Today is the day that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States of America. This is an extraordinary event that many fear in different ways. What is clear is that this is uncharted territory. Trump seems to wish to play by his own rules and doesn’t seem to care what others think. No one knows what he really stands for and what his Presidency may bring. Fears, frustration and feelings of impotence abound.
However linked to this seismic political shift other voices and feelings can be seen and heard. I also witnessed them in myself and others around me as we in the UK recently experienced the ‘Brexit shock’. There is growing recognition that ‘business as usual’ in the political sphere is not working. The choices set out before us are blunt and crude. Both the media and politicians are stirring up hatred and division – but we do not have to dance to that tune. We can choose to see things differently and to act differently too.
Charles Eisenstein brilliantly outlines the ‘Story of Separation’ that underpins so much of how our world is currently organised and how we see ourselves, each other and the world around us. It permeates our philosophies, our economics, our science, schools, financial systems and of course politics. But separation is an illusion albeit a powerful one. In so many ways we are all incredibly deeply interconnected. Our very being-ness is intertwined with the forests that provide the air we breathe and the great cycles of the seas, rivers and rain as water makes up our bodies and is one of the most basic elements our lives depend on. Connection is also the deeper truth of how we are all fundamentally social creatures with deep needs for love, care and belonging in order to grow and flourish both as children but also as adults. Without social support and regular connection many in our society can fall into depression and despair.
So despite our deep schooling in separation, fear and competition many of us have been waking up to the need to bring the reality of connection and our ‘inter-beingness’ into the centre of our lives and into the centre of how we act and organise – including in the biggest and most complex ways in politics, business and society.
And I believe that Trump and Brexit are bold clarion calls calling us to live this truth of deep interconnection and interbeing even More Boldly and Brightly now. Many have been hugely inspired by the courage and strong standing of those gathered peacefully for the water at Standing Rock. Many are looking at what does it mean to stand with them for change, peace, beauty, hope and love? What could our lives look like if they were deeply led through a lens of compassion, connection and courage? As activists and those concerned in the times we are living in how can we stand boldly for what Charles Eisenstein calls the ‘More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible?’ And even beyond that – how can we actually create it through our actions, words and how we relate to the changes that are happening around us?
This is what I call ‘Inner Leadership for Outer Change’. Living from the deep Truth of our interconnection in our actions for change in the world. This is a journey into empathy and deep compassion for ourselves as well as others. It is also a journey into honouring the pain of the ‘Story of Separation’. It encompasses exploring shadow as well as magnificence. Our brilliance and our flaws – and learning to seeing the same in those around us – including those we might fear or even loathe such as the Trumps of the world.
And this is not a journey for the faint-hearted. This is about being called into the fullness of Who We Are. Offering and sharing all of us – while holding humility, compassion and connection. But the good news is we are not journeying alone. Many are hearing the call around us. And we can support and inspire each other.
And offering spaces, explorations and experiences of this is the work I feel called to offer. Drawing on deep inspiration from Charles Eisenstein’s brilliant writings as well as the wonderful work of Joanna Macy and Marshall Rosenberg, amongst others, I have been leading retreats and workshops on developing our Inner Leadership for Outer Change for over 7 years now.
What is the stand for change you are being called to make? What unique gifts and talents are you being called to offer? Do share them! And if you feel called do come and join the Inner Leadership for Outer Change journey at one of the retreats coming soon.