Wow. 2012 is a breath away. When I started the Shape Shift blog I wrote: “the shape of the world is shifting. It is constantly shifting but never more so than now. This is evident in health care, education, finance, communities, technology, organizations and other systems that have become vital to how we function today. We can be passive recipients of the impact of these shifts in the world or we can become active participants in shaping the future of the systems, organizations and communities that we feel passionate about – that are near and dear to our hearts.” This was true when I wrote it, and started Shape Shift Strategies Inc, in August of 2009. It is even more true as we are on the brink of 2012 – a year that has been much prophesied and written about.
If we are paying attention we can literally and figuratively feel the earth shaking underneath our feet as significant shifts take place – in the natural world and the manmade world. Earthquakes and tsunamis in New Zealand and Japan, the Arab Spring, Occupy to name just a very few. I say paying attention with the full awareness that there are many of us who see the greater scope of these stories and feel the significance of them in our very beings and there are many who do not yet see the stories under the stories that show up in mainstream media – a medium that is struggling with seeing and understanding the deeper patterns of these movements in the world.
If I am to imagine into 2012, I can only imagine that the chaos and complexity of our systems, our social structures and our communities will increase. This because of the reluctance and deep resistance of letting go of what we know, even when we know it doesn’t work anymore, to embrace what is waiting and wanting to be born. It is so hard to see new ways when all we can see is what we have already built. I’ve seen it in the conversations surrounding the Healthier Health Care Now gathering set for Utah early in January. “We want you to be different, but please do it in familiar ways. Because we don’t know how to support something that looks and feels different, especially when you cannot tell us exactly what it will look like in the end. We have to be accountable, after all.”
How do we become accountable for our future when we are anchored to what we know, what we have always known, what already exists? This is why the chaos will increase. It is already telling us what we know no longer works. Our collective response? Hold on tighter. Don’t let go. How deeply shaken do we need to be to let go, let fly into the void of the unknown?
Thank God for the growing pockets of people, teams, communities and communities of practice who see a different future and who steadfastly work toward it in the not knowing. There are so many I can name – because I am part of them – and so many I can’t because I don’t have knowledge of them but I am not so insular as to believe they don’t exist. Paul Hawken’s work in Blessed Unrest is just one indicator of this world wide revolution that is taking place right under our very noses – whether we see it or not.
Those of us working and living in the spaces of not knowing the specific shape of the future or of what new systems could emerge from the old as we are shaken free in the chaos, we are Warriors of the Heart. To be a Warrior of the Heart and be well, we need personal practices that keep us connected with source and allow us to access our own resilience, courage, compassion, strength, joy and love. There are individual and collective dimensions of practice. We build personal capacity in our individual practice. We amplify, accelerate and activate so much more when we come together in our collective work and journey.
2012 may show us more and more the intersection between the relational field (love and loyalty) and the strategic field. We have treated love and loyalty somewhat dismissively – the soft skills side of the equation. In business we need to be hard – hard nosed, make hard decisions. What if this is not true? What if our greatest path forward is to embrace more fully the relational field so that our choices are actually more strategic, have a longer term view and value all the things that are important to our survival in a time when so much of what we have always known seems threatened? What becomes possible when we sink into what we’ve known even longer than what we’ve always known – the wisdom and knowledge accessible to us in ancient wisdoms that become more present to us as we pause and listen deeply – to the earth, to the whispers in our own hearts, to the yearning we have to be connected to something that has deep meaning and purpose. What would a world look like that connected through love and loyalty and then developed strategy for the highest good of us all?
The shape of the world is shifting. It always has been. Is it shifting faster now? Feels that way. What is the intentionality we can individually and collectively bring to amplify, accelerate and activate the shift we desire to see in the world? What is the shape of the world you want to live in to?
I experience such deep gratitude and appreciation for my friends and colleagues (the ones I know and the ones I haven’t met yet) around the world. You inspire me. You lift me up in the moments when I have lost sight of my own light. You give me great hope for what is possible in a new world order. I am humbled and honoured to do amazing work in the world with people I care deeply about – from a place of open heartedness and a field of love and connection that makes possible the impossible – only seeming impossible because we can’t always see the how. The how stops us. The vision and intention for shaping a future we want to live into compels us all forward.
Walking the path of not knowing. Setting strong, clear intentions for what I want to see unfold in my own path of shifting the shape of the world in 2012, letting go of the how and inviting what is ready – and urgently wanting – to show up.