Same Space, Different View

September 28, 2014 at 4:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” – Ivy Baker Priest

When I’m facilitating a program I love to shift where my own and the participant’s focus is throughout the day. Whether it be where I am standing or sitting in the room, which direction or perspective an experience is being undertaken from or the shaped positioning of the participants, I am forever mindful of fostering different views for myself and the participants to support the journey we are individually and collectively on.

Recently when I was running a train the trainer session I was having a similar discussion with the group of volunteers who were planning an upcoming camp. We spent some time at the beginning of the session unpacking what they were really wanting to achieve through their time away. We weren’t looking for buzz words or what they thought they should say or create on a long list of outcomes, what we wanted to do was really drill down into what was bubbling underneath. What I heard and checked back in with the team to validate was they wanted the experience/s to be fun and engaging, they wanted the participants to be learning without feeling like they were ‘learning’, and they wanted the participants to journey from their time together believing in the potential of being change makers in their own lives as well as in their communities.

“Set out from any point. They are all alike. They all lead to a point of departure.” – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

As the volunteers moved through the session, including planning the experiences they were to facilitate at the camp, we kept coming back to what they were hoping to achieve. As a facilitator and teacher I understand well the vulnerability experienced within the learning process and the challenges and limitations that can be seen within roles such as teacher/student, expert/novice, skilled/unskilled, right/wrong or any other dichotomy that you could think of. These beliefs of separation, division, attachment and ownership can result in a loss of connection for the facilitator or the participants in particular experience/s, transitioning an individual out of authentic presence, engagement, processing and contribution.

“Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?” – Author Unknown

It was such a powerful experience for us all, reminding ourselves as we went through the session of what was really important to us as individuals, us as a group and how the volunteers thoughts, words and actions in the experiences they will facilitate on the camp will ripple and resonate within the group of young adults. Ideas were expressed, questions were asked, beliefs were challenged, changes were made, previous experiences were shared, connections were formed and then each of us undertook the task of making the planning real and meaningful for ourselves and the group to be supported in the choices for the upcoming camp. Through the complexity of all that was possible came the clarity of where our choices were coming from.

“Be careful how you interpret the world: It is like that.” – Erich Heller

What spaces in your own life could you explore and discover different views? How does wading through the complexity of all that’s possible feel in your daily thoughts, words and actions? How could an ever growing clarity of where your choices are coming from positively impact the difference you can make in your own and others lives?


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