2020 has been one of my best years. If not my best year.
I say this without any form of hubris. Humility and gratitude have been my daily bath. Gratitude of dimensions unable to be squeezed into a sentence, even a book.
It has taken a hard road to get here. Years of being lost in the desert. Years of hanging my life together with scraps of courage, scraps of trust. Years of unravelling to the point of questioning that the very earth I stand on will hold me…watching everything I thought and was taught was true, fracture.
Years of giving my life force energy to false idols, gurus who relished the stage, sucking all the oxygen out of anyone else’s possibility to shine.
I will not say I have earned this year of delight, as that speaks to some ledger from the dark ages of sin and retribution, where keeping cosmic score is a well played game.
Every human arrives on earth with intrinsic worth and deservedness.
I will say that I arrive knowing I have crossed the Rubicon of my own life, inhabited the Underworld, eaten of its fruits, and turned like a daffodil towards the light of the sun.
The Underworld and I made our peace.
That what has arrived for me in 2020 was not self scripted, not a goal, not some item on a to-do list.
It might have been because, in leaving the oppression of the Underworld, in turning towards the light, I made an embodied choice. All in.
That if I was to engaged each day with life, then I would do it towards a future I held in my heart for Earth and all her creatures. I would refuse to try to fix the broken, to tinker with redundant systems that no longer serve earth or humanity, that I would commit to not judging (and to be clear I am far from perfect at not judging) those caught in the old models, seeing no other way than that which is taking humanity to the brink. Or those really good people who strive to do good yet have not yet realised they are simply re-arranging the deck chairs on a boat where sinking is inevitable.
Rather I would turn ninety degrees to the possible world…to the world that dares to ask questions such as….how do we design enterprise that enables people to show up in their brilliant and complex agency, convening around a purpose they deeply care about, that ensures a world with a future, and does so while partnering with community and all that humans are tasked with stewarding, including our precious Earth and her beautiful creatures? How to do this in a way that unlocks our greatest exponential technology….the human mind working within an ecology that enables synergy?
Syntropic World, the ever emerging enterprise that sits every day in these questions, arose as my Source Idea.
And simultaneously my relationship with my love, Tony.
Not looking, not seeking, rather living my life, we met. We talked for some eight or more months (we do not recall the day we actually met, as Tony was the random guy who showed up at the coffee shop I and my daughter frequented.…or…I was the random woman who was a regular at the coffee shop that Tony began to frequent…) before our relationship went from friends who obviously enjoyed each others company, to a pair united. Not a moment before our first kiss did I think of Tony as anyone other than a nice guy with whom I enjoyed conversing about everything.
And the gates of love unlocked, so completely, instantly.
As Syntropic World came into existence, Tony was there, first as a smart friend and advisor, and then as my rock, my witness, my sounding board, and a brilliant strategist completely across the Source Idea of what I was stewarding.
To have someone who offers ground, support, love, reflection, listening, encouragement, inquiry….is a first for me. To know his steadiness. His presence. His gift of listening, asking great questions and holding the space for me to be my best, not a day, not a minute of a day goes past when I am not both awed with gratitude and ever more in love and respect for Tony.
Co-arising this love and what is now Syntropic World. And this amazing, beautiful remarkable global community of spirited, soulful, people who are committed to a syntropic world.
I had no idea that after returning from Ireland and London ten days before lock down, that we would take the Syntropic Masterclass online, and that this would open up the experience to people from now 16 countries. Tony instrumental in this by setting up a zoom experience to duplicate my best way of presenting. Standing, flip chart behind me, a big screen in front of me so I can see everyones faces. We managed to pull off real intimacy, connection, community, all via technology.
And I felt totally at home in front of a big screen, as much as I do in front of a regular class of seated-in-front-of-me people.
As the Masterclass rolled out, I built the online learning platform. A very steep learning curve, using new technology. (Amazing technology, researched thoroughly, a company built by women, mostly run by women. See AccessAlly. An incredible platform for online classes.)
Given the early lockdown in Australia Tony found himself at home for two months. We loved every moment of it. We could still keep our morning routine (commencing between 4 and 4:30AM) of running, swimming – though with pools shut the swimming happened in either the ocean or an estuary – beach walking and surfing. Tony mastered the art of sour dough, helped me with Syntropic, and rested after a lifetime of working hard. The roads were quiet, the coffee shop still open. When he had to go back to work we were both sad, it came sooner than we thought. But it increased our determination to create an opportunity for Tony to be a permanent work from home person.
