, and it went pretty well. In fact, it went great!

“Let’s start this meeting congratulating ourselves by spending a few minutes on what worked well from our individual perspectives and then we’ll address what we need to change.

What are we proud of in this roll out?  What good feedback have we had from clients?  What really worked well?”

The tone and the energy starts to pick up and spiral upward, a different set of chemicals fire within the brain and there’s energy to listen to each other, collaborate and increase engagement and productivity.  Solutions to problems and a willingness to address them begin to emerge without even having to drag them out of reluctant mouths.

RS_2005_04_29_0588The people in the room experience a different energy and begin to initiate changes from a place of engaged, solution-focused creativity and possibility.

Energy for Positive Change

This is one of the lessons of embracing change from a valuing or appreciative perspective.  You first discover and focus on what works and all the existing assets and then the weaknesses or faults begin to come into the conversation and they get addressed also – but from a very different place.  It’s a place of we’re-in-this-together:  we’ve just praised ourselves for what went well, and now we can together begin to address what we need to fix and improve on.

Appreciative Inquiry

In summary then, Appreciative Inquiry  (AI) as a change methodology looks for what’s already working well in a person or situation, not what’s broken. It takes a little practice to make that shift, as our default seems to look for what’s wrong in ourselves, each other and society at large.

One of the key principles of AI is ‘what you study grows’.  If you study deficits, you’ll find many, and if you study success, you’ll find a lot of it. Appreciative Inquiry is both a way of thinking and doing.  It provides a framework and a method to initiate positive emotions,  thoughts and actions that can produce outcomes directed with intentionality toward affirming life, heightening positive energy and uplifting the human spirit.

How do You View Change?

Focus on the changes in your own life.  If you stop to appreciate what you have already working for yourself, in terms of what has helped you to get to where you are today – it could be your past achievements, past successes, past and present relationships, your network, your skill sets, your personal attributes – you might just have a shift in perspective about what you might change, or how you might view certain changes that are happening to you.

What’s your default disposition to change? What kind of changes do you fear and avoid at all costs; and what kind of changes do you embrace with positive energy?

I’d love to hear from you as I'm developing an online course on change and I'd love to hear your perspective.

 

A Momentous Life, With Achim Nowak – PS027

Achim Nowak talks with ease and elegance about human interaction and how energy is infectious. His 2013 book, “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within” is all about that.  His new book, “The Moment: 4 Keys to a Momentous Life” goes even deeper to help us appreciate that the choices we make moment to moment can lead us to make a huge difference in the world.

A Momentous Life – Episode Overview

Achim Nowak, speaker, coach and author talks with ease and elegance about human interaction and how energy is infectious. His 2013 book, “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within” is all about that.  His new book, “The Moment: 4 Keys to a Momentous Life” goes even deeper to help us appreciate that the choices we make moment to moment can lead us to make a huge difference in the world.

Introduction

A Momentous Life with Achim NovakAchim Nowak has a gift with words and speaking.  As you listen in to this episode, you will be entranced.  You will agree, he is deeply qualified to have written a book, entitled,  “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within.”  Early in the conversation with Positivity Strategist host, Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, they chat about about what it means to connect deeply, and what the sources of energy are.  Achim’s third book, “The Moment – 4 Keys to a Momentous Life” will be out soon, and he provides us a privileged preview.

Deep Connection

Connection happens at many levels. Deep connections are those that stir us at an unspoken level.  Achim shares with us an example of how certain intangibles are predictors of how well we can deeply connect with others, whether in a formal or informal setting.  When we can access that place where communication becomes a beautiful dance of co-construction, we realize that while we are separate individuals, resonant connection and meaning-making happens in relationship with others.  We experience that at the deepest level we are all one.

I mention to Achim during our recording, that I was savouring the conversation we were co-creating, and as I write up the show notes now, I believe we were embodying that which Achim was sharing about deep connection and energy.   Together, in relationship, we created a beautiful deep connection that has lingered and I would very much like to continue.  Deep connections are heart-felt and touch us at the soul level.

