My short reflection on, and homage to, the Creative Source
--the creative, life-giving, mysterious, generative
source within us that gives birth to
all things creative and emergent--
as we enter a new year...filled with new potential,
dreams, directions, expressions and creations.
Inside us there is a spacious fullness, a coherent wildness...
The kind of power that doesn't always display
its full plumagein grand revelry.
Instead, one of swimming silently-boldy
throughout the ether waves
Creating its own energy currents...
Calling, leading, guiding, emerging.
It is the source, within, of full-on aliveness,
and your pristine uniqueness.
Creative source energy moves and meanders and twists
and turns and spirals into itself through our Selves.
It is spiraling dynamics embodified.
It is hide and seek, the seeker and the sought,
yearning and satiation all at once.
It beckons, but does not beg.
It captivates, yet holds no captives.
It thrives on your realness to reveal its true nature.
It is ever-generous and forgiving.
It mourns and rejoices simultaneously,
as it unites and differentiates...and unites again.
The creative source is
bonding, binding, bounding, boundarying,
unbinding, unwinding, unraveling,
pattern breaking and new pattern making.
It is both the riddler and the riddle...
The one-eyed gypsy dance of converge and diverge,
where what is isn't, and what isn't is.
(The other eye faces inward).
It leads the inside-out, outside-in dance of creation.
The creative source is at once yin and yang,
gentle and strong,
humble and bold,
nurturing and activating,
behind-the-scenes and front-and-center...
throwing streamers, lighting sparklers
to celebrate your uniqueness.
But it will settle for nothing less.
You must be you.
Stay in your ground and
no one, no thing, no way
can make you less than!
The creative source is mutable, fluid,
stable, hard, soft,
transactional and transformational.
It is honoring, sobering, intoxicating,
lifting, holding, releasing.
It is un-languaging and re-languaging.
First, it asks, break some rules.
The creative source can draw forth
the whirl in a dervish,
the bloom in a passion,
the fruition in a dream,
and the purpose in a soul.
It is serious, but does not take itself seriously.
It comes alive with play and fun and the delightful unexpected.
It gets top billing at the Cosmic Comedy Club:
"Take my life...please."
The creative source is not asking us to be filled,
but rather to feel - and engage - how full we already are.
It is the inflection point where the past, present,
and future meet and tryst...
and, as if by magic, a new creation is born!
The creative source catalyzes resplendent
deepening, ripening, opening, furthering,
recognizing, rearranging, aha-ing, relationshiping,
connecting, embodying, and aligning.
Birth, death, rebirth-
the spiral unfolds.
Truth bursts forth,
shakes itself off,
and settles in to, ahhh,
its own rightful space.
Higher order has organized
and breathes a sigh of relief.
The creative source is in itself a parallel universe.
It is human and divine,
generous and claiming,
shielding and revealing,
It is large and small,
epic and mundane,
reality and fantasy,
universal and unique,
gathering and fraying,
stillness and cultivation,
mystery and revelation.
It offers us an inner authority,
a knowing, and a beacon
to sustain and inform us
amidst fears and doubts,
hardships and crises...
our own or others.
It is the place within us
where life is ever-seeking and
ever-generating more life...
filled with infinite creative potential
just waiting to be cultivated.
It contains the meticulous balance
of flow and stucture for all of our creations.
Just show up, let it lead.
It will meet you at your dance.
It will swing you and dip you,
into your very Self.
It will kick up your heels
yet be there, sturdy and steadfast,
to catch you.
It will meet you in your pain
It will meet you in your joy.
Just show up - fully - from wherever you are.
It wants and needs to partner with us.
The creative source is not the answer,
it contains the question to the Universe,
"Who am I?"
It is a knowing, a wondering,
a paradox, and a circus.
YOU are the main attraction.
Step right up.
The world needs your uniqueness. :-)
The creative source is both speaker and listener--
the hearer and the heard.
It washes through the crevasses
of dried up hope and habit
until it becomes fertile,
alive, breathing potential.
I am. We are.
It allows the unique Being in me
to be with the unique Being in you.
With deep appreciation of your magnificent creative uniqueness
...and the celebration of what only YOU can create and offer in 2014!
Happy New Year!
