experiments in belonging

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experiments in belonging are my way of co-existing with pervasive loneliness and deeply nourishing interconnection

Over the past three years, I have ideated, designed, and facilitated a multitude of, what I call, experiments in belonging or e.i.b.'s. These e.i.b.'s offer me and those who join the opportunity to make hypotheses about new-to-us approaches to deep connection with one another, the worlds within each of us, between each of us, and beyond each of us.

I struggle with pendulum swings between feelings of deep loneliness and deep interconnection. With my abilities to deeply see and listen to humans around me, I also often get caught up in the stickiness of the collective's deep struggles with loneliness.

In June 2023, a question breezed into my being

"what if we're already home?"

You can read more about the when, where, why, and how surrounding this beautiful question here. Since this question entered into my being, I've been playing with it like it's a mantra, a reminder that I could actually live from this inner knowing that I'm already home. Some days it feels like a call-to-action, a call to open and reveal to others the strength of my heart. Some days it feels more like a call-to-non-action as the question can invite in a sense of restfulness, like my mere existence has been sent an artfully handwritten invitation to gently swing in a hammock in the sun.

With these struggles and "aha's," I journey with offering e.i.b.'s that nudge and pull at the tender parts of our collective's connective tissue.

Read on for recent experiments in belonging. Perhaps you'll come across one that gently nudges at a tender part within your being.

Supportive Spirals

Over the last year, I've facilitated Supportive Spirals in several diverse online communities. Supportive Spirals are 90-minute virtual gatherings where participants bring one resource they want to "spiral" into during the gathering. We start with an orientation and check-in and then dive right into our solo spiral time. We end with checking back in with each other to see how our spiral dive went and then we part ways.

The big questions at the center

What if we don't need more knowledge chugging out of our brains and fingers and more containers of communities of practice or private memberships to hold all that "more" but rather we need more time, space, and containers for learning, synthesizing, digesting, and playing with all the knowledge that's already out there?

(Speaking from an American millennial perspective here) What if, through our capitalist consumer ways of living, we've misinterpreted, mismanaged, and maybe even abused what learning is all about?

What if learning is a spiral? (It is)

What if each person takes a different amount of time and space to process new learning? (We do)

Moment of Slow

Moment of Slow is a year-long e.i.b. spanning 2023. Moment of Slow members receive a fortnightly podcast episode and emailed note that digs deeper into the invitation shared in the podcast episode.

The questions flowing with this e.i.b.

  • How does offering small, consistent touchstones of support shift our stories of collective and self-care? Our stories of isolation, loneliness, and interconnection?
  • What does a 'care practice' mean? How is it different and similar to self-care and collective care?
  • How does it work to invite humans into more private virtual kind-of-group/kind-of-solo containers? How does it not work? How does it work so-so?
  • Where will we each journey with these incredibly varied, though similarly rooted touchstones? How will we each have changed by the end of this journey?
  • What surprises will unfold along the way?
  • What does it mean to offer a year-long journey to people? What are the assumptions? expectations? wishes? desires? needs?
  • What systems support a year-long journey like this? How can these systems be co-designed and developed in a slow, intentional pace?

If you'd like to journey with these questions, too, Moment of Slow may be for you. I am experimenting with offering four open enrollment windows throughout the year. Sign up here to receive a little note when the next enrollment window opens.

Read on for more e.i.b.'s

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