2020 has been the year for me to begin to learn to surf in earnest. Determined not to be just a big board only surfer, I have taken the harder route. I love being out on the water in the dawn light with Tony. We have had dolphin encounters, and I have had many many many tumbles -arms-legs-tangled as the waves toss me around like a very small cork. These days I am standing more than not, but the real test is the bigger waves on a shorter board. Slow, determined going. Getting over that fear of dropping down a wave. Finding my feet. Luckily my paddling skills are good after close to thirty years of pool swimming.
In late August we took a week off for my birthday and went to North Stradbroke Island. (It was supposed to be a month in Italy…but Aussies cannot leave Australia) It was the best time. Water, sleeping, eating great food, beach, wildlife, beauty, love, surfing.
We are both water people, ocean people, bare feet people. Adventurers. Outdoors. So it is no surprise that we now are proud owners of a van to make all the surf boards, bikes and gear accessible, and now working to build the back of the van out to accomodate a bed for overnight stays in remote places. Given that domestic tourism in Australia is booming (no where else to go) this is a really good idea.
My beautiful daughter Natalie is still working in events….her company did the moral thing during COVID and kept all the staff, reduced pay and hours, and converted as much as they were able to online.
The COVID experience has shown companies for their true values. Those who value their people. Those who value profit over everything else. It has shown the hypocrisy of governments –we can’t pay for this– BS story. On Monday they cannot pay for a reasonable unemployment benefit, on Tuesday, it is paid to everyone, no questions asked. And thank goodness.
Not a day goes by when I am not grateful to the bone for being an Aussie. For living here. Now into summer and the Christmas holidays, we are essentially COVID free here, with no community cases. Life is pretty normal, except for not being able to travel overseas. The government paid people to stay home. Our economy is doing well. We all have access to public medical care. My life has been easier for this experience, able to create without the constant fear of lack of money. A universal basic income is definitely worth considering.
As I turn to 2021, I will continue to practise the Syntropic way. Tune into the Source Idea of Syntropic World, move with what is emerging, not seek to force or impose timelines, linear strategy, or ideas that are not ready and ripe.
I have learned that when I do this, when I truly honour the natural gestation of Syntropic and my role as its steward, miracles and magic happen. That the absence of synchronicities is a clear sign that I have stepped into my version of “I want it to look like this.” Imposing my ego onto something that has its own Pattern Integrity.
Simultaneously, to practise daily my spoken gratitude to Tony, to never take him or anything he does for granted, to connect deeply every day with each other, to laugh at most everything, to speak about all matters, to hold nothing back.
If I could choose a few words to summarise 2020 they would include love, beauty, laughter, joy, awe, gratitude, connection. So much laughter. So much love. Such rich connections.
I remember a long time ago listening to some ‘famous’ person speak of how lucky she was, and I remember thinking…I want that…I want to feel lucky.
Today there is no doubt that I am lucky beyond words. Lucky to be an Aussie, to be well, to live in a beautiful part of the world, to have maintained the integrity of my path for my entire life even not knowing where it would take me, to have education, access, love, community…so much of this coming back to the luck of my birth….
I am proud as well to claim that I am a committed idealist. (And a practical one.) If not to work for the rest of my days towards a world that works for Earth and all her creatures, then I am not sure why else we are here.
In 2020 I had the privilege of speaking at several events.
At Humanity Rising on Beyond Neoliberalism-The Dawn of a New Civilisation with none other than Hunter Lovins, Ralph Thurm and John Montgomery. (you can watch my segment only here.)
At The New Economy Network of Australia annual conference. (Video not yet available)
And at Cambridge University, Cambridge Zero event, on the Pioneers Panel with Tyson Yunkaporta and Angus Forbes.
And to several other communities looking at challenging the current status quo.
BEAUTY OF BEGINNINGS
My daily (365 days of the year) blog is approaching the end of its third year. You can access them all here. I write on everything Syntropic, including love, life, beauty, politics, integrity. Short contemplations + a daily Pacific Ocean sunrise shot of beauty. I know they are good…good writing, worthy contemplations…so do check them out.
