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We are actively building a cooperative problem-solving and resource development unit, rich in the diversity of our membership, alive in the cooperative spirit of Vermont, united in but one aim: the realization of health and wholeness -both individually and collectively - through advocacy and the practice of active learning.

We invite you to explore our site, especially the film clips, to see how it works. Many of our systems are broken: it is time to build a better way. We believe we may have found the way and we need your help. So please contact us for further information and how to get started.

Steve Axelrod, Managing Partner   One Word Solutions   3720 VT RT 14S   Randolph Center, VT 05061   (802)728-5100   strategicsolutions@hughes.net

We are all natural-born problem solvers - and natural-born learners. No one had to teach us how to get food into our mouths, to learn to talk, to walk or, for that matter, to learn. For the most part, we were born with the essential function of mastery. We tried this, we tried that, we tried something new, until it worked. Our aim was always there. We simply practiced naturally until we realized it. Mistakes and difficulties simply served to correct our aim. We were committed to it.

We as human beings run into real trouble, however, when we somehow find ourselves separated from this natural-born process of solving problems. One way we become separated from it is through conflict: we understandably try to get rid of our problems, whether they be in the form of psychological or physical pain, legal problems or otherwise.

Conflict is an essential form of human nature: it serves to separate us from perceived danger, harm and pain. Yet, when it becomes the only way we know to relate with problems, we can find ourselves in real difficulty: for by trying to get rid of them, we can not learn from them. If conflict is the only way we know, all we can do is repeat our mistakes. Even worse, conflict has a way of taking on a life of its own. And the multiplier effect of conflict on conflict is an incredibly powerful force of separation.

When our ways of dealing with or relating with problems become limited in one or more essential ways, our problem solving potential - our ability to learn from them - may be severely compromised. We may not be able to see "what is" and what needs to be done, because our plane of vision may be cut off: our aims may be unduly restricted; or we may fail to see and address the problem as a whole, with all its many facets. What we do not see and learn in the problems, we can not include in the solutions. Problems are resources we simply can not afford to get rid of.

Conflict and limitations feed each other and each is a symptom of the other: addictive conflict tells us our problem solving system is limited; limitations, in turn, lead to conflicts and fatally incomplete solutions.

As essential problem solvers, we must therefore assess not only #&34;what is#&34;, such as conflict. We must also see what is missing (and teach our clients to do the same for themselves). We must come to include what is missing in our relationship with the problem and include it in the solution, so we may complete it. We must include every facet - and every person, if we can - that is connected with, that contributes to - our problems.

Learning from these needs, we have created an essential problem-solving process, an expansive, resource-generating system called the Model of Dynamic Integrity. We did this by learning that if we can not get rid of problems by conflict, then we must complete and use the conflict to learn; and in so doing, to include those lessons into solutions expansive enough to accept them.

Our cooperative is therefore governed by the most essential of rules: the rule of inclusion, a force of inclusion rather than one of separation. It is our way of returning home, a way of realizing our natural-born quality of wholeness - for each of us, and for all of us. We call that home One Life Center.

You are again invited to contact us to explore how you can help build a better way. Everyone has valuable resources. Sometimes, the only way to find them is to experience them. We can help you do that. We are now forming groups.

Steve Axelrod, Managing Partner One Word Solutions 3720 VT RT 14S Randolph Center, VT 05061 (802)728-5100 strategicsolutions@hughes.net