May 8th 2022
I am still on the road, mostly off-grid. Falling in love again with nature, the ocean, my love, myself. Spending hours a day surfing. Eating, resting. Adventuring to new places.
This edition of Sunday Syntropy is a selected compilation of short posts from the daily blog, Beauty of Beginnings that were written throughout 2020.
Beauty of Beginnings now has 1588 posts published, one each day, 365 days a year, into its fifth year. Accompanied by a photo of the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. (With photos now into the 10,000, each one so different, yet each one the same sun over the same ocean.)
The little Source Idea for Beauty of Beginnings literally landed January 1st, 2018, sitting at my regular local coffee shop, ESPL, as I gazed at the Pacific Ocean. I had always wanted to write a book. The Source Idea was to write for a year, and then have a day book. That book is still not published, yet the habit remains and has sustained me and hopefully the small devoted audience who read the missives every day.
Next week we will be back to normal with a new article that hopefully nourishes your own Syntropic Journey.
Please enjoy this edition.
Being a clumsy student
July 6th, 2020
I love learning. Being thrown into an experience where I am a beginner. Figuring it out. Knowing that if I commit my whole self to the journey, I will reach a level of competence that feels comfortable.
In the beginning I am happy to embrace being a clumsy student. Looking the idiot. Tripping over my own feet, words. Being the beginner, again, and again.
I gave up the requirement for perfection when I became a mother. The house was never going to be in ‘perfect’ order because the priority was now care of my daughter, care of myself, care of the family, care of my work.
To embrace being a clumsy student gives us permission to be the novice. To want to learn. To be humbled by our incompetence. To thirst to become better.
I intend to keep this going until my last breath.
To be old is to decide you are done with learning. The world of change and technology is too big, too scary, too overwhelming.
Running marathons taught me the profound beauty of breaking things down into micro-steps. Focus just on the next step, and repeat, and repeat, until 42.2 kilometres has been run.
Currently clumsily learning to surf, learning to create an online learning platform and membership site, learning to nurture and create a global community for change, learning to be in a truly committed relationship.
Dancing with Beauty
July 14th, 2020
Beauty, it will saturate our soul with gorgeousness if we allow it.
Render us speechless.
We might open our hearts and being to beauty. Let it heal us. Seep into the cracks of our brokenness.
Become drunk at its outrageous effortlessness.
Learn from its imperfect perfection.
Wonder at its asymmetry. Its constancy and every changing face.
I gaze at the Pacific almost every day. Each day I have to remind myself to pause long enough to fully see it all. To let it all in. To have that part of me that still believes I am separate from, smarter than..be reduced to ground.
So small, so small am I. Are we. Yet when I|we allow our beauty to shine, the world desires to dance with us.
We are, after all, verbs. The moment we noun ourselves we are lost
July 20th, 2020
We would rather be ruined than changed. Rather die in our dread than find the cross of the moment and let our illusions die. W.H. Auden. The Age of Anxiety
The shattering of illusions does not come in a soft pink packet. The world we held as right, true and good must become irreconcilable with our experience to the point that we can no longer keep the illusion.
This requires not just an unraveling of identity, of a life crafted to look a particular way. It requires stepping into a life that we have not yet inhabited.
To become a stranger to ourselves.
Who are we really, is the deeper question. And from the no-thingness we might build a something. An identity that we can inhabit as ours.
I look at those our current world considers icons of achievement and success. I wonder, are they really happy? Do they live joyously? Or do they spend their private hours feeding the starved beast of their soul with junk food, social likes, porn, reality TV?
I would rather live in that crucible of change. I would rather the truth. Hard, shattering, stunning.
Life, joy, happiness bends back and meets those who stand on the edge, explores the questions, opens to the infinite wisdom of the unknown, and gives up their addiction to their own superiority.
We are, after all, verbs. The moment we noun ourselves we are lost.
Small acts of love, beauty, the spoken word and kindness become trim tabs for change.
July 4th, 2020
Violence. Violare – to treat with outrage, to dishonour
Impact – to strike forcefully against something.
