One of my most inspiring and challenging teachers is Margaret Wheatley. Over the last decade I read with fascination nearly all her books starting with Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World and had the incredible opportunity to take a workshop with her in Nova Scotia a few years ago. Her Berkana Institute took a hiatus for a few years while figuring out how to best contribute to resolving larger world issues. This morning, I received the first communication from them in a long time and was struck by their tagline, “Whatever the Problem, Community is the Answer.” *See Berkana.org.
The line struck a deep chord in me because for the last several years most of the communities I joined during the last three decades began falling away for various reasons and as I participated less, the more isolated I felt. So, a few years ago I actively began looking to join or create new communities in my life. The groups I found tended to be smaller, more intimate gatherings of fellow travelers on this journey of living a full, wholehearted life – and they were often spread far and wide. While that feeling of isolation still exists at times, connecting with one of my communities alleviates isolation and overwhelm quickly.
Today, I am connected to a small group of people I went through a leadership program with from around the world and we have a phone call once a quarter. I recently joined a group of dedicated, soulful native flute players who inspire me to find my soul’s music. Once in a while I join with others passionate about saving living spaces for living things for a prairie restoration workday. When possible I join with my grown children to enjoy family, relaxation and fun. I have dinner every couple of months with two guys who have been on a similar journey over the last five years. Together, in all these communities, we connect on topics or activities that unite us. Sometimes we go deep, and other times we just have fun together.
On Wednesday, March 25th at 11am CST, the Berkana Institute will host a free webinar with Margaret Wheatley to invite participants into the practice of "Gathering Friends." I'm curious what will come of my own gathering together with friends to simply listen to each other and inspire strength to continue doing my world work. I will be on the call - will you join me? Register on the Berkana website by CLICKING HERE.