Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Anniversary

This week is the one year anniversary of this blog. I remember how terrifying and invigorating it was to write that first post. And no one was more surprised than I that people were reading--that what I was writing was resonating for others. But that's the reality, isn't it? We walk around thinking we are alone only to find that there are many others walking right beside us.

Picture by AMADAES
And that's the ancient story I hear every time I put words to the page. It's the one that gives me courage to speak when my self-doubt tries to silence me. We are all trying to solidify boundaries even as we are trying to tear them down. We are all trying to balance our connection to the group and our ability to hear what is ours alone.

When I titled this blog "What We Carry," I was hoping that I could free myself of the past. That I could clean my closets of old ghosts and define my borders so carefully that I would never lose my way again. But what I have really been practicing over the last year (the last years) is how to maintain my equilibrium--knowing when to merge and when to separate.

It was good to keep my distance while I refined my ability to distinguish my energy from the energy of others, but I'm beginning to see that I do my best creative work when I merge my energy with other heart-centered beings. This is the gift I brought in with me. As a teacher, as a mother, as an artist--I nurture things into being. And I make it safe for others to be who they are.

So it's time for a bit of transformation of the concept of "What We Carry." Yes, there are things we carry that do not belong to us. It's good to clean them out. But there are also energies we carry that are uniquely ours. How do we uncover them? How do we nourish these energies and make them known to the world?

Time to go back and remember. Remember what we thought we forgot about ourselves. Here's to anniversaries as opportunities to recover our stories--to remember the beautiful energies we carry.


In the spirit of merging energies, I invite you to write a guest blog for What We Carry. I'm also interested in sharing your photos, artwork, music and videos. Here is music from AMADAES, who is also the artist behind the beautiful picture on this page. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Transformation

Everywhere in economic reports I hear the term growth, and every time I hear it, the space between my shoulder blades tightens. As if growth will make our problems go away. As if growth will dig us out of the hole we're in. Wasn't it accelerated growth that got us into this fix? And yet, we're still looking for growth to be the one-size-fits-all solution. Then every once in a while I hear the words redesign, re-envision or redevelop in relation to a company or a community. Every once in a while I hear people talking about transformation. Those words make me stop in my tracks and listen.

What's the difference between growth and transformation?

Picture by AMADAES
Growth is one-directional. Growth is expansive. Growth has us employing all the resources we have to layer new forms on top of old forms. Growth, by definition, isn't "sustainable" in a world with finite natural resources. Growth is exhausting unless it has a built-in pruning process. Then growth becomes transformation.

Transformation is a conversation between old and new forms. It sits in the space between what is and what could be. Transformation is about cycles of expansion and contraction, of creation and destruction, and therefore, by definition is sustainable. It is self-reflective, requiring that we destroy what is no longer useful to free up the energy and resources to create something new.

Why are these concepts so lit up for me?

For many years I have been growing into my own skin--expanding into the places I knew were a part of me but didn't dare to embody. More recently I have been feeling the need to transform into something else--something I can't yet see. In order to transform, I have to let go of outmoded concepts that have been central to my identity. Because trying to add a new self-concept on top of my current identity would be an act of self-sabotage. I cannot maintain the old picture under the new picture without burning out from exhaustion. I've been hinting at this on my blog for the last year. Now it's time to do it.

Picture by AMADAES
Sure, I could try to find new possibilities while holding on to the old model, but somewhere along the line it would cut me off at the knees just as it has every other time I have tried on a new creative identity. Like clockwork, illness shows up to inform me that I have over-tapped my finite physical and emotional resources. This time I am going to put out the welcome mat for transformation--destroy old pictures to make room for new pictures. And our recent economic "illness" could benefit from the same treatment.

Time to listen to the clues our individual and collective intuitions have been dropping for years about where we need to go. Time to be daring. Time to burn off what no longer works in the fire of transformation and free up that energy to redesign our worlds, both inner and outer. This time I'm sounding my own transformational alarm. Want to join me?