The Art of Gathering
I truly believe that if we had more conflict in the world, we would have less violence.
When do you need more I, and when do we need more WE. And allowing both to exist, but not necessary always at the same time.
If everybody has an accent, that makes us the same; but the adjective before the accent make us different... we choose the lenses of which we want to see – the adjective or the noun.
It's seeing the things that we used to avoid and developing the muscle to be able to look at truth and say this is where I am right now. And will you come in?
Start with your need and communicate it to other people, and then exclude people in your life who are not going to help you with that need in that specific moment.
When you gather and you exclude with purpose, you're not making it personal. And when we start creating a culture where we all gather on purpose and we develop a habit where we're cleaner and clearer about what we want and don't want, now, not forever. Every gathering is temporary.
The discerning gatherer understands the difference between routine and ritual. Rituals are powerful when the form continues to match the underlying need or purpose of the gathering.
We tend to conflate category with purpose. For example, when I say I am having a birthday party, most of us have a specific archetype of what that means—candles, a cake, etc. And we follow scripts in those categories. . . . The most powerful gatherings begin with purpose and don't begin with form.
The transformative unit of gathering was that every gathering carried some amount of risk. Risk can be psychological, emotional, or physical.
Part of the reason why marriage therapy or conflict resolution is so powerful is because it gives a common language and a common structure for a temporary moment of time to destigmatize attitudes, language, and behavior that we assume to be scary.
Part of the reason we're scared of conflict is because it's dangerous. And we have lost our collective rituals to deal with it. . . . Therefore, it goes into unhealthy heat.
Conflict is about power.
In our multicultural world, we've lost the capacity for civic discourse in part because we don't have a common language; and in part because we're operating in a different power structure.
A part of the art of gatherings is to get people off their scripts and do things that are unexpected.
Fear comes from both not knowing but also offending. When the fear comes from not offending, if you're really listening, the fear is coming from love. And that's a different source from fear that comes from hate.
CreativeMornings, to me, embodied transformative gatherings.
You know when you see work that makes you cry, you're doing the right work.