Inclusive Leaders Transform Scary Times into Caring Times

Submitted by Claudia Sánchez

“In these times of turbulence, inclusion is a door we can open to support each other and live better lives.”

I am a Spanish-English translator and yoga teacher, working on my Master’s thesis in communication. I love languages, books, meditation, thunderstorms, learning about different cultures and travelling. I have had opportunities to travel to some countries and to be able to learn about cultures different than the cultures of me, my friends and family. I am able to adapt, listen and wait.

After five years in Argentina, I am moving back to Bogotá, Colombia. I am intentionally imagining the communities I want to live in when I go back. I am drawing on my practices in Nonviolent Communication and yoga that have given me tools to shift from right-wrong dichotomies. As I dream about facilitating workshops that share my experiences and gifts with other people, I am wanting to have more skills, especially in non-violent communication.

I want to be open, courageous and skilled to deal with my own feelings about what scares me about the differences that I might not understand. One of my dreams is to humanize work environments. Another dream is to become strong enough to be part of building peace and understanding in my family, neighbourhood, city and country.

I first learned about the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative when I read about one of the founders, Raj Gill, while reading a book called “The Empathy Factor”. I found out that their annual Inclusive Leadership Gathering was taking place on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada in September 2018, not too far from Gabriola where I have been living.

I went to the weekend and admired how I felt welcomed in so many ways by many of the people there. Now here I am participating in “Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential” online. I feel gratitude for the community we are co-creating and have really enjoyed the journaling, writing and reflecting activities in this course. I feel so attracted to Anti-discrimination First Aid and Skills for Connecting with Differences, especially the skill of relaxing.

I think compassionate listening is a seed that will clean the world from madness. Compassionate listening will help people (and me) to remember how to connect with our own compassion and willingness to make this world a better place even under difficult circumstances. I do not consider this world as a safe place and I see the waves of violence, corruption, self-disconnection and pain. I am thinking that in Bogotá, Colombia we all live with our sympathetic systems ON most of the time. No wonder we have hard times there. No wonder some of us decided to leave.

In these times of turbulence, inclusion is a door we can open to support each other and live better lives. In fact, I think these skills are all like doors that will enhance all my dreams and projects and the way I want to live on Earth. I am slowing down to open the doors to myself; to be more receptive and be able to see the wisdom that life is giving us if we give it time. The outcomes are long term relationships, sustainability, trust, communication and love.

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