March 23, 1998

Monday, Monday

Just another Monday, so far as work was concerned. Finished off an experiment with STL and binary encapsulation which was rather neat and nice when done, but really messing and nasty in the doing. COM really does make things more nicely encapsulated, but it's such a nasty, messy pain getting the interfaces in place.

In the evening we went to the Allison's, where we met with the original ten folks and then another ten were invited, and the evening was a really solid success in managing to turn all the negative feelings, nasty things that had been festering in people's private concerns, and pulling them all out into the light and into their conscious brains and getting them all turned towards a positive and real approach to making things change and be different.

One very interesting observation was that anyone that asserts themselves against Pastor Lee, rather than accusing or being aggressive to her, does manage to get their way and do what they need to do. She doesn't argue with people that don't attack. So it might be an interesting way to just get things done.

One really, really keen thing was that John started charging a quarter for every nasty thing said. Pay for it, and you're done, no muss, no fuss, no guilt. Entirely a Protestant kinda thing. It was great to allow some of the folks to really unleash, as all the money was going into a pot to make things happen. It was the fund raiser in some ways, so some people really had fun. It also broke the tension, allowed folks not only to laugh but to vent, completely. What was really funny was that no one there *had* quarters, so everyone was chucking dollar bills into the bowl instead of quarters.

What resulted was that everyone that came left with a sense of purpose and reason and that we were actually doing something. There was some discussion of the survey before John actually handed them out, but the minute he had them out and they read 'em, they thought it was the perfect tool for the job. That was good to feel. A few good corrections and I think it should be ready to go out and find out how people are feeling about what Lee is doing. So that should be good.

It's really hard work to keep things in the middle. To not let emotions take over the meeting and just let things work. To get back to the real issue and then to treat it in such a way that things can get fixed rather than just letting them get worse by dwelling only on what's wrong rather than what we can do to fix it. Funny that the lessons that were at the beginning of this journal are the very ones that I'm now applying to an entire group. Luckily, it's a spiritual group, one that does really *like* doing the right thing, and is willing to take an imaginative approach to figuring out what the right thing is. It takes some balancing to get from a List of Grievances to a survey to measure the attitude and feelings of the entire congregation to give solid feedback to the pastor.

What is really fun is to introduce an idea to a group and find them taking it as their own idea. That they thought it up and are going to do it, take ownership of it and run with it. What was so very interesting in that meeting was finding my Taoist nature in complete accord with what we were going to do, and in what I did to help make it possible for them to do what they really needed to *do* to heal themselves.

A very tiring but also very constructive evening.

We hot tubbed after, and I could feel muscles that were on the verge of snapping from tension just ease into the hot water...

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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