Self-Portrait

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Julie Glover and her partner, Robert Kenny

Julie Glover
Clinton, Washington, USA

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What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

Can we experience our connectedness so deeply that we can begin to think and create "as one", without any loss of our individual uniqueness?

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

My interest in this field began in the early 70's through my involvement in an intentional spiritual community, in which transcendent group experiences were a frequent occurrence. After the spiritual teacher around which this community had formed died in 1976, I and others in the community continued to explore these "outer reaches of human consciousness". However, we had to become more intentional and aware in order to experience what I came to call "group consciousness". We could no longer depend on the presence of our spiritual teacher to create a field, within which collective intelligence and spiritual wisdom were a natural outgrowth of a kind of spiritual communion among members of a highly diverse group.

My many professional experiences of creative collaboration and service involving a broad range of disciplines have had some of the same characteristics as the communion I have experienced in spiritual practice groups. Thus I deeply enjoy working with groups of people (typically professionals in a work setting), who seek to work together in a cross-disciplinary and creative way toward some goal that is in the public interest.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

I experience a growing awareness of my and others' full energies, what I would call “presence. I and the other participants often enter into an expanded state of awareness in which we have access to much more knowledge, information and wisdom than is normally the case. I feel “bigger” somehow, and in that state feel most my true self.

Collective intelligence and spiritual wisdom seems to be evoked by hearts and souls reaching out to connect with one another.

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

See above. In my earlier professional life I wanted to learn what helps and hinders the experience of group consciousness, since once I had experienced this myself, I was hungry for more of it, for myself and for others! I carried this question with me into a 20-year project in which I co-designed and managed a seven million dollar youth development program, in which the community of staff (160 professionals spanning 26 professional disciplines) and the inner city youth (which the program served, and were served by) were often guided by the collective intelligence and spiritual wisdom which came out of their deep listening to, and with one, another. I explored this same question in my later work as an organizational development consultant, around such issues as capacity-building, creative collaboration and leadership development. As the administrator of the Fetzer Institute’s Spiritual Heart of Service Initiative (1997-1999), I was able to explore what fosters the creation of group consciousness with many other people, since two national conferences and five papers were produced specifically on the subject of group service and synergy. One of those papers is Calling Out Our Potential, written with my husband Robert Kenny, which can also be found at www.co-intelligence.org

Though I have professional training related to this work (e.g., as a Masters level social worker, an organizational development consultant, and as a practitioner of Nada yoga), my primary training came from a spiritual teacher who had no formal education in this area that I am aware of, yet was a master in terms of creating fields within which group synergy, collective intelligence, spiritual wisdom and human transformation would occur. I experienced this individual creating these fields in diverse groups of many sizes and cultures. I learned by observing and by being a participant. I was radically changed myself simply by participating in this process.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I am always interested in exploring with other practitioners the growing edges of this field, and what we are learning through our experiences. I am also available as a “doer” (I design and facilitate retreats, conferences, dialogue groups, workshops and other gatherings; I am a facilitator of the Naked Voice work of Chloe Goodchild; and I work with organizations around creative collaboration, planning and deep visioning work). I have created a workshop series with Robert Kenny on creativity, leadership, and the use of cross-cultural reflective practices to increase personal and team effectiveness and collaboration. (This workshop series has been adapted from an applied research program conducted at 11 U.S. sites, and has been used in both the for-profit and the non-profit sectors.)

I do an increasing amount of my work in a retreat house that I have created with my husband, Robert Kenny. Perched on the edge of a bluff overlooking Puget Sound in Whidbey Island, Washington, Bluff House offers a spectacular natural setting within which to do group work, partnering with the profound energies and beauty of the natural world. Bluff House can be used both by those who want to participate in programs designed by my husband and/or myself, and also by those who want to use it for renewal and transformational activities which they have already designed for themselves or for clients. Until our website is finished, inquiries about Bluff House and its programs should be addressed to Julie .

Links to this site or others

Calling Out Our Potential, paper by Robert Kenny and Julie Glover

The Naked Voice, founded by Chloe Goodchild (Julie is a facilitator)


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