Individual awareness and individuation cannot be separated from community awareness and the solution to social issues. Consciousness means being aware of the various parts of yourself as an interacting part of a larger community - Arnold Mindell
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Turning Forward is a global consulting, development and research practice. I have been active in the field of care and suport with people with diverse complex needs for over 35 years, working, consulting and teaching in different cultures around the world. I work with people, leaders and teams using a whole-person approach to access personal visions of participants expressing the spirit of the organisation, its direction and its dance with the spirit of the times.
These days we are inundated with news of many problems that face us as people, nations, communities and our planet. Many leaders and practitioners in people-organisations are working hard to implement inspiring ideals, plans and dreams, and can also feel exhausted and confused by complex tensions: goals, pressures and plans, external requirements, conflicts in relationships and teams, and a yearning to bring practice closer together with personal and collective meaning and inspiration.
Whether a worker in a non-profit or a leader of a big multi-national corporation, we all seem to get stuck in the same places
This struggle seems to be present for people in places of seeming peace and plenty as well as those living with hunger and thirst, in civil and global conflict, and epidemics. Amazingly, I meet many people who are also thriving in their situation - however challenging - gaining energy and direction from a sense of aliveness and being with the right people, in the right spot and at the right time. I learn from their zest for life, generosity of spirit, curiosity to learn and ability to create a good atmosphere while doing difficult things, making hard decisions, and getting the job done. I am learning that while the idea of conflict is for many of us terrifying, willingness to engage in the tension with awareness can also be the quickest route to community.
History is the story of the struggle between difference and sameness, diversity and oneness
The way forward through tensions and difficulties can become easier to navigate and enjoy when we believe in our experiences as meaningful, when the hidden gem within a difficulty is found, felt and shared for a moment; when we embrace contradictions as nature's way; when we remember to see each other in our wholeness from time to time and learn to befriend our endless capacity as humans to make a mess, and clean it up.
Turn yourself and the world turns
Awareness is needed to bring democracy’s most cherished ideals to life both in the private and political arenas. Laws can be passed to outlaw racism … yet if our hearts and minds are not changed as well, and we are not aware of the subtle ways in which we influence one another in our moment-to-moment interactions, then even the best laws can only cover over deep seated conflicts and wounds
Field-effect - self-organising principle
I and the world are one
Bringing more relatedness between the different and disparate parts of ourselves, our teams, the organisation and the whole system can bring relief, energy and improved results. The key is to use awareness to support the parts to relate better to one another. Rather than thinking only of solving the problem out there, the drama out there exists inside me as well. Think and feel into the relationship between the different parts and facilitate them to get to know each other - inside and outside.
Democracy is our attempt to make equal power, equal rights. This is important. We also need a deeper democracy, the civil right to dream, to discover our deepest self, have the courage to bring it out in public in ways that are helpful. Deep democracy means using all levels and appreciating the self-organising field atmosphere in the background that we take part in and that partially organises who we are and how we function. A system mind. Sometimes I am me, and you are not me. Sometimes I am you and you are me. And sometimes we are one - the tree before it was a tree, the song before it was sung...
The world is here to help us become our entire selves, and we are here to help the world become whole
Facilitation, coaching, conflict work
Deep Democracy facilitation and coaching methods are applicable to individuals, teams, whole organisations and large groups who want to bring more relatedness between the different parts of our own experience and the situations and systems we are part of. We can learn to be more fluid and relaxed in moving between these levels, noticing inner and outer feedback signals, while noticing and appreciating the background atmosphere that partially organises our interactions and communication. Leaders, practitioners, service-users and teams can become more confident in accessing innate resources and strengths that are a perfect fit for steering the course through practical realities, relationships, and motivations, with greater ease, effectiveness and joy. Following the pathways of these different dimensions in the inner and outer landscape within an overall direction can be like moving with the help of the wind behind you in a more friendly, encouraging atmosphere to get where you want to go.
Turning Forward offers multi-dimensional:
Nowadays, in organisational transformation, personal and professional development are inseparable
My involvement in educational institutes, human service organisations and in self-powered therapeutic communities has led to the Transform and Empower qualification program designed for people in involved in the field of care. This is an internationally accredited flexible learning, inter-disciplinary qualification. It focuses on self determination, relationships and community building as the core of enhancing quality of life. The essence of this action-learning approach is to become more confident and able in being side by side with people requiring assistance, with an attitude of mutual appreciation as co-contributors and co-creators of diverse, innovative communities. We all have strengths and gifts that are needed.
Different perspectives of practitioners, facilitators, specialists, leaders, users of services and family members, service providers and citizens who may have diverse abilities, interests and ways of communicating enrich the learning process.
Turning Forward offers learning paths and trainings in:
Support me, with what is most important TO me,
don't assume you know what is best FOR me
Often in human service contexts, quality of life of people who rely on services and supports is measured according to organisational inputs and services. Do we really know the impact and relevance of our good efforts from the perspective of the person's view of his or her own life priorities, independent of what the service offers?
We use and train in the use of the Personal Outcome Measures® tool, for discovering, facilitating and measuring the responsiveness of services and systems to the person's own view of what is most important in his or her life. The tool can be used to assess one individual's personal definition and satisfaction level of their quality of life, using a series of categories of meaningful life areas that are universally shared by human beings generally. The data generated from people can also be aggregated across a whole organisation or system through statistically reliable sampling.
Turning Forward offers:
We stand on the shoulders of many people whose influence is present in Turning Forward approaches:
Welcome, and thank you for visiting. Your feedback, requests and insights are very welcome!