In the Face of No Agreement
The following story to me is a prime example of how intention and collaboration work.
Over three years ago I moved to Whangaparaoa and joined an arts group called The Arts Foum Inc.( TAFI). The intention of the formation of the group, which had been in operation for about four years, was to build an art gallery . A number of opportunities all appeared (funny thing synchronicity!) and these included the availability of the old KFC building in Orewa. I was elected to the Executive Committee and we began a process of forging a path to effect the conversion of that KFC building .
As part of our process of “being’ together we used the 4 agreements :-
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take anything personally
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best
We made “place mats” with the 4 agreements on, to be used for meetings. Literally and figuratively we worked with that as our base for understanding and “being” with each other.
In just one year we raised $360,000 and personally oversaw the refit of the building. Every day the Chairperson personally attended and managed the direction of the work of deconstructing and rebuilding. The centre opened in February 2007 and has been self supporting from the first month of operation! A monthly change of exhibitions have been in place with the hosting of some of New Zealands most notable artists.
I am proud to have been an instrumental part of that for 2 reasons :-
1. Using the four agreements in this way brought a new level of integrity to me personally
2. When discord occurred… and it did and often….we kept unremittingly coming back to the process. We learnt to lead collaboratively.
We had three secretaries I think and about four treasurers…yes in one year! It was by no means perfect and fraught with clashes and misunderstandings. People got “off the train” mid journey, but a core stayed and I saw that continuing, even in the face of no agreement paved the way for a high level of integrity and we exceeded all expectations. What I loved was that a bunch of creative people who often don’t have logical, ordered and systematic ways of being were able to move to a higher place and achieve an extra-ordinary outcome. We endeavoured not to make other peoples actions mean anything and honoured the contribution of all.
When we be our word beyond our default mechanism and in our higher self. We are in integrity and create miracles.
Be your word!
The Four Agreements
1/Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love
2/ Don’t take anything personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others do and say is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinion and actions of others, you wont be the victim of needless suffering.
3/ Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement you can transform your life.
4/ Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances simply do your best, and you will avoid self judgment, self abuse and regret.
New Zealand’s leader in the Science of Positive Psychology and Humour in the Workplace, she has a CVthat’s not to be laughed at! Included in her giggliography are some ground breaking achievements, testimony to her ability to successfully combine her business acumen, creativity, and wit. Pat has presented over 15,000 hours of keynotes, workshops, seminars and lectures reaching an astounding 55,000 people throughout Australasia. She was President of the National Speakers Association NZ 2001, The Most Awarded Speaker at the 2000 NSANZ Convention and 2002 NZ Speaker of the Year. She has coached many people through adversity, is an author, columnist, radio producer and film director.