Gentle action – starts within, close by, expands, spreads and becomes ….
My reflections to the inquiries, ideas and experiences shared in the Gentle action book:
Natural Environment I experience the environment through its delicate movement, through its integrative nature. When I feel taken away by the noise of the day, I pause and connect with the environment around me first, and then beyond me to reconnect with the essence in all ….
Time The passage of time flows smoothly now, in some instances it dissolves and others it finds its way through ….
I do not carry a wristwatch, as I feel the movement of the moment and respond accordingly, keeping the direction clear within me, ahead of me ….
Place I live in the city, and I feel that I can with conscious awareness touch the nature that surrounds us .. The cycle of the moon , reflects itself in the expansion/contraction dance that is witnessed in our nature and the nature of where we are ….
Thinking I carry a scientific analysis when I have to identify what happened to a physical matter in terms of issue or resolution; in that state, the object is tangible, mechanical and the state of where it is right now follows/ed a tangible concrete path … this approach does not work with human relations, with integrated interrelated processes, with relational dynamic situations and entities …
Learning I allow myself to learn more, and I feel my way through the experience … The uncertainty creates a learning opportunity for opening up and sensing what is present in the field and what action is being called for to respond .. I stay with the uncertainty that is close by without jump thinking and falling into an overwhelming situation that can whirlwind my existence and trap me … I look for the questions and I state them clearly as I stay with the ultimate intentional feeling in my whole, resonating through my heart – I no longer feel uncomfortable, I feel it a gift for exploration and discovery; a gift for trusting and surrendering while staying aware, alert, conscious and mobile ….
Chaos When I hear the word “chaos”, I sense movement that is guided by a higher force … I sense various forms of “chaos” … one in which the lack of awareness, creates a pool that traps the movement in its search for resources of survival dissipating creativity away from the center inviting destruction … one in which the awareness of few allows the mobility to flow in between the closed and the open, finding its stable balanced state for continuation more stability and slightly more creativity … one in which the awareness of many expands to facilitate a self-organizing organism that responds attentively to what is being thrown towards them where chaos becomes a space for creative order to emerge ….
Role It is important for me to remain in control, with awareness, when the life circumstance involves the basic survival situation (e.g. war, where life threatening events are coming from an external source ) .. here the call is to respond without hesitation, a control center is required to avoid confusion in the necessary actions … I can relax my control and flow into action when the life circumstance enters the realm of creative becoming and being … when I can observe, reflect, respond and grow into an experience rather than living it rigidly and linearly … I can relax my control when I become aware of my role, away from fear, and judgment …
Leadership When working with groups, a leader is a facilitator, coach, guide and expert depending on the required role for the moment … a leader models what the group is … a leader plays the role of a learner … a leader hosts the space and opens it up for the group dynamics to flow and respond appropriately ….
Inquiry Upon the exertion of power in defiance to nature, people initially out of the need to survive follow blindly, since they do not know better, and many operate unconsciously in a resistance line that starts softly covertly but if not addressed well continues to grow into an overt expression of deep conflict … however, when the sense of self starts to emerge and the satisfaction of what is, becomes real, and the trust in life’s offering starts to appear; people start to question, explore and move away ….
Self-organization I have recently entered the realm of experiencing directly the essence and meaning of a self-organizing community, as I step into the infancy stage of hosting an learning space initiative for collective creativity … on a tangent note, if I reflect, I notice that our country, Lebanon, is a perfect example of a self-organizing environment; the inherent creativity within the individuals embraces the chaos that comes with the constant living in or under the pressure of war and conflict, resulting in a chaotic order that keeps everyone aligned and moving, making sure the dance does not collapse the dancers. The country stays solid in its market and attraction, it remains resilient as the sense of love of life supersedes conflict in harmonizing chaos into a self-organized order …..
Co-initiating A group came together through the common intention and through their unwavered presence in the whole process, trusting the emergent outcome …. an existing group had people opt out when commitment became a decisive factor, when the association of “economics” to security superseded the passion that lies in the heart of the matter ….
