Meeting virtually with work colleagues and friends these past several years has provided opportunities to meet with people more frequently, especially over long distances. I've had the pleasure of reconnecting with classmates from elementary school, college friends, and members of my church's youth and young adult groups. Many of these relationships span decades! It has been fun to see where life has taken us.
What I have enjoyed are the moments when children or grandchildren want to join the call, noticing artwork on the walls behind the person, or having unintended "tours" of their homes as they walk to more private places to continue our conversations.
There is a blending or merging of different aspects of our lives: we become more human to each other.
|What you see depends on where you stand|
(Photo: stairwell in Old Pt. Loma Lighthouse, San Diego,
I also meet monthly with individuals on an executive team. These mentoring calls became virtual when the pandemic began, and due to distancing requirements in their organization, the meetings are in different locations throughout their building. And, sometimes, an individual has called in from their home or apartment. A fun challenge for me is to guess where that individual is located that month.
Their willingness to move and adapt helped me to realize how often our perspectives change by where we are, who we are with, and how willing we are to see new perspectives.
|Sometimes we need to step back to see|
how we contribute to the whole
~~ Note: this picture is composed of people dressed in black or red ~~
(Photo: Judy Garland, ms Koningsdam,
Our dialogue practice encourages a willingness to step back and consider another view. We do that by noticing our assumptions and conclusions, suspending our judgments, and asking questions. We are invited into human moments of curiosity and wonder as we begin to see and understand:
- The child within us that wants to be seen;
- How we have decorated our mental spaces with what brings meaning; and,
- The ability to tour the spaces we call home.
|Seeing another perspective from where you are standing|
(Photo: Penelope sculpture, Coronado,
If we are paying attention, what we see in the background changes depending on where we sit, the positions we have taken, and the stands that are important to us. The pandemic has shown me how fluid life is and how "what is normal" can change. Life has always been dynamic... maybe my thinking became stuck!
What we notice, responding with nonviolence, and staying open allows us to learn and stay in relationship. Let's practice these skills this week!
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