Now Generation Leader Retreat: Individual Call

Tues, August 25, 2009
Anthony Chavez

Present: Barbara Fields, Anthony Chavez, Kathy Hearn

Do you have a picture in your mind of what the meeting will be like? Questions, ideas?

A: For me, this seems like a really great networking opportunity. Everything I’ve seen is nothing but really young progressive individuals doing really great work around the globe. Also an exchange of insights and knowledge that individuals have acquired in their various fields of engagement. Looks like a really holistic discussion could take place. With all the categories available, there will be a lot of input from many different fields. Not sure if each person will get up and do a small presentation on their projects and work they’ve been creating.

B: Yes, definitely we will spend time doing that.

A: A lot of that will unfold once we get into the small group and get to know each other. Part of me is not even sure why I’m invited. These people are all working hard, doing some really great things…

B: At least 70% of the people have said the same thing! It’s interesting…it shows that people really don’t feel that it’s about them. They are spending their time working on something that is world-shifting on a certain level, but it’s about developing a character that makes a contribution to society. It’s not about ego.

A: I feel like I haven’t directly invested myself in a particular project. But I’m lucky to have gotten the chance to go out and speak to people and meet people like you and Bro. David.

Talking about politics and governance, economic and social change, performing arts, I’m interested in all of it. The reinforcement with a bunch of individuals doing the daily work, even if not in direct contact with each other all the time. It reminds of us the opportunity to connect with others in the overlap of themes and topics.

B: We don’t have to focus on the product being brought to table; it’s about the people being holistic and contributing to conversation based on what they feel is important; it’s your future, and it’s our responsibility to be supportive of the generations coming up.

A: Thank you for facilitating this conversation and bringing us together. There’s so many things…International affairs, economics and public policy- that greatly interest me. But it’s a whole variety of things. This past week I was at a men’s retreat conference with a lot of inner city youth from dangerous environments who have already fallen into tragedy. But also brought adults from different backgrounds and we told our stories. Rites of passage are very important. Help to find meaning, purpose, the recognition of the different stages of our lives. Having someone there to open the space and have a really honest conversation. What came out of this meeting was a really strong connection with the young men and I’d like to get together with them later and broaden their vision, be a positive role model for them and also learn from them and what they’ve overcome. Getting out and empowering youth; telling them that they really do have what it takes. I really enjoy public speaking.

B: That’s what I envision for our conversation. All who are coming represent communities outside of themselves, bringing stories of the people you’ve been in contact with who have taught you, etc. There’s a lot of commonality…similar ideas going on. I see you all as emissaries to larger circles from which you can all share techniques and solutions. Bubbling up of that shared experience, transparent conversations about obstacles, etc.

A: That will be a great discussion to have. I’m not sure what shape it’ll take; I think the great variety of individuals; everything will be touched upon. Nothing is left behind.

B: Yes; it depends on us to create the right structure and then it’s what we bring in the content.

A: The presentation style…is that the best way to share our stories? Or sitting in a circle w/o powerpoints etc…or just from one person’s mouth to the other person’s ear/ heart.

B: We have a lot of experience in this way, and you all are giving us the ideas that we can synergize. It’ll be a rhythm of different kinds of formats throughout.

A: Part of me feels a little jaded or callous to this process…break out groups, etc. I’ve been doing them all the time, and I want to do something different. That’s the beauty of having a small group; we won’t get bored; it’ll be very intense.
Important not get caught up in the murkiness of the mind.

Drumming, music, singing, chanting picks up energy levels and gets everyone on the same wavelength. Making sure we all feel it together. Even some tai chi…I know someone in SB who’s been studying  tai chi and might be able to take us through that (Linda Harbor). Maybe Tuesday morning, or at the mission.

Walking tour of the universe: start at the big bang and walk all the way up through the present moment…go through the development…each step is about 2 million years. Helps us to not take things too seriously.

B: is there a multimedia presentation on that?

A: I’m not sure…we would usually walk across the grounds. There probably is something available.

I was part of a conference in Austira, architects of the future; a lot like this where they focus on young entrepreneurs, and I got a lot of contacts if we want to connect with program internationally.

Part of the problem is the fragmentation of so many beautiful projects, without finding a unifying theme. Is that element something of spirituality? That’s why we’re looking at rites of passage, teaching models to share with young people and their parents, reversed learning. Looking at economic/ environmental injustice…

How much do we need to facilitate it, and how much do we just need to step out of the way and let it go? Not a completely loose discussion, just something to be open too. Once we gauge the intensity of the discussions; devote more time to certain topics. The intimacy of the group and the size will make it really special.

B: If at any point it wants to move in a different direction it’ll be obvious to us and we’ll just flow with it.

A: doing a ceremony could be a good thing too. That’s really important, focusing on creating some type of welcoming ceremony- what each individual represents, the past the present, wherever that may be. We could even do something on the beach. It’ll create a certain feeling in the room

B: yes, we definitely need to give enough time to the unknowable design; as a coming and going tide between everything else. There’s just so many good ideas. That’s why we’re going to ask individuals to lead certain processes.

A: We want to make everyone feel completely welcomed, free to speak their mind, that sense of trust. Everyone will feel so comfortable to just jump up in front of the group.

B: Could you give us specifics on that process?

A: Getting a bowl of water and some leaves of a native plant; sprinkling water on everyone- the source of life; making that our blessing, our cleansing as we enter the space together. Candles in the room, bowl of water with rocks. Little things like that.