Archive for the ‘questions’ Category

Preparation of Women Moving the Edge 11

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

This post was written on Oct. 13, but that doesn’t matter too much. For you, readers, this gathering can just start tommorow, instead of 13 days ago.

Autumn is really present here. Most trees have already lost a lot of leaves, or are showing the yellows, browns and reds that make autumn so beautiful. Yesterday was a day full of fog and later a lot of rain. We are here in Three Rivers, Michigan, for the 11th WMtE11 Women Moving the Edge gathering, on invitation of Ruth Eichler and it is in her house that we are gathering.

Yesterday Judy, Ruth and myself had a day of preparation; it went smooth and easy. I like when conversations and small actions flow easily from one into the other, without much checking or needing to seek agreement. We were in the flow together of what needed to happen: both deeper connection on the topic and the many small details to make all logistics work.

The theme or guiding question is articulated as follows:
WMtE11 question small

After some silence we checked in with what was present, and the dialogue unfolded from there.

One of the themes was the understanding that there is reciprocity between humans and the subtle realms.
Reciprocal joy.
Reciprocal gratitude.
Mutual evolution.

As much as the mutual evolution of humans and the subtle realms is new to me -but makes a lot of sense – the concept of reciprocity is still a two-way relationship; back and forth and not too difficult to understand once you are open for it. I recently heard a woman-scientist explain the latest findings in science, which make a combination of relativity theory + quantum physics + consciousness and is linked with the notion of Planck scale (or more here). As far as I understood, on that ‘level’ all is information, and all is fractal. Everything has fractal dimensions; expressions on all levels. I am not at all stating that I can fully comprehend what she was trying to explain, but what I got is that reality, or the universe, is holographic in its nature. This is way beyond ‘back and forth’. This is ‘inter-dimensional’, where all dimensions are not just ‘connected’, but interweaving and interpenetrating each other.
Now that is something totally different!

It reminds of Brian Swimme explaining one power (out of ten) in the universe, called Expansion. He tried to convey the image that the universe is at all moments expanding in all directions. Not just from one point; not just in one direction. But expanding from every point you can imagine; in all directions; all the time.

My head was – and still is – crunching to take this really in.
Expanding from every point you can imagine;
in all directions;
all the time.

Living in a holographic universe: How can we language that with our linear built-up sentences?

And even more important: How do we embody that concept, in a way that it speaks in and through all our day-to-day actions; instead of just understanding it as a concept?

Once Upon a Word

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

This was just send today over the Art of Hosting emaillist and I just love it! A nice story by Martin Challis (looks like his whole blog/site is amasing!

Once upon a time and in place that is near to where we are today. A few simple words decided to see what they could be together. They wanted to know if they could achieve more collectively than they could as individuals? As words went, some were better known than others as some occurred more frequently in common usage. Each one enjoyed being spoken out loud. Being announced gave them life and they experienced delight when uttered in song. Being whispered softly in a moment of intimacy or friendship was equally considered quite a treat. Each word possessed unique characteristics. Some were made up of more letters, others had more syllables. However the words did not judge their differences, in fact they celebrated them. They knew that their differences; some being older, some longer and some more experienced, gave them strength. The words also possessed latent talents. They were able to change their shape and appear as different expressions of themselves. They called this, playing a role, or being characters. After much discussion the simple words agreed that if they were to serve their greatest purpose they should work together in a way that would be of benefit to all who uttered or heard them. Ultimately it was decided that of all expressions, they should come together to form a question. It was unanimously agreed that this was their best option. A question they considered, could, when expressed in the right circumstances and in the right way, provoke deep thought and wise conversation. The words agreed that the best question would take the following shape: What are the clearest words we can summon, to ask the best questions, to be the best and give the best that we can be, right now? From this they noticed, to their great delight, other words often came along in response, partly in admiration but mostly to contribute to creating insightful responses. To this day the work of these words continues and people who use them are often very satisfied and very pleased with what emerges.

