Several months ago, Centre for Human Emergence – Canada colleagues visited Abbotsford, BC and we held a small retreat in the Solarium of Garden Park Tower (GPT). We took our breakfasts and lunches in the Rose Room Café.

CHE-Canada - John, Michael, Beth, Dan Dining in Rose Room Cafe

Friends Dining in Rose Room Cafe

My friends really enjoyed the energy of GPT and were delighted and amazed with how people in the Rose Room related to one another.

“What do you mean?” I asked. My friends pointed out that, “People actually listen and talk to one another. They don’t have their heads buried in some kind of smart phone. That’s refreshing – and unusual these days!!”

Since my associates shared these observations I have come to really appreciate the Rose Room – not just for its delicious food – but for its genuine congeniality. Another friend of mine says, “If you want to improve the health of a system connect it to more of itself.”

GPT has created a very special environment here that people obviously enjoy. But they may not realize that simply by meeting, greeting and sharing a bite to eat they are actually improving their own health, others’ health, the health of the neighbourhood and the health of the whole city.

When I am working with teams, organizations and cities who want to change, I am always asking myself: “Where is the energy?” Because where I can see the energy, then I know people are connecting, exchanging stories and entertaining something that sparks vitality. Those energetic gatherings indicate to me where it is possible for change to happen, and health to improve.

Have you noticed that people are always attracted to energy? It can simply be the curiosity of why two people are laughing. The difference of opinions about a news story. Or even what is behind a disagreement that raises voices?  Energy is attractive – and that is what healthy people, organizations and cities thrive on.

These days conference organizers and education designers try to create the conditions for generating energy – not only in the theatre or classroom – but between the formal sessions, after classes, during lunch, at the water cooler. Anywhere it is possible to improve the health of the system by connecting more people to one another.

Lucky for us that the Rose Room is as near as downstairs, around the corner or down the street. No one (that I know of) made a rule for people to turn off their cell phones. But in the Rose Room, we seem to have the natural conditions to co-create a habitat for healthy connecting. So the next time you go for coffee, or treat yourself to a cookie – make sure you connect with someone else eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart or with a simple handshake. Every old connection you renew or new connection you make will improve the health of our whole system.

Rose Room Coffee Shop

Rose Room Coffee Shop