I’m part of a team that has created a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to offer a community service called "Wisdom Labs."
What is a Wisdom Lab?
In a Wisdom Lab we invite a ‘stakeholder’ to explore a personal or organizational vision or edge related to their expression in the world.
This community laboratory provides an opportunity to speak from the collective innate Wisdom that we all access so uniquely in each moment.
Those who gather may not know each other in the circle and yet we explore how we are a collective vehicle for something greater than each of us individually.
The invitation is to drop all sense of being in a ‘role’ and open into being present and listening deeply to the collective wisdom that emerges. For me, it feels like group alchemy.
What continues to move me is the reality that while we are ‘seemingly’ gathering in service of the ‘stakeholder’, we are also in service to each other and beyond.
We refer to Wisdom as a field that is ever-present and the foundation of our deeper essence. It’s a noble exploration because we are inviting ourselves and one another to stretch and open more deeply into how Wisdom uniquely moves through us moment to moment. We notice our conditioned habits, roles and self-identified stories and lean into what’s beneath these expressions.
The Native American Indian Dilemma
Last month I hosted a Wisdom Lab at my home where 20 of us gathered to explore with a stakeholder who represents the Northern Arapaho Indians.
The stakeholder’s vision is to support the tribe to meet the growing extinction of their language; one of their many ways they connect to the greater source and provide a legacy for their young tribal members to thrive.
In just five years the language spoken by only a remaining 2,000 of the tribe has dropped to 200. The Arapaho’s language is a living spirit that carries much more than symbols or words. It’s part of the roots and soul of each member.
The elders witnessed the impact of colonialization and its ban of their language in schools and use of it in public. The amount of shame that comes with being stripped in this way is profound for the tribe. The elders believe this is why many have turned to drugs, self-hatred and disconnection from a knowing of belonging and connection that extends far beyond what one achieves or produces.
The language holds an ancient wisdom, infused by a reality that we are actually connected to everything- not separate. There are great misunderstandings and sterotypes that have emerged labeling modern day indian tribes as lazy alcoholics. It’s a debilitating story and continues to place them in a box.
The goal of the stakeholder is to use technology to revive the language and build a technology-based interactive learning platform that can be used across tribes who are experiencing the same demise.
In the circle, the theme that emerged was how this dilemma is a microcosmic mirror of the loss, shame, destruction and separation that’s occurring across the globe today; both inside and out.
The War of Polarized Views (both towards ourselves and others)
By the end, we collectively recognized the impact and reality that this war of shame and hatred stem from deeply held fears and beliefs that we are separate. Experiences of betrayal; being betrayed; feeling we are better than or not good enough and a sense of ownership in lieu of sharing and honoring one another are reminders that we are polarized and living from a divided place inside.
Infused by deep fear that there is not enough for everyone to share. Stories that we are different and not equal. Battles of self-hatred and shame muddy our connection to Self and motivate unconscious actions. It’s the heart of a polarized worldview and the individuals who unconsciously orient to match this view.
Consciously Inviting Change and Transitions
We are approaching a time when resources are stretched. A time when the systems that have operated our countries, corporations, religions, nuclear family structures and our own inner divisions are obstructing the inclusiveness needed to collectively heal.
We are entering a time when acknowledging the pain of how the ‘lone wolf’ archetype plays out individually and collectively is an imperative catalyst to mobilizing a new world and a new way of treating ourselves and every living system on earth and beyond.
The development of Occupy Wall Street and protesters demanding an American Revoution is a sign that people are paying attention and it’s time to call forth a world that includes tending to our internal pain as well as the pains and polarities so vehemently reflected through our modern day civilization.
It’s a time when connecting to our innate wisdom and learning how to navigate the use of this important internal radar system is the foundation for conscious change and collaborative creativity.
Einstein’s message returns with an arrow into the heart of this threshold:
❝ You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.❞
— Albert Einstein
Embracing it All
Transitions and change require us to stay alert, stay awake and invite in new ways of relating to our life. They are a time when we are often motivated to challenge what we’ve believed to be true and invite a more authentic way of being.
I’ve never been more grateful for the full expression of my emotions and the painful times of my life that have left me with a sense of disorientation and deep loss.
When I reflect on these times of change I am reminded of the transformation and mysterious gifts received. When I think of the people, land and animals who showed up to guide and love me during these dark nights I realize the power of riding the journey alone and together.
It’s my experience that through creating this ground within of accepting and exploring the full range of our experience that we can authentically invite in a new world that includes and transcends any sense of separation.
Alone and together. One person at a time, one group at a time, one culture at a time- One World.