More on questions

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Like Chris Corrigan, a Canadian Art of Hosting friend, I’m holding questions, or I live in questions. Lately I noticed that conversations that don’t hold a question – somewhere in the middle, somehow conscious or not – can’t keep my attention for long (anymore). I seem to be addicted to the sense of aliveness that goes with conversations around a question. I know, if we hold questions together, something really life-affirming can come out of it!

The questions that I am living in, for me personally:

What is the next level of my Work, and how do I not get in the way (of its unfolding)?

What is professionalism in networking and stewarding?

What is the bigger whole that I am serving?

What are the questions that you are holding???

Fabulous list of weird questions!

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Via, via, via I came across a blogpost of Benjamin Aaron, participant in the Hub Berlin, and he shares an amasing list of questions!!! A few examples:

When you hear the term “sacred questions”, are there some coming to your mind that you would name sacred questions?

How would my experience of you be, if you are shining in your brightest light, radiating pure energy, being fully aligned with your passion?

You have 5sec on a stage where every human on earth will watch you – what would you do and say?

We are before the BigBang – you are god(ess) and you can choose which area(s) of the unborn world you take responsibility to create.

and many more!

Shadow and Aliveness

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Our third day in Women Moving the Edge was so inspiring and so full of aliveness! Already at the breakfast table were we talking about the question: What is the question that would inspire a new economic order? As it turned out later this would be one of the threads that would later lead to a systemic constellation.

The other thread was more about us, women, being earthy and sensual beings. Speaking about it, it would also trigger deeply held pain that was hidden in our bodies, all these long years! So again, there were tears and also shaking of the body, taking care of each other and then – relief! – and how much laughter was available next!

A few sentences I wrote down during this process…


Earthy and sensual topics make us alive!

Allow and breath!

It is so damn easy as to follow your passion!

Deep sadness in the belly to live from that place. Moving sadness into aliveness through the expression.

Living the Sacred, instead of the pure pleasure.

We ALL need to be alive!

Life is happening anyway, if we participate or not.


As we moved through these conversations it got more tangible what sourcing really is; how it is to speak from a place where no thoughts or concepts are formed yet; straight from the experience – as when we hurt ourselves and scream, but now having deep wisdom to share. Once again it showed me how our minimal structure of circle practice, holding space for the potential to manifest and having a guiding question is a profound container for letting life happen through us. Sooner or later it will bring the wisdom as answer to the question and the clarity of a next, minimal, elegant step. This one next step is the only thing that is possible after all in a complex and chaotic environment – very much where we live in these days.

The sourcing got us into a deeper insight of what ‘the shadow’ really means. We speak of holding the shadow and loving the dragons, but it became clear that to understand what this really is about we have to sink deeper into ‘the koan of the shadow’. The shadow is not what we think it is, the koan will help us see what it really is; because it is not dark and it is not a thing. It is like clouds casting a shadow, but the cloud isn’t something to touch or to hold, you can just walk through it! Instead of the shadow there is an Intense Beauty! Can we live in the Direct Light, not putting anything between our selves and the Light???

The souring, the sharing of the pain, playing the music without asking for permission, reading a poem for the first time, it all lead us to realize:


Ongoing spiral between Holding Space and Staying in Inquiry

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Just before lunch, on Saturday, the second day in our gathering Women Moving the Edge, my impulse was to speak about emptiness, speak about naming the feminine as ‘just being’. To me these are not the right words for what we are actually doing. It can be named more precise and explicit. And this has been my journey since a long time.
The so-called ‘emptiness’ is the holding space of the potential; indeed like a womb. It is an open space with no-thing in it, but it is a space that is ready to be of service to let new life unfold.
The ‘just being’ is like being pregnant. There isn’t much you can ‘do’ while being pregnant, but still a lot is happening! But the act of giving attention and care has value and importance.
Holding space – beyond being pregnant – is to be understood as holding space for your children to grow up. You want to support them so that they become their true self; you are holding space for that potential, although you don’t know what kind of person they are going to become.

This all let me to explaining more of my model and what holding space has to do with finding the right question and embracing a bigger complexity. Here is what I wrote on it earlier:
“At some point in our inquiry, it occurred to me to wonder why we (women) were always speaking about Source, and not about Spirit. It seemed obvious to us women that holding space had to do with Source, not with Spirit. But why? It got me thinking.


