I was raised in a middle-class Australian Liberal (Conservative) family. My tertiary education at that time was at no cost. A Labour Prime Minister had supported tertiary education accessible to all, creating the backbone of potential for a country growing up. (Sadly his vision did not last and tertiary education has become an expense.)
I have had so much privilege throughout my life. I have been given so many opportunities by my parents and the country I live in.
Like so many of my peers, I did not consider privilege, access and opportunity as anything of importance. It was the water I swam in.
In my 17th year, I read Atlas Shrugged, thinking it at the time the most important book. I do not think this now.
I was cocky, arrogant. I assumed that my privilege would just go on. I never considered for a moment that I would have anything but glittering success. And boy was the list of aspirations and ambitions long. Houses, travel, clothes…
I was completely seduced by the glittering fairy tales of success. I thought anyone who did not ‘make’ it was a fool, or lazy, or wrong.
How foolish was I?
As the saying goes, the Universe had other plans for me. This included the seemingly random but entirely perfect introduction to the work of my mentor of the last 35 years, Buckminster Fuller.
And being thoroughly broken down, my arrogance and hubris cracked into shattered pieces.
This didn’t happen overnight. There was not one fell swoop. Oh no, this was a slow bleed. Decades in the making…
Marriage. Beautiful daughter. Divorce. All in three years.
Single parenting. Mostly unsupported in any way.
So many attempts to get various businesses off the ground. Not particularly failures. Just not the sustaining success I desired.
I sold my soul more than once. In Syntropic World we call that violating my Pattern Integrity.
I did not feel I was enough. I gave others – all men – super-smart charismatic men – platforms for their success. I gave everything for their success. At the expense of my own well-being.
I experienced the pain of being exploited. So many times.
People so caught up in their own glory, or perhaps more accurately, attempting so very hard to hide their insecurity/inadequacy that exploiting others was normal. Taking, taking, taking, no looking down at the ‘small’ people lifting them up.
I laboured lovingly at so many things. Never violating the integrity of my word. Never exploiting others. To watch the charismatic yet vacuous person win the contract…their BS storytelling and golden tongue seducing and spell casting.
It broke my heart. Not once, a thousand times.
My value. It felt unseen. Disrespected. Discarded.
I started to tell myself that I was worth less. (Not worthless, but worth LESS.)
I could not understand a world that celebrated lies, hypocrisy, dishonesty, privileged access to the ‘right’ people, glossy yet hollow packaging, and a complete disregard for integrity.
It broke me down…down..down..
The final straw was after a major personal commitment to a community project – where the impulse from me and all of the team was towards the good of the community – not fame – not glory – certainly not money – and having the incumbent privileged institutions, and the men leading them, deciding to bring us down.
I could not understand this type of cruelty. This type of thirst for power.
The threat we were. (In hindsight I know it was more about the threat we were)
Into the belly of the whale I went. For a long time..18 months. To fall asleep and not wake was my desire.
Everything I believed, all the stories of success, of working hard to be successful (what a load of codswallop that is – not always – but really…I have never shirked working hard), staying committed to integrity, being a good person, doing the right thing, being smart (boy did that one have to shatter)…I reached a stage where I did not trust the ground beneath my feet to hold me when I stood.
Every model. Every story. Every tool. Every 5 step process. Every self-help book, personal development guide.
To be reduced to a blank page at this stage of my life. (I was in my 50’s) I would not recommend this path.
A blank page can be written clean. Death as we are still living is the ultimate liberation.
To die to everything we have held true.
To begin, today, with a step. A single step. Test the ground. Will it hold me?
On determining to take that first step back towards life, towards gifting my skills and accumulated life experiences to something far far greater than me, I made commitments that will only live in a field that has been reduced to zero.
The type of commitments that stand as life. Because they were born from a clear decision to choose LIFE for the very first time as an adult.
To choose to live my everything. Unapologetic. Humble. Bold. Clear.
I committed to turning my attention to creating new models that make the existing obsolete. To no longer trying to fix the broken. To NOT judge those who are breaking things either with intent or lacking awareness or working to fix the broken. To spend my time focused on what we can do.
To know my VALUE. For the very first time. Not as some arrogant poser. But as a human, a creature, with intrinsic value + the value of my life experience.
To say yes to what is calling, and no to everything else.
To care less what people thought of the me where previously I had desired to be liked.
To bring my whole feisty, passionate, smart, sexy self to my day, my work, my life.
To dare to ask, to do, to be…my full self.
This is the liberation that comes with choosing to live. It takes knowing what it means to die alive.
Syntropic World was born from the compost of this space. The seeds of Syntropic World were in me all along. I know that now. I had tried to animate immature forms of her many times.
The time was not right. And I was not right for the time.
I needed to spend time in the crucible melting down. To have the silly stories of my own inadequacy burn. I needed to stop supporting charismatic endlessly hungry-for-recognition-and-acceptance-men, and start supporting my own beautiful capacity.
Syntropic World has a Pattern Integrity whose lineage began at least with Buckminster Fuller. His spirit has been the thread that now makes sense of my life. I am so very comfortable being a fierce protector of Syntropic World’s Pattern Integrity.
She refuses to allow exploitation. By anyone or anything within her ecology. She insists on value being seen, heard, and honoured in all domains.
She holds the space for humans to bring the technicolour of their being to work together on projects and enterprises they care about.
Out of the ashes of a world that says the good are those who extract to extinction, exploit, colonise, burn the forests, pollute the oceans..who care less for humans as anything but numbers on a spreadsheet, who see our precious home planet as a resource to exploit, out of my own disregard for my value, was born my life’s work.
Stripped of arrogance, deeply familiar with the feel of my knees stained with dirt from being so broken down, surrounded now by wholehearted people who refuse to let me, or themselves, get away with anything less than integrous behaviour…I am able to stand and say yes to those who come bearing the gifts of gratitude, radical generosity, kindness, care, love…and NO to those who know only consumption, taking, exploitation.
We have so much to do. Against the backdrop of our home planet’s sleep-disturbing cry for help, against every human who has been exploited, diminished, reduced to numbers…
We turn out attention toward the more beautiful world that we know is possible.
We hold that when we place love, care, comprehensive consideration of all of our actions and their effects, for every creature’s wellbeing, without the disadvantage of anyone…when we consider these questions as the central organising questions of all we do…
Then we are acting syntropically.
If you know what it feels like to be exploited, to be devalued, unseen, misunderstood, not heard…if you are tired of applying the very systems and structures that got us humans into this mess in the first place to your beautiful ideas for a world with a future and expecting a different result, then welcome.
Syntropic World is your world. I am so glad you found us.