We speak of impacting communities. Impact investing. Making an impact. Inadvertently, seeded in our language is an act of violence.
We might choose a better word to describe that which we intend to enable.
Otto Scharmer has suggested 3 forms of violence.
Direct– physical brutality, emotional projection.
Structural– lack of access to, often sustained over decades or centuries, and perpetrated by no single person.
And Attention Violence – when we are not seen, reduced to numbers, diminished, by others, and our selves.
In this age of becoming aware of privilege, access (lack of), inequality, systems designed to do exactly what we now have…as we turn to create a more beautiful world that we know is possible, choosing language that has within it the seeds of what we intend is significant.
Small acts of love, beauty, the spoken word and kindness become trim tabs for change. Rather than impact we might enhance, enable, synergise…
We might not be violent directly. But do we say yes to structural violence because it serves us? And have we diminished others and ourselves in the way we co-ordinate people in enterprise that never allows the whole person to be seen, heard, and acknowledged for their intrinsic value.
This is the hard work of change. One word spoken creates a field effect, a precession. To consider to this level of granularity is to understand the whole.
Why threshold crossings need to be hard
July 27th, 2020
The precessional effect of an instant gratification world is the reflexive allergy to doing the hard work, often over hours, months, years, decades, to be able to suddenly produce something that moves people.
People want to be part of something instantly. Fill in personal details and voila, you are on the team.
We watch someone pick up a musical instrument and play exquisitely, forgetting the decades of practise, the decades of investment, the struggles, breakdowns and triumphs that preceded genius.
We want to learn to do something, but not at the cost of digging-deep-into-our-reserves effort.
We want the grand relationship, but without the work of cleaning out our own interiors of all the contamination accumulated.
We want the body, but would rather pay to be lifted, enhanced, injected…than to change our diet, exercise, and thinking.
When someone says to me that the work of crossing the threshold of becoming part of our team at Syntropic World is too hard, what they are really saying is give me the bonus without my genuine commitment.
Threshold crossing needs to be hard. The crossing is always a sovereign choice. You must want to dig deep, risk, give above and beyond self. The bigger the purpose, the more the crossing needs to challenge.
The illusion is that the crossing is free-(without cost), or easy.
The requirement of what is needed to cross the threshold should be clearly stated and unambiguous from the beginning. It should also allow for diversity and novelty.
The journey across is where we get thrown into our crucible, burning away all that is not relevant to what we find on the other side. Not the hero’s journey, which is an archetype that needs to be retired. But that of the apprentice, journeyman, master. Spiralling. Evolutionary, maturing, refining.
This is true for all enduring relationships, business partnerships, teams. If we want to build a Cathedral, to create something beautiful, filled with genius, to become a master, to write simple words that stop the world, we need to put in the work.
The easy road constantly chosen is like empty calories. Substandard fuel for a partially lived life.
To build an enterprise as a Cathedral, ensure your threshold crossing asks those who truly want to be a part of what you are stewarding to demonstrate this as they cross.
Reduced to an hourly rate
August 12th 2020
By doing so we agree to becoming a commodity.
We deny the potential for real value.
Yet we are so conditioned to do this.
Perhaps instead we take the time at the front end, and then ongoing through the course of our engagement, to find out what is most wanted, how the hiring agent will know that what you have done has been extraordinary.
If it takes 5 minutes, backed by thirty years of experience, to deliver what it might take someone else 3 weeks, is it worth it?
What do you want, and for this, what are you prepared to pay?
Know, in gritty detail what is wanted. Then deliver.
The relationship between
August 23rd 2020
Buckminster Fuller would say Unity is Plural, at minimum two. To up, down. In, out. Black, white. Right, wrong. Good, bad.
Do I exist unless I have relationship with at least another? Be that a person, a tree, the ocean.
It is in the relationship between that I am. You are. We are.
Bucky also said that the minimum system in Universe is the tetrahedron. 4 elements, 6 relationships. It is the relationships, the metaphysical gravity, that holds the shape of any system.
