Discover more from Catalyst To Change: Offerings, Gifts, and Invitations
Offerings, Gifts, and Invitations
All of a sudden, I felt a wave of energy rush toward me. When it hit me, I started shaking.
She paused to look out the window before turning towards the other woman sitting across from her. She was there seeking answers or at least some guidance in understanding the strange things which had been happening to her over the past few weeks.
The other woman sat tall in a cushioned chair. There was something regal about her. Although she was at least two decades older, she had a twinkle in her eye that suggested she knew something more than most people about the mysteries of life. No doubt, she had a fire within her that burned bright with wisdom.
The older woman leaned forward slightly before she spoke, "There are experiences that aren't only ours, but we feel them as if they are our own. In the fourth dimension, you respond to things as they happen. In the fifth dimension, you anticipate what will happen and program the field accordingly. You can tunnel under unwanted reactions or speak to them directly to find out what their message is."
The younger woman took this in, letting it wash over her before responding. Usually, talk of other dimensions evoked skepticism within her. But perhaps the wave of energy that shook her earlier that week had shaken something loose. She felt receptive to the older woman's words and found utility in the warmth of her message.
The skeptic within her, remaining silent, allowed her to understand the message. She could apply these teachings to help her navigate her life when situations like shaking arise and cause her to lose her footing.
Over the years, she'd observed how some people, often in harmony with their environment, moved quickly with ease and levity as if floating within different currents. But she also noticed how others moved slowly—their actions felt weighted and dense—as if they were fighting the pull of a great tide.
Hearing the word 'dimension' reminded her of these currents. I've been living according to certain rules that are largely invisible and perhaps not even true, she thought to herself.
She began to think about the currents she’d been moving in, maybe the paradigm she was living in only allowed her to consider and see certain options. She reflected on how she didn't question certain patterns of behavior, such as how meetings started or how projects were structured. Maybe that's the problem, maybe I am seeing it all as too definite, she thought.
Another part of her was beginning to see that the set-up provided by these norms was starting to feel precarious.
Maybe that's why I started shaking. Maybe what I thought was solid, was really an illusion.
Sitting there across from the regal older woman as the morning light flooded in through the east-facing window, she saw there were new structures she could create by leaning into the moment and engaging with this fifth dimension.
Historically she had been one to sit back and wait for the invitation to act. She didn't like to interrupt people. Sitting back was no longer an option, that is unless she wanted things to feel shaky again.
A few weeks ago, I watched a talk with Tristan Harris and Ira Gaskin from the Center of Humane Technology about the rapid developments in AI. They spoke about how we are moving into a paradigm we don't have language for yet.
Listening to them speak about being in a new paradigm made me wonder how to navigate the gap between what we know and what may be so new we don't even have language, let alone comprehend it yet.
What if this new technology is illuminating faculties that we have lost touch with, such as the ability to create cohesive and coherent narratives and images from scattered and disparate parts?
I've been thinking about my role in the rapidly shifting collective landscape, wondering what the next move will be as I search to find my footing in it all.
What I’m reading
Lately I’ve mostly been reading academic papers. If academic articles aren’t your thing please skip ahead.
I'll share an article on sensemaking this month, but first, what is sensemaking?
Sensemaking refers to the processes through which people seek to understand unknown situations.
Karl Weick, who coined the term, described it as giving structure to the unknown so we can act within. Colville et al. (2015) describe it as how people appropriate and enact their realities (p. 265). Sensemaking is a balance of thought and action.
Colville, I., Brown, A. D. and Pye, A. (2011) Simplexity: Sensemaking, Organizing and Storytelling for Our Time. Human Relations [online]. 65 (1), pp. 5-15.
This article introduces the notion of 'simplexity', which the authors define as a fusion of sufficient complexity of thought with necessary simplicity of action. They propose that a certain degree of complexity in one's thinking is required to notice the various things that unfold in our increasingly random and uncertain world.
In the face of complex challenges, the article suggests that acting our way into knowing may be more fruitful than thinking our way into action. The authors share examples of individuals finding clarity by speaking their ideas out loud and argue that, in some cases, we may be able to grasp something until we speak or act. I take this to mean that some things can only be learned through direct experience, especially in situations that are multifaceted and hard to pin down.
Labels and narratives are two dominant structures through which humans make sense of their experiences. Often there is a tendency to label new experiences according to existing narrative categories.
Colville et al. warn that doing so causes us to lose touch with the granularity of our experience. In essence, labelling and categorizing are simplifying structures that reduce meaning. This process of relying on concepts is sometimes helpful as it reserves cognitive load. Other times depending on what we know, cause us to miss perceptual cues that hold vital information about the future.
This book is an exploration and explanation of Kabbalah. I have been drawn to the mystical branch of Judaism since I was a teen. However, I never found an avenue to explore it further.
While I am just beginning to read this book, the emphasis on verbs and processes resonates with my lived experience of the divine/organizing intelligence behind life. This book will also offer many insights for my PhD research. Many thanks to Claire Jankelson for the recommendation!
Friday, June 2nd, 4:00-6:00pm PDT/ Saturday, June 3rd, 9:00-11:00 AEST
Saturday, June 3rd, 4:00-6:00pm PDT / Sunday, June 4th, 9:00-11:00 am AEST
This class will explore the supportive and therapeutic qualities of place.
We will look into the qualities of place that transcend geography, how our environment shapes our thinking and perception, and how we can connect with the inherent resources places offer us.
We will also consider why we're drawn to certain places and consider practices for creating a supportive space around us through the idea of altars.
Understand the qualities of place that transcend geography.
Connect with the presence of the places as an enduring quality that offers vast support.
Investigate ways of cultivating a reciprocal relationship with your environment.
I’ve opened two more spots. Learn more here
A 90 min session focused on a live demo of unfolding a process in a co-learning format. Over the years, people have asked for more demonstrations, so I have created this offering.
Over the years, students have asked for more work's in the centre! They say it is a wonderful opportunity to see work happen and learn more about themselves in the process.
Together we will unfold the process through a holistic and process-oriented approach to surface more information and increase our awareness of what is present and emerging for that person.
We will then discuss the structure of the work and have time for questions and insights from the group about the work.
The flow of the session will be as follow:
Inner work to arrive and connect with a question
Discussion of themes that emerged
The June session is sold out. Learn more and register for the July session here