HOW TO EMBRACE CHANGE…
When spin is no longer an option
It’s time to learn to juggle.
The problem with juggling is getting the third ball in the air. There you are with one ball in each hand. You’re supposed to let go of both and then add a third one.
It feels stressful. You think you need to MOVE VERY FAST when in fact you need to move very consistently, relax and believe you can master the third dimension.
The good news: Once you’ve done it, you’ll never want to pass the ball again.
Everyones talking about the need for change these days. We all agree that the world looks a bit of a mess.
Things changed in the 60s. We all got quite excited by that. The old guard was challenged, freedom of speech arrived, sex came out of the dark closet. We had movement – the feminist movement, the peace movement, the anti apartheid movement. We became very creative. And then…
We dropped the ball.
Maybe we were too stoned, maybe we got scared, but somehow we have ended up with a pretty depressing scenario.
Inequality: is worse than ever. In the third world it’s difficult to find a drink of water that won’t kill you while in the west we pay through the nose for designer bottled water…because we’re worth it. And because we can. There are parts of the world where people die for want of a simple operation that costs next to nothing while elsewhere we pay a small fortune for one that will make us look a bit younger. (We haven’t figured out how to stop death but we’re determined to look pretty when we get there if it’s the last thing we do…actually it will be the last thing we do but hey…)
Sex: We let the genie out of the bottle but didn’t know what to wish for. We voted for quantity over quality. We got pornography on an epidemic scale, teenage pregnancy, sex tourism. We invented Viagra so we can keep on doing it some more. Now we can hardly open our inboxes.
Freedom of speech: Got it, gave it back. It was just easier to let mass media form most of our opinions.
Feminism: Great now we can put on suits and do what the boys have been doing for years. Compassion? Caring? Let’s kick ass. And if the boys don’t let us play let’s whine and moan and get them in trouble for being mean.
Peace: If we can just find and kill the terrorists we’ll have peace. Hello??? Did war strategists never play space invaders and asteroids? Kill one they break up and come back with more….lots more…and now they’re really pissed off. And meanwhile the amount of money we are spending on defence could have solved most of the problems of the world twice over.
Creativity: How many musicians does it take to change a lightbulb? Ten. One to change the lightbulb and nine to sing about how great the old one was.
Songs of the 60s digitally remastered. Greatest hits of the 70s repackaged in boxed sets. 80s rock compilations…Road Songs, Love Songs, Leaving songs. Power Ballads. Just when you thought we’d run out of ways to re-market the back catalogue along comes….. Sampling!!!!
We’re not even angry, we’re depressed. (I once heard a definition of depression as anger without the enthusiasm which seems an appropriate description of our times). We’re in a collective depression that no amount of Prozac can reach. And when you’ve reached a point where you can’t medicate yourself out of a predicament, you know
the centre isn’t holding…
the paradigm is shifting…
So what is a paradigm shift?
Funnily enough you can usually only see them in retrospect.
It’s when things change… significantly. One age dies and a new one emerges. Change is extremely stressful when it’s forced on people but with greater awareness we can manage change more successfully.
So what will the next age look like?
How will we get the third ball in the air?
Let’s prize open the fingers and take a look at what kind of balls we have right now.
THE RED BALL
Governed by the left brain. Rational. Analytical. Focussed. Gets the job done. Action and reaction. Popular in the days of the Wild West. Stride into town, weigh up the situation, shoot the bad guys, organise the good guys, leave… Still popular today though politically incorrect.
Archetypal associations…Maverick. Entrepreneur. Pioneer. Adventurer. Warrior.
What we love about it….’At last somebody who’ll take charge of the situation. Now it feels like we’re getting somewhere’.
What we hate about it…All the tricky questions. Who decides which ones are the bad guys? What do we do if we’re not allowed to shoot them? Who gets to be in charge of the other guys and why?
Chief organising principle INDEPENDENCE
THE BLUE BALL
Governed by the right brain. Caring. Creative. Intuitive. Emotional. Vulnerable. Float into town, sense the situation, suggest democratic process involving redemption of the bad guys and protection of the wounded guys. Have meetings…
Archetypal associations…Rescuer. Mother. Nurse. Healer. Artist.
