Purpose as an unfolding thread and how to re-connect to it
In these times of transition and uncertainty so much is written about purpose — how we can live more purposefully and let it guide our actions / decisions / projects / work / life? In a sense we seem to see purpose as a practical and moral compass to guide us, help us make better decisions or at least stop us making bad ones.
It of course all feels more pertinent when faced with significant, life-changing challenges like the ones thrown at us in 2020. But I wonder if the number of hours we spend trying to define our ‘purpose statement’ could be replaced with time spent fostering a sense of curiosity, where are you being led? It all seems rather symptomatic of our obsession with ‘leading with brain’ and our quest to reduce and understand even the most complex and nuanced things. …
You hear a lot about change at the moment. We’ve been disrupted into new ways of being and the changes still seem to come. We’re being pulled across thresholds into new places to grow, new thinking, new feeling, no going back.
Build back better? Who knows? What’s better? Where’s back?
If you think new is going to be normal then you are probably wrong. Only change is normal, always has been.
With that in mind it is worth reflecting on how nature does change. 3.8bn years of constant innovation based on everyday disruption has lead us to where we are at this moment in time. …
One of the principles of a natural system is that growth is not linear and constant. For every period of rampant growth (spring) and a place of fullness (summer) there is also a period of letting go (autumn) and a place of stillness (winter). When applied to humans, the modern lives we have constructed and the values we share it is easy to see that we have become addicted to spring and summer energy and terrified of what it means to let go, to reflect and to lean into the feelings that this brings.
But just as nature is doing her rampant growth thing, all around us a space has opened up for many people (though I recognise that not everyone is feeling that privilege). We are being forced to let go — it feels strange when we are addicted to adrenally overloaded ‘busyness’. …