I have followed the world cafe since the beginning. I think the first time I met Juanita was at an OT conference in England/Harmonic Convergence in Glastonbury in 1989. In 1990 John Renesh, John Adams, Willis Harmon, she and I sat in her living room and dreamed together about a MN chapter of the WBA which came into being a year or so later.
All of that was in the 1990s. Then in 2002 I dropped out for awhile for several reasons. I was burned out re corporate consulting. I needed to spend more time with Michael and decided not to travel for the duration. I became an artist and attempted to make a living that way for about 4 years. Then, to support us, 3 years ago I returned to corporate work. And I have renewed love for it! I have been so happy. My work has been focused on leadership development and executive coaching (esp. emotional intelligence).
In my profile I wrote about a recent project that I most especially loved. Perhaps you saw it, but in case not, here it is:
Recently, I developed and facilitated a global dialogue/peer coaching process for 100 corporate global leaders. The series of conversations were held over six months in groups of 4 - 6 (phone and online/3 hours) and were centered around exploring the leaders' "biggest questions" (and building their connections with each other). They asked questions of how to become more self-aware, present, centered, fulfilled; questions of how to lead virtually/remotely and personally simultaneously; questions of how to lead across geography and generations, questions of how to support themselves, each other, and those they lead through change and transition... The experience was a first for all of them and many were skeptical about taking 3 hours to "just talk." The result has been that their experiences far exceeded their expectations. And it was a highlight of my work life. I discovered that I am very skilled at facilitating deep virtual and cross-cultural conversation (audio plus photography/whiteboard for visual focus). I felt so privileged to be able to gain a glimpse (no pun intended) into the vulnerabilities, the sincerity, the commitment to learning and service of these generous souls! I would love to find ways to continue this kind of work...
Work continued quite well until about two months ago and, for the moment, I'm without that place of meaning and passion in my life. And then Michael and I are going thru this major transition as he has moved to college. Big changes!!!
And... it's once again a time of wondering what's next. A time of wide opening and pregnant possibility.
Focused on paying attention; observing the subtle and not so subtle. For example, a couple of months ago 3 friends from 25 years ago when we all worked in Somalia contacted me. They now work for WHO and UNDP in Geneva. Then two weeks ago a student from more than 35 years ago when I taught school in Beirut contacted me. She also lives in Genea. Why? Why now? I ponder.
Dear Bill: Sorry for the delay in replying, and it is so good to hear from you. I do hope you have recovered from what sounds like a situational depression, and that life is again good for you. Last year, 2008 seemed like an almost last year to me due to illness: two bouts with pneumonia and a long (five months) attack of shingles
involving the whole left torso. My doctor calls this (2009) my convalescent year: such an old fashioned word is that word convalescent!. I, and we, are working out what is possible at the age of eighty-six (as of this
coming November!). Barbara is taking three weeks at a
clinic in Sedonah in an effort to become healed and healthy. We are all sending her energy. I also send
good spirits and energy to you, dear Bill. Blessings,Anne