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[R]evolution: Separateness to Connectedness – activating the new paradigm

December 6, 2017

In this short article, and supporting 17min TEDx talk at Wycliffe College, we are going to immerse ourselves in a revolution:  A revolution with profound consequences for ourselves our systems and our civilisation.

This revolution isn’t about digitisation, globalisation, disruptive innovation or the other macros-trends futurists often point to.

NO.

In fact it’s not out there at all.

It’s in here, in our hearts-and-minds , a revolution in consciousness that is ripping up the rule book about how we view life and our sense of place and purpose within it.

I have been in business for more than twenty years now, and yet it has been many more years of my life that I have deeply felt that what lies at the root of our plethora of challenges and crises – from mental health through to rampant consumerism, from climate change through to the widespread degradation of life on Earth – is dis-connection; dis-connected from ourselves, from each other, and from the world around us.

‘There is a tendency in our age to rush to change the manifest effects of wrong actions without seriously considering the root causes.’ – Joseph Milne

This dis-connection pervades our outer world through our dominant socio-economic narrative, and the way we behave in business today. It pervades our inner world through the quality of our attention and the perceptual filters we habituate and acculturate.

This is what this 17min TEDx talk addresses.

Einstein’s over-used and now heavily-hackneyed insight, we cannot change our problems with the same level of consciousness that created them is bang on the money, a perfect insight for the manifold problems we face and our way beyond them.  Yet, we so often find ourselves doing exactly this, applying the very same thinking that created our problems in the first place to our well-intended solutions. We simply don’t have time for this anymore. This is humanities hour of reckoning. It’s time to get radical and deal with the root cause, this pathological dis-connection.

The TEDx talk explains how we are now manifesting new ways of operating in business and beyond that work with connectedness rather than separateness.  The potential is huge, and the time in now.

As the well-respected business futurist John Naisbett notes,

‘The greatest breakthroughs of the 21st century will occur not because of technology, they will occur because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.’ – John Naisbett, futurist

Now I love that, to be involved in this expanding concept of what it means to be human, to helps us live up to our name as Homo Sapiens, wise beings, in a deeply wise, interconnected and sentient world.

What is stopping us? What is holding us back?

As the great Sufi mystic Rumi notes,

‘Why do you stay in prison, when the door is wide open?’ – Rumi, mystic

This is perhaps our greatest challenge, to notice our own constricted lenses of perception and to learn to cleanse them: to reach beyond our small selves into something much deeper, much wiser.  To embrace each day as a learning vehicle to become more conscious, more connected, more coherent. As John Macey, CEO of Whole Foods puts it,

‘Perhaps the greatest change that we humans are experiencing is our rising consciousness. To be conscious means to be fully awake and mindful, to see reality more clearly’  John Mackey, CEO Whole Foods

To see reality more clearly and to create the conditions for others in our organisations to see reality more clearly- this is the defining factor for future-fit leaders.

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

To watch the TEDx see:

Flowing with Purpose:  What is Purpose and how does it relate to Conscious Leadership?

November 16, 2017

Earlier this year I was invited to speak at Impact International’s flagship event LearnFest – where leading companies, heads of HR and OD, and practitioners in the field coalesce to learn about what is going on at the juicy edges of organisational development amid a festival environment in the Lake District.  It was a world-class event, run brilliantly by Impact International, and a huge success for those who attended.

After my talk I gave a workshop to a group of about 40 people, who wanted to dive deeper into ‘the organisation as a living system’.  One of the things we explored was the role of purpose in helping our organisations become more emergent, vibrant and resilient.  It was an absolute honour to have one of the world’s leading specialists on purpose at the workshop Richard J Leider, best-selling author of Repacking Your Bags and The Power of Purpose,  and the founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company.  Richard and I became engrossed in conversation afterwards, and I got to share insights with his lovely wife too.

In this article, I share some of the insights that come from Richard’s 30 years’ of exploring purpose, and blend it with some of my own findings along with findings from the extensive research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his team on flow as the optimal human experience.

From interviewing and working with numerous leaders over his 30 years, Richard identified three themes when people look back over their lives:

  • Step back, pause, reflect – people regret not spending more time reflecting, pausing to sense into the over-arching storylines, the inflection points, and moments of transition. We all-too-often become too busy, too caught up in the relentless pressure of life that we do not adequately gain perspective on what is really going on. There’s an old saying, ‘we can’t read the label while sitting in the jar.’

