From nothing to all

#me
I moved from one extreme to the other.
From seeking safety to craving freedom,
From needing to belong to enjoyment of differentiation,
From hypocrisy to irreverence,
From carnivore to vegan, long hair to short, round to slim.
Transitions at the surface,

leaving my essence unaffected.
I am who I was and will be.

from 4 to 8
I come from the nothing that is everything, returning to it
I am the light that was, is and will be.
no before nor after is.
a gradient transition from here and now to to there and thereafter
I am you me us
One
Inside
Out

****

Everything is connected. Beings belonging, connected within a continuum of becoming.

Because there is a tree in you [Corinna Luyken] :

“Because there is
a tree,
and a sky,
and a sun
in me,
I can see
that there is also
a tree
in you.”

Free from want, liberated from wanting

lonely – overcrowded
alone – connected

Is there a word that reflects the joy of being alone? An expression that puts in words the feeling of completeness that arises in the silence of the none.
I aspire to the contentment that expands when peace has settled inside, coloring my experience and expression. It is the space where nothing matters because everything is that ever was and will be.

I am free from want, liberated from wanting. The first is a luxury that derives from material security, the second a joy that flows from immaterial satiation.
No longer to I crave possessions, power or privileges that derive from one status or another. No longer do I seek appreciation by people or groups. Liberated from the desire to belong I am liberated to give without holding on.
I love my self. Who and how I am today, now, in this moment. And still, I am no longer attached to this self, neither its inner nor external shape.

I am liberating myself from the shells and imagined shapes of self that shield the essence, preventing it to merge with the beginning and the end before the story has been told. The middle becomes one with start and stop. Past, present and future shapes of self flow along in the simultaneous manifestation of my being – as it evolves to liberation.

What is your story?

Change and Be Change

Over the past months many have asked about the roots of my thinking, and the ways in which POZE has come about. So maybe a word on where i come from to explain where this goes.

The question of change has always been on my mind, and over the past decades I have explored various venues to make it happen. The complementarity of these respective failures allowed me to design and deliver POZE.

I started on stage, thinking that if we can show people how inclusive the world would be if everyone was respected they would naturally make it happen. That did not work. Seeing is not the same as feeling, which is required as an impetus for action.

So, I became a lawyer, thinking that the right rules lead to the right behavior. That did not work either; and I realized that rules are as good as those who implement them. Sustainable behavior change occurs when we want that change, not when we are obliged to undergo it.

So, I became a humanitarian worker to contribute a tiny bit in some of the countries where change seems most needed. Over the past 20 Years I worked in Mali and Chad, the Congo, Afghanistan and Haiti. That did not leave a dent, as the status quo sadly shows. (Some of the faces from the beautiful human beings I encountered during those years are here)

Ultimately, change happens because of individual and collective choices.
It starts from the inside out and is nurtured from the outside in.

So I took a sabbatical to refine and write down POZE, a paradigm for social transformation that is anchored in individual change as the starting point of social transformation. Over the past years a couple of books came out which are listed below if you want to find out more.

POZE is based on the understanding that human existence is a composition of four dimensions with soul heart mind and body, expressed as aspirations emotions thoughts and Sensations. This makes each of us a reflection of the environment that we evolve in, with individuals who are part of families, that form society and together with nature, planet earth. Everything is connected. Our choices determine what happens in and around us.

Life is a constantly shifting kaleidoscope, and we have the choice to influence its colors and shapes consciously, or, to accept them as a given. That is what POZE offers – a new perspective on our personal power to Change and be change.

Further reading

Development, Humanitarian Aid and Social Welfare. Social Change from the inside Out

Humanitarian Work, Social Change and Human behavior. Compassion for Change

Connection in the times of COVID. Corona’s Call for Conscious Choices

Technology, Social Change and Human Behavior. Influence for Impact

Leadership for Social Change and Development. Inspiration and Transformation

I am the wind in my hair

16 May – I am the wind in my hair
An emptiness that feels wholesome; inner peace that has no beginning nor ending. I float in a seamless air of lightness; a heavy lightness, that comes with the feeling of unexpressed grief, for a cycle that is about to conclude.

Peace is often equaled with the absence of violence and noise, the opposite of pain and pursuit. It is much more. A space beyond space that lies within and expands without limitations. Boundless, borderless beauty. It is a state where thought and feeling, sensation and aspiration merge into one – being.

As I experience and write this, I already know that it will not last. I will return to these pages in a couple of days, maybe weeks or months, with a mindset that is infused by the intellect, polarized by emotion and side-tracked by ad hoc sensorial triggers. But – these moments of peace will become more frequent, expanding over longer periods of time as I learn to nurture them. Befriending this, true, self of mine, I may eventually stay with it. Becoming and being, one with the wind in my hair.

Vaccination illustrates our shifting desires

18 April 2021 – Our aspirations may remain the same, yet the emotions, thoughts and eventually actions that derive from it evolve. The attitude towards COVID vaccination illustrates that.

