Real Conversations, Real Community

It was a first for me.

While we referred to it as a biz-cation, in reality it was five fun filled days spent with three amazing women interspersed with discussions regarding our related work. Business associates who have become great friends, we now affectionately refer to ourselves as the “sistas” (although we may need to rethink that because as reported by one offspring of our group after she texted her mom, her phone had autocorrected “sistas” so it became “disasters”....hmmm).

Given that we are in different cities, we typically have had to rely on technology to connect, however this time it was a live, face to face experience with talented, interesting, and accomplished women.

With the exception of the odd time out to deal with pressing texts and emails related to family and business matters, we were in the moment with one another, engaged in real conversations.

Aided by the warmth of the Arizona sun and the occasional margarita or glass of wine, our conversations springboarded from frothy and lighthearted to deep and meaningful reflection.

Perhaps most importantly, the experience had nothing to do with posts, tweets, or pins. Instead it was that lost but imminently powerful ritual of human interaction and social networking at its finest.

In fact, there were virtually no discussions about anything related to technology except that we all agreed it was wonderful to be unplugged.

While for sure we have become dependent on connecting online or on the phone, it was a clear reminder that we too often let digital drive how we learn and communicate. Ultimately, it seems we’re only able to scan the surface of everything and rarely able to dig deeper for greater understanding.

Too often the casualty of not being able to connect in face to face conversations is less and less time to really hear, learn, reflect, and ultimately comprehend and analyze.

While I grappled with how to describe the result of the five days, the truth is I returned home with a feeling of excitement and energy that was more than one would expect simply as the result of time away from technology. Instead it was the exhilaration of spending time with three extraordinary women—preparing and sharing food, talking, walking, listening, reflecting, challenging, and soaking in the sun. Real community.

As wonderful as technology is, it was a reminder that we must never lose sight of the world around us and the people within it who can inspire us, expand our learning, help us discover, and heighten our creativity. 

Posted on 04-30-14

Comments:


Brenda, I am still smiling in joy and appreciation over the “sistas” biz-cation. Words of appreciation, renewed enthusiasm and energy, and loving challenges come to mind when I think of our conversations. Support from friends who are also colleagues (we need to find a phrase to describe such folks, like collends or freagues or friendleagues) is so important.  And while we can sustain for awhile through technology, I appreciate the face-to-face time to go deep in discussions. No “disasters”!

•Posted by Barb Pedersen  on  04/30/14  at  08:30 AM


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