High-Potential World-Changers

I realised this morning that there is a very large group of people in the world who have maybe the highest potential to be the most effective world changers at this time. They are a group who do their work from a deep place for caring, from a love that is hard to transcend. They sacrifice many of their personal luxuries in devotion to their cause. They often end up leaving their warm beds at night to be of service, going without the accepted norms of sleep. They think deeply about every choice they make as they always want the best for those they work for. They organise their lives for the good of a higher purpose.

They know they are unlikely to receive much thanks for their work, even from those it will most benefit. In fact, they expect rebellion and rejection from those they are supporting, and yet continue to love them unconditionally. They draw boundaries even though they are likely to prove unpopular. They don’t shout about their successes nor do they moan about their failures. They just get on with the work. And because they care so much, this work brings them their greatest moments of joy as well as the deepest moments of pain and suffering. And yet all of those emotions are accepted as part of the work.

There is no financial reward, in fact it only costs them money. So if they expect neither thanks nor money, why do they do it? Their greatest reward is to witness the fruit of their devotion as it grows and ripens in the world, taking on its own unique beauty, and feeding in its turn the world it moves in. And in that witnessing, seeing the best of themselves and the worst of themselves expressed and refined on the whetstone of life.

So who are these incredible beings, that most of us would aspire to become? Well, you may well be one yourself. These are the parents of the world. The mothers and fathers who devote a large part of our lives to the raising of our children. Work that is neither valued by our monetized economy nor by the very children themselves until it is often too late to express their gratitude. So could we mobilise these qualities in ourselves and apply them to the raising of our immature society into an adulthood that takes full responsibility for the impact of its choices on all life on this beautiful planet of ours? With unwavering commitment, full surrender and an open heart? Maybe. I hope so. The potential is boundless.

Sacred Leadership

This is a paper that I submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the PhD in Wisdom Studies at Wisdom University, following on from a 5-day intensive on The Wisdom Factor: Sacred Leadership for a world in transition, hosted by Dr Will Taegel and Dr Judith Yost. 

 

Introduction

The first note that I made to myself just before this intensive started said “Sacred leadership creates the energetic, relational and material containers for spirit to do its work”. One of the last notes I made as Dr Will Taegel summarised the week was his suggestion that sacred leadership could be about letting the eco-field come through us, what I noted as “leading from the field”. My sense is that where the latter interpretation focuses on a surrender to the field and letting it work through us, the former suggests a co-creative role of the leader with the field. I believe that we are being called on as co-creators, and that our ability to contribute appropriately is dependent on our capacity for listening to the field. It is a yin-yang dance between surrender and creation. In fact, this very dynamic tension plays out in writing a paper like this, and a PhD dissertation, in which I as the author look to ground my position in existing published knowledge, whilst at the same time adding my own creative impulse and new ideas. In this paper I will explore the different qualities of sacred leadership that could enable this sensitivity and co-creativity to be present in a leader today.

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From Innovation to Revelation

Today we had our latest experiment with Street Wisdom. The basic hypothesis we are testing is that we can learn most of what we need in the very streets we usually just pass through to go from A to B. To do so however requires that we shift the way we usually experience the street. Most of the time I am busy in my head with various ponderings or thinking about the place that I am going to.

The experiment we have unleashed is simple really, but not obvious. Most of us in industrialized civilization have created a concept and experience of our mind being a separate entity that floats somewhere above the body, the latter being a cumbersome vehicle that we just have to look after enough to transport our head around. This is why we are so little present with the physical environments that we are walking through (one of the core reasons we have neglected the earth so badly).

When we remember that our mind is actually a property of our body, that every cell in our body also has mind qualities in it, then we start to experience our environments in quite a different way. We walk around with our body as one big sensor. The Street Wisdom experiments have been evidence of that. The first time, we experimented with walking very slowly down the street. It is amazing how one then really begins to see the world around us with new eyes and experience it with greater intimacy. Today we tried walking in a fully embodied way down the street, seeing the beauty in everything, sensing if things gave or took energy from us, and pondering the stories of everything we encountered (as sequential experiments).

It’s hard to describe if you haven’t done it yourself, but it opens up a relationship to whole dimension of life that we normally just float through. What we call the inanimate world suddenly comes alive. You experience a reciprocal relationship to life. I look at the plant or the car, and it looks back at me. I have a feeling of moving through a field of living beings that are energetically interacting with the world around them. It reminds me of how my young kids experience reality.

We then took it one step further and entered this dimension of the street with a question that we were looking for insight on. No sooner had I recalled the question and looked up than insights bombarded me from all directions, from signs on shop windows to posters on billboards to objects on the street. Those initial inspirations then started to form themselves up into a coherent deeper answer to the question I held. And all of that in the space of a few minutes.

If that had just been me we could have written it off as purely subjective. But a small group of us had remarkably similar experiences.

The key insight for me was that actually everything we need to know can be found in the space around us at any time, if we are present in our mind-bodies with it. Our continual drive for more and better, our obsession with innovation, all move us away from what we already have right under our noses. That is why I suggest that we shift from thinking about innovation to focusing on revelation – revealing that which is already accessible right here now.

Assuming that everything we need is already there and learning to reveal it, rather than assuming lack and pouring our energy into trying to create it, has a number of implications:

– we can relax, into ourselves and our environment
– we come to appreciate the richness of our current reality
– we waste a whole lot less as we see the usefulness of what is already there
– we reconnect to the energy of plenty which vitalises us (as compared to stressing us which is what scarcity does)
– we build relationships with the people around us and come to see the wealth of resources that they hold
– we have to travel less to get the profound experiences we seek, as we discover that we can have them on our doorstep

You get the idea.

This is the start of an exploration. It is emerging out of a friendship between myself and David Pearl, with friends and colleagues co-creating as we go. Next time we intend to invite a bigger group to see where that may go. Watch this space and why not give it a go in your own backyard?