What we love about it…it makes us feel responsible, noble, proud, highly evolved.
What we hate about it…The creation of the dependency culture. The system gets abused which makes us feel exasperated. We help for the wrong reasons (to relieve our guilt and make us feel better about ourselves). It is stressful to maintain as a long term strategy. We become exhausted by the sacrifice.
Chief organising principle DEPENDENCE
We’re trying to get to INTERDEPENDENCE. We’re trying to throw the third ball in, but we‘re not sure how to do it. So far, we’ve had limited success with…
THE ‘WANNABE’ BALL
THE GREEN BALL
New Age!!! This was perhaps practice contractions in birthing the new era – or more like a curve ball. This is where we got to be fluffy and express our feelings. It’s also where we found out we could have whatever we want if we just believe (and if we could only wrestle our left brain to the floor long enough to get to the end of The Secret.)
WHY IT DIDN’T WORK
The problem with feelings: Stroke a circle long enough and it gets vicious.
Feel angry Beat him/her/pillow Feel better!! BRIEF INTERLUDE Feel angry.
Feel guilty Beat yourself up Feel better!! BRIEF INTERLUDE Feel guilty.
Feel sad Cry Feel better!! BRIEF INTERLUDE Feel sad.
The problem with having whatever you want:
Want stuff Get stuff Feel happy!! BRIEF INTERLUDE Feel unhappy Want stuff.
Want to win Win Feel happy!! BRIEF INTERLUDE Feel failure Want to win.
Want soul mate Get soul mate Soul mate source of greatest happiness!! Soul mate source of greatest misery!! Clearly wrong soul mate Want soul mate.
BRINGING IN THE THIRD BALL
How happy we are is determined by our ability to process good and bad feelings so that the negative ones don’t overpower us.
This is where the third ball comes in.
It’s our soul.
It allows us to experience things.
THE PURPLE BALL
CHANGE YOUR THINKING CHANGE YOUR WORLD
Getting the third ball in the air requires that we radically change the way that we think and that we learn to embrace paradox.
The most notable landmark in our evolution from apes to humans was the emergence of ‘the opposable thumb’. The dramatic tension between finger and thumb enabled us to write, draw, carve, cut, build, farm. Our brains rose to the occasion created by these possibilities and grew accordingly.
We have reached a similar landmark. The dramatic tension between our left and right mind when properly activated will enable us to create an entirely new set of possibilities and our brains will grow to accommodate these accordingly. This is how we will create solutions to our current problems. Not by using better engineered or more sophisticated versions of red and blue thinking but by an integration and an extension of the two into a new type of thought processing.
It might require a new language – one of symbolism and metaphor. A three dimensional language rather than a linear literal one.
In order to see it in action here are some examples of what this could look like:
A. Power – and what power implies – money, success, sex
A. POWER – THE BIGGY
Most things in life have something to do with the management of power. Individually we need to learn how to manage our own energy system if we are to become truly powerful. Otherwise we will never have enough power to make our ideas happen. Collectively we need to evolve from the love of power to the power of love.
THE EVOLUTION OF POWER AND OUR RELATIONSHIP TO IT
Our first experience of power as a child is the perception that people who are physically bigger or stronger have it. We grow into adults who believe that organisations and individuals who have more money, resources and status have the power. We would lie cheat steal and manipulate to get it.
Power to defend ourselves
So, that’s enough of the sticky end of the lollipop. Let’s get smart. Let’s get even. We now move up a notch. The victim in the playground learns psychology and outsmarts his opponent through diligence and tactics. The individual in an organisation works his way up the ladder with a combination of positive thinking, focus, competitiveness and manipulation. He denies his true self, hides his motivations and plays the game.
Power to win
Real power. Real power is not in the money or in the technology or in the information, it’s in the interface between the soul and the heart. There’s nothing sentimental about that. (that’s how the ego would have us interpret it). Love is a powerful force…not the synthesised need based, wish fulfilment Hallmark cards version we often associate with it.
