Small Groups Can Change The World

A Conversation with Christine Doan – a pioneer in Queensland

0:00 Intro with the question: What title can we choose for what you are doing, Christine?

0:42 Heidi’s intro info

1:25 Christine: She doesn’t live where many integralists are. 2000km North of the state capital. There is good soil, but not for integral community building. Connections via Internet

3:05 At last she finds people for a group with an integral approach to do something: Start ups and Innovations of the Tablelanders.

4:02 Purpose: help people to create or improve their businesses. People want to create more sustainable ways of doing things. Inspired by her search for her integral tribe where we met. She learned there and that enabled her to create that local group., where she uses the techniques which she had learned.

6:30 Mastermind group: first a deep listening practice before presenting their issues. The questions become different and the way they are together. A refreshing way to talk about business. A container of trust 17-20 people.

8:40 referring to Robert Kegan: Process work and then do business, collaborative leadership.

10:00 18 m of incredibly fertile soil in her area,  but it was difficult to create the human soil for human development, contradiction, but now she ahs been creating the group. Who is changing? Me or the others?

12:04 Heidi: putting down the seeds, watering and waiting: That’s what we do. Experimenting with growing up and creating communities. Different ways, integrating, not throwing out the baby with the bath water. Open the minds to more perspectives.

14:00 Are people more open in Australia than in other countries?

15:09 Christine:I am not sure when I planted the seeds, stepped across the threshold.. It is a little bit MYSTERIOUS to her.

16:20 H: why do we choose what we choose? What are we attracted to and why? How were you attracted to Ken Wilber? What exactly are you doing now?

17:50 C: many people in my age don’t start things like I do. C came from a perfection family.

Robert Kegan: you have 2 jobs, one of which keeping up your profile which takes up a lot of your energy. It was her reality from childhood on. Counterphobic 6: everything you are afraid of you run straight into this.

21:00 Baby Boomer generation: autistic generation, suppressing the naturalness

21:50 H: we are the first generation exploring new ways without knowing. Self worth then and now. Women were either holding back or running straight ahead, like Christine did.

23:25 C feels to need younger people who have been born into a different consciousness. Expand the minds of fully adult people is not easy-

24:25 C’s teachers, many, also Terry o’Fallon + brother. Being in the presence of these people, also at the Integral Conference. In her work she tries to imply integral principles with all the connected emotions and fears. Generative, transformative program with Australians and New Zealanders with the integral tools for the development of the group.

28:30 our purpose keeps evolving!

29:00 H: Groups are the next stage of human development. Being alone as a personality trait. A bunch of people everyone doing their own thing is of no use. Becoming able to be in community.

30:10 V: it is an experiment which has to evolve on its own. Collaborative leadership. Using tools learned in courses. C: is an activist for her whole life which was preparing her for what she is doing now. Environmental movement. FIghting for environment is contradiction and anti-collaboration. She has been building up a spiderweb of people to really flourish. But it needed to evolve by itself.

34:00 Practices (little rituals) at a normal meeting:  a moment of silence before starting, then everybody checks in to state whatever could prevent them to become truly present at the meeting. This creates more presence and clarity and you become a real human being. Overcoming the resistance to do these “new” things.

36:40 Working on your purpose by digging into your unconscious.

37:20 The indigenous perspective. GUPI = Intuition, God or whatever. Strategies of being in the group setting: we need open people up so that they feel like they have a practice of looking inside, not outside.

38:55 “Headiness” versus “from the heart”

39:32 Heidi: Summary of the main message of Christine so far. Leadership is needed, guardian and inspirator. In “green” groups this level of cooperation cannot really come out.

42:00 Christine is the older who holds the new tradition. Self-worth through relationship with others. She gives example of the check in where she shows that she is vulnerable, real. Drop the mask, pretending does not help.

44:36 How do you handle the desire to FIX everything right away: Christine: we have RULES of how we are together. Sometimes exercises need to be inserted to foster the depth and authenticity of the shares and listening. Creating the container! She tries. And Australians always give you credit for trying!

