Centered transformation manifests through connections, community, and growth that comes through these relationships. Nothing is as forceful as a community of women, committed to picking up the mantle from the pioneering women that have come before us, and assisting each other – as each of us lights one small lamp, we bring about change in an unprecedented way. As we help each other grow by sharing resources, knowledge, information, job opportunities, and as we support each other by providing tools, training, employment, coaching and mentoring, we each experience deep positive shifts for in the giving, we shall receive.
For centered transformation to occur we must be reflexive in our thinking, we must question assumptions, and evaluate actions. Such reflexivity leads not only to better understanding and assimilation but also lends to making authentic connections with other. It weaves together the learning that brings about growth. Authentic connections are like miracles on earth. They lend to rootedness, that feeling of belonging and being grounded. But the feeling of authentic connection must be nurtured and fostered. It comes about only when the community holds values of freedom, equality, accountability, fairness, openness, and trust. And when we do such find a community and a tribe, the feeling of harmony that comes is beyond description. And that kind of heart-centered community is ours for the making.
Collaborative learning is social and contextual learning with the support of peers. Today’s world of interconnectedness – be it economic, political, social, or cultural, along with the technological momentum calls for a new paradigm of learning and growth; one that provides equity and access for all, one that promotes experiential and progressive imprinting. We are stronger together than when we are striving alone, and we thrive with the active engagement of everyone involved. Collaborative learning provides growth and vitality by creating a non-judgmental space that fosters the discussion of complex topics while allowing space for personal creativity.
Join the connected learning groups of your choice and be part of the participatory growth. If you don’t find what you are looking for, create a learning group in the forums and lead the way! It’s a place where all people, young and old have access to participatory, cohesive, interest-driven learning that connects to educational, civic, and career opportunities. As a heart-centered community, it is important that there is a focused attempt on uplifting, teaching, and helping each other so as to create an accessible explorative space for a thriving community of learners.
Connected mentoring builds on the skills of contextual learning, and takes it to the next phase of growth. It works in two ways: One, you guide others, and two, as you guide, you learn. It follows the old Latin principle Docendo discimus— “the best way to learn is to teach”. Learning as a self-propelled activity, and teaching others as a purposeful interaction are not mutually exclusive but rather inform and strengthen each other. Importantly, connected mentoring goes back to the fundamental premise of Alcye, that we are each other’s grandmothers full of wisdom, and that we pass on the knowledge to those who are inquiring and looking for assistance. The “connected” in connected mentoring is not only about exploring topics, but also about tapping the power of human connections.
Connected mentoring rests on a shared responsibility for improving outcomes and the interdependence between mentor and mentee draws upon each other’s experience and expertise to further a goal and develop a common understanding. We help others by sharing our real-world learning and hard-earned wisdom. Connected mentoring is the antidote to the old-boys-club, and a vital part of helping women and female youth as only women can truly know the hurdles faced by other women, and the ways to overcome them. Reach out and offer your strengths and expertise in an area or subject and receive the same in areas you need assistance. This is how, in this day and time, we can lend a hand to someone who in need – by giving them our time and advice. It is the soul of the heart-centered community.