By Michelle James©2013
When we first start living into our purpose, we
notice more "synchronicities" in our every day life - those seemingly
unrelated happenings that come together in an unplanned, yet meaningfully and
uniquely relateable way for us. They often seem like an uncanny answer to
something we have been thinking about. Beyond pure coincidence, they have
USEFUL meaning...and seem perfectly timely in supporting our path.
It can show up in all kinds of ways...like you might have been wondering how to do x and then suddenly you seemingly randomly sit next to the expert of x in the plane. Most of us have experienced that type of thing in different areas of our lives. As we experience living into our purpose over time, those seeming serendipitous happenings become more of a natural flow. Meaning is always there...and it feels as if we are being led to the right people and right events and the right time. Happenings, then, along a purposeful path eventually become more odd when they are not "synchronistic" than when they are. Separate synchronicities just blend into daily living.
I believe this is because inspired purpose acts as a
beacon around which purposeful people, events, and situations emerge - like a homing device. That's been the experience in my
own work over the past 17 years, and what I have observed, without exception,
with other purpose-centered folks. On the outside looking in, others may interpret it
as a lucky coincidence. But it is more than luck...it's staying present to your
path, open to possibilities, and doing what is yours to do - no more, no less which can change a lot. It is not about resting on laurels, or what worked at any given time in the past, but being present to the influences and invitations of the moment.
Purpose + creativity + serving a greater good breeds aligned purposefulness, which is holistically generative - for your self, for others and for the whole. "Magic" synchronicities become more of the norm and unfold purposefully. We still need to do the work, but there is a strong intentionality underlying it. Overtime, as we become more seasoned in "listening in" to what is ours to do, we can more quickly choose the who, what and why of our daily work choices.
Sometime we hear what is ours to do loud and clear, but we
resist doing it. (I've had that happen a lot). Moving through that resistance is another story...and a post for
Finding, Cultivating and Living Your Creatively
Below are just a few of many components. The discovery process always work best with whole-brain engagement, playfulness, body-centered practices, reflection, and other juicy stuff which I have written about a lot, but is not the focus on this post. This is a much larger - and longer - process than a blog post can begin to cover.
Here are 4 Reflection Points for now:1. Discovering your aliveness. What gives you juice, energy, engagement and meaning. Aliveness has many expressions: What's fun for you? What energize you? What do you like to play at? Tinker with? Explore? What engages your heart? Your mind? Your body? Your soul? What do you do because it's "so you"? How do you shine (or want to shine)? What captivates your whole self, not because it is interesting or cool to others, but because it is compelling to YOU? What triggers your curiosity? What did you love doing, being, feeling at any point of your life or now? What did you love doing, being, feeling at any point of your life or now? What does "Alive" feel like for you? How do you get that experience?
Included in purposeful aliveness is meaning. What
is meaningful for you? What moves you? What stirs you? What inspires you? What challenges in
the world call to you? How do you like to contribute? What is a vision you have for a better world? What roles would you like to play? (no need to limit to just one...old paradogm was being boxed into one role - in the emerging paradigm, you can play many roles). What are the needs you see out there that speak most loudly to you? How could the world use your help? Who are you most drawn to work with? For? How could that look? Dont limit it to existing channels or structures...play with creating your own. :-)
2. Cultivating your aliveness and embodying it
over time. There are so many
way to embody it, more than we can imagine. One aspect of living into it
includes being conscious of to what you say YES to and to what you say NO. Once
you start engaging your aliveness, and extracting meaning in it, you further cultivate your purpose by saying YES and stepping up to ALL of that which it requires...and, as
significantly, saying NO to - and NOT doing - everything that is no longer
serving it. With every healthy, live-giving YES, there come a series of healthy
Sometime the NOs are is the hardest part - to people, events, ideas, and
most often, old habits and ways of being. Committing can take a moment...but
living into it, embodying it, and choosing from it moment, by moment, day by
day is an ongoing process. It requires presence, consciousness, self awareness and breaking
old patterns...and cultivating new ones.
