The Rhythms and Rituals (our Being and Doing)
Over the first few months of its existence, Samara created these Rhythms:
Wednesdays: Roots call (governance, funding, compensation, etc)
Thursdays: Trunk call (overlap and alignment of Roots and Branches
Fridays: Branches call (regional pilots, outreach, engagement, etc)
Plus various pod calls and ad hoc calls, often but not always between noon and 5pm UTC. We've been talking about alternating calls between Eastern-hemisphere-friendly times and Western-hemisphere-friendly times, and may well experiment with this in the future.
Regular call Rhythm:
- Each call starts with a minute of silence to settle into the space.
- The beginning and end of the minute is marked with a sound from a singing bowl, sacred rattle, or similar.
- This is followed by check-ins, so we acknowledge and own any tensions or joys that we are bringing into the collective field (and if these are not named, there is a good chance that our resident shaman, Justin, will pick them up and name them anyway - we appreciate you, Justin!).
- A facilitator is then voted in unless a longer term regular facilitator was already chosen. This is done with awareness of the check-ins and opt-outs aired. The method is everyone typing a name and a countdown with simultaneous sending.
- Participants are invited to raise agenda items using the chat.
- There is a round of check-outs at the end of the call.
The organization faces the challenges of reconciling many interconnected variables:
- Time zones (from New Zealand to California)
- Tolerance for keeping unusual hours
- Commitments to family, self-care, other projects, etc.
- The necessity of paid work outside of Samara pending remuneration within Samara
- Varying needs for forward planning ("let's have a meeting now!" / "I can fit you in a week on Tuesday")
- Varying needs for yang-time and yin-time ("I'm available for action whenever needed" / "I can be active for a while, but then need time to consolidate and/or do deep work")
Emerging patterns and considerations for future Rhythms and Rituals:
Joachim has pointed out that Samara does most of its work within calls, while Hypha uses calls more to verify work done asynchronously in between calls. In the future, Samara may wish to shift more towards this pattern. We could explore whether it seems more effective and productive, and/or enables Samarans further to the east and to the west to catch up on some sleep (!).
Like Seeds, Samara recognizes the moon as a cycle. The waxing moon stands for expansion/activity and calls for yang. The waning moon stands for reflection/consolidating and calls for Yin. Samara hopes to start using this moon cycle Rhythm in some ways, but to plan projects on a longer cycle. Our aim is to discover the rhythm that will best facilitate:
- Our creative and project needs
- Our emerging purpose
We also want to discover which rhythms are best made regular and ongoing and which to apply after certain changes in the org. There are current proposals to use dynamically applied sensing sessions and metrics to determine some responses. These aim to check when the threat response is starting to increase in the group. This is not simply a case of changing the external of the group or individual to lessen the felt threat. It is also about having explicit agreed processes to create safety and learning and growth out of each opportunity for each member of an org.
Having clear pathways to respond, in the right way, at the right time: these are models and evolutions we are sensing into.