Protecting the ephemeral
I love the month of January for the sense of freedom and possibility it carries. There are as many new beginnings as we want. Every moment can be a starting line.
Last week I celebrated a new year around the sun and a new job I'm very excited about. But the new year also brings new energy to our communities. It's an invitation to evaluate where to invest more energy and what to leave behind. It's the perfect opportunity to make sure commitments are wholehearted and realistic. Community requires presence, energy and love, and I've learned the hard way that less is more.
With this in mind, this week I said a resounding yes to a new year of group coaching with Tribes, a new year of collective sense-making with The Point People, my systems thinking friends; and a desire to do more with our poetry collective Poetika.
Last year I developed a robust meditation practice and also worked with a brilliant executive coach. This helped me reframe how I think about emotions, energy and boundaries all together. Community requires the most generous devotion to the space in the middle, the collective space. We can only fully contribute if we leave our egos at the door. Collective space is simply sacred.
My dear friend Melanie Kahl sent me the text message pictured above for my birthday. She says:
When listening to an investigation of the Cloud Appreciation Society, I thought of you. And the beauty and balance of doing work in the world that is emergent and often unclassifiable, much like appreciating clouds.
"Clouds are ephemeral, ever-changing, phenomenal. Here you have a discrete, scientific, analytic urge laid onto the embodiment of chaos, onto these formations within these unbounded pockets of our atmosphere where there’s no beginning and no edge".
"Ephemeral, ever-changing, phenomenal" - what a perfect way to describe the beauty we find in meaningful conversations. Listen to the beautiful podcast here.
As we think about collectiveness, I was reminded of the wonderful article that my friend Hannah Smith wrote on connectedness, connectivity and connectorship.
Congrats to Sarah Drinkwater and Omidyar Network for supporting the responsible tech movement in such an impactful way this year. Read more about their most recent projects and reflexions here.
Congrats to all the winners of this year's Community Industry Awards by CMX!
🥳This week we have 53 new people reading this email - welcome! If you want to read any of the past issues, you can find them here. And if you want to grab a virtual coffee, just reply to this email and we can make it happen.
Conversations communities around me are exploring right now:
If relationships are at the core of community, how come no one ever teaches us to have better relationships with ourselves and others?
How are you creating ways to punctuate the week given that life is the same as it was for most of 2020?
What are the most effective tools to process emotions on a daily basis? Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy effective or do we need something more dynamic and personal?
Connectorship is a thing, just like entrepreneurship is a thing.
Everyone who sent me love and sparkles for a very special birthday in lockdown.
Erik for being the best accountability buddy.
Jonas for a fun IG Live and general vibes.
Mel for the best birthday message! This podcast was e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
Lewis for going on a sunny walk with me and being a continuous source of inspiration.
My lovely colleagues in team EMEA(+Larry) for the best birthday week and goodbye zoom party!
Cai for a super fun virtual coffee!
David for being an amazing coach and teaching me so much!
My Tribes crew for kicking-off the year right.
Justine for a super inspiring chat in the torrential rain.
My dear Point People for a great kick-off meeting and especially Hannah and Jennie for hosting so gracefully.