SYNTROPIC ENTERPRISE MASTERCLASSES FOR 2021
The dates are all set for the Masterclasses for 2021. Timed to work for Aussies, and alternating for the European market and the Americas market. If you would like to learn the principles of Universe, the laws inherent in nature, and how to apply them to enterprise design (rather than our human constructed laws that we use now) and then become a part of a very awe inspiring group of Syntropic Entrepreneurs and business owners using these principles, adapting them, creating new models…I would welcome you. Read more and register here.
We now have a group of twenty Syntropic Coaches from around the world. Over the course of several months we have been applying the Synergistic Accounting Audit to our group, naming what we have the capacity, willingness and desire to bring to this community in 12 domains. 6 domains of contribution and 6 domains of receiving. This process gave us the certainty that we were onto something extraordinary. We are now in the process of building the Synergistic Accounting tool for teams to be able to access and we have a post Masterclass experience of this for all graduates.
The Syntropic Trust Manifesto is a key stone of the Syntropic Masterclass. A small group of graduates are now working to create this as a tool to apply in teams, partnerships, and enterprises. A threshold crossing agreement that enables people to bring their whole selves to the purpose around which we gather, and to do so in community, with a high degree of self responsibility and accountability.
COMMUNITY OF PRACTISE
We have teams working to build Syntropic Enterprise in Tanzania, Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Columbia, Canada, Australia. Remarkable people up to beautiful mischief. I am so honoured to meet and know these people.
Syntropic World itself is working to become an exemplar of a Syntropic Enterprise. Our Syntropic Coaches had an end of year celebration that broke many conventions. Check out the video….everyone dancing the “Seaweed dance’ lead by none other than our chief mischief maker, Benny Wallington. And my outfit…we were to dress as we held the intention for 2021. Surfing, the metaphor, to learn to surf by riding the wave (the only way to do it) is how we are building Syntropic World.
We decided mid year to switch from the usual membership community on a pay as you go, and instead embody the Syntropic Principles, including the Synergistic Audit. Instead we ask people to pay what they are able, or what they feel is right and within their ability. We set up a contribution page, which you can access here. Anyone, community or not, are invited to make a contribution if you are moved to, to recognise and support this work, and my ability to steward it in this early phase of creation.
THE ALUMNI + OPEN CALLS
The Alumni calls are our way of introducing people to Syntropic World through offering a small taste. One Syntropic Model, one special guest, and one alumni presenting their business. You can access most of the videos on either our Alumni Page, or Vimeo Channel.
Big thank you to guests Robb Smith, Tyson Yunkaporta, Jeremy Lent, Kent Langley, Daniel Wahl, Richard Hames.
Our first call for 2021 is with the remarkable Sir Jonathon Porritt. His latest book is Hope in Hell. And our Alumni is beautiful Sarah Scott from Tanzania. Do join us.
THE EMERGING BUSINESS MODEL FOR SYNTROPIC WORLD
We suspect it will be a combination of a Not-for-profit community and education platform that moves towards a steward owned type co-op, and a commercial arm that supports companies to deploy the tools such as the Trust Manifesto and Synergistic Accounting, and work with coaches and facilitators to build Syntropic Enterprises. It is all emergent.
Phew…what a year.
Thank you…for reading this, for being on this journey with me, for allowing my work and writing to be worth reading, worth sharing, worth being a part of.
That means the world.
May peace, beauty and love be with you,
***2020 has been for so many one of the terrible years. I write not to dishonour the pain for so many during this year. I know people who have died from COVID, I know people who were healthy prior to COVID and are now 10 months into disabling illness with no end in sight. I know many business owners who have suffered. I have watched in disgust at the prophet’s of COVID speak of theory on theory, their crystal ball bringing them fame as they spread lies faster than the virus itself.
I have watched politics become theatre, actors, many of them just bad to the bone, trade in lies and insults, fumbling bullies who simply cannot take the same venom they serve others. The hypocrisy shouting across the heavens, seemingly falling on a deaf world that rolls over, so normalised has this all become. As the super rich become more bloated in wealth, inequality grows. And we eat our home planet, taking it down with all the majestic creatures.
Corruption is business as usual. It is because of this, because of the callous disregard to all human dignity, life, wellbeing…that I dedicate each day to the creation of Syntropic World and a syntropic world.
Other places to connect – do say hi!