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Strengthening What Matters Most To Us

At All Island Forum meetings we take the questions, What’s like it for you? What’s it like for me?, as purposeful leverage points to grow our capacity and health in community. In 2017, AIF has been convening almost monthly since the maelstrom hit us hard in pre-inauguration and continues as the resistance digs in for the long-haul.

AIF’s meeting flow follows a pattern of raising seed questions and pausing to sense into our responses through a variety of methods. We’ve continued to use mapping— a process of standing on a continuum numbered from 1-10. We find the spot that best represents one’s own measurement to the question being asked. Everyone does this at the same time, so we get to see how we individually fit inside the bigger picture of the group. We often mention what drove us to choose a particular point on the scale.

We also use simple reflections to help us become present in our body. From a grounded place we may come up with a few words— often contradictory seeming, to describe our inner feeling state about the topic. These we share respectfully round the circle, creating a kind of “word salad”, tossing the group response into one big nutritious feast of witnessing ourselves.

Last meeting we used the mapping questions, “What is your current level of stamina/energy in the resistance?” and, “What is your current level of hope for making a real difference?” For one example, I was surprised to find that my energy level felt about a 4, meaning I have some energy but that I wish to boost my activity in the resistance. My hope level was actually about an 8, because deep down I feel that hope and prayer is all we really have to keep us going.

Some seed questions for “Looking Out for Each Other in the Resistance”, the June 1, 7-9pm meeting at Vashon Library, include:
• What is my internal experience with all that is coming at me? What thoughts prevail in my mind? What feelings come up for me? What is my story as the months roll on?
• How am I dealing with important family and friend relationships that are impacted by what’s unfolding?
• What happens in me as I listen to you, your thoughts and feelings, your story?
• In my communities (small and large), where and how am I moved to act?
• What are my strengths in this resistance? What do I want to accomplish?
• What is my niche in all that needs to be done? How can I better align my actions with what I want?
• How do I read my own energy and resilience right now? What do I need from others to continue in my efforts?What will help me to sustain my efforts over the long run?
All Island Forum is committed to offer monthly meetings to continue this community conversation. Beyond June 1, we have dates slated for July 13 and August 10. These meetings are open to everyone— each time is different and reflects the needs and thoughts of the group that gathers. Our’s is a unique time of individual, collective and community uprising. What’s your story, we’d like to listen.