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Closing Thirdness

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After a year and a half, I decided to close Thirdness to focus on Critical Business School, coaching, and making space for whatever needs to come next. Below are some more thoughts and learnings.

Organic Spaces Look for Things to Make

Most of my work at Thirdness was to hold open a space that would otherwise be close. Openness not to plan, to be misunderstood, and to not make anything. It is a rally against the talk is cheap’ idiom, because yes, talk is cheap, but meaning is at a premium in our connected world. Convergence towards action was a signal that the temperature of the space’ was out of sync. The problem is what happens when we run out of energy or incentives for collaboration.’

Embodiment

Thirdness is not a thing.’ It is not a product, a methodology, a souvenir of something independent. It is not an ecosystem but movement through the system that is our (1) individual and (2) shared lives, culture, and careers. It is a discovery of our creative surplus through a shared, open-ended space.

Meta Movement

Thirdness is a space of movement, and change, together. Citing the original invitation from February 2020, it is a rehearsal room for solo artists.’ Showing up regularly in and of itself does not generate change. It is the prompts and safe discourse that allow for sufficient misunderstanding. Accountability groups are helpful for procrastination but do not allow for adaptability and growth.

Watch the Temperature

Tending to a space like Thirdness is a very different act of design. I was not there to navigate any outcome or to sequence a particular behavior. I mainly was there to watch the temperature,’ decide when to add a log to the fire’ (through conversation, prompts, constructive confusion), and open the window’ (let inertia take its course).

Equilibrium, not Balance

In online spaces and personal growth, the term balance describes an optimal point. In Thirdness, as a space in meta-movement (personal change), it was more about equilibrium (wiki). The harmonious, safe movement that allows for growth. The term equilibrium describes a system in which forces or influences are balanced. Colloquially, it also represents a calm state.

As my practice develops, I see many of these principles outlined here and in previous essays feeding into my work with CBS and coaching.


The framework I jotted down in January still stands. Thirdness is a place to discover creative surplus, CBS is a place to articulate it, and coaching is for integration. I am excited about the continued integration of these ideas in my practice and those initiatives.

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