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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hinkleman

What More Is Possible?

This month we call forth John O'Brien and Beth Mount's framework, "What More Is Possible?". To this point of our journey, we've been inviting stillness. Individual and organizational observation, inquiry and discovery...coupled with a heightened sense of Awareness. Awareness Based Collective action is what we seek within the container of the Northern California Learning Institute. The What More Is Possible framework offers a clear pathway of exploration. While Membership is the pinnacle of all Experience, we take time to walk together through the Spirals seen in the image above, asking questions when appropriate and taking action when opportunities emerge.

In particular, and in line with where we've been residing as a group, we're leaning into the question "Ask More of Self". Remember from our Coaching Calls, Bill O'Brien's quote:

"The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor." Why is this a useful message for us? Well, we believe wholeheartedly that any real, sustainable change will only emerge if we as individuals who comprise the System we seek to change, put in the Inner Work needed. The System is made up of you and I. So if You and I don't do the Inner Work...our efforts perhaps will fall flat, and/or the results will look and feel the same as before we started this journey. This is why the first, most poignant question for us within this framework, is "Ask More of Self".

Lety Sisneros shared an image with me during our Coaching Call last month. While on vacation, she came across a tree. Old. Tired. Seemingly dying or already dead. Yet when with the tree long enough, with a wide lens and an open awareness, Lety saw a contrast in color from most of the tree, a bright patch of green growing all the way at the top of the tree. Perhaps to teach us a lesson about the wisdom that can fertilize our growth, if we're just able to slow down long enough to listen to ourselves. Quieting the Voices of Judgment, Cynicism and Fear...clearing space for our true nature to emerge and a vision of What More Is Possible. Thank you, Lety, for sharing this moment with us all.

These moments of stillness are critical. They provide a gateway, a portal, into a depth of exploration and knowing we often gloss over in the quick-paced, 'respond now' environments we live and work in. This practice is counter culture. The Northern California Learning Institute is counter culture. We seek deeper understanding so we may forge ahead with wise and purpose-driven responses to the people we partner with day in and day out.

All of this requires a personal buy-in. Personal accountability. Where Do I Stand? Can we tap into the values that drew us to this work to begin with...rediscovering our 'Why'?

We'll leave you with some wisdom about personal accountability from the one and only Glen Danzig, pictured to the left. In the below meme, he shares his thoughts on human character and self-governance. Stemming from lessons learned from his track coach in high school, Danzig waxes poetic and ends with a strong (debatable) statement. Whether or not you agree with him, his analogy strikes a chord in me. We use wisdom from all people, all communities and yes, even from a shopping cart. Best to you all and we'll see you all next week!

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