Keeping Our Balance Now
When analysts are explaining stock market drops, even in regular times, they blame it on “uncertainty” as a bad influence. I applaud people in finance for trying to believe there is certainty some of the time! The truth is that no one can predict the economic future with certainty. The people who do best are the ones who surf the waves and are not expecting waves to act like land. They are lucky when their educated guesses pay off. Now, no one can predict exactly how our lives and societies will unfold.
This human condition, of wanting stability while experiencing change, is a source of stress. We are thrown to different ways of managing the stress: blame someone, come up with all kinds of predictive models to give reassurance, freeze up and become unable to act, fall into addictive behavior to pass the time and distract ourselves. All of which are passive behaviors, i.e., not solving the problem of uncertainty when it truly exists in the world.
Some are pointing out that we are in a time of transformation and that we don’t want some of the old certainties back. Do we want to use the destabilization to rearrange priorities and set a new and better social order in motion? When the boat is rocking, it is hard to see that if we tip it over we can climb on top and get a much better view of where we are.
One way to channel our feelings of stress and worry is to allow ourselves to feel them, to have conversations with ourselves about what we really want, and to settle what isn’t peaceful within.
There’s potential for a cracking away of the old shell, some of it painful, some economically difficult, and potentially exciting and joyful.
The metaphor of log rolling seems most apt here. We must keep moving as the logs jam and then free up and float downstream. You can’t focus on the one log rolling under your feet or you’ll go down with it. You have to look farther and keep those nimble feet moving in a direction. The logs are real and the danger is real, and only by being light and above it will you get to a safe harbor.
This is very hard work. In these weeks, we need to look up and beyond, and go within to find the compass for the new territory – or new rapids — as the case may be.
We don’t get to control what’s uncertain all around us. We have to move in the direction we want to go without waiting for solid footing. We get to invent. Coming from a joyful and challenged place can bring forth our best, as well as that of our colleagues and teammates. We find our linkages to be the best stabilizing force for thriving on change. Some of the best inventive conversations are happening now.
If you are not in inventive conversations already, perhaps you can reach out and start some. Several of my best connections are Robert Gilman’s Bright Future Network, which offers both education and networking for moving from the era of empire to the planetary era, and the Presencing Institute with Otto Scharmer of MIT and its offshoots, such as the GAIA Journey. These connections inspire, inform, and introduce like-minded people from around the world into dialogues.
I know we are inundated with suggestions of how to use our time. Some of us are busier than ever. By nurturing the network and keeping connections alive I find I keep my balance better.
I am grateful to those who have unexpectedly reached out as well as those I stay in touch with anyway. With thanks, and encouragement for invention and balance, I reach out to you, witnessing our shared uncertainty. The wise thing is to accept it and practice log rolling.
(How are you doing with all this? Leave a comment below to let us know you stopped by!)