We have power. We’d better do something useful with it or get ready to implode. Power comes through us. Like electricity to earth. We’re just the conduit. We need to get comfortable about being the wiring.
It’s the soul that vessels real power. And it’s not the transitory kind that comes from competition. Real power energises – it doesn’t burn out because there’s an endless supply. We need to awaken the force in our soul and access that power so that we are no longer paralysed, ineffective or exhausted. So, if it’s that simple, how come we don’t do it??
Limited thinking and faulty wiring. We give our power away to all sorts of things. We use it to fuel our resentments, to keep alive events from the past, to finance our fears, to keep some people on pedestals to keep others as far away as possible. We make unwise investments.
Our ego is heavily invested in ‘old style’ power and tries to block all access to our natural energy source. We are under a collective spell of unconsciousness from which we need to wake up.
The power to empower
B. CREATIVITY – THE KEY
THE EVOLUTION OF CREATIVITY
Creativity in the old days was either an indulgence or extremely difficult. Work for years to be granted access to creative tools. Serve a long apprenticeship in order to paint background figures on a Da Vinci church mural. Practice scales and arpeggios for a lifetime before finding a sponsor at court. No royalties. No ownership. Books for the educated elite only. Artists completely expendable and subject to the whims of the ruling classes. Creativity was work for the poor, indulgence for the rich.
Everyone wants to be creative. Creatives are the only cool people. But creativity is too narrowly defined (artists, musicians and writers). The means to be creative are available to all, leading to masses of content, masses of competition and very few stars. We have to create an elite artificially which leads to an obsession with celebrities. Not survival of the fittest or natural selection more survival by divine intervention – God is the PR man. Heroes often turn out to have feet of clay when they buckle under the weight of all that projection.
Stop the ‘celebrity projection’, it’s becoming tedious. Stop sabotaging your own creativity. Change the definition – broaden it. Everyone is creative. That’s how we’re wired. Be creative. Be the hero in your own life, not the understudy. The way you live your life is a creative expression. It’s not what you do, it’s the way you do it that counts. Value your own contribution to the whole. Expand your horizons of what’s possible. Stop defining creativity in such a narrow way – any act can be creative, any conversation can be creative. If we don’t allow ourselves creative expression we die. Make your life a work of art. This is your highest potential. However you choose to express it.
C. RELATIONSHIPS – STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, OR ROAD TO HELL?
EVOLUTION OF RELATIONSHIPS
Necessity. ‘Let’s get married’ because we have a better chance of survival together. We need each other. A contract. A business arrangement – both parties bring something to the table. Most eligible partner, someone who’ll make you feel safe.
Choice. The great soul mate scam. ‘Let’s get married’ because you complete me. Venus and Mars. Unfortunately a lot of romance turns out to be just specialness addiction and co-dependency, where we believe another person can make us feel better. A silent contract. An unspoken agreement of needs and expectations. Silence soon broken when expectations are revealed and the fight begins about whose needs are most important. Leading quickly to ‘you don’t understand me’ or ‘you’re not making me happy’. Most eligible partner, someone who’ll make you feel special.
Compassion. Nobody can make us feel happy. Nobody can take care of our needs. Trying to find happiness in another human being who is simultaneously trying to find happiness in you results in two very disappointed people. A relationship is about giving and receiving not taking. Sort out your own needs so you can love people without a hidden agenda.
D. SPIRITUALITY – IT’S GOD JIM BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT
EVOLUTION OF SPIRITUALITY
The first projection. The Father. God as Kenny Rogers. Authoritative figure with a white beard. Most of the world’s major religions have a version. This God can get very angry but ultimately he takes care of you. When he gets angry bad stuff happens – floods, locusts, death of the first born. He can get mad at you but won’t let anyone else having a go. He protects his own. Leads to competitive ‘my Dad’s better than your Dad’ debates. The crusades were all about this. Also the twin towers. He teaches his kids that it’s ok to fight as long as you’re defending yourself and the family…and making sure they know who’s in charge. The Old Testament of the Bible. This is kindergarden infant spirituality.
