April 2018 - Connecting, learning, cycling
I’m getting ready for a facilitation conference at the beginning of May in Ottawa. I hope I may pick up some new tools but actually I’m mainly interested in chatting with people who want to practice ways of being effective and helpful in groups. We are a worldwide community of practice: International Association of Facilitators. I’ll learn from who they are as well as what they do. Then the day after, I’ll get my kit on and join the CHEO charity bike ride and check out a few cafes too.
Facilitating a zoom webinar for the first time – panic over
I remember my nervousness when I first participated in a virtual meeting. Unlike me, the person chairing those meetings – she seemed to be at ease, knew which button to press and smoothly handled the frequent glitches.
But as the years passed the panic slowly subsided. Then the other day I knew things had improved. For the first time (and at just a few moment’s notice), I was lead facilitator for a global webinar - 25 people in various countries in Asia, South Africa and one down the road in the UK. I heard myself being at ease, knowing which button to press and handling the several glitches. ‘Did I really just do that?’
Yes lots of practice helps. Just do it. Also using Zoom makes it easier. I find it intuitive, with very good support (free on-line training and I also had an hour one to one tuition) and its stable. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it go.
Creating a website is one of life’s great challenges
We published the new get2thepoint site on 20th January last year. Putting my heart and soul out on the line like that felt like a protection against the other event of that day, the inauguration of the 45th US president. It was like radiating a bit of personal positivity against raging hatred.
Now a year and a bit later I’ve refreshed it (that’s what you’re looking at). More to the point, more white space, clearer message.
Building a website is one of life’s greatest challenges. Finding the words and creating a design to compellingly express myself with authenticity to everyone or no-one in the entire universe is hard.
It started with death and ended with birth
I wrote my diary every day for 20 years. The very first entry was 20th April 1961 when my much loved granny died ('at 11.30').
The very last entry was 28th June 1982 when I wrote about discovering that Korinna was pregnant with our son (now 35).
So my 20 years of daily diary writing (yes, every single day) started with death and ended with birth. These pages provide me with hours of quiet contemplation about vagaries of youth and the passage of time.
During my intermittent times of struggle over the last 20 years I have written a journal. Although placing my the pain on the page was some relief at the time, it makes for uncomfortable reading today.
Now I continue my life long practice of reflective writing with this blog. I write what is happening - Now. Once a month. My early diaries were an introspective jumble of what I was doing and what I was thinking.
In this blog I select things from my outer (above the line) and inner (below the line) worlds which I imagine may be of some service to you. That's way I do it. This 20 April 2018 - 57 years to the day after my granny died - is the first.
Walking another little bit of the Camino
Two years ago I walked 50 kms of the Camino de Santiago. It took me a week. That's because most of the time I was sitting in café’s, or just sitting. I set off from Le Puy en Velay in France (where it's called le Chemin de St Jacques) and ended up by a lake.
I am planning to do another week in July. Perhaps I’ll walk a bit more this year than last. Or perhaps not – at that rate I worked out it would take me 30 years to make it along the whole way to Santiago in Spain. Will I live that long? It doesn't matter. I savour the silence. As long as it takes.
Jaw-jaw and the day well after tomorrow
US, France and UK have just bombed Syria and I just don't know what to think or do. I try to make sense the opinions of others, but there are too many. Most of them are shouting. I feel despondent.
I think of what Churchill reportedly said (on June 26th 1954) ‘It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war’. Dialogue is hard. It calls for wisdom, empathy for those who show no regard for you. But it’s better than killing people.
It also requires us to practice patience, because results may not appear in minutes and hours (like with bombs), but only appear the day well after tomorrow. That means I hold on to this obvious truth – which is that what is happening today is the result of what has gone before and that the result of what I do today will echo for decades and more.
The film Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis, 2015) the name of which refers to the 1945 meeting of US president Franklin D Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, on a ship on the Great Bitter Lake is ample illustration of this. The multiple impacts of this meeting between two powerful men reverberate around the Middle East and world today.
Posted on 20-04-2018 at 21:33