Not stuff. Not things. Not us. But the relationship between.
In a world that measures success, status, achievement by the stuff, the things, the person, we have discounted…debased the very thing that makes everything possible.
The relationship between. The field.
Love is metaphysical gravity. Weightless. Immeasurable. Refusing to be contained by borders, to be sliced and diced and sold to the highest bidder.
I can see the Gods laughing at how we have defined what matters.
I can feel the pain, the isolation, the debasement of humans, you, me….who know we have been caught in a spin of occlusion of the very thing that forms life, meaning, joy.
The relationship between. Connectivity. Love.
The steady river of integrity
September 14th 2020
Keep showing up, keep doing great work, keep your eye to the horizon that calls you, pulls you, insists that you attend to its possibility.
We never know which part of our work will land, which part of our work will touch someone, move someone, light a spark.
And rather than buy into the popular opinion of adapting your work to the largest audience, create work that is loved and sustained by your smallest viable audience.
I would rather build intimacy of connection than crowds of consumers. Not be the shooting star of fame, but the steady river of integrity.
It’s a longer slower road.
Our power is always in holding ourselves and others to truth. To Integrity.
September 20th 2020
How we disintegrate integrity, and in so doing, humanity.
We tell a small lie. Or we witness a small lie, and in either case, step right over it.
If we are honest with ourselves, at this point of a lie, there is an internal dissonance. (Unless you are a sociopath or psychopath, absent any feeling from birth)
The fabric of our being has been rent, ever so slightly. If we get away with it, the next lie is a tiny bit easier. It feels powerful to get away with it. Hubris builds.
Multiply the small, seemingly innocuous lie by a thousand, and our immunity becomes strong.
Multiply our stepping over lies made by another by a thousand…and we roll our eyes and numb ourselves down just a little more, as the lies roll on by. Hardy disturbed by anything now, are we.
It is a tale of time immemorial. Of the boy who cried wolf.
As the lies accumulate, our bodies toxic from junk (food, air, news, media, BS), our senses numb to anything but the most horrendous, and even then…difficult to rouse the energy to be mad…power feeds the lies…and power accumulates.
One day we wake and discover that we have agreed to atrocities. And we wonder….how did we get to this?
We did it one small lie, one nano atrocity at a time.
We do it to ourselves. We lie to ourselves. ‘We will not do this…and then we do…’
We do it to others…’you will not do this…but when you do I will do nothing.’
And we claim powerlessness.
Our power is always in holding ourselves and others to truth. To Integrity.
When we inhabit a world, as we do now, where the lies have been so normalised, when hypocrisy is the currency of power, we must, with all-in-commitment, turn back to integrity.
Beginning with our own.
The precession of cheap
September 21st 2020
Cheaply produced has packed within it…
Cheap labour. Disposable humans.
Cheap material. Nasty for the future. Nasty from the present.
Cheap design. Planned obsolescence. Zero care for endurance.
Cheaply produced leads to broken communities, broken environments, broken education…
Cheap fails beauty. Fails the future. Fails love.
Care, patience, kindness is extracted from cheap.
How do we measure love? Account for care? Value beauty?
October 2nd 2020
There is an element in the systems change world that thrives from intellectual wanking and one-upmanship. It is a very yang culture.
The impulse to measure, to be evidence based, is an addiction. It has some validity. We cannot fund until it’s proven. We cannot risk until we see the evidence. Around and around it goes. Show me, then I’ll back you.
We choose to go to the moon, said JFK in 1961.
And so we did, using less technology than you have in your pocket. Driven by a dream, a quest, and humans working together synergistically.
Technology, we think, will solve everything. Technology requires measurement, precision, evidence. We, in our quest for dominion over everything, want to squeeze consciousness into a machine.
All the while we discount metaphysical gravity, removing it from our equations. The very glue that holds everything together. The weightless, immeasurable.
Love. Care. Beauty. The fibres of integrity.
We invalidate the yin. The soft, witnessing, fluid.
The world is not calling for more measurement. More evidence based.
