🌀 it's gone: losing the familiar

Last week I started playing with another two part-er – or as I'm starting to call them – two part(i)ers. Last week was part 1 and here we have part 2!

Peek back at part 1, if you wish.

In the corner of the world in which I live it is full. on. fall.

Huge Maple leaves of all shades blanket the forest floors.

Mud, winds and rainstorms.

So much visible and visceral letting go.

Is it possible to embrace the act of letting go?

This is the first Fall I think I've actually embraced. Summer is a season, for me, in which I am deeply nourished by the heat, sunny days, and sense of adventure I associate with the season. In the past, the Summer to Fall transition has been difficult for me. But this year I've surprised myself by jumping into the literal and metaphoric leaf piles, welcoming the visible changes underfoot, within and above.

Friend and frequent co-creator, Nicole, reminded me last week during her well-spring of a workshop entitled Connecting Self-Care & Health With Seasonal Rhythms (you might be able to purchase the recording still) that kinship with certain seasons is so unique to each individual.

And I know you may very well live in a corner of the world that has a completely different type of Fall... or it may actually be Spring for you!


Yesterday, in a conversation with another friend, Rae, we got to talking about grief. Rae said this phrase, or maybe I did, or we both came to it.. who knows... "grieving the loss of the familiar."

This phrase attached itself to my thoughts about the Venn diagram retrospective I shared with you last week. I had been sharing with Rae about how so much of what fell away from my life due to the pandemic wasn't incredibly aligned with what I wanted for the future. But it surely was familiar. And it can be challenging to unwrap oneself from the comfort of the familiar – even simply, the memory of the comfort of the familiar.

I experienced external elements fall away (job, in-person classes...) though there were also, as perhaps you too experienced, many internal elements that fell away and down to the earth's floor.

Perhaps you experienced and / or are experiencing elements falling away that you do not want to leave behind. Perhaps you are connected with people who have unexpectedly passed away due to COVID or another illness. Perhaps you are needing to change careers simply to make ends meet. I do my best to step into your shoes as I write but I am not you so I don't know your situation. I share these words with gentle support for wherever you are right now.

What I do know is that retrospectives and general reflection are valuable ways to witness one's story of the past.

Notice I didn't write "what happened in the past" since really, now that the past is no longer the present, we each have our own stories of our pasts (and those stories can change over time!).

I wanted to play with something – and invite you to play and experiment along with me.

Would you like to experiment with something?

I just made this Venn diagram retrospective beginning on a virtual whiteboard-type tool called Mural.

One circle I've named "Grieving loss of familiar," another is named "Witnessing emergence," and another is named "Stuck in a rut."

Originally the Mural board was open for BWC members to edit and add. The Mural board was closed to input in December 2022. You are now welcome to access to view the board! Wording below has been kept as it was originally written though the Mural board link will take you to a viewable but no longer editable board.

Since the Mural board is no longer open to input, I invite you to make your own venn diagram and add to it. I'd love to see it if you'd like to share.

Ways to Play

The way you interpret each label is the right way. Or actually – there is no right way.

I'm sharing this offering not as a grief counselor or therapist. I'm sharing this offering as a human who desires to host spaces for learning about all facets of change and belonging. Maybe this Venn diagram can facilitate a slice of that. Maybe not. Who knows how it will unfold! That's the playful experiment of it all, yeah?

When entering the Mural board, you can give yourself a name when you enter the Mural board but if you leave your name as whatever "visiting animal" is chosen for you, whatever you share will be anonymous.

Watch this quick video if Mural is new to you.

Touch in right now to the Mural board and then come back later to see what's been added. I'm envisioning it serving as an open space until my birthday on December 5th (what a sly way of telling you my birthday, right? 😎) so that's about a month of fun for you and me – for us.

Someone else may change / add / delete / move what you've added into the board. That is the nature of interconnected, public spaces.

This is a publicly shared link though I added the password "toucHINGintogETHER!?" so that there was a step of intentionality with entering the space.

Holding Space with Intention and Flexibility

I do my best to follow the Open Space Technology principles and law when I offer to host something expansive.

Open Space operates under four principles and one law. The four principles are:
  • Whoever comes are the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened
  • When it starts is the right time
  • When it's over it's over
The Law is known as the Law of Two Feet (or Law of Mobility):”If you find yourself in a situation where you are not contributing or learning, move somewhere where you can.”
The four principles and the law work to create a powerful event motivated by the passion and bounded by the responsibility of the participants.

Parting Invitations – and Some Guidance

Join the Mural board and offer your responses to the Venn diagram containers. Add images, poems, and more questions. Or not! If you're intrigued and you step in, you're who this is for.

Wanting to understand how to use Mural? I made you a short video.

intro video link to how to use Mural with video of Cassandra in bottom left
Intro to Using Mural

I invite you to play with retrospectives and Venn diagrams in ways that bring you pause and breath.

I invite you to dance with grieving the familiar, witnessing what's emerging, and honoring stuck-ness.

The Mural board's right here. I envision holding open space for this unfolding for about a month. See you in there.

Til next time,


P.S. Any questions about the Mural board, reply to this emailed post.

P.P.S. password: toucHINGintogETHER!? (again Mural board is no longer editable but you can still view it.)