Generating New Fields of Awareness: The Neuropsychology of Change

April 6-9, 2021 Daily from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm PT Mary Gelinas, Ed.D. and David Sibbet have been working together for several years on neuropsychology & change, co-facilitating eight GLEN Exchanges in 2018-19. This workshop integrates all this experience with new thinking from Mary’s work with Alan Briskin on fields and David’s visual facilitation experience. It will be offered to general public now as well as to GLEN members with a 50% discount. The … Read more…

Break Apart or Build Bridges

john a. powell, professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, made the astute observation that in times of stress, societies either break apart or build bridges. In addition to the stress from accelerating changes in globalization, technology, environment, and demographics, we now add a global pandemic and an economic free fall. All of this is hard for the human brain to process. Because the brain evolved to keep us safe, it … Read more…

A Series of Small Acts

These past few days, I have been waking up to a jumpy body and an overall sense of “How am I going to get it all done?” It seems that life has a way of constellating all the “yeses” I have offered over a long period of time into lots of activity in a short period of time.  As I sat meditating, I reached for a copy of Tao Te Ching and read these passages: … Read more…

Courageous Conversation Practices

“A difficult conversation is anything you find it hard to talk about…difficult conversations are a part of life.” —Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen in “Difficult Conversations” What difficult conversations do you typically avoid? How do you talk yourself out of speaking up? What makes difficult conversations difficult for you? During our annual Cascadia Center for Leadership program, we ask the 28 participants how they respond to these questions. Over the 20 years we … Read more…

Sussing Out Our Sense of Superiority

Our judging brains are powerful things. Within nanoseconds of seeing or meeting someone, we decide whether or not we like them. We are attracted or repulsed. My meditation practice, in addition to my intention to treat others respectfully, helps me notice the train of judgments that seems to spontaneously arise when I meet someone new or when I encounter someone whom I already know. Thankfully, I can now more easily notice the judgments and step … Read more…

Say What You Mean—Do What You Say

We are receiving more requests to facilitate “difficult conversations” this year than in previous ones. We don’t know the cause. Perhaps it’s the national political climate that has people more on edge. One common denominator in many of these conflicts is people NOT saying what they mean or doing what they said they would do. According to Angeles Arrien, these are two major sources of conflict. In her bestselling book The Four-Fold Way: Walking the … Read more…

Spaciousness of “Negative Capability”

John Keats, English Romantic Poet, wrote about “negative capability” in a letter to his brothers George and Thomas in 1871 when he was 22 years old. I read this letter nearly a century later when I was 22, an undergraduate majoring in English literature. I understand this oxymoronically-named ability today in ways I could not have then. As circumstances at work and in our lives become ever more complex, negative capability might be one of … Read more…

Shifting from Pieces and Parts to Wholes

When tackling a problem, it’s easier to analyze its pieces and parts and try to solve them one by one than it is to try and understand the whole situation or system. However, this approach rarely works because analyzing the parts does not help us understand how the system in which the problem is embedded works nor how it keeps the problem you want to solve in place. Systems thinking, on the other hand, seeks … Read more…

Systems Thinking for an Interconnected World

Are you trying to tackle a problem that, despite everyone’s best efforts, does not go away? Are you trying to optimize your part of an organization without considering the impact on the system as a whole because it seems too complicated or too effortful to do otherwise? Are you afraid your short-term efforts might undermine your intention to solve a problem in the long-term? Are a number of groups working on the same issue at … Read more…

Surrendering Certainty

Life is a constant journey exploring the unknown. Despite our best attempts to hang onto certainty with plans, to-do lists, beliefs, and opinions, life remains impermanent, every changing and unpredictable. It seems to be even more so in this increasingly complex and interconnected world in which differences of all types present themselves to us every day at work, in the media, and in our communities. And, differences create disturbance. We have a choice. We can … Read more…