It is calling for deep listening, to the stories of the wind, the call of the dolphin, the kiss of the moon.
Our own brightness missing
October 12th 2020
“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and its very easy to miss it.” Boris Pasternak
Our culture suggests trumpets, fan fare, red carpets, wow’s!
But the things that offer us what we have been yearning for, knowingly or not, usually arrive unadorned. They slip into a causal conversation. Or they may lie dormant like a seed in drought.
We think we want the bright and shiny. But that is only our own brightness missing.
Our absence doesn’t provide Soul food. Our presence does. To be here. To notice the small, unadorned…to meet what arrives with the heart of a child, curious, open, delighted.
My love was the curious one….returning time and again to the coffee shop I frequented. Over eight or more months, the simple pleasure of a conversation. The delight of connection, the ease of unified values.
I had no idea. Until I did.
Everything that means the world to me arrived like this….left of field to where I was or was not looking.
I want to know the truth of trees. The reliability of the bird call in the morning.
October 15th 2020
We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesisers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, to think critically about it, and make important choices wisely. E.O.Wilson
We are drowning in information. A few days ago I felt a deep desire to have politics become boring. To have world ‘leaders’ who do what they say, say what they do, do not need platforms and acolytes, are dependable, reliable, and…boring.
Indeed, not even world ‘leaders’ but anyone with a level of fame…for almost anyone with fame these days are in the ‘amp up the energy for divisiveness category’…profiting off anyone even mildly susceptible as wolf to prey.
Wisdom has gone AWOL. The constant drama has reached a crescendo that has dulled all senses, and indeed has become boring in its sameness…nothing a surprise anymore…corruption, lies, cheating, hypocrisy…normal, normal, normal.
I do not see immediate signs of the synthesisers having any voice, any authority. The noise of the screeching sycophants drowns out most everything.
And right information….where, oh, where do we find it?
Critical thinking…can we please have education for that….it too swallowed in the shallow, the drama, the ridiculous.
I want to know the truth of trees. The reliability of the bird call in the morning. The touch of my lover. The kiss of rain.
I want to feel dirt squelch between my toes…there is an honesty in that.
And to be inspired by people who hold a vision for earth and her creatures that is beautiful, integrous, wholehearted, in service to the greater whole….
Anything that is not towards this I leave behind on the dust heap of our human teen years.
Shall we become beautiful, wise, critical thinking adults together?
We are the custodians of deep and ancient thresholds. Heidegger.
October 23rd 2020
To cross a threshold, to step from one world to another, be that the threshold of a house, a nation, a relationship….is to partner with change.
Yet we discount the significance of thresholds.
From child to adult. From a person who spends their days working with this team or that. From being a guest in a home, a city, a land.
Great thresholds…birth, death, vows, partnerships in life and business, from maiden, mother, crone; boy, man, elder….seek a thorough contemplation of their significance, of the transformation that is invited, of the portent held in the chemistry of the threshold.
To create threshold crossings that are deliberate, thoughtful, invite sovereign choice, invoke reverence, and weave threads of the sacred liminal spaces of the threshold, is to declare clearly that on the other side of the threshold lives a different set of values, expectations, agreements….
The Trust Manifesto from Syntropic World is one such template for threshold crossing that stewards the becoming of an active participant in an enterprise.
*The Syntropic Enterprise Masterclass is an 8 week online journey in application of the Trust Manifesto to teams, enterprises, community groups. Read more here.
To create, create the conditions in which what we are creating can appear
November 1st 2020
A seed will lie dormant for thousands of years, waiting…waiting…waiting…
Until that moment when the conditions of life are present.
So often we spend time on the thing we are creating, neglecting in the process the field and ecology in which our thing is being created.
Children (and adults) with access to environments of safety, love, respect, dignity and clear boundaries have the capacity to direct their energy towards engaging with life.
Children (and adults) who are in constant anxiety invest their survival energy on remaining hyper vigilant, all other skills secondary.
