Direct Intervention & Immersive Initiative


“We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.” Herminia Ibarra

The PODs emerged in the community’s second year. By then, we had established a culture of sharing vulnerably, moving with expert guidance into our fears and pain points, and revealing our unconscious struggles, coping behaviors, and defense mechanisms. We grew to trust that we would receive direct reflections with love and authenticity, and when necessary strong confrontation. We discovered that we are not so fragile, that the “burn” of an honest reflection brings both growth and the warm glow of truth. We began to experience more fully our unconditional love for one another.

Within this foundation, the PODs were introduced to create greater fodder for discovering our inner voice in the midst of our collective voices (autonomy); to feel into our inclination to wait for others to tell us what to do (lack of agency), and to reveal and address our propensity to work separately (need for interdependence). All this in the service of facilitating our cooperation and collective action.

A set of PODs were introduced by the Core Team, designed to match particular skills and interests of community members, and to cover the gamut of specialized roles that would be needed to care for the “Garden.” Each of us worked on learning to listen and feel into which PODs resonate. In what ways did we feel called to express our inner light and stretch into intentional action?

Getting the PODs up and running smoothly took close to a year. It was incredibly messy, required consistent guidance and reflections from Ronit, and provided many vital opportunities for learning and holding each other accountable.

We discovered how insidious our egos can be as we each unconsciously resisted investing the time and energy necessary for us to learn how to work together. Our ego-centric perspective resented, justified and rationalized why we need to focus on our individual and family responsibilities, unable to see that the way we don’t show up with us is the way we don’t show up with in other parts of their lives. Issues of control, withholding, and trust surfaced repeatedly. The way we habitually see ourselves and each other – as victims, being “in the know”, or as dominating clouds our ability to cooperate and flow together. Staying faithful to our intention, we came to see that the PODs make visible how lonely, disconnected, and frightened we all are of commitments, failure and giving ourselves to the whole.

As we and the PODs mature, we continue to develop a variety of skills:
  • Listening to self – What lights me up? What am I called to do, and what blocks me from being my full self?
  • Keeping us on our personal and collective edge, willing to take risks – trusting.
  • Recognize what is the priority in this moment – ability to flow and depart from the “plan,” objectively witness all of the relevant variables, and sense what is needed.
  • Set and hold multiple intentions – the omnipresent intention to refine our selves, the general intention of a POD, the intention of the POD on this specific day.
  • Balance the responsibility of the POD leader(s) with our individual and collective responsibility for our direction.
  • Attend to our internal dialogue, and discern what is really a contribution versus what is ego-driven. What is coming from genuine inspiration versus wanting to be in the know? Inquire, “Is what I am about to say going to forward this conversation?”
  • Notice the energy of the group, and specific individuals, so that we don’t leave anyone behind or disconnected.
  • Trust that nothing is ever “wrong” with my genuine experience. In fact, trusting my community gives me the courage to speak up when confused, distracted, triggered, pissed off, bored. Transparency helps us reconvene, and reconnect to ourselves, each other, and our intentions.
The PODs provide us an opportunity to practice flow.

We learn what it means to create organically, by listening to what wants to emerge. This flow is a sharp contrast to what most of us learned in our planning- and strategy-focused society, and is the modality needed for us to tackle the kinds of wicked problems we face.

Ultimately, our PODs are growing our capacity to work together, help us discover our individual and collective genius and direct our energies toward making a difference in the world.