Have Stories To Tell
At A Very Important Meeting, we strive to create a community where inclusiveness is a reflex, not an initiative. We welcome every age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, and ethnicity because the gifts of writing and mindfulness are open to all and different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds foster a more creative work environment.
To support our community, we have adopted* the following
Agreements for Interactions
TRY IT ON:
Be willing to "try on" new ideas or ways of doing things that might not be what you prefer or are familiar with.
PRACTICE SELF FOCUS:
Attend to and speak about your own experiences and responses. Do not speak for a whole group or express assumptions about the experiences of others.
ACKNOWLEDGE INTENT VS. IMPACT:
Understand and acknowledge impact of words and actions. Denying the impact of something by focusing on the intent devalues the other person's experience of the initial interaction.
When speaking, substitute "and" for "but." This practice acknowledges and honors multiple understandings.
REFRAIN FROM BLAMING & SHAMING:
Practice giving skillful feedback.
MOVE UP / MOVE BACK:
Take note of who is speaking and who is not. If you tend to speak often, consider "moving back" and vice versa.
PRACTICE MINDFUL LISTENING:
Try to avoid planning what you will say as you listen to others. Be willing to be surprised, to learn something new. Listen with your whole self.
RIGHT TO PASS:
You can say "I pass" if you don't wish to speak.
*Adapted from the East Bay Meditation Center's
"Agreements for Multicultural Interactions"