I got some great feedback this week.
I came into the city this week to substitute for Ryan while he went to EXALT with Alex in Puerto Rico. I came to ALC NYC as I usually do. I came in stoked.
I come to the city excited to see people that I love and excited to play with them in the heliotropicaly magic/honest sandbox of ALCNYC, in the weird/awesome playground of NYC. And the possibilities that I see with these playmates, in this sandbox, in this playground fill me with an ecstatic stokedness.
There’s this pattern I notice in a lot of successful instances of Agile Learning Facilitation where I share a possibility I see for someone, and it resonates with them, and then becomes a reality.
There’s another pattern of Agile Learning Facilitation, especially in my ALF style, where I share a possibility I see for someone with so much energy that it only sorta resonates with them, and then weirdly moves forward sorta, and then falls flat.
This happens when I try to make things happen, which I often want to do because I really, really want these amazing things to happen! Like, really bad, and I just know, like, I totally know in my heart, that IF they happen, the results will be amazing, and opening, and growthy, and learnglorious, and what and what.
That’s not to say that I have not had instances where I used a bunch of expressive energy to poke someone out of a comfort zone and into trying something that ended up working out beautifully, and/but those few instances are definitely the exceptions that make the rule.
My stoke’s a good thing. Seeing possibilities, and fostering connections is a primary service of an ALF. Doing it in the context of a healthy, loving, and mutualistic relationship is the what really works, and if I want people to move deeply into possibilities, then I have to hone the energy with which I hold and present those possibilities, so that there’s space for the person to make the choice themselves.
Thanos helped me see that this week. I was so excited to see him and have adventures in the city in support of some of his interests that I wasn’t fully present to checking in with him first, which didn’t fully respect him as a partner in making those choices. He expressed his feelings about the situation in a way that would make long-time NVC (non-violent communication) practitioners feel jealous and incompetent. Javair facilitated the conversation with gentleness, firmness, and curiosity. It all unfolded as easily as morning comes, and I felt so happy to find myself in a place where a communication like that could exist. If only, if only, if only the world were full of more people with such self-knowledge, such compassion, and such commitment to honesty and openness in relationship.
I won’t rephrase it as well as Thanos said it, but…
Look, you come to the city with all this excitement and energy! Like: “I’m a Bear! I’m in the City! I’m going to be a Bear in the City! Come be a Bear with me!” And I want to, but, I live here, and I don’t always feel like going out and doing stuff, and I don’t want to disappoint you, because I’m a people people pleaser. Like, you push, and I’m a pushover, and it’s tough because I know that the things you want me to do are probably really good for me and that I’ll probably really like them, but I just don’t feel like it when you come in that way. so it’s confusing.
Then we had a conversation about how I could communicate about possibilities that would feel better for Thanos and make it more likely that he would act.
That’s a snapshot of my week. Other magical stuff happened too.