“Activity grounded in truth brings progress and good fortune.”
I-Ching, Brian Brown Walker translation
Recently, I was selected to be a fellow in the New Leaders Council’s 2010 Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. At thirty-eight, I felt kind of funny applying for a fellowship geared toward ‘young professionals’ but one of their Advisory Board members encouraged me to give it a shot. The Institute is designed to develop leadership and social entrepreneurship skills and, though I have heaps of experience and feel pretty confident as a manager, the whole process of starting and setting up Survivors’ Truths has helped me find the limits of my comfort zone in the role of leader.
Well, as you already know, I was accepted. This was the first weekend. It was interesting because there was some theoretical background. A speaker came and discussed the history of the progressive movement and explained how he sees the distinction between ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive.’ We also had a speaker who shared about the development and implementation of an innovative program he spearheaded in a very bureaucratic institution. But most of this weekend was more introspective. We had to write and talk about ourselves, our hopes and dreams, our values and aspirations. With a group of total strangers. Well, by the end of the weekend we were no longer total strangers (and I found that I am in the company of some amazing and inspiring individuals) and we had plenty to reflect on before the next meeting. We were each given a small spiral-bound notebook for journaling and a topic for reflection.
What does it mean to be a
- in your field?
Tonight, before sitting to reflect a bit, I did an I-Ching reading. Over the past three or four years, I have made this a regular practice for meditation. What came up was the quote that started this entry. I began thinking about the discussion of what a ‘progressive is. So many people describe their progressive ideals and action as thinking ‘beyond’ themselves and helping ‘others.’ This is nice and all but even non-progressives (people who are quite happy with ‘the way things are,’ thank you very much) help others. For me, being progressive is about experiencing myself in deep connection with others, as a part of an interconnected web of problems and possibilities, and of seeking ways to make more space for those possibilities.
I think that is enough for now. To be continued…