Personal Energy

It’s beautiful to listen to Achim speak about personal energy and how it can be unleashed.  He talks about the intangibles, the unspoken elements that attract human beings to each other to deepen the relationship. He shares a description of personal energy that was offered up by one of his students some time ago.  The student suggested good personal energy is a state of “being alive”. That lit me up, and this quote  by Theodore Isaac Rubin comes to mind:

“Have you considered that if you “don't make waves,” nobody including yourself will know that you are alive?”

Personal energy, Achim shares,  is a life-force described to us in all spiritual traditions. In essence, personal energy is being at one with the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual parts of ourselves. When we cultivate a heightened awareness of our whole self, we open ourselves up to offering our more intimate and therefore our more real, also known as, vulnerable self.

The Pleasurable Ride

I love the way Achim talks about accepting who we are, valuing all that we have done, appreciating our efforts, our relationships, trusting our best selves to arrive at a point where we say “I don’t have to struggle.”  ‘I am not alone.”  We embrace the reality that there are resources and people who are experiencing a similar journey;  as humankind we are in this together.  When we come to such insights about our best choices, the pleasurable ride begins.  With this mindset, life becomes easier.  We recognize, it doesn't have to be a struggle.

POSITIVITY LENS for this EpisodePositivity Lens Notebook

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Being Open to Possibilities

Reflecting on the career thread of his own life, Achim talks about his work as a theater director in New York City, his two year surfing adventure in Tobago and then coming back to New York city to teach mediation skills to youth.  This was indeed a wonderful career transition for Achim as it highlighted for him the value of being empowered to shape conversations in ways that serve and are not about inserting your own point of view. These kids learnt early how to create meaning together.  Achim, too was making greater meaning in his own life, as the trajectory of his own life experiences – theater, adventure, mediation, teaching – were taking a wonderful form that has resulted in the pleasurable ride he enjoys today.

Seductive Language

A lovely piece in our conversation touched on our appreciation of language.  Achim delights in sharing with us how language serves in expressing our energy.  Language that is bold, colorful, provocative delights the senses.  Such language keeps us connected with the spice of life.  In a world of emails and tweets, and in an increasingly virtual world, carefully crafted language is far more energizing and serves to connect in ways that transactional writing, devoid of color doesn’t.  Being brief is not an equivalent to being drab and colorless.

A Gentler Path Forward

Talking about language opened up the conversation to talk about story-telling as a way to connect deeply and engage with others, especially in group settings. Listen in as we exchange some of our own stories about Appreciative Inquiry and Open Space Technology as “a gentler path forward.”

These methodologies, or forms, as Achim warmly describes, open us all up to co-create conversations and share personal stories that help us embrace what is and collaboratively carve a way forward that helps us all succeed without having to fight so hard.  It’s in the conversation and story-telling where understanding and kindness emerges.

When we embrace the form, magic happens.  When we say what’s true for us, we find a willingness to explore and share what works for us.

Identifying Strengths

“What do you value about yourself?”

Achim had no hesitation in identifying “risk taking” as a strength.  Risk takers go to the edge.  When we are at the edge, we face our fears and that’s where real learning happens.

Listen in to how Achim tells his story of risk taking. It’s illustrative of his gift of story-telling, deep connection and energy.  He will put a smile on your face.

The Moment

It’s very excting to hear Achim talk about his new book, “The Moment – 4 Keys to a Momentous Life.”  The book will be available soon.

To illustrate the tone and intent of this new work, Achim shares a most beautiful, poignant story of a moment that came and went.  Such awareness awakens us to the reality that moments happen, moments slip away; yet, in the moment, we know there is something special about an encounter.

He invites us to experience the moment more richly and more fully.  Imagine if we didn’t just let moments slip away. What if we were to recognize and embrace the life-force of the moment?

Four Keys To A Momentous Life

Achim shares the four principles in his latest book.  His intention is to offer us a practical and joyous reading experience that’s is positioned between teaching meditation and the deep contemplative traditions of seeking enlightenment

  1. Fully engage with all the senses.  I can know my world more deeply; I can engage with it through all my senses
  2. Crave meaning.  There is instant meaning (not the kind of meaning that comes from hindsight).  Meaning, of course, also includes silly meaning that is fun in the moment. When I crave meaning, I enhance my experience moment to moment.
  3. Ride the energy wave.  Energy presents itself in some form, whether through another person or some other way and I can chose to ride it or block it.  Life connoisseurs are those who chose to ride the energy wave.
  4. Ability to slow down time. This means being in the flow state, where time and the activity are mingled and time is immaterial.  This flow state allows me to know my senses more.