 

  • Take more risks – people regret not taking more risks, being more courageous in exploring what makes their heart sing and then changing their lives to actually do what makes their heart sing, rather than merely dreaming about it. This is also about being courageous enough to find a good work/life balance, to sense deeper into our ‘calling’ and start making changes in our outer life in ways that enlivens and engages this inner calling.

 

  • Deepening our sense of purpose – Richard notes that if there was a pill we could take that makes us live happier, longer and more meaningfully with no negative side-effects, we would take it. Well that pill is purpose.  By spending time to check-in with ourselves, sense our purpose, and bring this into our lives, we improve our wellbeing, authenticity and success.

 

So what actually is purpose?  The word ‘purpose’ is everywhere these days, but what does it really mean when it comes to living more purposeful lives?

Read more…

The Nature of Leadership:   Equipping future-fit leaders through being in Nature

November 8, 2017

In this ‘Agile Age’ the nature of leadership is fast transforming.  Fortunately, there is a powerful learning environment available to us – Nature.   Nature is emergent, adaptive, resilient, co-creative, receptive and responsive, the very qualities we need as future-fit leaders.

Not only can we learn from Nature, we now know that being-in-Nature helps us to become more agile, emergent and co-creative.

This short article explains why Nature is an ideal learning environment for future-fit leadership.

There are three levels by which Nature helps future-fit leaders learn:

  • Science now shows us that simply being-in-Nature improves our wellbeing, creativity, empathy, agility, self-awareness and natural ways of being-and-knowing (intuitive, rational, emotional, somatic intelligences). After being in Nature for at least 30mins, are hormones change, our senses liven, brain synapse connections enhance, left and right brain hemispheres inter-relate more readily, and we are able to draw upon more of our natural embodied wisdom. Being-in-Nature is not just good for us, it is congenial to exploring our sense of purpose, sensing into personal and organisational challenges, opening up to fresh insights, better empathising with different viewpoints, while gaining perspective on our stuck patterns and biases.

 

  • There is a zeitgeist shift in the air, a revolutionary shift in worldview, affecting how we perceive life and our sense of place and purpose within it. This challenges us at deep and partly unconscious levels, calling in to question how we create and deliver value in business and beyond.  This transforms how we view life, from separateness (in business this manifests as viewing the organisation as a machine, with compartmentalised problems, and piece-meal reductive solutions) to connectedness (realising the organisation is a living system, that our challenges are systemic in nature and that our living organisation is intimately entwined with stakeholder relations at local and global levels, economic, social and environmental). With this shift comes a realisation that our solutions need to be created with a different level of consciousness from that which created the problems in the first place. Being-in-Nature helps us with this shift. In Nature, we can sense more readily into the agile, responsive and emergent leadership we now need for this ‘new norm’.  We can take inspiration from living systems in terms of the patterns, processes, relationships and the eco-systemic nature of life.  Biomimicry for creative innovation, redesigning for resilience, the purposeful living organisation, agile emergent leadership – these approaches are sourced from a living-systems mind-set. In Nature, we can sense into the divergence-convergence-emergence dynamics that underpin this living-systems logic.  This helps us sense into the ‘new norm’ of the organisation-as-living-system. It also encourages a shift in our consciousness from the reductive analytic problem-space into the curious, exploratory emergent-space whereupon we sense into our emerging future with fresh eyes.

 

  • To operate in today’s fast-moving ever-changing business environment, we need to call upon all of our natural ways of being-and-knowing. We need ‘full spectrum’ consciousness if we are to move beyond surviving into thriving amid these challenging times of breakdown and breakthrough.  Those leaders who are better able to sense-and-respond effectively will not only do better in navigating these volatile unchartered waters, but will also create the conditions for their teams, organisations and wider eco-system of stakeholders to perform more effectively.  Whether it be deep dialogue round an open fire, reflective solo time in the woods, embodiment practices in the open air, or applying living-systems insights from nature into business, time in nature offers something special as part of a leadership learning journey.  It helps cultivate and deepen our ways of being-and-knowing, so that we can call upon our intuitive, rational, emotional and embodied intelligences more effectively. This helps shift the collective intelligence of the group. Regardless of the group mix, I have witnessed throughout all the future-fit nature immersions I have hosted that leaders gain a visceral felt-sense of this shift in personal and collective consciousness, so that they can call upon this embodied shift in being-and-knowing more readily amid the stresses and strains of the everyday workplace.

