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Matthew Rochte, Navigator Coach
Living Intentionally tm
Navigate The Life You Want


Vol. 1 No 4, Mid-September 2002

in this issue

What's Next

Reality Concepts:

My Coaching:

Feeding the Brain:

Where Credit's Due:

Let's Thinking Together

Call for your very own thought provoking relationship


Welcome to Living Intentionally,
a newsletter from Matthew Rochte and WorkingIntentionally.

In every issue:
What's Next: Upcoming News/Events/Programs.
Reality Concepts: Tips & Techniques.
My Coaching: Who/What/How
Feeding The Brain: Current Readings/Interests
Where Credit Is Due: Public Thank-Yous.

Living Intentionally this month is about thinking together which we will investigate in both circle conversation groups and in this' month's book recommendation - Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats.

However, since so many have been asking me about the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) - what I saw and what was it like - I'll start off there. The TIFF is a 10 day long splurge of international films. This year there were 247 films. It is held in my favorite city- Toronto and right smack dab in the middle of everything. This has become an annual pilgrimage for my folks and me.

What was it like? I'll give you two descriptions and you can fill in the rest. 1)Toronto has, I think accurately, been described as New York City run by the Swiss. 2)The festival is sometimes nicknamed Cannes of the North.

What did we see? (we only were there for three days but saw nine films- that's a lot of theatre sitting :-) )

What I liked
Take Care of My Cat - South Korea - charming film spinning around the lives of 5-6 young adult women who were best of friends in school but realize that in the real world there is a lot more to discover. (See it if you can)
La Vraie Nature de Bernadette - Quebecois 1972 - Fun retrospective film when Quebecois film entered into art film world. Bernadette leaves the city to live in the country. There is great hostility and admiration between city folk and country folk. Lovely film. (My personal favorite this year - go rent it from an eclectic video store)
Heaven - Germany,France,USA in Italian and English - Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi (Phoebe's brother on Friends - who is really good in this film) star in this odd and powerful romance / police caper which takes place in Italy. To describe the film would give too much away. (Worthy film to see.)
Intacto - Spain - Fabulous first time feature film director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Dark and mysterious on the level of The Usual Suspects. Explores the whole concept of Luck. Gripping, exciting, satisfying, brilliant, yet disturbing film.. Spanish and English starring Max von Sydow. (If you liked the Usual Suspects, you'll love this one)

The following I did not get excited about partly because I felt that they were predictable..
The Intended - Canada- Olympia Dukakis is brilliant in this film about the MenKuang River in 1924. Heart of Darkness type film.
Past Perfect - Canada - Two unhappy people meet on a plane and get married and the movie flips between how they met and the conversations they had on the plane and the present.
Hard Good-byes: My Father - Greece - Father of a young boy dies shortly after leaving a note to his son that he will be back in time to see the moonlanding (1969). - Some good stuff but needs 30-45min clipped from the film.

PAN - don't bother seeing
Laurel Canyon - USA - starring Frances McDormand who does a fine job in a stupid film. Don't waste your money. This movie will be hyped.
Pleasant Days - Hungary - This film wins the irony in title contest. Violent, unlikable characters, brutal, sad, and leaves you worse for wear. Some may claim it as a realistic art film. I don't buy it.

That sums it up. I look forward to next year's Film Festival. If you want further descriptions or info about the festival goto http://www.e.bell.ca/filmfest/

~ Matthew Rochte, Professional Thought Provoker

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  • What's Next:
  • D.A.N.C. Dinner And Nifty Conversation

    About a month ago I started forming a conversation circle at my home every Wednesday night. I call it Dinner And Nifty Conversation D.A.N.C. It is an opportunity to connect and share with a community of friends and strangers to talk about what really matters to us. Its format lends itself to deep levels of conversation and an equity in participation that isn't forced but comes naturally in this safe environment.

    D.A.N.C. is modeled on my friend Kelly Hansen's weekly gatherings mixed with the conversation circle model presented to me through Margaret Wheatley's Turning To One Another and the Thought Leader Gathering group in the Twin Cities.

    We gather every Wednesday at 7:00 to start D.A.N.C. The first hour is used to detox from the day, drink a little wine, small talk, grab bite of homemade pizza, risotto, or something else easy to cook. Around 8 o'clock when everyone is settled and filled we shift into part two of the evening - The Conversation

    We literally sit around in a circle in order for everyone to clearly see everyone else. I create a circle of candles and light them one by one to focus everyone on the center of the circle. That which is at the center is referred to as "the beauty" and provides a place to focus our thoughts and remember why we are here; to share and think together. You see, "conversation is the natural way humans think together" - M.Wheatley.

    This conversation is not like any other that most people have had. As such, there are some general guidelines which facilitate its movement. In this circle of conversation the questions are often more important than the answers. Reflective thinking is the outcome. Curiosity is the instrument. It is not about what you know, but rather, what you want to know and what we (the circle of friends) want to know. In this circle it is essential that we see each other as equals, if not, we break down into dialogue and monologues.

    We open the circle with the lighting of the candles. A moment of silence or an opening quote follows. Then we pass around a song pod (its a metal rock which chimes as it spins - it our form of a talking stick). One of the guidelines is that while someone has the pod in their possession only they are allowed to speak. All others listen.

    The first round of passing the pod is to say hello and let the circle know where you are right now (open, tired, excited, nervous, happy etc.). The next round is to throw out to the group - what would you like to know or explore today. During both of these passes there is no cross talk (no responding to, critiquing, nor direct inquiry of another member of the circle).