Play on those moments

Achim offers us ways to step off the treadmill to embrace a richer quality of life.  He invites us to be present to the moment and notice what happens when we are.  We are always co-creators in the moment.

He urges us to not  just observe, but ride the energy wave and be surprised!

Big Conversation

In wrapping up our rich conversation, Achim shared that “peace” is a topic that stirs him.  When we know what peace is for ourselves in our social lives, in our communities – where we work and play – that is a great start.

We seemed to have come full circle, as, when we can show up fully as our whole self and connect deeply, we energize the leader within us to take responsibility to be present in the moment and be at peace because we can express ourselves and know also we have been heard.

 

Links Mentioned In This Episode

Achim's Articles/Papers

Books Mentioned In This Episode

Let Love be our Guide

Love-image-300x295

The time to talk Love, to think Love, to show Love, to give Love, to receive Love, to acknowledge and appreciate Love is just as essential in the world as 2013 approaches as it has always been.  Love is the greatest universal positive attribute.

As a species, we need Love.  The universal human story is about Love winning. When Love is unavailable, lost or destroyed we feel the pain and the despair, as individuals and as collectives.  The context changes over time, but the story of needing Love to triumph is unchanging.

And you might want to interchange “Love” with “Goodness”, “Kindness”, “Generosity”,”Caring” – virtues that pervade history irrespective of culture, religion, politics and the myriad of organizational constructs.

Read more

Intention + Effort = Results

111486028_4a8fcdce6e_o-206x300It seems a no-brainer, or a BFO in my vernacular (Blinding Flash of the Obvious):

You set an intention, you put effort into it, and results follow.

Change requires Effort

Truth test: when you set your sights on something, and it requires you to change a behavior or practice; or you set a new course of action, how often do you you consciously remind yourself that it takes effort, and then begin to deliberately identify what efforts will be required?

To make a change, the simple formula is: you set an intention to do something, and then you apply effort to make it happen.  Simple and complex at the same time. To achieve results, it requires effort. Results don't happen in a vacuum, they arise out of goals and intentions. Ask any athlete, movie star, painter, writer, parent, business person who's achieved some modicum of success.  My own life stories attest to this truth.  I am a triathlete, a published author, and a cancer survivor.  I share my personal stories in my smartphone app Appreciative Inquiry – An Introduction as living example of the value of positive psychology in leading our best lives and the power of positive intention and conscious effort.

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Importance of Stories

RS_2009_11_20_2335-225x300Telling Stories and Constructing Narratives

We are all story tellers with our own stories to tell. We depend on a regular narrative to help us navigate through our days. We tell each other stories everyday: at home with our families, at work with our colleagues and clients, at play with our mates, and in romance with our lovers. Who you hang out with informs your narrative – your story. What TV shows you watch, what clothes you buy, the food you eat and all that you regularly do informs your world view and is your story. These are demonstrate the importance of stories.

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Pretend and Play

Play is Vital

You bounce on a trampoline, higher and higher; you're on a swing pumping back and forth gaining greater momentum;  you throw a frisbee and leap to catch it; you run and tumble in the fresh snow;  you tip-toe into the surf jumping over the waves until you dive in to finally get fully wet.  You laugh, you feel exhilarated, you feel joyful and energized.  It's called play. Remember?

It's good for you.  It was then and it is now.  It helped you then and helps you now.  Your joyful state opens you to aliveness, greater creativity, and to others.  See Using Tools Wisely: Playful Co-creation


The National Institute for Play
 defines play “as a state of being that is intensely pleasurable”. It energizes and enlivens us. It eases our burdens, renews a natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities. These wonderful, valuable qualities are just the beginning of what play is.

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Using our Strengths to Make a Difference

2765597758_826a9e7c47_mA highlight from our workshop at the Symphony of Strengths Global Appreciative Inquiry Conference was the participant conversations around the following topic:

Thinking about the emerging Wisdom Age, and thinking about your strengths / capabilities / resources, what might help to make an amazing difference?

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