I often check-in with participants after they have experienced a future-fit nature immersion, to see how they are getting on and whether they are embodying shifts in their being-and-knowing – by example, here is feedback I received yesterday from a busy senior programme manager:

‘thank you for following up on our wonderful session earlier this year.  I have to say I feel I have been performing at another level since then’

And feedback from a CEO who attended a workshop a few weeks back:

‘what a fantastic group you brought together, and what a deep space for heart-felt sharing you held for us. One of the things I am still reverberating with is a deep connection – both self-awareness and system-awareness …thank you so very much.’

And feedback from a Partner of a global consultancy:

‘Please receive fully my heartfelt gratitude for this wonderful retreat. It is exactly what I needed at this time – to feed my mind, heal my heart and soothe my soul…the way you held the process and the group was awesome.’

Future-fit leadership is about dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty, with curiosity and spontaneity. It is a shift in our attentiveness from reactivity to responsiveness; a shift in consciousness from separateness to connectedness.  It is about surfing the edge of the wave of knowing and unknowing, of surrendering and flowing. Then, as future-fit leaders, we can more deeply listen-in to ourselves and our system, while creating spaces for our teams, organisations and eco-systems of stakeholders to become more vibrant, more alive, more resilient, and more life-affirming.

Giles Hutchins a coach, adviser, and Chair of the Future Fit leadership Academy, see here for more on these future-fit nature immersions, and a short three minute video on the book Future Fit

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

Reawakening the Sacred in Everyday Living

November 2, 2017

The seismic challenges facing us throughout society and the environment are now patently clear to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.

There is global and local momentum building behind a range of social and environmental issues, from climate change to local food banks, from ocean plastics to food recycling.  This is good work.  Yet, what is often overlooked is that these plethora of challenges are symptoms of a deeper malaise, a malaise which is actually before our very noses, within in each breath we take.

To deal with symptoms without adequately addressing root causes is very much part of today’s flawed logic.  We know we cannot solve today’s challenges with the same consciousness that created them.  And yet to actually shift our consciousness requires a radical undertaking.   This radical undertaking is not easy, and one we may wish to turn away from, and yet it is a simple one.  It is nothing more, nor nothing less than us becoming more attentive, more aware of how we are being.

While this deepening – or raising – of our consciousness may be uncomfortable and unnerving, as it brings light to our habituations, constrictions and masks we hide behind. It is also a liberating and rejuvenating undertaking.  We may begin to allow our ordinary everyday activities to become doorways into a sense of the innate sacredness of life, and its enchanting wisdom.

For many years now I have followed the profound work of the Sufi teacher, mystic and writer Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.  In his latest book, co-written with Hilary Hart, they put forward 10 simple practices that help us bring in a deeper way of attending into our everyday, so that we can reawaken the sacred, and deal with the root cause at the heart of our multiple crises.

Read more…

Deepening Our Leading by Being-in-Nature: Accessing the Mind of Nature

October 12, 2017

It is now becoming more apparent to many at the leading-edges of leadership and organisational development that there is much we can learn from nature for future-fit business.

We now know that simply being in the great out-doors improves our ability to learn, be more creative, open up to different perspectives, be more empathic, listen deeper, share better, and be more insightful.  Scientific research shows that being in nature improves us physiologically as well as psychologically in myriad ways, some of which we are only just starting to understand. Here are some of these findings:

  • Being in nature reduces pulse rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels (Chiba University)

 

  • Being in nature and disconnected from multi-media increases creativity by 50% (Atchley et al, 2012)

 

  • Being in nature leads to improved cognitive functioning and mental well-being (Kaplan, 1993, 2001)

 

  • Spending time in nature boosts the immune system and increases resistance to cancer cells (Qing Li, 2009)

 

  • Walking in nature improves memory by up to 20% (Berman, et al, 2008)

 

  • Connection with nature has a significant positive effect on autonomy, personal growth, and sense of purpose (Nisbet, Zelenski, Murphy, 2011)

 

  • Affiliation with nature gives a greater sense of meaningful existence which in turn boosts well-being (Howell, Passmore, Buro, 2012)

 

This is all good stuff.

