These days I’m thinking about two statements that seem to have become my mottos (1) If we want to create a different world, we have to see and connect differently with our selves, each other and the creative process (2) Social change is a collective creative process. While both these statements were definitely nurtured by my internal personal change journey, I know they also have roots in my experiences as a community mediator. The second statement emerged when I was writing a paper to prepare for a conversation I facilitated on Spirited Activism (Hosted by The Praxis Project) last month. This statement/motto excites me because it helps reinforce my shift from seeing social change as struggles, battles, fights, winning of hearts and minds to seeing social change as dances, dynamisms, practices, journeys, a watering of seeds, a nurturing of relationships, play, risks, happenstance, intuitive choices, patience, collective power, brilliance, unleashing of potential, animation, active listening, understanding, opening-expanding-connecting hearts and minds.
I am currently reading Walk Out, Walk On. This collection of tales repeatedly reminds me (mind you, these days, most books I read and experiences I have remind me of this one!) that social change requires a shift in consciousness – an expanding of our awareness, of how we understand ourselves and our relation to the world around us. As my tagline for this See & Connect blog says, I am drawn to the importance of rooting social change in the art of awareness.
I am writing this post and I’m wanting to tinker with my first two mottos. I’m also wanting to add to them and describe a cycle, the stages of the journey we are taking together. Here is where I am right now – here are five inter-linked beliefs that guide me in my work to contribute to creating a better world – a world (what I mean by ‘better’) where individuals and communities are deeply connected to their selves, each other and our creativity though a beautifully woven tapestry of love, compassion, integrity, authenticity, intuitive wisdom, insight, inspiration and play:
1. We are all creators and creative – we are all constantly bringing thoughts, beliefs, words, behaviors, material objects, inter and intra personal dynamics into being.
2. Our relationships, cultures and systems emerge from our individual and collective creative processes.
3. Who and how we are being during our creative processes defines the nature of our creations and fuels their on-going impact.
4. If we want to create a different world, we have to be different – we have to see and connect differently with our selves, each other and our creative processes.
5. A crucial step in changing who and how we are being and what we are bringing into being is to expand our individual and collective awareness and insight – to expand our consciousness.
What ties these five beliefs together for me is spirit – which literally means breath. What are we breathing into/giving life to in our selves and the world around us? Are we giving life to and growing greed, defensiveness, competitiveness, hoarding, insecurity, disconnect, rage and adversarial positioning? Or are we giving life to and growing collaboration, sharing, connection, compassion, and unity? What spirit – life force – are we connected to, and creating from, within our selves?
Who and how are you being in the world? What spirit – life force – do you bring to your different communities – Your family? Your friends? Your workplace? Your sports league? Your house of worship?
What spirit do you bring to your relationship with your self?