Leading With the Heart is a program run by our Australian host organization OzGREEN which the Fellows participated in during their last weekend in Bellingen. The three-day workshop is a very powerful workshop, designed to get people to “lead with their heart” and take action to bring sustainability into their lives, families and communities. Our group of Fellows was joined by a diverse group of members from the local Bellingen community – bringing together a beautiful, diverse group of souls to both share their experiences and share an experience and become (as Pedro so eloquently stated) “part of the Universal family”. Antonio shares his thoughts on what for him was a very very unique experience.
The workshop Leading with the Heart is designed for adults and aims to enable participants to vision change within themselves and then act on problems that they care about and that affect them. The first day brought in the focus for the workshop: working in couples, we asked the important questions: What are our biggest concern? What affects me personally? And what is my/our greatest hope? This helped us to better understand and frame what it is that worries us most as well as fellow participants, and what it is that we all hoped to be able to change. Afterwards, each person told the story of their lives – the good things that they had done and what they are doing right now and the things that they would like to do. This helped us to develop a deeper understanding of the passions and concerns of the fellow participants within the group. We also saw a presentation called Pulse of the Planet, which talked about the state of the planet and the environment problems as they now stand, and what lies ahead for us. The presentation was very confronting and strong, however I saw that it creates a strong impact and seeing this, many people decided that they wanted to change – to make a positive contribution and to stop bad habits that were contributing to climate change and all of the environmental problems that we face.
Afterwards, we saw a video called Four Years Go! – a short clip about a movement that showed us that we can still change the world, so that our children will enjoy the wonders of this beautiful planet. Then, in a quiet time for meditation we were encouraged to think about our leaders and think about the virtues and qualities of each one and to look at how we could make these qualities manifest within ourselves.
The second day we learnt about a technique called Strategic Questioning – a very effective way to create ideas and makes these ideas grow and take ownership for them. We practiced strategic questioning in groups of three – one person asking quesions, one answering and the third taking notes. The essence of the process is that the role of the person asking the questions is not to interrupt or suggest answers, but merely to listen and provide the space that allows the person being questionned to develop their own ideas – in this way giving that person a space to talk and the chance to take ownership of what they are saying.
For me, this experience was amazing because I had the opportunity to think about quesions and come up with ideas that I have never imagined that I could. It was a wonderful experience and I wish that everyone could have the chance to have this experience as well.