Sometimes it means embarking on trainings or events that have no seeming direct relationship to your work (even though they eventually inform it). For example, I spent 5 years is a psycho-physical healing, movement and bodywork training, CoreSomatics, and became a Master Practitioner. I took it becuase I was deelpy curious about the wisdom of the body after a bodywork experience I had, and the training had a lot of energy for me - not knowing if or how I would even apply it. I don't have a hands-on healing practice, but what I learned about the somatic intelligence in that training - and the ways I related it to creative process - deeply informed my work and the design of all of my public and corporate workshops. I bring movement and the body into everything I do, even when not a body-centered program.
3. Creating from it. Purpose always aligns self, others and the whole. I have worked with hundreds of passionate entrepreneurs who have created their own work in the world...and without exception, when each connected with his or her purpose and sense of "calling", it was always generative, aligned with serving some greater good. Serving something larger than just ourselves is NATURALLY embedded in our purpose...in some way or other - often requiring us to expand our mental framework to see that. Sharing something alive in ourselves seems to be an inherent part of purpose.
People who create their own path centered around their purpose discover it already has service built in. It many, sometimes, require us to expand our belief systems of what service means, and how it looks, not limited to conventional ideas about who serves and contributes. It is not just about carrying what you know in service, but also creating something that serves something larger than just you - and it does include you. (It is not about sacrficing who you are in service of others - that's not generative for the whole. It is about structuring your aliveness into an accessible purpose.
It can be anything - a service, product, a new idea, a framework, a computer program, a business, a work of art, a way of doing something, a design, a blog post... anything that is uniquely yours. There is a sense of inner empowerment that comes from accessing your “creative source” and creating from it, no matter how you do it. EVERYONE is creative and everyone can access it.
4. Claiming your Inner Authority. Noticing patterns
you have discovered as a result of "working it" gives you inner authority and ownership that's not dependent on what others think. When we leave our socialized beliefs and enter the juicy, messy territory of our inner resourcefulness, it can be scary. It can be challenging to discover our true voice, the one that contains our creatively unique purpose and expression, and weed out all of the other voices with which we've been socialized.
There is no short cut to this. It requires going under layers of accepted assumptions, and creating time to listen to a voice inside of us we may not even know is there. Sometimes that voice is loud and we get a clear vision or "aha" moment where we know what we want to do and how, but often that voice starts out softly, and we have to nurture it out. But it is always in there...waiting for us to engage with it.
Once we learn how to hear it, we become aware it's always communicating. Once we have engaged our work for a while, we pay more attention, we can begin to notice patterns, honor our own observances, see larger patterns at work that connect to our work, and formulate "wisdom" form integrating knowledge, experience, creativity and intuition in our unique ways. That is when we are less dependent on others for evaluation, and become more centered in our own inner authority. We can hear information from the inside out, and discern what resonates and what does not. We question everything. We run things through our OWN "resonance meter" to see how it feels. Does this feel right? Does it feel like it is mine to do? It can take time to hear the subtleties of the language of our “creative source” but once we learn its language, we begin to trust our inner voice.
There is a type of freedom that comes with engaging your own inner authority and crafting your path...and it's not always easy. In fact, it usually comes with messiness, seeming setbacks, resistances, fears and doubts....your own, and sometimes others around you. Cultivating your creatively unique purposeful work often brings up the "shadow" as well as the light. But being with it all, as it emerges, and making generative choices along the way is that’s how that life-giving voice inside of us gets stronger.
Mistakes within purpose are simply iterations in the emergence process. There is no way around making mistakes, probably lots of them...and purpose allows you to learn from them, to use them. They become awareness lessons, they strengthen knowledge and resolve, and they become innovations to create something new and different.
These are just a few reflections around purpose as they came to me to share today, based on my own experiences and from coaching others who are engaging their purposeful work. Not everything may resonate with you. You may even might disagree with some of it. My hope is not to persuade you on an idea, but simply offer some food for thought or inspiration. As with everything, take what resonates and leave the rest. :-)
Michelle James ©2013
This was a from an online talk I gave on Creative Reinvention using principles and story-based practices from improvisational theater...one of the ways to live into a larger story....
