By Lisa Bodey
Seven San Luis Valley leaders attended “Holding Space for Transformative Experiences” a Living Facilitation Retreat, led by Adam Brock and Asia Dorsey of Regenerate Change. This four-day training held at Yellow Barn Farm in Boulder is based on an ecological model of permaculture and looking at living systems to think about how to lead and build resilient, equitable and inclusive communities. La Puente received a grant from Colorado Health to identify and cultivate grassroots leadership and community led solutions. As part of this grant, Sherice Shiner, Healthy Food Access Coordinator of the Food Bank Network of the SLV, organized scholarships for: Liza Marron, Averill Doering, Abe Rosenberg, Melissa Ketchum, Suzanne Rouge and Lisa Bodey to attend this training.
Excerpts from attendees:
“We learned about the concept of “edges”; thinking about the edges of bio-zones where there is the most diversity, activity and growth. Imagine riparian areas where meadow meets stream or zones where grassland meets the forest or where estuaries meet the ocean. For the participants these are the areas in life or community building work where we might avoid because they are uncomfortable or where we would have to stretch, grow and be uncomfortable.” Liza Marron
“Ever wonder… what it really means to thrive here? about stepping into our unique potentials? about coming together, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds & division? about how our groups could best serve? about generating true community wealth? Living Facilitation gets to the root of these kinds of questions by applying the principles of permaculture to our social systems and by going beyond theory altogether, and using physical activities to move us out of our intellect alone, and into our whole bodies. Connecting with powerful people in the valley, seeing their strengths, appreciating their vulnerabilities, and establishing loving relationships, has become rich, fertile ground for our emerging collaborations. Essentially, Living Facilitation offers the idea that with trusting relationships at the heart, the potential for fruitful community engagements is limitless.” Averill Doering
“The opportunity to cross pollinate ideas using common language and shared experience feels like an important goal for SLV that was achieved. Blessed with abundant trees, meadows and a stream, the space embraced the content as well as the contributors. The facilitators illustrated activities and games for building relational soil that put the participants at ease while introducing basic permaculture design elements. They also had the courage to invite a relevant live mediation session that demonstrated skill sets in shifting outcomes. My big take away was using the elements to describe attributes, skills, styles and patterns of facilitation. Earth: Containing, Water: Deepening, Fire: Disrupting, Air: Perceiving.” Suzanne Rougé
“The concepts of permaculture, which takes the natural patterns of nature, like “ecology” and lends this framework to our human “egocologies”, or how we interrelate in groups of people was the core focus of this training. By being able to have so many people of the valley come, we brought back a holographic memory of all the different styles of being able to create “relational soil” between individuals to strengthen our communities, organizations, and coalitions.” Sherice Shiner
“This experience was an invitation to explore the depths of interpersonal relationships and authentic connection, something we all desire to create within our own communities. It asked us to show up in integrity through the conversations, gatherings, and facilitation done within our own communities and organizations. It was an opportunity to understand the complex inner landscapes of others as we build relational soil, the soil that is required to foster authentic and nourishing connections. It allowed us the tools and techniques to ensure that all voices, stories, and experiences are taken into account when bringing diverse groups of individuals together for a shared goal or experience.” Melissa Ketchum
Adam spoke at the 32nd Annual Crestone Energy Fair and we will be presenting Living Facilitation in the SLV around mid-January with Spanish translation services. If you would like more information, please contact Sherice Shiner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Bodey at crestoneenergyexchange.org.