On 8 August 2019, I am embarking on a nine-month research project; here are the themes I will be exploring:
The Great Transition
Finally! A narrative for these times that resonates and rings true for me. As we go through this phase of human civilisation and face immense challenges and opportunities; it seems that there is an undeniable call for us all to change our ways, to challenge the status quo and co-create a much more kind world for all living beings.
We simply cannot survive, let alone thrive with the current trajectory of our mainstream systems and societal norms.
This is a personal journey and a collective one; and the subject of greater inquiry for me in these coming months.
I feel the urgency; and as I connect more with leaders, wayshowers and seers, it seems that this is reflective of the truth of our situation; the call to action has never been louder.
"The trouble is - you think you have time" - Buddha
" Fear it or not, it's here" - Charles Eisenstein
The New Earth
A relatively new to me - and has been a narrative building for almost 10 years; and it rings true for me. A collective shift in consciousness towards a more kind, heart-centred society.
The common systems and institutions take us out of our hearts and into our minds. Cultivate fear and survival. We need to move out of this way of being - and open up to a more heart-centred way of being and living, and leading and serving from that place.
My journey is well underway and I am experiencing a whole new way of being in the world. And this next phase of the journey will take this a few steps further....
What's Right with Me?
There are apparently new levels of consciousness in each generation; and they come it seems, with a particular mission to shift collective consciousness to the next level.
I find this fascinating.... and it rings true. And I wonder, what can I and we do to support these children in guiding us towards more conscious ways of living and benefit from the wisdom and consciousness that they come to us with.
My concern is that these children occur to the mainstream at best 'different' and at worst, 'difficult', 'dysfunctional' or 'disabled'.
I have my own experience of neurodiversity and mental health and been on the receiving end of disempowering, excluding and at times, damning remarks and assertions, only for me to gradually find new perspectives on my 'differences', see the strengths and gifts in it - and indeed be increasingly acknowledged and celebrated for them.
It pains me to think of the messaging that children and young people receive in response to their differences. They are showing us what needs to change - and it's up to us to sit up, look with curiosity and compassion - and make changes to our lives. It's very clear that our society is not set up for wellbeing, nor is it fair or inclusive. These children come to shift us into gear.... let's not deny them the opportunity to help us grow.
What do children of today need of us? What are they here to teach us? What systems and ways of living do they need us to create for them to grow up 'well' and be conscious, resilient and thriving human beings, making a positive contribution to the earth. What do they need in terms of learning? Parenting? Living? Community? I'm on a quest to find out..... there's some amazing pioneering thought-leaders, researchers and way-showers to learn from. And I may even ask the children themselves!
The Art of....
An active process of inquiry, choice making and action; as I truly place "Art" at the centre of my professional practice, I explore the true value of the mindset, practices and tools of the arts in service of positive change.
A theme I've journeyed with since 1998 when I was supporting design teams to build resilient telecommunications networks; my focus then shifted to organisations and the resilience of employees during restructures, transformation programmes and rapid and radical industry change; it became a theme in my coaching sessions and in the community and humanitarian projects I was involved in; and then personally, in 2015 it became a focus after a serious case of burnout and an intensive journey and process of change, transformation and transition. I'm interested in prevention and capacity building, and where needed recovery and repair.
I've been fascinated by communities and how people live since my school days; no surprise then that I've worked on projects in many types of communities in the UK and overseas. Sustainable, resilient and thriving communities are needed now more than ever; and opportunities to learn, understand and support community building are really welcome; and meanwhile I continue my own personal journey towards being more engaged in my own community and learning from those communities that are thriving.
What standards and agreements are required of each of us - and collectively, to ensure our communities thrive? What do we need to be in place to co-create communities that nourish us, that help us to live in a healthy, sustainable, conscious way? What can we learn from the pioneers - and from our ancestors? What will relieve the common pressures on families that undermine wellbeing and resilience?
Rural Creative Communities
An added dimension of community; I've longed to live in a creative community for years; I've tried some interesting places to live that offered opportunities to be creative and live in partnership with nature; and now is the next step of that inquiry. Creative communities seem to thrive in urban areas, and indeed seem to be the focus of creative investment and initiatives. What about rural communities? How do we thrive as creatives in rural communities? I need to find out......
"The world around us is in a sea change, and I think the glory of art is that it cannot only survive change, it can lead it." A book about change and sea-faring metaphors, sayings and folklore that lives inside each of us. A shared language that can assist us in processing the enormous changes we are facing and going through - and together charting new routes to a brighter future.
Diversity in the workplace is a certainly improving. However for some, it still presents a conflict with the parenting approaches that tend carefully to attachment in the first seven years. So for mothers who wish to - and perhaps more essentially need to work to support their families, what ways can we work that enable the attachment and closeness to children continue......?
The modern workplace is still incredibly fast-paced, stimulating and adrenalising - which is quite a cocktail for children to be on the receiving end of after a long day. What are the alternatives?
This is an inquiry that reflects both my personal inquiry and journey of motherhood, countless conversations with women and mothers over the years about work, and my interest in resilience of women, families and communities; what other models exist for women to work close to home, in a way that is resilient and collaborative and allows for varying working patterns subject to childcare. It's time to research pioneering schemes and ancient ways and find a way.
join me on this journey!