Creative organizations and communities not only play by different rules,
they actually play a different game. One of my favorite books to illustrate this
difference is James P. Carse's book, Finite and Infinite games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility. It speaks to the new games - those which cultivate play, improvisation and engaging the unknown...creating as you go. Here are a few nuggets from the book:
A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play...infinite
games are unscripted and unpredictable...the rules of an infinite game
have a different status than those of a finite game. They are like the
grammar of a living language, where as those of a finite game are like
the rules of a debate...when we are playful with each other we relate
as free persons and the relationship is open to surprise; everything
that happens is of consequence...
To be serious is to press for a specific conclusion....to be playful is to allow for possibility...because infinite players allow themselves to be surprised by the future, they play in complete openness. It is not an openness as in candor, but an openness as in vulnerability...
To be prepared against surprise is to be trained...to be prepared for surprise is to be educated...training repeats a complete past in the future...education continues an unfinished past in the future...
Culture is an infinite game...a culture understands its past not as destiny, but as history, a narrative that has begun but points toward the endlessly open...
Finite players play within boundaries...infinite players play with boundaries...the rules of a finite game may not change in the course of play...the rules of an infinite game must change in the course of play...
Infinite play is inherently paradoxical, just as finite play is inherently contradictory...the paradox of infinite play is that the players desire to continue the play in others...
I was clearing out old files and I stumbled across notes from a class I took in high school. On one of the pages was written:
de- away, down
inter- between, among
ad- to, towards
re- back, again
pro- forward, for
dis- apart, not
trans- across, beyond
At the time, I never thought anything about it, but coming to it today, what immediately struck me was the lack of the prefix co- which means together, jointly, mutually. I wonder if that reflected the culture of the times, or if it still would not show up today as one of the most important prefixes...?
Inside each of us there is what I call the Creative Source - the source of our creative flow and our inherent order, emerging structures, the creative impulse, inspiration to create and evolve, the place within us that is life always seeking more life. I personally believe it is the true "fountain of youth" - the creative wellspring of total aliveness - every fresh, ever generative, ever originating and ever unfolding. It contains within it an embedded creative intelligence of pure, raw potential integrated with purpose, motion and trajectory. It is by accessing, cultivating, forming and shaping this universal - and uniquely personal - creative resource into being that positive change happens in our selves, our organizations, our systems and our lives.
I recently read an excerpt of a letter Yasuhiko Genku Kimura, founder of Vision-in-Action, wrote to one of his students. It resonated so much I had share it here:
"The satisfaction or the fulfillment of the visionary's life does not come from public recognition but from the inner joy of envisioning and creating and from the profound reverent connection to the Source whence his visions and ideas originate. Ascend therefore within your own self and reach the inner Source whence all visionaries and creators draw their inspiration. The purpose of your life is the evolution of your soul, and your soul evolves through the inspired act of envisioning and creating and by the spiritual nurture you thus receive from the Source..."
Check out the mission of Vision-in-Action at via-visioninaction.org
I had the pleasure of being in scientist-philosopher-mystic Nassim Haramein's session at the Institute of Noetic Sciences conference a while back. His was one of the most interesting presentations. A multi-dimensional pioneer, he is working on a unified field theory he calls the “Holofractographic Universe.” I deeply resonated with what he was saying - not through the lens of a scientist, but through my lens of the living, fertile, fractaled, integrative, shape-forming, creative universe. He has mathematically and scientifically discovered what creators and mystics have always known - that we create by feedback and change and that we are all beings of infinite creative potential - in a very literal sense: the vacuum is not empty - it is not nothing. It is actually highly organizing and always communicating - an "unknown" that is actually fertile with creative potential. He founded The Resonance Project Foundation. You can see him speak on the Crossing the Event Horizon video on YouTube.
I found this write-up of him at The Laughing Coach Newsletter:
Nassim Haramein, a world traveler, was born in Geneva, Switzerland. As early as 9 years old, Nassim was already developing the basis for a holographic hyper-dimensional theory of everything he calls the “Holofractographic Universe.”
The Holofractographic Universe theory is a unified field theory resulting from over two decades of investigation into the geometry of hyper-dimensional systems and their relation to the creation of three-dimensional reality and all of its forces—including consciousness.
The premise of The Holofractographic Unified Field Theory research is that space is not empty, it is full. It is full of an energy that, through a specific set of fractal geometry, creates atomic structures that are themselves made of 99.999% space. It is a sea of electromagnetic flux we call the zero point energy, which has been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, since its mechanical effects have now been measured in laboratories.
