My news does not, for the most part, come from mainstream media. Long ago I stopped reading the papers and watching TV news. Far too depressing and non-constructive. My news comes from other sources like the Art of Hosting listserve that I am part of (and you could be too, if you aren’t already) as well as other social media like Facebook and Twitter. I am grateful to these sources and the friends I know in each of these media for the sharing of stories and events that show us all the courage, humanity, connection and community that we all know exists beneath and beyond the news coverage.
Government and related agencies, politicians, the news media do not know what to do. They do not know how to respond to the mounting chaos in their countries and their communities. They do not have answers – we all know this – and they are afraid to admit it, so rely on strategies that not only don’t work but actually contribute to making the situation worse (beefing up police presence as an example). As one person from England suggested on the AoH listserve, wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone in a position of authoritative leadership would be able to see, voice and make more visible the larger patterns that are at work. Borrowing from his posting:
“We must now ask deeper questions. Why do so many young people believe it is alright to cause such destruction and distress in their communities? Whether it is ‘copycat’ activity or not, why is it happening? What does ‘community’ mean to each of us? Across the country people are self organising, they are meeting in groups and cleaning the streets. Leaders are emerging. People are talking to each other. This is true community.”
If we are not seeing the kind of leadership we know is needed from our formal leaders, how do we continue to do this work in all the places we, ordinary people all over the place, show up and influence where we can. Let’s not undervalue our own systems of influence or own readiness to do what we know works – even if this is “simply” holding space, holding intention, infusing with love the situations and people we know about and the stories that touch us deeply – no matter where they or we are.
I read all the posts on what’s happening in London, Spain, Greece, Egypt, the US and other places from the perspective of ordinary citizens, friends and colleagues around the world who see the human story as it evolves, who sharpen their awareness of the relational field and the growing power to effect large scale systemic change from this place as well as individual one-on-one relationships – holding heart break and growing open heartedness, even in the chaos. I share these stories with people I know who are not part of or even aware of these conversations. It makes people hopeful.
My own hopeful heart continues to expand for every post I read. There is a lot of trauma in this time but if that is what we, the world, needs to be able to see just how much the systems we have created or supported or just lived in do not work for us anymore, then we need to go through this to get to what lies on the other side. I am imagining, working toward and living into a world and systems that emanate out of love, loyalty and community in the relational field because if we cannot turn to each other in our joy and our agony, there is no one else. If we cannot turn to each other, we will not create systems that support life and resilience, courage and vibrancy. If we do not turn to each other, we will live only in fear and isolation that propagates more of what we don’t want.
Everyday I experience encounters with people who are more and more ready to turn to each other, more and more ready to understand life as more than just the physical components that we see, more and more ready to embrace uncertainty and live into resilience, more and more ready to open their hearts in a time when the media reported news events might cause us to want to close our hearts and shut down, more and more ready to be intentional about shifting the shape of the world. I am holding space for the courageous, the open hearted, the heart broken, the resilient, the cracks, openings and invitations. I am working and writing where I can in support of a future I want to see emerge out of the chaos we are in these days.
From my heart breaking, open hearted journey to yours.
(Originally published at Shape Shift Strategies on Aug 11/11:http://shapeshiftstrategies.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/turning-to-eac...)