Online Heart to Heart Cafe

Submitted by Harriet Greenwood

global-villageMore and more opportunities to learn and practice Inclusive Leadership skills online are becoming available to everyone in our Global Village! Click here for more information. By connecting online, we are fulfilling the needs of Inclusive Leaders around the world to stay connected and inspired.

Our second Inclusive Leadership Online Heart to Heart Cafe August 12, 2017 was another wonderful experience of deep sharing and listening. We all took another step toward building an international community of Inclusive Leaders. Our eight participants were from:

  • four from the original ILC heartland of BC, Canada
  • two more Canadian Provinces: Ontario and Quebec.
  • I am from England
  • Our newest participant, Joshua Amponsem is from Ghana where he teaches about climate change, diversity, inclusion and the Earth Charter.

We began by meditating on our breath, which connects us all to all life since life began; feeling gratitude to the plants which give us oxygen and recycle our carbon dioxide. We appreciated the gifts of compassionate communication firmly rooted in the real and natural diverse world and settled into our space of relaxing around difference.

Here are four topics that recurred and echoed through our conversation:

Depression: Its okay to feel what you feel. As carers of our communities and our extended families, we need to acknowledge our own pain, grief and loss. We shared about being open about the struggle to stay connected and active when you want to crawl under the covers. We affirmed the importance and effectiveness of getting out in nature as part of our journeys through self doubt and depression. If the opposite of hurt is numbness perhaps it is preferable to feel the hurt…… especially if there is a lake, an ocean or other water to cleanse, and absorb and renew.

The healing power of water: In swimming, if you are being pulled down or out to sea you need to go with it or to the side rather than fighting it. The healing power of water, seas lakes and rivers connect us all, as does our breath. Being land creatures can give us a false sense of separation.

What do peaceful people do when our serenity is disrupted by disharmony? When the responses of others do not echo or honour kindness, honesty, and being okay with ourselves, we can stand firm by connecting with other Inclusive Leaders.

Exclusive versus Inclusive Masculinity: We shared about gender fluidity and gender reconciliation. As with all diversity, exclusion is never the answer. It may be a strategy in the short term or on a particular subject but it is never the solution. As the Earth Charter says, “Together we can forge inclusive solutions.”

Our next Inclusive Leadership Online Heart to Heart Cafe is coming up Saturday, September 23. Everyone who identifies as an Inclusive Leader is welcome! Click here for details.