And yet there is something else, something deeper; something more phenomenological and – dare I say it – psycho-spiritual to this ‘being-in-nature’.  And to describe this, I am now going to use Nature with a capital ‘N’ and also use the term ‘Mind-of-Nature’.  Here, Nature is not just ‘out there’, its within and all around us, the implicate and explicate realms of life, the Mind permeating all matter, the Tao and its ever-flowing élan vital or life-force that enables us to become more human in this more-than-human world of ours. It is this deeper Nature that we must learn to cultivate within ourselves and through our relations to be more conscious, more agile and more harmonious as future-fit leaders in these times of increasing volatility and uncertainty.

Let me explain.

There is more to life than what we generally perceive of with our daily conscious awareness. Psychologists might call this daily awareness ‘ego-consciousness’ or the rational mind.  I would like to draw on the profoundly influential and insightful work of the 19th century American philosopher, William James, who lived from 1842 to 1910 and whose work has influenced many great minds after him such as Bergson, Husserl, Wittgenstein, Putnam, Whitehead and Bertrand Russell.

James explored how everyday experience has a depth to it, an interiority that goes beyond what the ego-consciousness or rational mind can easily grasp at and yet is influenced by.

James noted, ‘Reality, life, experience, concreteness, immediacy, use what word you will, exceeds our logic, overflows and surrounds it.’  For James our mind-world relation is a stream of consciousness. He famously said:

‘Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.’

As we allow our ego-consciousness to permeate more readily, we allow more of these deeper realms of consciousness to pervade our awareness.  This is where Nature comes in.

Read more…

Regenerative Logic – cultivating the business of the future

October 4, 2017

This is a review of the book Future Fit by David Lorimer, editor of the Science and Medical Network (SMN).

 FUTURE FIT

Giles Hutchins

Self-published, 2016, 308 pp., £17.99, p/b – ISBN 978-1-530-153435

I met Giles at a conference of the Laszlo Institute in Italy in July, and realised that I had reviewed his earlier book The Illusion of Separation a couple of years ago for SMN. This followed on from his 2012 book The Nature of Business, and here he brings these two concerns together in a highly practical manner, providing a brilliant handbook for personal and organisational transformation. Giles has synthesised and organised a great deal of essential thinking, some which he summarises in excellent charts and diagrams so that the reader can gain a clear understanding of the transition from old linear ways of thinking to new systems-based ones. In the course of the book, it becomes very clear that 21st-century companies can no longer afford to use 20th-century logic. Theoretical understanding is no longer enough – it needs to be embodied, which is why Giles’s practical exercises, tips, reflective questions and case examples are so useful. In addition, he provides a bullet point executive summary at the beginning of each chapter.

Current turbulence and uncertainty means that a transformation of mind-set is required both personally and organisationally. The danger is represented by what he calls a complexity gap in our leaders’ ability to deal with our volatile times. He comments that ‘too many of today’s organisations find themselves caught up in a top-down, hierarchical, KPI-obsessed, siloed, control-based, defensive and reactive firefighting mind-set.’ Nor do we flourish as human beings in such an environment, which surely puts a damper on creativity and keeps under pressure to focus on the immediate task at hand. His new logic is both regenerative and resilient, aligned to service and a sense of real value and deeper purpose. This leads on to his characterisation of the firm of the future, with a particularly helpful chart and diagram on pp. 34-35. A regenerative firm will also be resilient, optimising, adaptive, systems based, values led and life supporting. Each of these characteristics is explained in greater detail, a particular strength of Giles’s book and which he applies in a number of chapters.

 

He sees the overall process in terms of personal and organisational gnosis or inner knowing – this is not a word that one expects to find in a business book, but it is clear that the inner state of leaders is critical to the way they function. Crucially, leaders need to schedule reflective time into their week if they are going to be able to stand back and regenerate themselves. Too frequently, this is exactly what goes by the board, so things continue on as before. Giles gives exercises for the feelings, breath and body and suggests some significant qualities that we can embody in challenging work environments: gratitude, surrender, trust, courage, humility and reverence.