An idea for an enterprise needs the right set of conditions, the moment in time, the field cultivated to hold it as it stumbles from seed to sprouting.
The steward leader needs to be skilled at attuning to this moment, knowing that to rush in, to impose a human constructed time line is like throwing a baby into a pool expecting swimming.
People who work with soil and seasons know this skill.
There is a gestation, a timing, a season and fertile soil…followed by the right amount of sun, water, temperature…
Each human is the same. Given the right ecology, we can thrive, if we choose.
December 5th 2020
To transform, to become a new shape…able to transcend our current world view and identity, requires perturbation.
We must step into the world of extreme discomfort, to not know if the ground we stand on will hold us up. To gaze for the first time into the essence of assumptions never before challenged.
To birth an idea requires perturbation. When the idea can no longer be ignored, when it calls us in our sleep with increasing persistence, we must sit with it, speak with it, follow the threads that will lead to the ideas heart and soul.
It might ask of us to transform our very selves in its birthing. It might demand that we let go of our small, safe ways. That we commit to its ideal above the ruckus of our argumentative mind.
And we will resist. We will try to shape our idea in our image rather than tune into the shape it intrinsically needs to be.
We will not know how. Or when. Or with whom.
We will not know anything except now is the time and the answer is yes.
Perturbation is the crucible.
December 6th 2020
One of the principles of Syntropic is the principle of provisioning.
Our work at Syntropic World is about applying the laws of nature, laws that have been tested over billions of years, to enterprise design and human co-ordination.
Nature is both consummately efficient and simultaneously resilient. Not too much, not too little. Nature doesn’t do greed, accumulation at the cost of others, or monopoly.
If you are there steward of a Source Idea, then inherent in the gift of the Source Idea is the means to achieve it. Yet when the Source Idea first arrives, we are ill-equiped, both in provisions and our inherent capability to bring the Source Idea into full manifestation.
We learn to ride the wave by surfing it.
Our task as the steward is to be in deep communion with the Source Idea and its Pattern Integrity. To seek to support its very next step, one step at a time.
Not the tenth step, or the second. But the first step.
Only after the first step is taken will the second step be revealed.
The beauty is that in the field of the Source Idea will be the provision for the first step.
It is likely to be found in a non obvious place, or perhaps hidden in the every day, the people and places that you have stopped seeing for their ordinariness.
Yet it will be there.
Our problem, based on our training in business and life, is that we are seeking the second or one hundredth step to be provisioned on day one. And so we fail to look, fail to see that the path is written one small step at a time. That as stewards we are to learn to trust our role, to know that if and when we do trust it, the next step will be revealed and provisioned for, in the nick of time….
It might feel risky, uncomfortable, uncertain.
Yet it is the dance, as the leaf to the wind, the flower to the sun. Constantly engaging with the light of life and aliveness.
The only question of importance for this last day of 2020
December 31st 2020
The only question of much importance on the last day of the year is did I bring my whole self to this year? Included in this question are the following subcategories concerning wholeness.
Was I bold enough?
Did I bring my voice, my truth to my work?
Did I ask for help when I needed it? (Or even before I knew I needed it…that point of knowing that synergy is way more effective than solo.)
Did I love fiercely?
Did I laugh lovingly at myself for the mistakes made?
Did I cry at the pain of life cut too short – be that human, creature, or tree?
Did I hold my love tightly, often, and with exquisite tenderness?
Did I dare to find my voice when it felt risky?
Did I smile at too many strangers to remember?
Did I check in regularly with my family? Was I available?
Did I hold out my hand, my heart, my spirit in support of another every day?
Did I do what I said I would do?
Did I apologise when I messed up?
Did I forgive others for their messing up?
Did I regularly, daily, fall to my knees in gratitude for life. For my being alive. For the kiss of the sun on my cheek and the touch of the salty wave on my skin?
Did I apply myself, the best of myself, to everything I chose to do?
Was I kind? To me, to you, to the lost, broken, the crazy?
Did I dance, sing, go bare foot, eat healthy alive prepared with love food?
Did I love, and love and love?