Both Johnnie Moore and Chris Corrigan have written about Holding Questions – “What-the?” I hear you ask and why is holding questions relevant?
“Chris would talk about “holding questions”. Again, my first reacting was: eh? It sounded a bit crazy to me, but just sensible enough to leave me with this puzzle, what would be good about that?. I was probably only just on the curious side of cynical. And again over time, I’ve started to get clearer, and more enthusiastic about the idea of sitting with questions instead of always anxiously demanding answers.” JM
My inner control freak is quite demanding of answers too. And not just answers but also decisions about which way to go next, with whom and when and why. In those rare moments of being present, I can find myself slowing down and being happy to simply carry questions with me. When I surf and practice martial arts these questions surface again and help me to focus on what matters most in life.
And Chris writes this here in response to a question from a friend …
“The question I hold tend to be both (broad ones and specific questions) … for a while now I’ve been carrying these questions with me…they are varied and they take different forms and they even come and go, but they lead me into fascinating places: Sometimes they appear as research projects, other times they are direct and specific, and sometimes they float, nebulous and seem to inform everything I do … I don’t have these questions written down anywhere, I just sort of hold them lightly and they focus my attention. What are the questions you hold?” CC
- Who do I need to be (as a parent) to support my children to follow their passions?
- How can I combine my love of playing music and songwriting with my work as a facilitator/consultant?
- What contribution can I make to my local community to build resilience and connectedness? – this question has been in sharp focus since Black Saturday … I often wonder what this community’s response would be to such a disaster
“We’re often very attached to certainty, and to ending meetings with “definite outcomes” and sometimes end up with matching language. (My friend James quips about a meeting where everyone agreed that what they needed was a “measurable, implementable, deliverable”). Sometimes leaving with a good question is much more engaging, even if at first it’s a bit frustrating.”I’ve written about this desire for actions and next steps before. And it’s always been wearing my facilitator’s hat. As a community member, I hear the same needs and demands for resources, next steps and actions. At community meeting I often hear about the next steps and actions that ‘others’ should do to fix things. Enter Ton Zijlstra’s reflection at Roboot 11 and this slide about ‘Action’ that I really like …
“I really warm to this notion. I easily tire of conversations where people come up with top-down solutions which often involve lots of angst about how to make other people change. These are bad enough from people at the top of a hierarchy. Even more strange are the times I hear people doing this where I suspect the real issue is that they can’t get the powers-that-be to listen to whatever grand plan they generate. The question “but what is my part in all this?” seems to be missing.
I think the question “what is my part in all of this?” is a question that our Transition Town project should hold and help fellow ‘tribe members’ explore along the journey.