The second projection. The Mother. God as Goddess. All loving, all nurturing. Will forgive any kind of bad behaviour and still pay off your debts and make cheese toasties at 2am. The true version of Christianity as taught by Jesus before the crusading patriarchs doctored the text and came up with the New Testament and a crazy literal interpretation of the teachings. Judgemental and self righteous behaviour – our way or the highway. God has the power to give you stuff if you’re good and if you pray hard. Spoken prayers (words) things like World Peace, unspoken prayers (thoughts) things like BMW and a Job in the media. This is child spirituality. Or spiritual capitalism.
New age curve ball. Eastern religions are hip and groovy. We can pick the bits we like and leave out the hard work. No spiritual discipline, no spiritual practice, but we like the feng shui, crystals and mystics. We love the trappings but we have no real power to heal anything or to change anything. This is precocious teenage spirituality. Or the Harry Potter spiritual path.
The child grows up and takes back the projections. God is love (as we will come to know it) We can’t experience what love is until we have learned to take care of our own needs and learned to integrate our polarities.
We are a small part of God. An idea in the mind of God. The conduit of creative energy. We cannot be separate though we believe we are. All we need do is start living. Start being that creative expression. Then miracles will happen.
I’m praying for a new bike.
It doesn’t work like that. Steal the bike and then pray for forgiveness.
Get the hell out of here, I’m meditating.
Don’t need a bike. Learning to fly !
E. CHOICE – THE ELECTRIC KOOL AID ACID TEST
THE EVOLUTION OF CHOICE
No choice. Grow up in a tribe – i.e. a social group of some sort, live in the village – local town, learn a trade (probably the same one as Dad), marry the girl next door, have children.
Too many choices. Big choices – Move to France? Switch career? Have children?
Small constant choices – 85 varieties of salad dressing, 20 mobile phone price plans. Complexity
All choices have consequences. It’s intimidating. Making the wrong choice can lead to regret, which is the pain of carrying the consequences of your choices. Without a mechanism in place to deal with the feelings engendered, most people will default on the power of choice and avoid making them altogether.
This can make us susceptible to spellcasting…where we give our power of choice to another person, a social group, a magazine, an ‘expert’ etc etc.
‘Make my choices for me’. We have child care experts, medical experts, style consultants, spiritual mentors, food gurus, house doctors. We are influenced by significant others ’you must try this it’s brilliant, don’t wear that you look terrible’.
A good question: Who or what has formed most of your choices?
What would my soul choose? The power of intuition. Get it or get comfortable with massive confusion. How do we develop intuition? It doesn’t need developing, it’s already there. We just need to remove the roadblocks so that it can come through.
If we cannot manage the mechanism of choice, it will find another master. A false God. Remember juggling requires consistency. When we are inconsistent (choosing, hesitating, changing our mind), our power of choice gets hijacked by an addiction. An addiction is always consistent. It’s our constant friend. It becomes a powerful default program. Some examples:-
Flat in Clapham?
House in Cornwall?
Flat in Clapham?
House in Cornwall?
Bottle of wine!
Have a baby?
Focus on career?
End relationship and move on?
Make changes and stay?
Play Carpenters CD!
Addictions to thought forms or patterns of behaviour create chaos. We deliberately create chaos as a way of stopping our intuitive senses from communicating with our physical senses. We’re scared we won’t like the intuition. We create a logjam so that we can remain stuck in the vortex of spin. Then we don’t have to choose. Choices are forced upon us. Then we don’t have to be responsible for the consequences of our choices – we can blame other people, the family, the government, God. It’s miserable having no power and moaning is dull.
We have to learn to take responsibility for the management of our own power and the consequences of our choices.
That’s a better way. Clear up the logjam debris. Be open. Hold still. And let the intuition come through. Let the new idea penetrate.
Your belief system ‘I will get fucked’
The reality. You might just enjoy it.
