Posts tagged: building community

GRASSROOTS GREENING: PLANTING GROWS COMMUNITY

By , May 7, 2009 12:13 pm

The “One Small Thing” method of Creative Edge Focusing (TM) helps organizations find that one small step people will take to become motivated and engaged. Building Community through Listening/Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams  is an easy outgrowth of these first collaborative efforts. Below is an example of the “one small thing” that turned a traffic lane into a green and walkable neighborhood.

“Grassroots Greening —  Two Bike Lanes, 3 Miles of Green Space, and a Hundred New Friends: How One Woman Transformed a Neighborhood” (Sunset magazine, May 2009, pp.46-49) tells how Gillian Gillett, who bought a home on a busy intersection and six-lane thoroughfare in San Francisco, created a neighborhood community by starting with “one small thing” — she collected 300 signatures on a traffic calming petition” needed by the city to consider safety improvements. “While the traffic slowed down (the speed limit was reduced from 40 to 25), her plan to make her neighborhood more people-friendly sped up.”

By Fall of 2004, Gillett had received a $75,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for neighborhood revitalization. She got bike lanes added and traffic lanes reduced from six to four. She got a traffic light installed. Now she and others could cross the street to the nearby hospital! This “one small step” now allowed the area to become a walkable “neighborhood.”

Gillett and her husband found themselves now the core of a group of activists, including neighbors, schools, and merchants, all suddenly seeing themselves as part of this neighborhood. Gillett and her husband Jeff Goldberg started looking for the next step in building a community. Research and canvassing pointed in the same direction: planting trees, plants, greening a neighborhood builds a community.

They got permission to plant the highway median, the only greenspace available. At the same time, the mayor of San Francisco got on board, proclaiming that 5000 trees a year be planted in SF and appointing a “green czar” to help it happen.

The first planting, of two blocks of median, had 126 participants. The next, 400.  “We do the plantings as a block party with a band and food and participation of local merchants, “Gillett explains. “Before this project, traffic was so heavy that people didn’t really know their neighbors. It’s really contributing to the resiliency of the neighborhood.”

And another quote from the article: “This project connected me to the neighborhood,” Gillett says of her now seven-year quest to improve not only her own block but her entire community. “This was never about plants. It was about making a neighborhood I could walk in. Drivers in their cars think of this road as a way to get to the highway. We think of it as home.”

The article ends with a listing “Green in the hood” community-based greening projects around the West : Seattle’s www.groundswellnw.org , Portland’s www.cityrepair.org , LA’s www.laguerrillagardening.org  , national urban forestry support at www.treelink.org/nucfac , and Gillett’s organization, www.sanjosequerrero.com .

See the article, at www.sunset.com , for details.

You can share your own experiences of being the “first” in your neighborhood with greening at [email protected].

See Empowerment Organization at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) for more examples and “The One Small Thing” Focusing exercise.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING AND BUSINESS: BUILDING COMMUNITY AT WORK

By , January 30, 2009 12:14 pm

In Creative Edge Organizations, everyone learns Intuitive Focusing ( PDF: Focusing Intuitivo: Destreza Basica) to access the intuitive, right-brain Creative Edge of their thinking and problem solving, and everyone learns Focused Listening ( PDF: Destreza Basica: Escucha Focalizada)to help others articulate from the Creative Edge and to hear deeply the views of another instead of arguing.

The exchange of Listening/Focusing Partnership turns leads, not only to creative, innovative problem solving, but also to feelings of “buy in,” “loyalty,” and “collegiality.” The workplace becomes a community,  encouraging diversity and creativity rather than competition and backbiting.

Here is part of my recent article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community“:

“— Businesses and Organizations ARE Communities

 

Doing my own Thinking At The Edge (TAE) process, I realized that businesses and organizations ARE communities. By their nature, coworkers are “trapped” in a face-to-face, interdependent situation which they cannot leave.

 

Some absolute essentials for workers:

 

• learning to work out their interpersonal conflicts

• having a successful model for making and implementing group decisions

• having a model for creative, innovative thinking and problem solving and for

 communication between themselves and their clients.

• For co-workers: the ability to work in teams, tolerate their diversity, and make

 the most of their “differing gifts.”

 

Businesses cannot afford the constant turnover and need for retraining that comes from irresolvable conflicts.

 

 The model I developed for Focusing Communities, articulated in the Focusing in Community manual (1981, 2007), included all of these things: not just Focusing Alone for creative problem solving, but also Focusing Partnerships in the context of Focusing Groups or Teams, Interpersonal Focusing for resolving conflicts, and Collaborative Focusing-Oriented Decision Making for task-oriented groups. Here was a “package” of skills and methods that could be brought into businesses and organizations.