36:30 Heidi: I don’t have people live and in person as groups. Experience in online group: people disrupt the created container.

47:50 Christine: when these things happen, she feels challenged and tries to keep the energy up inside herself. It has to happen often for learning how to do that.

49:18 Heidi: In integral you can have leadership again and have rules. So I feel confident to do that. Invisible rules can be extrapolated and written down. In “green” you cannot easily do that, as rules are not “in”. I begin to speak up when I see that things go astray. I need to learn the right way to say these things.  

51:35 If we cannot come together in small groups how can we aim to pretend to create peace in the WORLD?

52:15 Heidi talk about Hans Rosling: “Factfulness” and how she was stunned to realize how little we really know of what is going on the the world, including those people who make important decisions!

52;50 Christine: How to restrict the information in order to manage and hold the container in a group, so that the self-creation can be done in the group and can be seen consciously? In the 60ies we didn’t know what we wanted, only what we didn’t want. It took all the time to build up. Small groups are the place to start, not even local governments!

55:10 In more advanced groups she observes the level of their advancement in how much silence they are willing to tolerate! Anybody can ask for silence when the connected group field was left. You cannot TALK it back.

56:34 Learn to recognize when there is the right moment for being in silence. Heidi’s experience.

57:05 We are looking for a title. “The Mystery of group-co-creation”

Contact Info:

How does the world look like in which we want to live? Maybe you are like so many of us who don’t want the present world, who are afraid of the development as it seems to lead us into a disastrous future and who demands that somebody should prevent the disaster, the government or the corporations, the economy or what not.
What about YOU? What are you desiring for the future and what are you doing to create it other than complaining about the present?

These are big question, not very popular in our times. We live in a victim culture, women – or better feminism – has brought us back into the victim narrative claiming that women and minorities need super special protection against who knows what? Against life, probably, so the activists play the over protecting mother role by keeping the victims in dependency.

Is it that, what we imagine as a “better future”? Our politicians should resolve everything, including climate change – and most of us are not willing to reduce their consumption, to be more careful about how we live and use i.e. energy. Do you really need your whole house to be heated so that you can be everywhere in a summer blouse? Isn’t one room enough, or maybe two and you wear a woolen pullover instead?

But that’s not really what I want to talk about here. I want to talk about how to make real our vision of a better world, our vision of a peaceful being together, and how to do business differently as well as human relations wherever we are.
Not an easy task and certainly no government or teacher is responsible for our lacking skills. We are. And we need to learn what is needed instead of enjoying our utopian phantasies. We need to start right where we are and connect with people who are willing to join us on the path.

During the Christmas holidays I talked with Christine Doan, an American woman who has been living in Queensland in Australia for most of her life. There she was remarkably active in the first environmental movements. When she came across Integral Theory and, as so many of us, she embraced it fully as the long desired means to understand the world better. A treasured way to get oriented in what best to do and to be, how to reach the betterment we are so much desiring. She understood that the first thing to do is digging deep into our own psychology. Understanding ourselves and becoming able to guide ourselves through the ups and downs of life is a permanent learning. We also develop new practices and skills which enable us to see the world in a different way and to more easily navigate it.

After decades Christine finally, in synchronicity, reached the point where she gathered people around her in a local mastermind group where they support each other in their startups or improvement of their existing businesses, in a different way. Group processes allow everybody to take off their mask and to become real. From there true conversation can come forth and true caring for each other. It is not about talking and trying to find solutions by the rational mind only. It is about showing up as a whole being and using the deeper states of consciousness and intuition to allow the solutions arise.

Small groups are the future. Here we can pioneer other ways of being together, deeper ways of understanding by embodying fully our humanity and our desire for truth and care. What we learn there, we then can transfer to bigger groups and, maybe, to the whole society. Hopefully our politicians and leaders in other important areas of society will learn these new ways, too, and then be able to have better decision processes and make better decisions!

Let us know about your experience and connect with us if you want to be part of the experiment. Locally in several parts of the world or online! Enjoy our recorded conversation and leave your comments below!

Christine Malanda North