Defining a Self-Practice – Part 2

Last weekend I attended the Association for Experiential Education West Region‘s Winter Summit at the California Alpine Club on Mt. Tamalpais.  What fun groups of people!  There are few groups I know that could rival their enthusiasm for life, learning and adventure!  If enthusiasm for life, learning and adventure is something you are interested in, I highly suggest you look into these groups.

In the mists of this awesome weekend, I found myself facilitating a Open Space breakout session on Resilient Mindset.  Specifically, what is it and how do we develop it?  This is the subject of my practicum work for my MBA and is a topic I am very passionate about.  My intention for the breakout session was to (1) see how other people define resilient mindset, and (2) to figure out how others define their process or self-practice in developing a resilient mindset.  While the outcome didn’t fully reflect my initial questions, the dialog that bubbled up was equally as stimulating.  This is what I want to share with you today.

In my previous post I wrote about defining a self-practice.  I wrote that it contained three parts: a practice of reflection – self, purpose & path; a practice of communication; and a practice of ritualistic/centering activities.  In lieu of this past weekend’s resilient mindset breakout session, I’d like to revisit my notes on a practice of communication.  Through our session dialog it became apparent to me that this practice should not just be about communication or merely reference community, but be fully inclusive of community, coaching/mentoring and communication.  The image and thought that comes up for me here is the yin/yang symbol and true democracy (think ancient Athens).  In true democracy the citizen and the community each represent a side of the yin/yang symbol.  The citizen seeks self-mastery and strives to be their best authentic self within their community.  The community in turn nurtures, supports, gives feedback and opportunity for its citizens to succeed, thus helping the community as a whole to succeed.  When you give feedback or support, you are mentoring and coaching.  Coaching and mentoring thus goes hand in hand with communicating and is the lubrication between the citizen and the community.  One feeds and supports the other.  They cannot develop their full potential without each other.  The sum of the whole is greater than the parts.

So rather than a practice of communication, a self-practice should include a practice of the 3Cs – Communication, Community & Coaching.

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