THE CHAOS OF CHOICE
THE CHOICE OF INTUITION
EVOLUTION OF PHYSICS
World is flat
World is round
World is energy. We’re all connected molecules
G. ADVERTISING – WHAT WE SELL AND WHAT WE BUY NOW AND IN THE FUTURE
EVOLUTION OF ADVERTISING
Buy this it’s cheaper. It has more knobs. It’s available in more colours. Remember the houses of the 1950s, just about one up from the caves at Lascaux, some sticks of furniture and cooking implements and a row of ducks on the wall. Advertising about communicating functionality and differences.
Buy this it’s cooler. We need a mental and emotional connection to the things we buy. The birth of brands. Drinking Starbucks and wearing Prada makes me a more interesting, more special human being. Advertising about the experience – driven by a need to feel superior, better, smarter and a denial of the underlying fears of emptiness and inadequacy. Things don’t work but they look like they matter. We invest our energy in the stuff we need.
Buy this only if it serves how you feel about yourself. Your self esteem is all about your relationship to your soul which needs to get very little but needs to do quite a lot in order to have a constant experience of who it is. How you feel about yourself is basically your Highest Potential. Only you can have this, it belongs to you alone. There’s no stress attached to it. If you don’t claim it nobody else can, there will just be a hole in the whole where you failed to show up. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and Step into the gap that only you can fill.
Branding is a spiritual thing. It’s about essence. In the future, advertising and the things we choose to buy will be about how we serve and about relationship. The one we have with ourself and the ones we have with each other and the external world. The only way to have an experience of anything is to be in relationship with it. We will buy things that support this. There isn’t much in the material world that can amaze us anymore.
H. BACK TO PARADIGMS…WHERE WE CAME IN
EVOLUTION OF PARADIGMS
Industrial Age. Body
Information Age. Mind
Energy Age. Spirit
How will it work? We don’t know yet as we’re still applying the old paradigm thinking, waiting for the answers that we know won’t come at that level. We have to step forward in faith. Together. In the midst of an all systems breakdown we need an all systems response.
We have to go past seeing events literally and see patterns and underlying beliefs that keep the patterns in place, then we can make different, better choices about what to do. We need to change the thinking that led to the problem.
When we step forward the answers will appear in the gap. We need to throw the third ball in the air. We need to occupy the space between things. That’s where the magic is.
Fear based thinking feels natural but it isn’t true. What we think about the world creates the world. We need internal personal transformation. We are not meant to be at the effect of lovelessness. Our lives are worth more than that.
HOW TO SURVIVE A PARADIGM SHIFT
It’s big….and it’s clever…
In order to avoid sleeping with the dinosaurs we need to evolve our capacity to think and to feel. Evolution has always been about survival of the fittest not survival of the majority. In the future the fit people will be the ones who can in equal measure, think and feel more deeply and more creatively.
We need to challenge our habitual thought patterns. Our minds love solving problems, so as fast as we solve one problem our minds are creating the next one. This looks purposeful, it frequently looks important or interesting. The question is… which problem are we solving and why?…
The problem we are familiar with?
The one we can speak knowledgeably about?
The one that wins us the approval of our peers?
…or the one that really needs addressing…the solving of which would benefit the whole organisation, rather than gratify the ego of one particular individual.
Underneath our noble intentions is the belief that it’s not possible for everyone to win. This needs dismantling. It comes from old tribal beliefs about survival that are no longer valid. In old paradigms physical strength was the only way to survive, so physical strength was valued over mental agility. In our current environment physical strength has been devalued and mental agility becomes the focus. Parents knock themselves out to pay for the best education for their children…thinking that this will guarantee their survival. This isn’t true anymore. There are more University graduates in low paid menial jobs than you can shake a stick at.
Diversity is the key to success. For successful diversity we need to find different ways of measuring peoples’ value so that we can leverage this value for the benefit of the whole. We need to define creativity in an entirely different way. We need to define charisma in an entirely different way and we need to define genius in an entirely different way – not the synthesised, narrow, media constructs that they have become.