 

Organisational gnosis affects both processes within the firm and its outside relationships. Here again, some of the key attributes and qualities might seem surprising: stillness, self-organisation, small steps, social, synchronicity and soulful, but Giles shows these can be implemented in a practical way using processes such as council, deep listening, open space, appreciative inquiry and circles of trust. At the end of this chapter, he uses the seven levels model of Richard Barrett by mapping seven stages of organisational development towards becoming a firm of the future. This means knowing what organisational actions and needs are at each level, with corresponding developmental tasks. Needless to say, very few companies will be operating consistently at the seventh level, but the firm of the future will be advancing in the direction of collaboration and service.

 

Leadership, as already mentioned, is essential to making this transition of logic, and Giles highlights five important areas for leaders to focus on as well as five qualities of conscious leadership. Such leaders are good listeners, coaches, facilitators and catalysts, operating as convenors and hosts within their organisations and using constructive criticism as a spur to further transformation. The book ends with a reflection on alchemy, showing how the qualities of Yin and Yang need to be finely balanced and embodied in wise action. There is then a series of health check questions for a future-fit organisation as well as details of a corresponding benchmark. Personally and professionally, we are all involved in a transformative process, and this refreshingly straightforward and clearly written book provides an invaluable route map based on the latest thinking in science, psychology, spirituality and business studies.

‘Many books call for new ways of thinking for modern leaders but until Future Fit none have provided such wise, well researched and practical approaches to guide leaders facing deeply complex challenges. In this compelling workbook Giles Hutchins is at the forefront of synthesizing new logics for business with the natural rhythms of life and the human mind that will revolutionize business. Future Fit is a must-read for every leader who wants to continue being successful or to move beyond what currently feels like impossible challenges. As an experienced Chief Executive I cannot recommend this powerful work highly enough.’ Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE, Former Chief Executive of 157 Group, Centre for Excellence in Leadership UK, and ranked one of the UK’s most influential people in Debretts 2015 List.

‘Future Fit is a masterpiece of synthesis weaving together the emergent strands of wisdom from others with the author’s own extraordinary insights. This is a must-read for any business seeking answers to a deep inner sense that something different is needed for them and their organization to stay relevant in the 21st century.’  Mark Drewell, Senior Partner, The ForeSight Group, co-founder and former CEO of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative

‘Future Fit is prescient and practical. It describes the future as it can and should be, by drawing on a breadth of knowledge rarely seen in business books. It also makes big, abstract ideas more concrete, by offering examples and advice. This book will help managers navigate a complex world for a more sustainable world. Giles Hutchins is one of the most broad-reaching, forward thinking writers in business.’ Tima Bansal, Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability, Ivey Business School

‘We see an emerging trend of moving from a mechanistic view of business to an organic, living organization framework, and Future Fit goes right to the heart of it. Packed full with practical insights to help activate and catalyze this transformation, this is a brilliant book that will help you wrap your head around the shifting paradigm at the vanguard of future business. Read it!’ Norman Wolfe, CEO of Quantum Leaders and author of The Living Organization

to see more on Future Fit, you can visit the book’s website www.futurefitbook.com  here

And to join the Facebook community for Future Fit and the new paradigm see here

Meditations on Respect and Love in a Fragmented World

September 22, 2017

‘Man knows himself only to the extent that he knows the world; he becomes aware of himself only within the world, and aware of the world only within himself.’ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer

What is within us is within everything. Once we understand this truth, we step outside of the parameters of our individual self and come to realise the power that is within us. This shift in awareness is a very simple step that has profound consequences’ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, mystic

‘And now here is my secret, it’s a very simple secret, it’s only with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’  Antoine de Saint Exupéry, writer

‘Unlike the egoic operating system, the heart does not perceive through differentiation. It doesn’t divide the field into inside and outside, subject and object. Rather, it perceives by means of harmony…When heart-awareness becomes fully formed within a person, he or she will be operating out of nondual consciousness…where they will discover the resources they need to live in fearlessness, coherence, and compassion – or in other words, as true human beings.’ Cynthia Bourgeault, contemplative

The ability to deeply listen and speak from the heart while creating a space for generative courageous conversations is a primary aspect of the leadership we need in these times.

At its heart, generative dialogue is nothing more nor nothing less than speaking and listening with our whole-selves while being receptive and responsive to our social field. This is what allows ourselves and others to open up for an altogether more human sharing.

