“I want to know what everyone’s favorite movie is,” James West, our Director of Programs, said during lunch on the first day of our recent three-day retreat to Banyan Grove, a Service Space-managed center dedicated to cultivating inner transformation and compassion in Forest Knolls, CA.
As a 100% remote organization—with team members hailing from Mexico to Milan—this inquiry proved particularly apropos. Without a water cooler at which to stand around and chat, we simply don’t know many basic things about one another.
While dining on beautiful vegan meals, we agreed enthusiastically about the movies that made the top of our lists and laughed with surprise at others. We talked about our Enneagram and Myers-Briggs designations and reveled in both our commonalities and differences.
We also discussed more difficult topics like the sadness and distress that proliferates in the media. We talked about the reality of this harsh world. Despite its harshness, however, we acknowledged always our belief that change is possible through individual empowerment and group hope. This led us to ask perhaps the most profound, yet simple, question of the retreat: “What is our why?”