When we convened at our gathering point just one week later, there was lots of excitement and even nervousness. Ideas had already started percolating and taking shape around four opportunities. As we formed our Community Circle, we started sharing how we felt and what each person had experienced during the first week apart from each other.
There had been some challenges throughout the week for some of the group members. What helped see them through their challenges was the new support system in place from their new family members. As Lundi mentioned it was different now, it was okay to talk and to ask for help. They had not anticipated that the daily messages and texts they had been receiving would be so helpful.
As we talked about next steps, the group relaxed more and the ideas started to flow. Catherine wanted to create a sewing business; a number of other women thought about a handbag business. Another group had created a detailed plan around a silkscreen business. They had even approached some of the local schools to see if they would support a local business rather than their current practice of buying products from outside the community. One of the group had put together a model for buying and selling fruits and vegetables and wanted help to produce their own vegetables and fruits locally.
Other members of the group listened in surprise as the ideas were shared. A buzz started in the room as they started adding ideas to what was being shared. We closed our meeting setting up a time each Wednesday for the group to come together. Lionel will facilitate the gatherings as well us setting up our daily messages and a monthly video conference meeting with me.
Watch for our next posting Iziko Labahlali 2 One Month Later
As we started the final day of Iziko Labahlali 2, Nini, Lionel and I looked at each other as we prepared for the day with a sense of emotion and tears in our eyes knowing that today we would say goodbye to the group for a bit while they took their next steps.
As we do everyday in the program, we began with our Community Circle. The sharing about “Homework” was wonderful and so powerful as each person shared their experiences. They got it! As we started the morning session, we created hand maps talking about the five people who currently act or have acted as a support or mentor for us in our lives so far. We then turned our focus on the five people each of us would like to mentor and support going forward. It was so amazing to listen to the passion and commitment to really embracing the people around us. We focused on looking at what we would like the future to become and how we could mold our circumstances.
To support our look into the future, we took the next step in completing our Rivers of Life and creating our body Images depicting who we had become and what we would like to become.
As our time together drew to a close, we created a plan for the group to continue communicating and interacting on a regular basis, with Lionel facilitating a weekly meeting. An exciting and emotional day!
Be a Part of the Change!
Coming back to the group after their first evening of homework was both inspiring and highly challenging. Some experienced remarkable results and others felt they wanted more time to create the experiences they wanted through homework.
As we stood arm in arm in our Community Circle with our family there were tears, there was laughter and even amazement at the experiences members of the group shared about their “Homework” experiences. We all agreed we would do homework again tonight to support each person in our family. By doing so, they could create the experience they wanted simply by doing “Homework”.
In the morning of the third day of our expedition into our lives, we learned about balance. We learned more about drilling down into our goals to understand ‘baby steps’. We learned about the importance and significance of understanding the smaller goals and steps beneath our greater goals so that we would be able to fully support and accomplish those goals .
At lunch that day, we were visited by all of the members of the founding Iziko Labahlali group. This first group talked about what they had accomplished in the past 7 months, how they had grown as individuals and as a family and how they had embraced more and more members of the community with their experiences and actions to create the results they had. They talked about next steps and their vision of their families and the community as a whole. Out current group watched and listened and then shared lunch with each other to talk and share one on one.
That afternoon we drilled down into the needs in the community. We started mapping existing skills and matching competencies to the real needs within the community. The focus shifted from instant gratification and merely jobs, to community needs, the future and the creativity around taking control of those needs and how they are provided and met.
We closed our day with a few more people sharing the Rivers of Life and the experiences around them. There was an exciting and silly, happy anticipation of getting to do “Homework”, as well as starting to explore their affirmations with a new and renewed sense of themselves.
Watch for our next posting Iziko Labahlali 2 – Day 4
Be a Part of the Change!
The group arrived excited from their first day’s experience. The energy was almost electric as we formed out Community Circle and shared our experience from the night before and what we learned in our first day.
In our second day, we continued to build trust. We started the process of building belief in self and the ability to create what we wanted through focus, tenacity and disciplined thinking. As we continued our journey, we learned how to create energy through goal setting, individually and as a group,
We started to learn about skills and the difference between skills and qualifications. Individuals surprised themselves as they explored their skills and competencies as a group.
Later in the day, we moved into support for our goals. We do this through intentions and affirmations. We stress the importance of living in the now and being able to hear, see and feel ourselves as being where we want to be. This allows us to create growth, awareness and a new way of looking at the world around us to see who and what is really there.
As the day progressed, real bonds of support started to appear among the group. They helped each other communicate and articulate difficult and life experiences to create learning, acceptance and ownership of what had shaped them into the person they had become up to this moment in time. A sense of relief and pure emotion developed as people started to understand that ALL of their experiences in fact had enabled and equipped them to take control of their lives and to start driving the bus instead of taking a ride in a runaway vehicle. The feedback came in the form of questions, rather than statements of fact, allowing the individuals to find and own their own answers.
We closed the day taking a sneak peak into what the future could be and shared more of the stories crafted and embedded into our Rivers of Life as we prepared for “Homework”. We went our separate ways with the challenge of communicating only with our eyes, hearts and smiles – and no words.
Watch for our next posting Iziko Labahlali 2 – Day 3