This is nothing new, most ancient civilizations believed in a primordial soup of energy embedded within the fabric of space and in a primary geometric pattern coordinating creation. Later many of the world's great thinkers, including such scientists as Albert Einstein, Nicolas Tesla, Buckminster Fuller, and Walter Russell, believed in an all prevailing energy at the base of the fabric of space.
Haramein's findings have resulted in theoretical and practical developments based on a specific geometric array fundamental to creation. This theory has now been presented to the standard scientific community with great success, and his papers on the Holofractographic Universe will soon be followed by a book for the layman entitled "Crossing the Event Horizon."
Nassim's investigation of the geometry of hyperspace has combined quantum physics and cosmological understandings of universal forces with other sciences such as biology and philosophy, resulting in advanced unification computations that, astonishingly, relates to ancient codes left in monuments and documents around the world—including the Bible, the I Ching, the Mayan Sacred Calendar, Pyramids, and Egyptian temples. The results of his research may bring our planet to a new dimension of understanding and existence, one which was predicted by the ancients to arrive at this time in history.
Nassim is fluent in both French and English. He conducts workshops and seminars on his theories to help bring an awareness that is greatly needed in these times. His lectures are designed around his life experiences beginning with childhood illuminations and culminating in the discovery of a technology and united view that seems to have been left encoded by ancient civilizations for us to rediscover. His work may lead to some of the most important scientific, philosophic and technological discoveries in written history.
©Copyright 2000 by Nassim Haramein
All rights reserved
A concept that emerged in my consciousness, while working with a client a while ago, was the idea of a Ta-Da! List -- instead of the dreaded To-Do List. Both are about getting things done, but one is heavy with the idea of having to do it, the other is energized with the feeling of getting to do it.
It totally changes the energy...makes actionable items and commitments more fun, engaging, and accessible. If puts the focus more on process engagement rather than being just a boring, or arduous, check list you need to get done.
And, like with any fun performance, you get to say "Ta-da!" afterward.
One of the principles of Creative Emergence is new language and metaphors emerge to replace the old. The current language in any emergent system becomes, by its nature, too limiting to contain the new emergence, so a new language has to emerge to better describe and make sense of it. One of the areas I have enjoyed noticing this in the Chief Officer titles and roles. Until recently, all you would find between the words Chief and Officer in a business context were Executive, Financial, or Information. In the last couple years, however, other Officer titles have been emerging at an accelerated pace, including my own: Chief Emergence Officer. Some other titles I have seen used are:
Chief Learning Officer Chief Innovation Officer
Chief Customer Officer Chief Activation Officer
Chief Storytelling Officer Chief Humor Officer
Chief Encouragement Officer Chief Exploration Officer
Chief Creativity Officer Chief Diversity Officer
Chief Integration Officer Chief Design Officer
Chief Play Officer Chief Medical Officer
Chief Connections Officer Chief Wisdom Officer
Chief Musical Officer Chief Curiosity Officer
Chief Understanding Officer Chief Intelligence Officer
Chief Discovery Officer Chief Visionary Officer
Chief Scientific Officer Chief Imagination Officer
My own is Chief Emergence Officer. What's yours?
In the course of 2 hours, I received a link to the FREE HUGS YouTube video from 3 people I know as well as from 2 mailing lists. It is having a viral effect, creating an emotional reaction in viewers. Change from within is inspired. It is emotional. And we know this happens more with integrative language of words, music, and image woven together for a whole-person, resonant story. I look forward to the day when all of our business communications use these methods to reach the human underneath the employee...then real change - and innovation - can be accelerated.
You can view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4
Every culture has its own way of describing that special "X-factor" - a life energy certain people or places exude. These words are in a creative feedback loop with their culture - they reflect their culture, and at the same time inform their culture. In the Psychology Today article, Charm By Any Other Name, they list several cultural expressions of this certain way of being.
Yiddish has elbowed its way into English with "chutzpah," while the French bubble over with "joie de vivre," "elan," "savoir faire" and other high-spirited bon mots. Indeed, many languages have their own X-factored terms that describe a unique constellation of desirable traits, if not success pure and simple. Such words reveal as much about the culture that prizes them as they do about the individual who possesses them.
