In light of our current learning cycle objective (individual and institutional rejuvenation), we felt it was best, in place of our monthly post, to share 1) a few lines of action, strategies if you will, that lend structure towards advancing that objective and 2) the process we took to get there.
Here is a bit of history to get us started. We noticed that we were feeling stretched a bit too thin. Be it the many forces that competed for our attention or the variety of opportunities and obligations presented to us, we felt it was time to turn inward and press the reset button. The goal of the cycle was to reconnect with our inner-selves, one another, and our institution. We unified around the abovementioned objective and implemented the following lines of action/strategies:
- Create a gratitude jar
- Plan a vacation
- Limit external commitments
- Refrain from hosting gatherings in our home
- Schedule massages
After three weeks we can already say it has been well worth it. In short, intentionally systematizing a process engenders agency. In this case, we are regaining a sense of ownership over our individual and collective well being. It is remarkable how painless and rewarding this practice is. So, how did we get here? Below is a basic outline of the process we follow:
- Set the duration of our cycle (e.g. three Bahá’í months/57 days).
- Determine an objective (e.g. individual and institutional rejuvintation)
- Lend structure to it (i.e. identify the lines of action or strategies)
- Carry out (in unity) the aforementioned lines of action/strategies
- Reflect at predetermined intervals (e.g. after each Bahá’í month/every 19 days)
While this process is systematic, it is also organic. In other words, once you start unifying around a particular vision and carry out the lines of action associated with it, you notice results. These results lead to reflecting on the process, ultimately opening before you and your institution new vistas where learning can be consolidated, strengths can be built upon, and every challenge can be approached as a new opportunity.
We were, and continue to be, inspired by the following guidance of the Universal House of Justice:
One of your primary concerns will be to strengthen appreciation for systematic action, already heightened by the successes it has brought. To arrive at a unified vision of growth based on a realistic assessment of possibilities and resources, to develop strategies that lend structure to it, to devise and implement plans of action commensurate with capacity, to make necessary adjustments while maintaining continuity, to build on accomplishments—these are some of the requisites of systematization that every community must learn and internalize.
~27 December 2005, par 14
To this end, you and your auxiliaries will need to cultivate an atmosphere that encourages the friends to be methodical but not rigid, creative but not haphazard, decisive but not hasty, careful but not controlling, recognizing that, in the final analysis, it is not technique but unity of thought, consistent action, and dedication to learning which will bring about progress.
~28 December 2010, par 17