‘Dialogue is a conversation…taking the energy of our differences and channelling it towards something that has never been created before [an emerging co-creation] thereby a means for accessing the intelligence and correlated power of groups of people…You relax your grip on certainty and listen to the possibilities that result from simply being in a relationship with others.’  Bill Isaacs, dialogue specialist

Dialogue is like a dance, where the emergent space between the people and between the words shared is all important. The flow of the dance and the depth of openness between the dancing partners is what allows the dance to come alive and for deeper co-creativity to emerge.

Difficulties, tensions and disagreements are held in a generative non-judgemental way that provides a deepening of sharing rather than a rupturing of relationships.

As we deepen the receptivity and responsiveness of ourselves, the generative field widens; energy and creative potential is unlocked and the life-force of our people and wider system flows.

It is up to each of us as leaders to seed a culture of dialogue through the quality of conversational inter-relating performed by us in the day-to-day thick-of-it-all, whether informal corridor chats, email conversations, telephone calls or meetings.

The more we practice (often stumbling and failing, but learning as we go) the more we become aware of how we are influencing the generative field of our conversations and the generative field of our stakeholder ecosystem. In-so-doing, we consciously cultivate the conditions conducive for life to flourish – we become a conscious company through our respectful relations hand-in-hand with our sustainability reports, purpose statements and cultural charters.

Here, we are co-creating an empathic environment of love through our sense of connectedness with life: self-other-world.  We can consciously sense when we are enclosing/fragmenting ourselves with inner turmoil, alienation, anxiety and over-sensitivity that then warps into blame, judgement, anger and polarisation in a botched bid to protect the wounded-self.  We can also consciously sense beyond this ‘noise’ into the deeper vistas of life’s unfolding /enfolding implicate order of Nature.

Rather than being tossed this-way-and-that by the surface waves, we find our root-connection deepening into the Earth-and-universe to gain true perspective in a non-possessive non-fragmented transpersonal perspective. The universal kinship of the implicate order of Nature is seen not through the ego-eyed squint of separation and polarisation but as an evolutionary unfurling of growth and renewal. We participate in the evolution of life as a dance towards harmony (diversity-and-unity) rather than a competitive struggle towards domination and monoculture.

‘To love well calls for all that is demanded by the practice of any art, indeed of any human activity, namely, an adequate measure of discipline, patience, and persistence.’ – Roberto Assagioli, psychotherapist

 

It is worth reflecting on this famous poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling :

 

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Easier said than done! But is this not the real challenge that lies before us? We might wish to hide from it, and engross ourselves in slumber, but it is real enough if we so choose to see…

Perhaps learning to respect ourselves, each other and our world is what being a ‘human being’ is all about.  As we deepen this learning, as we become more respectful, we see the world more richly, we sense the inter-relationality, the ebbs–and-flows, the wider constellations and hidden connections. Each day becomes our sensing-and-responding learning school, each moment our opportunity to grow and deepen as a Homo sapiens ‘wise being’.

Every authentic relation in life requires us to open up beyond judgement and projection into a real sharing with-and-through love. This involves us being vulnerable. It requires courage. It requires constant practice, dedication and devotion.

When we think or comment with a judgemental tone, we project something of our own lack of self-love on to the other. With judgement, we see the world through a fragmented, separating lens which fractures and filters.  This defending, rising animosity, polarises us-versus-them. It all originates in a lack of self-love, our own shadows. We get caught up in a vicious cycle of being wounded, wounding others; being judged, judging others. Sub-personalities cloud our deeper truth, we supress even more into the shadow and the polarisations heighten. Enter Trump.

When we centre ourselves in the heart, in our centre, then we begin to see rightly once again, and we can truly listen and truly share.  This is our humbling, courageous response-ability. This is the core to sustainable living – yet so often over looked, in part because it’s ‘messy’, whereas in comparison supply-chain metrics are ‘neat’.

A human being flourishes through empathic, respectful relations with others, not through metrics although, for sure, metrics are useful.

This respectful relating is primary to any organisation seeking to enhance conscious living in today’s world.  Seeking to enhance conscious living in today’s world is, arguably, the essential purpose of our time.

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

For Giles Hutchins’ personal website www.gileshutchins.com