Sophy Banks on bringing that ‘being on holiday’ feeling into busy working life
By rob hopkins 11th September 2013
Today we have a guest post from Sophy Banks, as many of us return to work after a sun-soaked summer, on how to bring a balance of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ into that return to work, and also hear about a forthcoming training that will explore that balance in the wider work of Transition.
Here we are in September and I’m having a familiar experience. After the quiet of August and time relaxing in the summer sun, the start of September brings a flurry of Transition meetings and I feel like a runner accelerating out of the starting blocks as Transition Network ramps back up to its normal speed of working.
Back in July Rob interviewed me about The Power of Not Doing Stuff – the need to balance action with stillness, giving out with receiving back. Thinking back to that conversation I wonder how many people in how many places have a similar return to the busyness of Transition at this time of year?
As we transition from one state to another, opportunities arise to bring the wisdom of both kinds of energy together. So if like me you’re starting to get busy, maybe this is a good time to think about how to bring the quality of rest or spaciousness into the productive or speedy parts of our lives. Some questions I’ve been asking, both to myself or in groups, are things like:
- How would meetings, events or conversations look if there was more balance between getting stuff done and reflection or spaciousness? Would that be a good thing?
- How can we balance the urgency and scale of the challenges with respecting our own needs and limitations?
- How sustainable are we, individually or as a group, with our current level of activity? And if we’re not, what would it take to reach that place?
Transition Network has been on quite a journey itself around finding balance between the qualities of “doing” and “being”. We have regular “Being” meetings for staff where we don’t do any business, rather we give time to reflecting on and strengthening the organisational culture and the levels of trust between us. A number of staff have commented on how unusual and special it feels to be part of an organisation that values this use of time.
One of the consequences has been to help us navigate the potentially stormy waters of restructuring the organisation in the past year or so. I believe our previous experience in looking at how we are together, and then attending to the process of change as it happened, turned something which could have brought us into difficulty or conflict, into a process which brought us closer together and made the organisation stronger.
On September 21 / 22 I’ll be running a two day workshop in London which looks at many aspects of how we can create sustainable and sustaining ways of being and working as individuals and groups. We’ll consider questions like – if we include something of Inner Transition in a Transition initiative what might that look like? And what stories and learning can we share from our experience? We’ll also look at our personal well being and spend time doing things that are recharging and revitalising.
The previous courses have sold out, and brought together groups with stories and questions from many different countries and projects – so book soon if you’d like to be part of it. Here are some comments from previous participants:
“A wonderful mix of theory and practice, shared with wonderful people at a nice place”
“Recharged my batteries”
“It gave me ideas on how to begin the inner transition process for myself, in my initiative and at the regional level”