Listening Session Paintings

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Synchronicity is So Beautiful

This week, I have had the wonderful pleasure of having Doug Cohen stay for a couple of days during one of his many sojourns around the planet. Doug is one of the true warriors for change and especially when it comes to affecting the life of young people. He is a tireless believer in the ability of young people to change the world. As a result, he works with them in many different capacities, but primarily in the area of leadership and sustainability. I have personally never met a more passionate connector - who must have hundreds of circles of people he knows and who has the mental capacity to keep them all straight!

For us, he is a big believer and champion in Imagine Learning. He has quietly been planting seeds in many places and whenever possible working to connect me to people who might be of benefit to us. I personally am so thankful he is in our lives.

Last night, Doug and Ishanna (another beautiful spirit and champion of IL) and I were meeting here at my house when Doug decided we needed to meet his young friend Te Raw as he called him. Turns out Te Raw is short for Te Rawhitiroa Bosch, a young man in his early 20's who lives and works in New Zealand. It seems Doug had been online Skypeing with him all while chatting with us. As you might imagine from his name, he is of Maori descent, and works as the National Youth Coordinator for the Enviroshools Foundation and has been recognized by the government as one of the young people in New Zealand who is making a significant impact on young people and the country.

As we introduced ourselves and got into the flow of the conversation, Ishanna asked Te Raw what he is working on currently and he replied, "we are putting a big conference on in early August, where we are bringing 250 kids from high schools together". Did he say the magic words "high schools"? We all laughed and I explained to him what Imagine Learning was and how we are getting ready to launch into 50 Listening Sessions around the world. He was really interested and asked to see information on the Listening Sessions and is going to look at the possibility of doing one or more! Can you imagine a Listening Session for 250? I can!

What makes this even more synchronous is that I was planning a trip to New Zealand in August to meet with Stella to work on the Imagine Learning curriculum! Perhaps the timing will work that I will be there when this all occurs. All this because Doug listened to his inner guidance. I love it!

It is nearly time to launch, so let's add significantly to our list of people who could conduct or arrange a Listening Session in the US or elsewhere in the world! And when you meet Doug (for you surely will at some point), be sure and thank him for his efforts.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Listening Session with Marin School and MSA

This past week we conducted another Listening Session with six students from the Marin School and the Marin School of the Arts. The impetus for this came from Shannon Ryan, a rising junior at the Marin School. Jean Marie secured a couple of more participants and away we went.

We held the Listening Session in my house! The best part was creating the paintings out of doors on my deck. The session led to two original ideas and more information from the research. We are so excited about how these are progressing.

Jean Marie has lined up ten teachers and we are preparing to do a Listening Session with teachers in the near future.

I feel we are nearing the point where we can reach out and test these with folks in other parts of the country. The Field Guide (now in its eighth draft!) is nearing completion. If you are out of town and would like to lead one of these let us know. It's exciting to think about Listening Sessions being conducted in other parts of the country and on other continents.

I will post some photos of this Learning Session shortly. Our momentum is building. What do you feel called to do to help us grow?

Meeting With Cafe Gratitude

I had the wonderful experience this week of meeting with Terces Englehart, one of the owners of Cafe Gratitude. The meeting came about because when I first visited one of their restaurants, I felt an alignment that was very powerful. Accompanied by her assistant Aya, we talked for an hour or so about education and especially, the Listening Sessions.

They loved what they heard about the sessions and stated that just three weeks ago, a group of about 15 people had begun weekly meetings to discuss the creation of a Gratitude School.

They were to meet yesterday and discuss whether they wanted me to come and make a presentation to their group.

Since opening there first Cafe Gratitude, they have now expanded to four raw food restaurants in the Bay area, developed a board game on Abundance, and begun leading transformational seminars on abundance.

It was a very good meeting. We both agreed to remain open to the possibilities!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tamalpais High Listening Session

Yesterday, 7 students participated in a Listening Session. It was the newly revamped format and wow were they great. Their insights, thoughts, comments, and discussion were all wonderful. It was an energetic group as well and the two paintings that came out of the session depict their vibrant humanity.

The new format is better in terms of content, but it ran long. About 30 minutes long, so the paintings at the end were rushed a bit. We had to move to the hall for the final presentations of the Listenings because our sponsoring teacher had to leave. While no one commented on the fact that they sat in desks, I personally did not like the barriers that they set up between us. Sofas and chairs are so much better.

Clean-up took a while as well and in fact we ended up driving home and cleaning some of it at the house because it got so late.

But overall, huge success. The concepts were wonderful. The paintings are beautiful. The students comments afterward about how much they enjoyed being a part of it were great to hear. Very positive.

I invite any of you who participated to chime in with your thoughts and comments. My thanks to Jean Marie, Yvannia and Shannon for their able participation. Shannon filmed the whole thing!