Butterfly effect … this afternoon on July 22nd, I received the following from a co-creator “Jan has offered to help find resources, so let’s have a conversation in right timing if you think that might be needed at any time. I am so excited that our little Friday conversation (with an intimate small group in Beirut around the future of media) may spark many conversations in Lebanon and beyond… it’s incredible what a butterfly’s wing can achieve “
Working on resolving the sanitary disposal in the capital, away from a more comprehensive outlook, resulted in the shift of the crisis to another very touristic area in the country …
The increase of real-estate business in the country, pours money into investors and the country, but the effect is that the country is no longer being developed to serve its people, who can not afford the new prices, resulting in a shift of the demographic and dynamics of the key asset of the community, its diversity and interrelations
One of the major side-effects that I experienced which was a trigger for change, was that despite the successful implementation of development projects in the public sector in Lebanon through foreign aid, the outcome was not sustainable, the ownership was not in the right place, a state of dependency was becoming an integral culture, all of which were supporting corruption and more importantly the lack of initiative for learning and contributing … the result is an aging public sector unable to find its liberation outlet to respond to 21st century challenges ….
One positive side effect that I witness, is when community members are invited into an authentic participatory engagement, they sense belonging and become loyal to the initiative and all supporting activities ….
Creative Suspension, the activities of observation and reflection are very active, during this process – there will be heightened awareness and sensitivity to the reality unfolding and the intuition enfolded – there will be active participation through conscious awareness; as for “just doing nothing” – the process has stopped, and unconscious activities take over, there is no connection between reality and what wants to unfold – there is a breakdown in the communication channel which increases fragmentation and inefficient processes to manifest ….
Action/Suspension Acting quickly will come as a response when what is at stake is a survival condition/situation (a robbery, a change of personnel, death, building is no longer stable …) i.e. when the impact is direct, tangible and concrete within finite resources and exceptional events – natural, external or internal – that happen sporadically and occur for a known duration (earthquakes, a sudden scheduled visit by senior observers, a strike, a riot …) – A temporary suspension will respond to subtle changes in the environment (internal and external) that require a pause and readjustment of policies and processes to be responsive to growth, sustainability and thrivability (market changes, reshuffling of political affiliations, increased resistance, employees, high turnover of human capital, ..); during circumstances that require a shift in response to underlying movements that are slowly emerging ….
Vision/Awareness I see a social, economic or environmental situation through the facts that are present out there, and through the subtle movements that are also happening and driving the path .. I follow my intuition and feel my way through the situations … I do not carry many situations, to avoid overload, I focus on what is for me in the whole story and continue … I do not depend on the media and those around me, they are one voice out of the many … Experience has shown me that where we put our attention is what we will see, and there are multiplicities of all going on at the same time; even if one area appears to be dominant at a specific time and place … So, widening the vision and broadening the space of awareness opens up the space for expansion and further clarity ………..
My Tacit Knowledge lies in every breath I take; and every action I take connected to the breath; it has been my guidance on where to put my energy and what to avoid … it has taken me on the path I am now deep in … it is valuable in the values and connection it brought to my attention … it is my awareness in the present moment ….
Birth Leadership is participatory … it is still at its infancy .. but it is empowering in a responsible effective way ….
Structure We are currently experiencing creative suspension, or maybe I can be more honest and say I am experiencing it … It is opening space for the new to come through … I have prototyped a few projects in light of what wants to emerge, and now it was time to let go and allow all to simmer before the new shows its face again … it is being patient with awareness … the new forms will appear …
Creative suspension = Healthy Digestion (an inward contraction) all in preparation for a Healthy Organic formation (an outward expansion)
Balance I used to fluctuate between thinking and feeling; and now I am learning to practice more and more the balance of both … the driver is the intuition and feeling and whole perspective, with the mental supporting through its role of distinguishing similarities and differences to remain responsive to the present moment life circumstance …..