Last week, my colleague Laura and I convened a gathering of local Organization Development practitioners. Most of us were meeting for the first time, and a lot of care and thought was put into the invitation, location, and design of our two hours.
We had a great turnout. We put people into small groups (what else are facilitators for?!) and brought them back, asking what we hoped was a smart, open-ended question to keep the discussion going.
Someone said, “Sorry if this is off topic, but does everyone here know one another already?” There was a cacophony of answers until one of the participants said, “I know of a simple exercise that we could stand up and do. It would show us how we are connected.” Silence. “Maybe we could do that sometime.” Silence.
So, I said, “Let’s do it now!”
And we did, making a human web, instructed to reach out and touch the people we knew. We stood there for a few minutes, noticing what we noticed, then sat back down and continued our conversation.
Thinking back on it, I can’t remember much that was said. But I remember being touched. I remember getting out of our chairs, spaced comfortably apart, and being given an invitation to get closer. And I remember how we couldn’t do that 3 years ago, how we couldn’t even be in the same room.
I didn’t know I needed someone to suggest that we reach out to one another. My head was engaged, even my heart was, but my body hadn’t been invited to the party.
Three cheers for embodiment, and the courage it always takes to practice and suggest it. If I view last week through this lens, the highlights would be:
- Dancing with my sister-in-law on the lawn
- Swimming with Robin in Lake Whatcom
- Gardening with Taylor in my backyard
- Getting a wonderfully enthusiastic hug from my client, who put her notebook down to do it (the best!)
Wishing you connection and embodiment this week in whatever ways fill you up.