David Sibbet | Personal Development
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I’m writing to share about a wonderful collaboration with Alan Briskin and Amy Lenzo creating a new “gyrocompass” image for their on-line, six session series on Activating Collective Wisdom, launching this June. The Five Practices of Collective Wisdom is a distillation of work Alan Briskin has been doing over many years on the subject. How this image came to be is a wonderful story of emergent creativity.

Some Context

Gyrocompassv5The collaboration began in Germany last year at the Leading as Sacred Practice (LASP) Retreat held at the Beuerhof Farm in the Vulcan Eifel region of Germany East of Cologne. Alan presented about these five practices and led a rich inquiry into what is deep listening, as well as how to suspend certainty, welcome emergence, keep the whole system in mind and prepare for the extraordinary when working with groups. I graphically recorded the session. Read more…

“You pulled your punches,” Karolina said, standing below the stage at the July 2014 EuViz conference where I was sitting along with three other “elders” in the field of visual facilitation. “I and some others felt like you didn’t really say what you thought. You are the founders of this field. You need to tell us what you really think.”

We were at the Hotel nhow in Berlin with 220 visual practitioners from 29 countries. The conference was a collaboration between the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP), now 19 years old, and Neuland and Kommunikationslotsen*. It was by far the biggest and most professional IFVP conference yet—beautifully organized and a powerful experience. Participants included the full range, from beginners in the field to longtime veterans and skilled practitioners.

Elders - The Power of the Pen: At EuViz Berlin

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Susan&GTree2 - Homage To My Life Partner SusanMy partner of 48 years, Susan Herron Sibbet, passed away this August 31, 2013, from metastasized endometrial cancer. We’ve been in full “cancer journey” mode for the last two years, which is why I haven’t been posting much here. I’d like to share her obituary with you here, in appreciation of having the extraordinary privilege of living with this brilliant sensibility for so long. Her poetry and modeling how to teach children to write has inspired me deeply in my own facilitation work.


Susan Herron Sibbet passed away August 31, 2013. She is survived by her husband of 48 years, David Sibbet and her children—Thomas Sibbet, Valentine Brown, Jerda Solonche, Phillip Sibbet, 7 grandchildren and one great grandson. After a 4-year struggle with endometrial cancer, she passed in peace, out of pain, and literally held in a field of love.

Susan was a beloved poet/teacher in the schools with California Poets in the Schools, an organization she worked in and supported as Acting Director and President of the Board for more than 25 years. She is a published poet and was a founding member of Sixteen Rivers Press, a respected poetry publishing cooperative.

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My heart is still singing from the four-day retreat I and 35 other colleagues spent in the redwood forests of Ben Lomond this summer solstice. We met at Sequoia Retreat Center, a truly sacred place. It was my eighth year participating. Each time the experience deepens.

The energy in this year’s gathering went up an octave—perhaps because of the crises in confidence the world now faces, perhaps because a core group of us has stepped across a threshold of withholding into true ceremony, perhaps because of forces we cannot explain. But these two weeks after returning have been filled with reflections about all that happened, and especially  the evening of Medicine Wheel dancing that is the turning point of the experience. I felt that our community reclaimed something deep and fundamental. We experienced true ceremony.

MedicineWheelJournal - Reclaiming Ceremony

During one of my reflective times I drew this pen and chalk drawing of the dance, without thought of sharing, just so I could relive the experience. The image has come alive for me. There is something about the energy of line and patterns that re-evokes some of the magic. I have no idea if it will do that for you, but I feel called to try and bring it alive a bit in words. Something happened this time that all of us need more of.
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