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

A big leap

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I experienced a moment of wonder on Friday morning when working with a regular mindfulness & meditation group. They were in a lively mood and when we checked in with what they wanted from the online space, they expressed a need for lightness and fun.

So we began by connecting to playful moments of silliness that they’d enjoyed in their lives. Unsurprisingly, we noted that it didn’t quite work to try and fish a memory out of their heads. Instead when they used their body to remember sensations of delight and feelings of playfulness, the memories just sprung to life spontaneously and copiously!

We enhanced and amplified the felt embodied experience of fun, noticing the flood of warmth, lightness and joy – which was especially present in the stomach and chest areas. The energy filled not only the individuals, but the whole group space. So it felt right to keep the energy growing and we set off on a guided inner visualisation.

Journeying into the inner landscape, the group members were invited to participate in an activity they love – perhaps to paint, dance, go walking, swim – or whatever brings a cascade of joy and wellbeing.

Then, a little further on, they were invited to do something that they would never ordinarily do in the everyday world – perhaps because it requires bodily ability, psychological freedom, or other skills they don’t currently possess, or haven’t put to the test. Afterwards, they shared in the circle their various experiences with great hilarity, disbelief and even jubilation at what they had accomplished in their inner imagination.

I too received a gift, as can happen when accompanying others on a journey. I had a flash of inner seeing. I was standing upon the pebbly sand of a wide beach right by a huge cliff. With a cheeky grin, I followed a strong impulse and did one giant leap up onto the very top of the cliff. Instantly, I was struck by the ‘super hero’ nature of the feat.

But then something else deepened in awareness as I noticed two things…

Appreciation again for the endless power of creative imagination – as a wondrous source for overcoming so-called impossibility. It opens up our capacity to imagine things differently than they are and gives a sense of emotional freedom to ‘just have a go’, dissolving the ego’s objections and judgments. Having visualised our desired future, we can then deeply anchor it into sensate awareness – i.e. inhabit and amplify the feeling of new capacity and this future sense of self in cellular memory. Indeed, much systemic coaching happens actually on our feet, moving between states of being, and experiencing the full intelligence of the body.

The massive presence of superhuman in the collective culture – in the sheer number of films and TV series in circulation. We saw a post-war birthing of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Futuristic universes (Marvel, DC, Asimov et al) in the 1950s & 60s, then developing through the 80s & 90s, which in the last 20 years brought a new wave of superhuman characters, including Iron Man, Supergirl, Thor, Neo (The Matrix), Kahn (Star Trek), new Jedi warriors (Star Wars) and many others.

Beyond just a desire for superpowers to make the world safe and controllable, I sensed the human collective unconscious also expressing a deeper longing – to overcome the limits and boundaries of current reality. We see so many film and TV productions critiquing a broken or militarised governmental system, placing us firmly on the side of freedom fighting heroes who protect citizens, cities, nations and the planet itself.

We know that potential dystopian future trajectory. We know that the old systems are cracked and breaking. Even in the presence of cynicism or despair, we intuitively know that we’re capable of so much more. Hope defies the impossible! Indeed, our recent responses to systemic injustice, and significant global rallying to the #blacklivesmatter call, indicates a growing readiness for change in the collective consciousness of humanity.

We’re each doing our inner work to overcome self-imposed limits and cultural boundaries. And that ‘inner leap’ up onto the cliff top today left me energised and inspired. It reminded me that leaps of consciousness are an innate human capacity and they enable purposeful action.

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.