I’m super excited to be going through Deep Democracy training this year as an approach for improving my facilitation skills!
Info on Deep Democracy
Unlike “classical” democracy, which focuses on majority rule, Deep Democracy suggests that all voices, states of awareness, and frameworks of reality are important. Deep Democracy also suggests that all the information carried within these voices, levels of awareness, and frameworks is needed to understand the complete process of a system. Deep Democracy is an attitude that focuses on the awareness of voices that are both central and marginal.
This type of awareness can be focused on groups, organizations, one’s own inner experiences, people in conflict, etc. Allowing oneself to take seriously seemingly unimportant events and feelings can often bring unexpected solutions to both group and inner conflicts.
Although the term and the concepts of Deep Democracy are now being used by various groups in different ways, Mindell formulates their common denominator: Deep Democracy is the experience of a process of flow in which all actors on the stage are needed to create the play that is being watched.
Deep Democracy is a natural process that occurs in all community building processes, but often goes unnoticed or un-used. Just as conventional democracy strives to include all individuals involved in the political process, Deep Democracy goes a step further in the effort towards fostering a deeper level of dialogue and inclusiveness that makes space for all people (with the individual right to vote) as well as all various and competing views, tensions, feelings, and styles of communication - in a way that supports awareness of relative rank, power, and privilege, and the potential of these forces to marginalize other views, individuals, and groups.
For more info:
Floral Facade on the Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel in Barcelona, Spain; Designed by Jean Nouvel, Images Courtesy of Roland Halbe
*Number 20*, La Orotava, Tenerife, Canary Islands
All Original Photography by http://vwcampervan-aldridge.tumblr.com
"There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
~ Carl Jung
Artist: Jeff Simpson
that’s fucking awesome!
Hsin Yao Tseng (b. 1986, Taipei Taiwan) - Rainy Day On Market Street Paintings: Oil on Panel
On sooo many levels these 2 things resonate with me.
This video by the amazingly talented Lily Myers perfectly describes the nuances of seeing a woman who “shrinks” who remains silent, who absorbs, and absorbed the practice of absorbing from her mother. I watch as my mother still practices this silence when strangers or even our own family hurts her, while my father takes golf vacations to the warmest places all year round, his 2nd wife serving him as a Japanese wife “should” with no grudges.
I realize the physical, emotional and intellectual barriers of the last 2 years in my new leadership role have been due to this fact. It feels WRONG to take up space. Occupying space for my real thoughts (especially if they do not align with what’s being said outloud), for my decisions and when I strongly feel something but cannot speak it, is the hardest thing for me to do. And as a leader, I need to do this.
Culturally and due to adopted behaviours, I feel as if the only time I can make decisions for myself or for others, speak honestly or disagree with someone is if I am granted permission by someone other than me.
I have been trying to take up less and less space for years, physical space, speaking space, decision making space etc. My back and neck have been in pain this past year, my jaw has felt the brunt of the spurts of intense urges to speak as it clicks, clicks, clicks, but no words come out - i don’t let them come out. I have a TMJ disorder of some type - I’ve been going to the chiropractor, acupuncturist and massage therapists to figure out my issue with my body, but now I get it. This constant effort to stay small, stay inside my mind and to not take up space, to be as invisible as possible is causing my body serious issues. Not to mention my emotional issues and confidence issues.
This article “Do You Take Up As Much Space As You Deserve?" helped me come to this realization. It also helped me realize, I need to take up and occupy the space I need and deserve.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou
I have been an athlete my whole life, and I think that has always been my outlet of energy. For the last couple of years I have not played as much and I think the pent up energy didn’t have anywhere to go except deeper into my muscles making them more condensed and tense than ever.
I’m so happy I have come to this awareness. I’m also so thankful for this article as it gave me some fantastic questions to ask myself when things are clearly unbalanced in my life.
1. Where are my excesses?
2. Where is my chaos?
3. What am I feeling?
Please take a look at the article if you would like to see how she answered these questions.
Then take a look at this “You Are Important” - to remind you of your wonderful nature. (side bar: the only part i don’t agree with is that it says “we are undeserving” … My point is, everyone is deserving to take up space and share space respectfully).
Let us as women, particularly women who have learnt through culture that we cannot take up space as men do, occupy the space we deserve, for our own sanity, for our own empowerment and expression. As I always say, “we are here for the purpose of giving our gift to the world” and how are we to do that if we cannot even take up our own space to grow, make mistakes, experience life and offer that gift?