* Akamai (Hawaiian): Smart, on the ball, savvy. Richard Branson is "akamai."
* Brioso (Spanish): Fiery, spirited and charming.
* Sabrosa (Spanish): Literally "flavorful" or "zesty," this refers to someone who is
lively, complicated and may have a naughty streak.
* Dushevnost (Russian): Soulful and deeply emotive, but also warm, open,
gregarious and passionate.
* Gemuetlich (German): Pleasant, cozy, amiable—a person, place or
experience can be gemuetlich.
* Hyggelig (Danish): Similar to "gemuetlich," this adjective captures the
easygoing Danes' desire for a relaxed atmosphere.
* Mi ren (Chinese): Fascinating, enchanting, charming, tempting.
* Okuyukashii (Japanese): Elegant and modest, usually in regard to women.
* Shibui (Japanese): Cool, understated. Usually used in reference to an older man.
* Sprezzatura (Italian): Deliberate nonchalance. The art of making something
difficult appear effortless and beautiful.
* Unesidima ne sithozela (Xhosa—South African tribal language): Someone with
an aura, who is well respected and held in high esteem.
Word Spy denotes the definition of a buzzword as: "An an often-used word or phrase that sounds more important than it really is, used primarily to impress other people." We're in a time where innovation is a core organizational value. Yet so often, adhering too tightly to the buzz words du jour actually inhibits potential for creative ingenuity. Some of the most common business buzz words which do not do a whole lot to inspire innovation are:
benchmarking competitive advantage actionable
diversification decentralization leverage
joint venture mission statement low-hanging fruit
vision statement strategic planning market segment
intellectual property incentive plans mission critical
quality improvement best practices operationalize
market risk opportunity costs value-added
distribution channels product mix positioning
target market win-win risk management
multitasking B2B outside the box
offline bandwidth mindshare
smartsize strategic alliance empowerment
New ideas often emerge wrapped in new language. In workshops, emergence coaching sessions, and creative projects, and I have noticed consistently the best ideas, the most novel ideas, and the most innovative business ideas emerge, not in business language, but in human language - holistic, conceptual, metaphorical, emergent, impassioned, poetic, story, visual images, excited.
If you have to reel in your communications into business speak, do that at the end of the creative process, not at the beginning. It's not about never using the buzz words, because they are a form of communicated understanding - a common language, but just not being limited by them. Leave the business buzz words on the back burner as you engage the creative process initially, and then, only after the new idea/vision/mission/product/service/strategy has been cultivated, is it a good time to come back and focus the language for the understandings of your "target market."
A discussion on a leadership conference call earlier this evening, where a business leader/entrepreneur feared that by using her authentic langauge with her cleints she would not be taken as seriously in the business community, inspired me to write the following:
For inspired entrepreneurs: In being true to yourself, finding your passion, and structuring it into a business, how do you market yourself - and be authentic to the language you think, live and engage - without sounding "woo-woo" in a business world that thinks and speaks mainly in jargon, buzz words, and often empty mechanistic terms?
Be fully present to what you genuinely have to offer and speak from that place. Those who are best suited for your message will hear your message. They will resonate, even if the words are less familiar - because you are speaking to the human underneath the buzz words. If you confine your message too heavily into everyday business speak , it is like freezing the substance of what you have to offer...it can't move and grow and generate. It ceases to contain the life energy of inspiration, passion, and newness. People are drawn more to the energy and enthusiasm underneath the words than the words themselves. In other words, believing in and embodying what your are saying and doing will naturally engage others.
Engage in living language - that which is alive with natural exuberance, creativity, and new possibilities. Impassioned language is larger and more encompassing than professional buzz words. It may contain them at times, but it goes beyond them. Buzz words are inadequate to express the aliveness, potential and capacity of what you have to give. There is so much advice out there on how to communicate what you have to offer, and while that is valuable, it is seriously incomplete. There is also a place within our selves - where our dreams, creative ingenuity, and enthusiasm exist - that can only be cultivated and expressed from within us, and has its power in our own words...the place where external advice gives way for inner authority to emerge.