How Much Transformation Can You Squeeze Through a Phone Line?
Online learning! The Internet! Teaching over the phone in something called teleclasses. Modern technology was opening a whole new way for us to teach and share.
The Internet was still in its infancy when we started exploring it as a new venue for education. We started our research and it became clearer and clearer how we could help people turn their computers into a relationship learning and resource center. Our first website was called The Center for Enlightened Partnership.
It solved some of the old problems with doing live seminars. It was more convenient for our students, no travel expenses and no more childcare challenges. But there was a steep learning curve. It was like going back to college. All of the sudden there were lots of new things to do and learn
Teleclasses are typically an hour long, maybe 90 minutes. The shortest workshop we had offered was four hours. Most were at least a day or two and a half days. We were just getting warmed up at an hour and it seemed like a huge challenge to say everything we wanted to say in such a short time!
If we had a weekend with people we could quite effectively change the trajectory of their lives and relationships, saving them from years of needless confusion and suffering. How could we possibly do that without being in the same room? Okay it wasn’t very clear in the beginning, but we could sniff something delicious in the mists ahead and we trusted we would find new answers to all of our new questions. And we did.
And so began the current era of our work. In 1999, ten years ago, we built our very first website, called The Center for Enlightened Partnership. In the beginning, it was mind boggling, as we sat in our living room conducting teleclasses with people who were sitting in different parts of the world. We had people sitting in Canada, New York, Israel, England, San Francisco all in the same class
As our success with this new venue continued, we realized we could live wherever we wanted, as long as there was high speed internet service available.
We would often talk about how much we liked living in Santa Fe for the brief time we were there. And it occurred to us that maybe we could live there, again! In December 2003 we decided to scout the possibilities in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
We were still in love with the small town feel of Santa Fe, population 65,000. But, with the sophistication that comes from being the third largest art market in North America, after New York and Los Angeles. The adobe buildings seem to grow right out of the earth. It’s beautiful here. Lot’s of psychic quiet and clean air and the light is particularly beautiful, as we had heard it is in Paris.
Coincidently, Santa Fe had recently upgraded to high speed Internet access, which we needed to run our business. Plus, Layne found a new residential development called Aldea de Santa Fe which was touted as a “New Urbanist Village”.
A New Urbanist neighborhood resembles an old European village with homes and businesses clustered together. New Urbanist designers seek to solve the modern problems of social relating by intentionally designing the physical environment to enhance community connection. . Intrinsic to New Urbanism is the concept of mixed use and the concept of people living, working, shopping and recreation all in the same area.
It seemed to us that the New Urbanist philosophy was a perfect compliment to our work of helping people to relate in more fulfilling ways. It seemed New Urbanism was focused on the exterior environment, while our work focused on the interior landscape of the mind and heart. We were intrigued by all the possibilities when the two were combined.
New Urbanism seemed right up our alley and in keeping with our ongoing research into the potential of conscious community. That’s all it took; we made up our minds right then to move back to Santa Fe!
We kept experimenting with new ways of reorganizing our curriculum and soon it all settled into an easy smooth way of honoring our commitment to helping transform the way people relate with one another. Ten years before, we could never have predicted the radical shift our work had taken.
And now, ten years being on the Internet, touching and being touched by people all over the world, we have had this growing sense that something is still missing.
And now we know what it is . . .
Part of our work is knowledge transfer. We possess a rare body of knowledge about relationships. We can transfer that knowledge in writing or by talking.
Another part of our work is coaching people in developing new skills in self-awareness, communication, solving problems, clearing old emotional wounds and expanding their capacity for happiness and spiritual depth. We do that by talking, plus “quantum energy transmissions” that work over long distances.
OK, we could teach and coach over the phone quite effectively.
Another powerful aspect of our work is modeling. When people watch us teach and relate with one another they typically tell us they’ve never seen anything like it before. And seeing it makes all the difference in knowing they can do it too.
On the internet people “seeing” us is relatively new. Now we’ve got high definition video that streams into your computer and it’s reliable. Yay!! Okay, got the modeling piece happening.
But, the fourth and most significant part of our work is transformational. Transformation is a dramatic shift in a person’s sense of self while also seeing new and expanding possibilities for their life, both personally and professionally.
Transformation changes the way a person sees the world and how they can participate with it. Transformation is a thrilling, electrifying launch beyond ordinary life into the sublime. Transformation literally “rocks your world” and is a catalyst for deeper changes to come.
Could we really squeeze the depth and power we were used to facilitating in live groups through a phone line and into a picture on their TV or computer monitor? The answer is yes, with some slight changes. Our teaching and facilitating over the Internet is more intimate and less dramatic than presenting in front of a room full of people.
When people sit and listen to or watch us in the privacy of their own home, they don’t need to keep their guard up. The need to “look good” fades away and they are able to learn better. This translates into a more comfortable learning environment which fosters consistent and steady improvement.
Looking back we can see that we have indeed been able to squeeze transformation through a phone line. We’ve been doing it for ten years now. We experience it on a regular basis with out clients and students, all of whom live in far flung places around the globe.
The thing that is missing, which seems so obvious now, is a real sense of community.
For the last year, throughout 2009, we have been asking ourselves, what could an online community of support that is dedicated to developing and nurturing the highest quality relationships possible, look like, even though we are physically and geographically far apart?
A new vision for an online, global community of practice has filled our sails and we are ready for a thrilling new experiment made possible by modern technology. We now know this is the next era for our work, and it is beginning now.
Everything we have done before feels like it has been preparation for what we are about to do now.
For the past year we have been enthusiastically designing a workable structure for an online community of practice. What we mean by a community of practice is a group of people who are committed to developing the consciousness and acquiring the skillful means necessary to practice co-creating conscious, evolutionary relationships with one another.
That is what occurred with all of the other communities that developed organically around our work with the principles and practices we taught in our face-to-face programs. We see no reason why that can’t happen in the virtual environment also. All if takes is skillful means, intention, vision and other kindred spirits to join us.
We are ready to open the gates and you are among the first to be invited. We will be announcing it in the next few days, so keep an eye on your inbox. We believe it will rock your world (in a really good way) and the worlds of the people you love and care about the most!
We welcome and appreciate your comments.
Please click the ‘Add Comments’ link just to the right above this post to leave your comments here on the blog. Also, you can “retweet” this post by clicking the retweet buton and share with friends by using the Tell & Share button.