Everyone has a unique charism that is theirs alone. It frequently defies standard definitions. Some peoples’ genius is their common sense. You can’t educate common sense into someone. There is an unknown force that controls creative expression. When people tap into this, find their own charism and nurture it then the genie comes out of the bottle…same root as genius…same principle. People are much more than they appear, they have more capacity, more greatness, more power. They have been trapped inside unused lamps for so long they have forgotten this.
For too long we have undervalued the power of feelings to change really big things. We are suspicious of feelings because of old tribal belief systems. Feelings were associated with the disempowered female. Feelings were associated with chaos… with manipulation… sultry sirens pulling unsuspecting sailors into a never ending sea of emotions…
This has more to do with thought based emotions rather than true feelings. Becoming empowered is about learning how to stay in your current experience (whether that’s joyful or sad) and feeling it without defence, acting out or dissociation. It’s about living undefended with your heart open.
The old paradigm of power polarised masculine and feminine. Power is an energy. It has to be equal to be really effective. Because men had power (in the negative sense), frequently the only way women could compete for this power was in an underhand, manipulative way. The battle of the sexes began. Where men had mastery in the THINK department, women took ground in the FEEL (in the negative sense) department and would use this advantage to survive. They learned to motivate people by making them feel bad…or by making them feel good…same dynamic…same coin, different sides.
Of course now there’s pretty much a free for all where men and women take turns in both arenas, and suddenly feelings are on the agenda. We have HR departments to monitor the feelings in an organisation. This just makes the whole process go underground. We act one way and feel another.
|How we act||How we think||How we feel|
|I work for a good company. I am looked after||This company sucks and all their HR policies are token and meaningless||Insecure and scared of the future|
|New company imperative is a great idea. I’m right behind it.||New imperative serves to make my boss a shed load of money – there’s nothing in it for me||Undervalued and defensive.|
|My team get on well||I am always left with all the work while everyone else leaves on time||Unappreciated and sulky.|
|I’m fine…no really||I’m keeping all my options open and will jump ship as soon as a better opportunity comes along||Angry and vengeful.|
The outcome of any interaction is determined by the feelings that are driving the interaction. It doesn’t matter what people say or do – if their thoughts and feelings are not lined up with what they are saying or doing the outcome will bear the fruit of this.
There is absolutely no substitute for the energy that is created when people are lined up…when their thoughts and feelings are congruent…when their contribution is valued, when they are valued, when their creativity is given an avenue for expression. Sure they may think that the only way to feel valued is to be financially rewarded but this has been proven to be irrelevant time and time again. More than ever these days people are leaving highly paid jobs for work that has more meaning, that makes them feel better about who they are and what they are contributing.
We are not excited about what we can buy anymore. We are becoming excited about our highest potential, our empowerment and our part in empowering other people. Transformation is powerful.
So, emotional maturity is key to this. No more indulging in feelings, no more manipulating with feelings…Stepping up. Learning to process our feelings in a constructive way is crucial. That way the feelings don’t go underground and cause havoc.
THE NEXT GENERATION
It’s true there is bad stuff everywhere. It is difficult to read the news, both local and international. Teenage stabbings in schools, rape, paedophilia, war, torture. We switch off our capacity to feel deeply. We substitute with feelings we are comfortable with…self righteousness, injustice, anger. Underneath these slightly chippy feelings are the ones we don’t want to feel consciously…outrage, pain, heartbreak and guilt.
When we have the courage to open our hearts to these feelings we also find the courage to love and the capacity to love in an entirely different way. And this kind of love has the power to change the world we live in. We see it in the cases of individuals who through their own personal endurance test have produced miracles in the lives of others. Mothers of children killed by violence who dedicate their lives to the peace process. Men who run into burning buildings to save another’s life. People who, in their moment of greatest pain or fear, choose to respond with love.
We all have this choice in any given moment. We don’t have to wait for the tragedies to occur before becoming heroes to the rest of humanity. We could choose to do it now.
The last ball of the series. The harmony and balance of unity.
Sun and Moon. Masculine and Feminine. Think and Feel.
THE ECLIPSE OF THE DYNAMIC FEMININE
All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
Beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All thats to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.