Women and Emerging Futures

The next wave of my own evolution lies in exploring the potential of women to profoundly shape our world. Not only if women can but if women will...do what is required to make the difference. This demands redefining our notions of 'leadership' and reclaiming meaningful expression for women. To progress beyond historical notions of evolution through incremental change, we must redefine what it is to be human - and women are the key.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Meg Wheatley, Women and Leadership

Last night, I joined about 150 other women to hear Meg Wheatley on her “Women’s Leadership Revival Tour”.

I like that woman. Long an admirer of her work, I experienced her to be very awake and highly contagious! She’s smart, insightful and courageous. She’s also obviously deeply caring and compassionate. Although brief, her presentation offered up a simple yet practical four-step process to making a difference in your/our/his/her world.

(You may recall that Meg Wheatley wrote ‘Leadership and the New Science” some time ago. This ground-breaking piece of work was the first public conversation to connect the new science with the naturally-occurring unfolding of organic living systems called ‘organizations’. You can visit www.berkana.org to find out more about what they’re up to and keep tabs on the traveling leadership road show.)

However, the entire event left me agitated in some way. I went home and was awake much of the night, finding myself holding my breath... feeling like I had indigestion without having eaten anything. As a metaphor, I wondered: what, about all of this, am I having trouble digesting?

It was not until an hour ago (some 16 hours later – it seems I’m slow to metabolize! J) that thoughts streamed through my awareness with sufficient density for me to notice. Now that I have, I share them with you to digest for yourselves.

Two HUGE things come to mind, both of which are connected to a statement that Meg made early on in her presentation. She told of having traveled to some far-off country (Africa, I think) with a group of women and on her day of arrival, voiced to one of the local women that this traveling group was one of ‘tired women’. She then went on to speak of how this local women opened her speech with a reference to wondering what Western women (Ww) had to be tired about.

At first blush, there is an obvious, instant recognition that says, compared to so many other women around the world, Ww have it pretty good. So, what’s to complain about?

I have mixed feelings about that one because on one hand, I believe it to be true. And, on the other, I know that millions of Ww live lives of terror and brutality; live lives wondering how they will protect and feed their children. Question of scale, perhaps? Likely so and yet I cannot dismiss the thought.

I am also very mindful that this same group of Ww (of which I am obviously one) also hold in our hands – now, more than at any other time in the history we recall and now, in larger numbers than ever before – the potential to change the world. Not because it’s our responsibility or obligation or job, but because we can.

Meg states that it’s up to us. I agree with that and I’m discovering that I hold the ‘how’ of it differently.

Think of it this way. If you’re sitting in a chair and decide to get up, the initial movement forward and up demands intention and attention. As your body moves forward with a relatively easy effort, you reach the critical point where weight must be shifted and lifted up and out to allow you to stand. (I’m sure that the physics behind all of this would make for an interesting metaphor for global transformation and evolution of consciousness! But I digress….)

Think of going from the chair to a standing position as an act of ‘evolution by intention’. Meaning, I’m not leaving the chair because it’s on fire, I’m leaving it because I have the desire to stand up. To go from the chair to the standing position requires a coordinated, sustained effort of keeping my attention on my desire (to stand) and not on where my ass is. Doing so will allow lift to occur and stabilization to be the end result. Tada! Standing tall and steady on two feet – bum out of the chair.

I believe that Ww are the fulcrum for and are essential to that lift. The dictionary defines ‘fulcrum’ as “the point or support on which a lever pivots; an agent through which vital powers are exercised”. I think that’s who and what we are.

During her presentation, Meg spoke to (my words, not hers) following the Signal of who you are. Listen for what beckons to you and allow yourself to be guided by your own compelling interest - your own inner truth - no matter what others may think or the shambles that logic may make of your intention. Stay with what moves inside you, and engage!

Today, from the catalyst that is Meg to the completion of the ‘digestion’ process of this energy/information that has kept me up all night, I am clear that my call is to engage with Western women and to help them awaken beyond our collective coma of ‘this isn’t so bad so lets not rock the boat… and besides, it’s not my problem”. At this time in our history, things are not good and are getting worse. It is bad… and its bad everywhere, including our own backyards.

And therein lies the paradox for me. As much as I believe that all is not a bed of roses for Ww, I still believe us to be the ones that can engage with the greatest of combined forces of intention and attention. We just need to wake up first!

Much of what Meg spoke about were examples of activities taking place at what would be – in the language of Logical Levels of Thinking – low level interventions at the Environment/Behaviour/Capability levels. From these, Beliefs/Values/Attitudes are challenged and can cause (usually temporary) shifts to occur. What Logical Levels also tells us is that if we want to accelerate a process, we engage from higher order thinking, down. When things shift at higher orders of thinking, change occurs instantly and without effort at the lower levels of thinking.

We have reached a point in history where we’re creating new problems at a faster rate than we’re solving the ones we’ve already got! What this causes me to pay attention to is that if we were to create a shift at a higher order of thinking, we would spend much less time making corrections at lower levels of thinking, where the results manifest in a physical world.

What this means is that if we want accelerated change, we must accelerate the rate at which we shift the very consciousness that allows us to create and manifest our lives. We must redefine who we are, what we are and how we have the intention of moving through the world (Evolution by Intention™). The quantum sciences offer us more than enough information to allow us to rediscover what we are, how we function and what we are capable of. Yet, none of this seems to have yet penetrated the deep and intense coma that shrouds us in the illusion of being helpless and hopeless.

As much as I like what Meg is saying and doing, I am very clear that it is not going to happen fast enough. A couple of years ago at an IONS conference, Peter Russell spoke to the focus of research attention of IONS for the next 10 years. And that was a) to accelerate the rate of evolution of consciousness, and b) to facilitate access to this acceleration by the masses. We already have what we need to accomplish both of these, resting seemingly undisturbed in an intellectual appreciation of quantum biology that seems disinterested in what it means to live it! We continue to stand in our humanity to consider that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Quantum biology and all that it offers up for us to experience, invites us to switch sides – and to view our humanity from the immensity of our ‘energetic’ potential. Spirit in tissue knows no helplessness.

One last thought: as much as last night was about the women, I continue to wonder… where are the men? During the recent Huna Retreat at Oceanstone, I expressed my interest in publishing a second volume of the ‘Sekhmet Rising’ book – a volume of stories by men who have decloaked and are willing to open themselves to the world. I also indicated my belief that I would be hard-pressed to find 17 men who would be willing to engage at the level of depth of disclosure and revelation that women seem more attracted to do. I would like to be proven to be wrong about this one.

In the Declaration of Evolution by Intention, I speak to the importance of ‘…the call to women to lead and engage with men differently; and the invitation to men to relax into a different way of moving through the world’. I continue to believe that men are caught in an inter-generational spiral of mindless responses. They are beginning to notice that these do not serve them AND they have no idea how to stop the spiral. So, in that way, I add my own voice to that of Meg Wheatley and declare that it is up to us…it is up to the women…to awaken to new ways to create our world.

I stand with Meg in the call to women to ENGAGE!; to awaken to, trust and move from that deep, inner truth that we all know and often choose to ignore. For me, it’s not about fixing the world we’ve got – it’s about creating the one we want.

Breathing is good…..

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