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“Focus on where your love goes… not your fear.” ~ Peter Senge

Children creating dream leaves with Cheryl Schirillo as part of an Imagination Installations "Dream Tree" public art installation.

Children creating dream leaves with Cheryl Schirillo as part of an Imagination Installations “Dream Tree” public art project for Golden Flower Tai Chi School.

There is a tremendous difference between creating a vision and receiving a vision.  For decades I’ve believed that I needed to take on all the responsibility for creating the life I wanted to live, for pushing through, working hard and making things happen. But in the past few weeks a new message, a new way, has been nudging its way into my consciousness.  I’m learning that creative visions have been coming through me… from the collective consciousness and the divine beloved.  As I get better and better about receiving the visions, of not poo-pooing them, or not being overwhelmed by them…. I’m also getting better at understanding my role in how they manifest.  I’m understanding that the smallest of acts (stopping mid-email when my kid wants to talk with me, or give me a hug. Or petting my dog. Or stopping to listen to the breeze in the trees) are just as impactful… if not more… than the big, public, wow-factor stuff that I do like co-creating Imagination Installations Public Art Projects or helping a TED Talk launch into the world.

I am learning that what I was taught about making things happen, controlling the outcome, leading a group of people toward a certain goal — is not necessarily a good way to create a healthy, sustainable world where people experience connectedness, compassion and love for themselves and one another.  I am learning a new way, a way that disrupts old patterns.  A way that starts with self-leadership and moves into flowing with the higher aspects of the collective consciousness.  I have learned to recognize when fear or ego are in the drivers seat and to gently help them into the back seat so love can take the wheel again.

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For the past six weeks I’ve been connected through my head, heart and hands with 23,000 souls from across the globe who are participating in U.Lab. Seven of these souls have come together hug-to-hug as well as part of a local-hub in my hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. Our leader has been Otto Scharmer, a professor from MIT, and author of “Presence:  Human Purpose and the Field of the Future,” and “Leading from the Emerging Future.” In this article in the Huffington Post, Otto talks about the work we are doing together:

Head, Heart & Hand: Link the power of entrepreneurship with passion and compassion. The U.Lab uses the “iceberg model” to explain how today’s environmental, social, and spiritual-cultural challenges cannot be meaningfully addressed by just treating their most visible symptoms. Instead, change makers need to understand and address the deeper root issues, the sources and paradigms of thought that give rise to them. This requires more than entrepreneurship and creative thinking; it also requires tapping into our deeper sources of passion and compassion. As one U.Lab participant put it,

This course is having a profound impact on my day-to-day life. I’m significantly more aware of when my heart is ‘closed’.

On this six week journey with Otto and my sisters and brothers from around the world I’ve started to notice these same ideas, methods and teachings emerging through other voices as well.  I’m reading the book, “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible,” by Charles Eisenstein who also authored of “Sacred Economics”.  As I read the following paragraph I was struck by how this is an essential part of the U.Lab work as well.

Painting of Avatar Meher Baba by Steve Jameson Wodin. Today, February 25th, is Baba's Birthday.

Painting of Avatar Meher Baba by Steve Jameson Wodin. Today, February 25th, is Baba’s Birthday.

“Some teachings ask us to start by creating a vision, but this is mistaken; the proper way to start is to receive a vision. I call it “The vision of that which wants to be born.” Not having invented it ourselves, we sense that it has a beingness of its own.

The first step in creating change, then, is to receive a vision that feels true. The second step is to heal the wounds and doubts that that vision illuminates. Without doing that, we will be conflicted, simultaneously enacting both the new story and the old one that accompanies the wounds. The third step is to bow in to service to that which wants to be born. This process is not linear. Usually, the vision comes more and more into focus as we heal the doubts that obscure it; that, in turn allows us to enter more deeply into its service.  Deeper service, in turn, brings up new dimensions of the vision along with deeper wounds. The path of service is a path of self-realization.”

The key here is when Eisenstein talks about “receiving” a vision vs. creating one for ourselves.  As I step up and take my place in the world I understand more and more deeply how interconnected we all are.  How my work influences your work and impacts every child, animal plant and even ant, on the planet.

As more and more of us receive this vision the world is being healed and transformed at an unprecedented pace.