Many wisdom traditions and indigenous knowledge systems teach us the sanctity of relationship and interdependence. Current poly-vagal theorists Deb Dana and Stephen Porges show us our neurobiology is designed for connection, context, and choice.
This month we appreciate relationship – be it personal, professional, or societal. Even if we disconnect temporarily, ultimately we cannot not relate. For relationships to sustain us we have to feel safe in them (align with the context, value systems and boundaries within which they exist) as well as have sufficient freedom and choice to explore our autonomy, securely.
Using Appreciative Inquiry we can strengthen our relationships by remembering exceptional moments when we feel safe and free in our connections; to (re)discover the values that ground those moments, as well as the conditions that nurture them. Re-member-ing.
In work partnerships we even go as far as developing a shared symbol, image or slogan to represent our relationship at its best, which we can recall at any moment to anchor us within our highest potential.
May these questions* offer support in strengthening your relationships:
- When was the first moment you saw something in me you really valued? What was it and how did it affect you?
- When have you felt most connected to me in a way that felt both safe and free? What did I do, say or embody that enabled this?
- When do you feel most connected to yourself? Describe what that’s like for you. How can I support you in this?
- How has our relationship benefitted you the most?
- What challenge(s) are you most proud of us addressing together successfully?
- What’s your dream for us?
*some questions inspired by Christine Sanchez Whitney’s Valentine’s Inquiry
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