Following some impactful physical/energetic experiences, I realised that – for me – holding space is something that happens in my body. I don’t ‘do’ it, rather, it happens through me. It is as if my body is a vessel, through which I am able to hold space for potential to unfold. We are familiar with this idea of ‘potential unfolding’ when we think about raising our children. But now we were applying it to groups and organisations. Is it always future oriented? Again: why Source and not Spirit?

The more I contemplated it, the clearer it got. To my sensing, Spirit comes – somehow – from above, from somewhere away from here, while Source seems to be accessible from somewhere deep within. Source is like a seed, it holds potential, which can unfold into manifestation. But the full picture needed to include Spirit. So what was that about? What did it have to do with manifestation?


In my daily life, I understand Spirit as asking for distance, reflection, talking about, concepts… very different from potential! Spirit has focus and clarity. It seemed to me that the translation of Spirit into ‘the future that wants to emerge through us’ was to stay in the inquiry, to keep the questions open. It is the intention that some innovation will become possible.

Wasn’t that a beautiful couple: Holding Space for Potential to Manifest and Staying in Inquiry to discover new patterns? Isn’t the synergy of these two what we desperately need in our complex world with it’s huge challenges?”

Since I wrote this piece there is more to this model. In a conversation with Maria Scordialou, Sarah Whiteley and Judy Wallace, as preparation for our upcoming program The Edge of Collective Sourcing, we saw a new aspect in this model. This is what we saw:
Ongoing spiral between Holding Space and Staying in Inquiry creates New Wisdom
We realized the ongoing dynamic  – like a spiral going back and forth – between the level or depth of Sourcing and the level or depth/height of Awareness or Spirit.
The depth of the potential can only become accessible for manifestation and action when we are equally able to become aware of the intention or the clear purpose. This explains us the importance of finding the good guiding question(s). If our question comes from a higher level of awareness it will invite in a deeper possibility of sourcing. In this widened field of wisdom, through many cycles, new wisdom can be generated.

Embracing more Complexity

Related with this – and drawing it in the model – we realize that this dance between both poles in the spiral also relates to widening our reach in the manifest. The depth of sourcing and the height of the intention make sure that we can embrace more of the whole, which is so needed in dealing with the challenges of our time. “

Many of the participants were very happy to get this framework and to see their own role in holding the new paradigm. One participant said: “There is wholeness in the model. It is like an egg.”

Goals or learning questions?

Friday, April 4th, 2008

I always find it inspiring to read Chris Corrigan’s blog, and especially this recent entry: 30-day learning journey. Chris is a deep learner of life, he is about learning from head till toes. Most of the time you can see his eyes sparkling, and sometimes he get bloody serious. Serious is not the good word here: focused, grounded, standing for his values; that is how he is too.

He shares: “Last month, I was in Ontario with a friend of mine and he asked “What are your goals? What would I see if I talked to you in six months?” I told him that I don’t have any goals, but instead I run these little research projects. I get curious about things and start noticing them in my life and work and I usually use a combination of this blog and a moleskine journal to record my results. It keeps me moving forward.”


I have always felt unconfortable with goals and strategies. For a long time I thought I needed to do something about, needed to develop my masculine side… Since some time I don’t think so anymore. I have developed and learned a lot without setting goals, without using strategies. I go with what attracts me, with what makes me curious, with what becomes clear before my eyes.

And like Chris, there is always some kind of question that somehow guides me. Since last summer I was holding the question: What do I do when I am holding space? I gained some clarity on that, wrote a little on it and I will write more in the following weeks.

Now my question is somehow shifting to: How can I support that the different communities of practice about social technologies become a (bigger) system of influence? This question is ‘taken’ from the article of Meg Wheatley and Debbie Frieze. The communities of practice that I have easy access to: Art of Hosting, World Caf�, Berkana, Open Space. Others might be: Presencing, Appreciative Inquiry, PeertoPeer and maybe more… I plan to have a little learning journey in the summer to start conversations around this question… the learning will be longer than 30 days though.