open or die

It’s a busy, chaotic time. Constant and jarring change. Our world is increasingly complex and it seems impossible to keep up with all the moving parts and pieces. As soon as a decision it made, a plan confirmed, everything changes. As a friend and colleague recently declared as we were doing org leadership planning,

“It’s like we’re just waiting for a shit show.”

There’s a bunch about the impact of this ever-shifting state of being on our lives and worlds that I’ve been grappling with these days. One thing I’m noticing is the tendency to close down and tense up in the face of that shifting. I see this on many levels.

I’ve been practicing noticing this response in my body. Tension rising, jaw clenching, muscles constricting. My body literally draws in on itself when experiencing groundlessness or uncertainty. My mind in turn also reacts, speeding up and racing. As I’ve learned to notice my internal response, I’ve begun practicing different methods. Breathing deeply. Loosening my grip. Moving my body, even in the slightest way. Honestly, the act of noticing alone has an impact…maybe noticing is enough to shift my stance.

This process of closing in/shutting down does not serve living systems. And we are, in fact, living systems interconnected with all other living systems. This interlocking web of life and energy is threatened when a part of it closes down. So when I close in on myself and disconnect from those around me–even from my whole self–this harms the larger living system.

Ironically, in these times that compel us to react in defense are the very times we should open. Openness gifts us information, communication, connectedness…life.

By opening, we adapt and grow.

All living systems exemplify this, which is why they are living. Those systems–individuals, organizations, social–that fail to open, die. It is is that simple.

So today, on a zoom call with organizers and activists who together are building the plane while we are flying it (who isn’t these days?), I chose life. And opened myself up instead of digging in my heels with my own agenda and schemes. I literally made that decision multiple times. Let it go, Amy.

Open up. Connect.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_0252.jpg
-Photo taken 2018 @Sanibel Island; mangroves, lovely + wise teachers

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