Our next newcomer orientation is September 24th, mark your calendars to catch the start of Season 8 in October.
Today I wrote in a casual social media post that within Intentional Society we aim “to grow our awareness, capacity, and integrity” and I noticed that it felt like another subtle but helpful evolution of the core message that IS stands for.
In December of 2020 I wrote “starts with awareness and intention” as to the “how” of growth in the face of personal, relational, and societal ills. I think “awareness” stuck around very practically while “intention” was better as a broad thematic word that ties together several things (e.g. “accepting and holding” and “fluid non-coercive motion”) that needed more teasing apart.
In September of 2021 I harvested “awareness, acceptance, and authenticity” from a brainstormed list of IS community values (which has lived in the Orientation Call slides since then). It seem accurate to view that shift as a breakdown of “intention” into component parts “acceptance” and “authenticity.”
After playing with a slash-combo “authenticity/wholeness” for a while, I found myself drawn to the word “integrity” as an upgrade in communicating the intended meaning. The update to “awareness, acceptance, and integrity” is in our current Season 7 membership agreement as our list of core values.
But what are these words, anyway? Are they our values? Are they our theory of change? Are they our purpose or mission? Desired attributes?
‘Cause “capacity” doesn’t feel like a “values” word, but it does feel more right and true than “acceptance” when orientated to desired outcomes. We don’t want acceptance for its own sake as a terminal goal - enlightenment isn’t becoming a vegetable that doesn’t respond to anything. But acceptance is, counterintuitively, a fantastic technique for being more able to respond more freely… with more capacity to utilize our full capability.
Thus I intend to lean in to this word, capacity. It represents excellently the “spaciousness/bigness” aspect of “becoming the people we want to be”, the “ability to hold and be with” aspect of embodied acceptance, and points more directly at the ideal state-of-being outcome.
Maybe “awareness” needs a similar pairing/treatment. Maybe there’s a whole paired-set-of-3 from practices to skills to outcomes. It would be pleasingly elegant. I don’t have it yet. Feel free to make suggestions. Here’s as close as I can get at the moment:
Oh trying welcoming as “the practice of acceptance” feels like a great fit too. To be continued…