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The Pause

WOVEN has spent the last few months in a period of reflection, finding moments of stillness as well as inward-focused generative work. We believe these periods are necessary for attunement to our vision, our community, and each other. This allows us to create momentum from a place of authenticity and abundance, rather than the social conditioning that prioritizes “productivity” over all else. The viewpoint of productivity as the measure of worth is inherently patriarchal and dominating. As an organization we consciously choose to look instead to natural processes: the wild, free, elemental. In nature the cycle of growth, decay, and regrowth is the fundamental organizing principle. Everything in nature is interdependent, ecological, often symbiotic. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we humans are intimately part of and affected by the myriad connections between each other and our world. For this reason, one of our values is to “move at the pace of relationships,” an orientation that honors the capacity of each WOVEN member as well as the communities we are part of. To operate in this way requires an ebb and flow–a cycle that might look inconsistent but in fact allows us to make decisions and plans based on a fluid, dynamic, and responsive relationship with all who contribute to the WOVEN vision. The elements of nature--some western traditions acknowledge earth, air, fire and water and many traditions throughout the world use these and others--are potent symbols of the ways individuals show up and contribute their unique gifts to the WOVEN collective. Acknowledging the elemental nature of each member’s contributions makes space that values each member’s gifts and needs.Each one of us is a catalyzer for the WOVEN vision, bringing forth and activating different threads that make the whole. An example of how we see this operate within our group is the way air and fire members bring generative, communicative, energetic thoughts and ideas to the group. Our earth members balance this intensity and energy by slowing things down, grounding us, and offering the stabilization that will allow our plans to take root. The more watery contributors return us to reflection and sensing into shared goals and intentions. Valuing all these ways of being, we are less likely to leave anyone out, including those who might be disregarded or marginalized if we subscribed to an organizational model that focused only on productivity as a measure of success. Working in this way, we believe that our practical work of refining, planning, and goal-setting is more dynamic and integrated. So what does all this mean in terms of what we’re doing during this period of inward work? We begin by embracing an attitude of abundance over scarcity. There is enough: enough time, enough capacity, enough creativity, enough wisdom, enough support. As we come together we have been actively in the process of reflecting on event feedback, how we use language (internally and externally), evaluating community engagement, and discussing ways to ensure we are responsive to community needs. This includes accountability questions such as: Are we doing what we said we’d do? Are we aligned with our values? Do our values need to change? This is rich and challenging work. It is the composting period that allows us to plant the seeds of our future, so that we can share with all of you. We look forward to what the next cycle brings. For a little inspiration and to tune into the frequency of The Pause, check out this song The Way Knows by Lyndsey Scott


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