    Here is where the fun begins and democracy kicks in. We as a group select a topic. Often people are on the same thought pattern which makes this easy and flow smoothly. Other times it is messy and we choose the one which has the most attraction from the group. The topic is phrased in a question. Past Topics have been -

    Am I becoming someone I respect?
    What is Love?
    What is war?

    By maintaining a sense of curiosity the conversation evolves in interesting directions and deeper insight is gained. Often the question someone asks contains the answer they are seeking. Other times the interpretation of the question shifts the path that the conversation takes. The pod/talking stick is passed until it is no longer needed and the questions hop around and across the circle.

    After an hour and a half of fun, deep insight, and connecting on a personal level we close the gathering with a checkout. We pass the song pod one more time - What are individuals taking away from the experience? Usually the shifts in awareness and attitude are deep and wide.

    I would like to open the invitation to anyone who lives in the Twin Cities or is coming to visit to join us for D.A.N.C. - drop me a line and I'll send you information.

    If you are interested in learning more or starting your own circle, give me a call and we can explore together.


  • Reality Concepts:
  • Is Your Workspace Inspiring?

    Here is a turn the of tables for you. My coach GJ brought to my awareness something which I had just the week before been talking in class about. How ones environment effects their performance. We had talked about performance in class, but my coach was sensing my attitude.

    GJ asked me, "Where would you like to be right now?"
    "Out on my patio where it is green and full of life," I replied.
    GJ:"Why aren't you there?"
    Me:"Because it is noisy and I can't hear well there. "
    GJ:"Try going out there. "
    GJ:"Tell me what you see."
    Me:"Life, green, the pathways of life, patterns, systems, possibilities. . ."
    GJ:"Do you notice the shift in your energy?"
    Me:"What. . . let me go back inside where I can hear you."
    GJ repeated his question
    Me:"Yes and what's more is now that I inside looking out onto the patio my energy has halved, but still a lot more than when I was in my office."

    I need plants and color in my office and lots of it. My clean and simple approach to furniture was elegant and worked well in my previous office which had sunrise colors painted on the walls and looked out into the canopies of neighborhood trees. In a modern white walled warehouse setting the furniture seemed lonely if not sterile.

    I went out that very day and bought big green things to bring into the office. Along with green I brought in bold, bright colored flowers in Mumms and live Gerbera Daisies. I went, what I thought was a little overboard, until I sat down at my desk and realized that I really needed and wanted that much life in my office.

    Now as I type this newsletter I see in my peripheral vision the baby callilillies and the mumms. They keep my juices flowing. These flowers need water every two days which to some might seem as a nuisance. However to me, taking the quiet time to water and nurture these plants grounds me to their life process. Walking into my office makes my heart smile because it is now a place where I want to be.

    Is your workspace inspiring?

    Where do you feel inspired? What is it about that place which inspires you (the light, the sounds, the colors, the people etc.)? Which of those elements could you incorporate into your own workspace?

    If you need some coaching around this give me a call.

  • My Coaching:
  • Thinking Together

    Coaching is about thinking together. This is where it deviates from so many other professions. It is not about what I know or what you know as in consulting. Nor is it about diagnosing a medical or psychological issue.

    Coaching is about collaboration. What can the power of two minds thinking together do in your life or your work. To minds staying curious, creating awareness and creating possibilities for your future.

    Think of me as your Professional Thought Provoker.

    or as a business partner who doesn't take half of your profit.

  • Feeding the Brain:
  • I have been doing a lot of reading this summer, however one book directly applies to our topic of thinking together. This approach comes from a different angle.

    Six Thinking Hats: by Edward De Bono; 173pages - I read a chapter per workout on the stairmaster -seemed to work out just fine.

    De Bono resets the way meetings function to communicate information, brainstorm and create new ideas. It has been nearly 15 years since it was first published. The revised edition brings in real world examples of this work with phenomenal success. Using this method he shows how what would have been a frustrating four hour meeting can be reduced to 45 minutes with impact and intention.

    Part of the reason meetings take so long and don't seem to go anywhere is because of all the private agendas and cross purposes. De Bono's method focuses the groups thoughts and conversation in specific direction. You play a role. For example when you wearing (figuratively or metaphorically) the yellow hat in a meeting all comments are to be of a positive, constructive nature. All doubts, devil's advocate statements are reserved for when the group shifts to black hat thinking.

    Everyone in the group participates from the thinking perspective of the hat on the table. This focusing of intention allows the ideas to not get blocked by extraneous thought agendas.

    I am looking for first hand experience of using this Six Thinking Hat method. If you are interested in experimenting with it or have experience using it, please contact me and lets grow together.

  • Where Credit's Due:
  • I want thank all those who have attended the first few D.A.N.C. gatherings. It has been a great pleasure to share and grow with you.

    If it hadn't been for Kelly Hansen's D.A.N.G. (Neat Game), I may have never started this phenomenal experiment. Kelly's warm and inviting weekly gatherings in Milwaukee were my inspiration. We never got to the games, however the dinner conversation migrated into a multitude of topics. Shortly before I departed Milwaukee, Kelly started to shift the conversations to be more meaningful and grounded. The last one I remember, we started talking about music and memories. Thank You Kelly and Milwaukee D.A.N.G.

    To list all of the people who have entered into my life these past two months would be too long. Thank you for stepping forth and connecting with a stranger in a new land.

    Thank you
    Toronto Film Festival for rejuvenating my spirit.
    North Shore Inline Marathon for reinvigorating my body.
    Thought Leader Gatherings for jiggling my mind.

    Be Well & Treat Life Well Today!

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