written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi
To be a leader of change in our world today is no easy task. What works for the many will not work for a leader of change. A leader of change must see the world in a whole new way that is shed of all the current paradigms. The leader must also know how to bridge from our current world to our unfolding world of the future. Paradigms must dissolve, new visions must emerge that meet the organic and moving times that we live in.
Do you look around the world and see a better way? Do you want to support the world and people to be more vibrant, alive, healthy and balanced? There are so many areas of concern in our world:
… The list can go on and on…
This is an age of transformation and leaders are emerging in all areas to bring about much needed movement in a more sustainable and natural world order. This work is not easy and there is often not much guidance for these brave pioneers.
“In our moment of history, perhaps the most sweeping and radical transformation ever to occur on Earth is under way. … True adulthood, or psychological maturity, has become an uncommon achievement in Western and Westernized societies, and genuine elderhood nearly nonexistent….we live in a largely adolescent world. And it is, in great measure, a pathological adolescence.”
Those who are arising out of the many to lead the transformations are evolving and transforming themselves. One of the first steps to this process is to be aware of the world we live in - both inside and out. We can not bring about healthy change in the outside world without also being more healthy and mature ourselves. At an adolescent stage of development, we only react against a situation. This will not bring about the sustainable change we are looking for.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
Once, when I was teaching a class to soon to be physicians, on the topic of adolescence, I asked them to recall being teenagers. The questions posed were, “When you were asked to clean your room, how many of you cleaned your room?” (half raised their hands) and “When you were asked to clean your room, how many of you purposely did not?” (the other half raised their hands). When we are adolescents, we start to find our voice and independence by going against the original value. Yet we fail to see that that is not our true voice but just a reaction and it is at the level of the first condition. In order to find our healthy way, we must remove the conditioning altogether and accept our truth of the situation, whether aligned with the first value, the opposite or anywhere in between. That is the process that the leaders of change today are going through.
We live in a world of conditioning, patterns, paradigms and unspoken rules. We often don’t even know what is running us sometimes. One of the first true tasks of a leader of change is to be aware of what is running us. See all the patterns - conscious and unconscious. To see this, it is much like watching our lives flash before our eyes at death because our identities must die to the attachments we have of the conditioning. So how do we do this?
The following exercise is a first, intensive step to identifying the conditioning and paradigms we unconsciously live in. It is meant to be explored when there is ample time, no rush and a conducive atmosphere for reflection. Writing, documenting, drawing and finding some creative output for the answers serves to deepen the process as we generally operate at an unconscious and preverbal level. Then, once we see the past and the conditioning that we are operating under, we are able to attune to the unfolding future (that is now) and lead in this time of change. For more info on how to powerfully do that, there will be more articles later... so, for now...
If you are ready, you are invited to continue…
Warning: Read at your own risk. The following questions and answers you give yourself may increase darkness, frustration, confusion, chaos and dissatisfaction. There may not be an immediate resolution.
If you are not sure if you are ready, read are you ready?
Do you see in the dark?
Our darkness is our conditioning.
How many messages have you taken into yourself?
Throughout all the years of your life, what beliefs/statements/programs have you ingested?
What did your parents tell you?
What is the influence of your generational history?
What did your community tell you?
What are the shoulds and shouldn’ts of your world?
What makes a good person?
What are the cultural expectations?
What is the group consciousness?
What is success?
What is worthwhile work?
What is right?
What is wrong?
What do you have to believe and do in order to belong in your tribe?
What defines you?
What are your expectations?
If you removed all of the above, what would remain?
What do you see when there is no darkness?
What do you see without the conditioning?
What is left with no judgment?
When you sit in that silence, what do you notice?
Are you ready for what’s next? If you are not sure, read are you ready?
More to follow on this unfolding journey...
If you would like to explore more of Cheryl-Dean's reflections and creative spirit, you are invited to her personal website www.cheryldeanthompson.com and some of her other websites: www.artisticgrowth.com (work site with online offerings) and www.sacredhumanity.org (poetry and upcoming book).