|Photo by Sam Ilic|http://www.flickr.com/photos/stage88/3650502444|
I shared the following Wislawa Szymborska poem with faculty in an academic department at a university with whom I was working this week. We read it as we were about to launch our final day of discussions about collaborative leadership and team building.
As technology continues to redefine our daily interactions, it is becoming clear that we need to learn a new form of literacy and quickly. Even more important than literacy though is the need to critically analyze and comprehend the new language which we encounter. An overwhelming call at first, but one that is made easier when we begin to embrace exploration and collaborate with one another as we learn. Here is a brilliant little Ted TalkLawrence Lessig gave in 2007 regarding copyright and creativity.
“The explosion of creativity in the Renaissance was intimately tied to the recording and conveying of a vast body of knowledge in a parallel language: a language of drawings, diagrams, and graphs-as, for instance in the renowned diagrams and sketches of Galileo.”
So I’m not Galileo, but there is something very powerful about the use of images in seeking a common language to work with complexity. Check out the set of drawings we used in a recent learning meeting. We are trying to understand the relationship between advocacy coalitions, local groups, the State, and investing in Network Building capacity. Can you put the story together?
I’m intrigued by the idea of living systems and so I spend a lot of time thinking about what it is that gives a network a life of its own.If I’m convinced of the need of decentralized structures and in the power of self-organization then I have to concern myself with what it is that motivates networked efforts to take on a life of their own. When I look at my own experience of life in a network I understand that learning is a key motivator for decentralized self-organization.
To be specific:I want to learn the best way to apply the logic of decentralized structures to movement building efforts.
In order to do this:I read, I experiment, I share my learning, I become engaged in relationships with others who want to learn the same thing.
People who are engaged in a quest for something that they are passionate about come together of their own volition.I am part of a network of friends who are people interested in movement building and social transformation, we come together to socialize as well as to problem solve and learn together.In order to keep this network alive we most often have to overcome obstacles like being too busy working in some social change nonprofit!
So my own experience of life in a network demonstrates that the desire to learn about something that you are passionate about is great fuel for decentralized self-organization. But there is one more layer of nuance here.Among my group of friends we are not doing the kind of learning that is defined by some specific quantity of knowledge being transferred from one head to another, we are engage in the type of active learning that informs creative action.
So there is learning, but there is also something about creative power. But that’s a topic for another blog.
I loved this blog post entitled, “Overthinking Is the Enemy of Creatives”, because of its practicality and its resonance with my inner conversation these days. I hope you find it as valuable. I wanted to share it, as well as vibe on it, as a testimony to the truth of its conceptual premise. Check it out!
It’s a wonderful feeling to be in your zone….and, to personalize: I feel wonderful when I’m in my Zone. Last week’s co-training experience, so eloquently described in Curtis’s post, was certainly a Zone experience for me. Its when mind matters, but does not overbear – she is in collaboration with so many other parts of Me. It feels beauty-full, freeing, effortless, magical, transformational. It is an unusually special phenomenon, not only for me, but for those around me who are observing, flowing, engaging, vibing with me as a result of it. The twinkles in the eyes, a spiritual knowing, and testimonies on the impact: that my being and doing what I am doing indeed helps – inspires – lifts – changes – another. I, too, am changed.
This is not a boast. This is a plea. My declarations here are themselves helping me give way to an emerging wisdom inside me. It nudges me to recognize the Zone, revere Her, and focus more intentionally there, so that I may live…and give life with as much meaning and power as possible.
So its true – I am often in my head about things. And it is also true –- that I not as often experience being in the spaces and places where I am out of my head (usually not out of my mind!) and into my heart, soul and body…with my mind doing its part as well. There, I find purpose, pleasure, power and promise.
I think it might be the essence of living itself.
As a personal goal in what is a transitional season for me, I am intrigued by the idea of taking this gift of Zone, and orienting my life goals and resources (time, talent, treasure, energy, time left, giftings, etc.) to build, re-design Self, from this place. I am assessing whether I have the courage enough to utilize Zone as a reference point for personal possibility. I hope this public confession entreats you to hold me accountable to this aspiration, provokes you to consider Zone, and to celebrate aloud the feeling, the reality, and availability of such, I believe, in each human life.
I can get down with philosophically complex, sociologically deep, analysis of intractable social justice concerns another time – but for this week, in this space, I owed it to Self to vibe it out, flow it out, and pay homage to The Zone…The Golden Hour. Light it up, folks! Light it up!