By Susan Clarke. This article was first published on Susan’s blog susanbclarke.com
We launched the first Living It! September 11th, with a weekend in person at The Haven, and online sessions to follow! It’s been a year or more in the making. The initial plan, to launch a nine-month blended onsite and online Living Alive Phase I, did not make it out of the gates. However, we listened and tweaked the plans and came up with Living It!, a much shorter format, designed to give people a taste of a blended program.
I have to admit I expected a different collection of folks than the ones who arrived in the circle on the evening of the 11th. I was anticipating people who were adept and comfortable online or on computer. Not the case. In our opening circle it was clear some were newbies to the land of the internet and others spoke right up about their lack of confidence in the online part of the program.
Wow! Right at the outset we were confronted with a few challenges and some resistance to a core portion of the program!
However, living it was not called loving it – and I guess for a good reason!
We could have been discouraged or bagged the design. But no – instead we decided to make the most of just what was happening.
Truth is, I appreciated the honesty and I guess I’d be the first to admit living it for me has always had some significant elements of resistance, fear and reactivity!
So, instead of waiting for the online dates to start we built the online learning into our weekend!
What we discovered was the creativity that comes from diving into conflict, resistance and the potential of people choosing in, instead of opting out!
I loved how our computer literate members stepped up and partnered with those who were uncertain or new to Skype. Frankly, the lessons offered were way more patient and relational than I would provided if I had tried to get everyone up to speed myself.
I also loved that the people resistant or new, jumped in, even with fear and doubts. I found each courageous and developing computer chops much faster than I ever did!
One of our evening groups was done via Skype and the evening was filled with laughter, failure and a coming together (literally –six folks cuddled very closely together so they could be seen by others on the Skype screen, with Toby and I running between other rooms trying to invite, accept and add everyone to the party!). Yes, it was quite rich!
We also took full advantage of the circle and our time together in person to revisit and refresh some of the core models and bring them to life with breath and energy! I loved the commitment and willingness that folks had in stepping forward and sharing, listening and relating!
We weren’t certain how Living It! was going to go. It wasn’t, and isn’t, a set format. However, I am thrilled to be a part of the pioneer program and enjoying all those folks along for the ride!
If nothing else we all know now that indeed you can be personal, relate, laugh and learn online AND in person!
Indeed we are Living It! Thanks guys for making it happen and making it real!