conscious work

Think Differently

Creative inner shifts


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As we prepare to host our first Community space next week, Sarah and I have been appreciating the time we ourselves have been taking for introspection over the dark of winter. We’ve been drinking deeply from sources that nourish and inspire us.

We have reflected together on the nature of our work. That is, helping to support the natural transformations occurring within human consciousness. We have been acknowledging the importance of creating and allowing empty spaces of ‘unknowing’, which bring forth new seeds and new ways of perceiving life. We’ve been finding ways to describe how subtle, yet profound shifts in consciousness generate new awareness. They carry us forwards, often effortlessly, towards new understanding and energised action.

One such beloved source of insight for us is the ‘Wilding Women’ project that we are a part of, together with other women and the founder Alison Williams, a career artist and friend. Alison is profoundly connected to these unfolding creative movements that happen in art, in our inner lives, and in the evolution of life itself. She describes the ‘wilding process’ as being: 

About that moment when something shifts in your life, something pivots, and you see something about your life in a completely new way. And once it’s been seen, it can never be unseen.” 

Here is a beautiful little 5-minute video conversation with Alison in which you can hear her words and see pieces of exquisite artwork.

Think Differently

Pivoting our reality


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I find myself, like so many others, challenged by the apparent scale of the task to help transform business practice and bring a healthy, caring and inclusive value system into being. My mind takes up the task of course. It calculates probabilities and strategies, seeks evidence for its arguments, begins to form imagined alliances, and then sometimes it can’t see enough and it grinds to a halt… and stares up at the implacable mountain face of ‘BUSINESS’ as it is, governed by rationales of self-interest, endless growth and profit at any cost. I know this place. I also know that change doesn’t happen by knowledge and by will alone.

In fact, if I am approaching change from a place of personal will, I know that I am still part of the problem. I’ve become identified with a role (again) as hero, or rescuer, or fixer. Naturally, the role helps me to feel useful and valuable, and it helps keep creeping doubt at bay. After all, it’s not easy or comfortable to feel powerless and admit the limits of my individual knowledge, or the true degree of my mind and heart’s conditioning.

Yet the recognition of my limits can, and does, act as a wake up. It acts as a doorway, from unknowing to fuller awareness. So I stop, take a breath, gather myself and reconnect to the sources of life and our deeper creativity.  I remember to pivot right there in that moment. Not as a one-time action, but as a choice made over and over again. My task is to keep pivoting and practice moving out of ‘conditioned me’ into an expanded ‘connected me’ who is able to use all the intelligences and tools of consciousness.

I pivot as soon as I recognise that I’m operating in far too limited an awareness. (It’s beautiful hubris to think I have the ‘right answer’ but it’s simply not the truth). When I let go of an opinion, a desired outcome, or a belief, then I’m open again to the largest field of potential and I’m receptive to new possibilities, as yet uncreated.

Pivoting the self is an immediate, here-and-now practice. It allows me to return to states of generative flow and to stop struggling, willing or forcing things. Growth is not a driven act of will, or a destination. It’s a continual movement back and forth across a dynamic threshold, as we learn to inhabit new dimensions of reality and increase our capacity to move between the concrete everyday and the boundless.

I practice pivoting by challenging everything that blocks the full creative potential of every moment and by allowing blindspots and beliefs to be illuminated. In this way, there are countless small shifts of awareness that re-pattern my inner and outer perception. Like stepping-stones, each one creates and expands potential, leading to a more unified and coherent reality.

Some discoveries are ground shaking in nature, and they collapse large pieces of my self-image (normally unconscious). Together, all of these shifts in perception and understanding, large and small, create a deeper pivot in identity. Inner transformation leads to outer change. Our world is reshaped as we turn insights into reality through choices and embodied actions.

Knowing through direct experience that I live in an interconnected universe that is endlessly intelligent makes all the difference. I don’t have to operate in a narrow band of conditioned awareness. I can actively and consciously participate, helping to surface hidden and unexpected data. Helping to shape life by generating solutions that are based on this understanding. I am, and you are deeply a part of this evolutionary movement and our conscious agency is a purposeful gift.

I don’t need to challenge the current paradigm of business and leadership. It has already revealed its own limits. There is no mountain face to tackle, because business leadership and culture is pivoting too, and ultimately we all stand on the same ground.

There is nothing here to force or to will. I’m not limited to the lenses of personal reality. Instead, there is the joy and blessing of being here at this threshold moment in human history – with a vibrant values framework for intentional and conscious positive impact, and lived experience offered in service of others choosing to pivot too.

Think Differently

What’s all this business about consciousness?


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So let’s talk about the ‘Consciousness’ word and why it matters to organisational life beyond ideas about mindfulness or personal development. Hopefully in a succinct way…

Some might wish that humans possessed tightly contained minds that are easy to control, mould and train for functional purposes, and which could operate separately from our emotions. You can see how that might make things simpler and more predictable in a management world that requires outputs, deliverables and measurable performance. But in reality, when you hire someone you get all the other stuff – a physical body, feelings and emotions, compulsions and habits, oh and other unknowable outcomes like creativity, originality and moments of genius too! 🙂

To look at the totality of a human being – that is, as a whole person – we need to include the deeper longings and unconscious drivers that generate meaning, fulfillment and the realisation of potential. Research tells us that our inner drives will regularly override rational thinking. These drives originate below conscious awareness, buried in instincts and conditioning. Indeed, the self-fashioned ‘work me’ that shows up to deliver business outputs is often a tiny presenting part of the full person. Imagine then the potential of bringing the whole person to work. And go bigger – imagine the true capabilities that become activated if you make an evolutionary leap and become a purposeful, conscious, co-active agent in a causal universe. “What the @*#?!” I hear you exclaim…

Yes, I am redefining the role and purpose of a human being based on current theory. Superfast version = Quantum physics explains that no experiment happens in a vacuum, or in any truly objective way. ‘Events’ occur in an experiment every time you introduce a human observer. In other words, we affect life. It’s not a static, inert backdrop. Life changes and evolves with us!

And the same is true for organisations. As an evolving, intelligent entity, an organisation is collectively expressed through human agents who go about fulfilling it’s purpose. But we’ve been going about business rather narrowly and blindly. So now we’ve reached the limits of thinking in terms of ‘negative externalities’ and even ‘carbon reduction’. We need a vision and plans of action based on renewal, balance and guardianship of life.

It’s time to become truly conscious and activate all of our awarenesses, which includes our felt senses and visceral connection to life – no more self-numbing, drugging or avoiding. It’s unwise to continue bearing the human and planetary cost of operating within depleted, stressed, unsustainable and under-resourced systems. We need conscious, fully alive people being creative with life to nurture the vibrant future that we want on our beautiful home planet.

In his book ‘Homo Deus’, historian and author Y N Harari articulately and humorously explains why scientists don’t yet understand consciousness. But it doesn’t have to be explained. It has to be experienced and practically applied here and now. We can draw on millennia old wisdom about consciousness from humanity’s treasure chests, as well as nature’s intelligent templates, which have undergone millions of years of testing. There are techniques and methodologies that exist right now and use present-moment phenomenon and the quantum field to work systemically with the entire chain of life.

We can choose to act decisively and innovate a different future reality – one in which sentient life is integral and precious to commercial activity. That’s what consciousness and specifically this conscious business movement is really about.