 

At about this time, I gathered up some books at a kiosk at the Northwest Regional Airport near Bentonville, Arkansas — home of mega-business giant WalMart. Everyone who is a vendor for WalMart passes through that airport, so it seemed to me that the books sold there would be cutting edge —” 

 

Read the entire article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community in the 30th Anniversary Tribute Focusing Folio online at The Focusing Institute.

 

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

 

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

INTEREST AREA: BUILDING COMMUNITY — SUPPORT GROUPS EVERYWHERE!!!

By , June 16, 2008 2:10 pm

Interest Areas: Seven Places To Start Practice Groups !!!

The Interest Areas under “Is This You” at The Creative Edge Focusing website (www.cefocusing.com ) give the First Ten Steps you might take to bring the model of Listening/Focusing into seven whole different areas of living: Organizations, Support Groups and Communities, Relationships, Parenting, Education, Spiritual Communities, and Helping Professions (psychotherapy, counselling, medicine, body work, etc.).

In the next e-newsletters, I will introduce you to each of these Interest Areas and possible First Steps so that you might start a Listening/Focusing practice group in any of these areas.

INTEREST AREA: BUILDING SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY AT HOME, IN THE COMMUNITY, AND AT WORK

The Building Supportive Community Project brings the Creative Edge Focusing TM Model, with its two Core Skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and seven Applied Methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid, into existing support groups and communities, as well as starting new Focusing Communities.

Some applications are 12-Step Groups, Support Groups, Community Mental Health , Religious and Spiritual Communities, Hospitals , Prisons , Schools , Conflict Resolution, Participatory Democracy , and Collaborative Work Groups and Collectives. See (PDF file) Focusing and Twelve Step by Steve Crawford and Focusing Recovery by Suzanne Noel for an integration of Gendlin’s Focusing theory and the 12-Steps.

What Is Community?

Community means a felt-experience of interconnection and mutual support as well as the capacity to work together toward a common cause. In a community everyone can belong, respected for their uniqueness or their role but working toward the common good. For community to work, people need ways to respect and to capitalize on differences and to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Community can be built starting with people who initially come together for mutual emotional support, as in a support group. That experience of sharing can build outward into an actual community which can organize toward a common goal, for instance, advocacy.

Or, community can be built starting with people who initially come together to accomplish a shared goal, as in a grass-roots campaign or a non-profit or for-profit organization. The good feelings created through collaboration can end up having also created feelings of mutual care and supportive community.

Dr. McGuire’s manual (download a Sample Chapter, English or Spanish,  in our Store) , Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group (in Spanish, Focusing en Comunidad: Como Empezar un Grupo de Apoyo de Escocha Y Focusing) teaches the basic skills needed. Audio and video tapes and phone sessions and workshops enhance this learning. The Creative Edge e-discussion/support group connects you with other people throughout the world who belong to Focusing Communities. Find contact links below.

See the free article The Focusing Community for a full description of the model.

Support Groups/ Twelve-Step Groups

The Listening/Focusing peer counseling model for building community starts at the emotional support end. The exchange of Listening/Focusing turns in Focusing Partnerships provides the empathic glue that bonds people together and motivates them to want to take care of each other, individually and in terms of uniting around a shared goal.

In a support group, usually around a particular topic like divorce, cancer, adoption, addiction, grief, we have the opportunity of discovering that we are not alone. Others have had similar experiences. They are interested, also, in hearing our own unique story, in all of its detail. Pooling all that we have learned, we can solve our problems. Support groups are places for powerful bonding because of this shared experience.

The Listening/Focusing exchange in Focusing Groups/Teams and Focusing Communities can be as powerful as psychotherapy in terms of healing and moving forward, yet it is safe, self-empowering, and inexpensive. These are bonuses to support group participation too good to pass up!( See More on Focusing in Support Groups.)

Community Mental Health

The Focusing in Community model can also be applied as a grass-roots method for integrating mental health care, as a peer counseling method, into communities.
See APPLICATION: Community Mental Health

Creative Edge Organizations Are Communities

In addition to incorporating Creative Edge Focusing into emotional support groups , building supportive community can start with groups who come together to accomplish a common task. The Creative Edge Organization model can be used for motivation from the bottom up. The Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method (PDF file to download, English or Spanish), with components of Shared Leadership, Coordinated Collaboration, and Creative Edge Impasse Resolution, grounds power and responsibility for decision making in each individual. See More on Task-Oriented Community Building.

Starting either with emotional support groups or collaborative work situations, by teaching the two simple skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and the seven applied methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid, you can strengthen community through
—the personal, creative, and spiritual growth of each member
—the relational aspects of mutual care and conflict resolution
—the task-oriented level of problem-solving, group decision-making, and concerted action toward a goal.

Click here to visit the Building Supportive Community Interest Area and scroll down to find the Ten First Steps For Bringing Listening/Focusing into Support Groups, Community Mental Health, and Task-Oriented Settings

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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