Whereas some individuals were eager from the start to get the jab soonest possible, a large part of the population was/is reluctant. The latter adopted a wait and see stance; motived by a combination of inertia and the need to see the knowledge of doctors and researchers evolve. With the lingering pandemic, including the multiple restrictions but also further mutations of the virus, shifting risk profiles and further awareness of the causes and consequences of contamination, more and more people are becoming not only willing, but eager to get the shot. (We wont go into the preference war of one vaccine versus another which is a perception piece in itself). In certain countries – i.e. Germany, where the vaccines remain rare, the psychological aspect of scarcity/value, and the fear of missing out comes into play too.

The initial aspiration has been the same all along – be safe and keep others, starting with your loved ones, safe from harm. The emotional derivate of that was for some from the beginning the desire to get vaccinated; for others this aspiration resulted in feeling afraid, worried and cautious about vaccines that had not been tested extensively. Intellectually speaking the first group thought it necessary to get immunized asap; in their rational comparison of risks versus benefits the latter prevailed. Amid the second group thinking around risks prevailed, fueled by news about secondary effects such as blot-clots etc. This attitude manifested in action pro-vaccination among the former, and reluctance among the latter.

Caption: Everything is connected, from the inside out and from the outside in. Our soul finds its expression in our aspirations. These influence the heart, which is the source of our emotions. How we feel impacts our mind. How and what we think impacts our overall wellbeing, and our behavior. from the inside out and from the outside in. The body is the interface between our inner and outer realities. Experiences influence our mind and heart, our thoughts and feelings. Physical experiences encounter influences our inner realm, while the latter shapes what our expressions, our attitude and behavior in the outside world.

The scale is shifting as the pandemic progresses, and the pressure increases. While the pull-factor (a ‘normal life’) remained the same all along; the push-factor (not getting sick, nor quarantined) has become stronger. More and more people consider vaccination not only the least bad option, their desire has awoken; and the action is following.

Everything is connected. Our previous experiences, education and overall environment influences the dynamic that shapes our inner processes of desire and deliberation. Based on this foundation our aspirations arise, influencing how we feel and think about a situation; which ultimately influences how we re-act to it. The experience that derives from our behavior influences how we think and feel, which will be archived in our memory. From the latter our mind draws in the future.

Who we are influences what we do. What we do influences who we become. It is our choice whether we evolve within that cycle blindly, or if we influence it consciously. Which is yours?

WwwW – Everything Evolves. Where to ?

WHO we are influences WHAT we do, which impacts WHERE we end up,

and WHO we become.

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Nothing happens in a vacuum. What we do and who we are represents the (missing) piece in a global equation.

The Purpose of life, the WHY that we aspire to shapes our personality.

Take time to look at the bigger picture of our experiences and re-actions. It puts things into perspective.

If You die tomorrow –

What will you regret ? Did you fulfill the mission that you came to accomplish?

Each of us is a unique combination of skills and resources, of connections and complementary assets. These enable us to accomplish something, in the place where we are, that nobody else can accomplish in that same way.

If you feel that your life has no special meaning – take a step back, and zoom inside.

Your WHY is waiting – to bring the WHAT of your action, and the WHO of your personality in synch, Wherever you are NOW.

Living the surrealistic void for Life

We live in a surrealistic void, between a yesterday that is gone and a tomorrow that has not arrived yet.
A past that is lost and a future to be earned.
Now feels like a stretched out moment that is colored by pain and potential.
The past six months resemble a plateau, despite the ups and downs.
A trickling stream of driblets that filled half a year.

Time is lived not lost.
Depending on the circumstances an hour feels longer or shorter, like a dollar is worth more or less in one place, than another. But unlike the value of money which is out of our hands, we determine the value of this time that is placed in our life, as our life to live.

One day we will look back about 2020 and remember it. As what?
Will we think with gratitude about this breach in time, because we seized it to go inside and see? Will we store it away as a dark episode in the darkest corner of our mind; a chapter of collective amnesia? Nothing learned, nothing to take along.
Or will we have explored the plateau, growing trees in the wholes that stare us in the face now?

The Pandemic has pulled the veil on circumstances that have been lingering for decades. Where many have too little, and a few have too much. The Virus is only one part of the gigantic equation, that is marked by inequality and inertia. To shape a future that is colored by inclusion and inspiring individuals, we must acknowledge the past, individually and collectively. Doing more of the same, will bring more of the same; which is not enough, never was and never will be.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Collective transformation starts with individual aspirations. Which is yours?

****
Today’s report of the Special Rapporteur on Poverty raises the alarm bell that social protection measures taken by governments worldwide are insufficient to address the needs of those who are most affected by COVID-19. (As the measures represent globally speaking barely 0.4% of GDP this is not overly surprising). There are 1.6 billion informal workers and 0.4 billion precarious workers worldwide, representing 61 percent of the global workforce.
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26222&LangID=E

How do You draw a Spiral?

Who we are shapes what we do.

Please take a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a spiral.

Among the four ways which one do you chose – do you start from the inside out, or the outside in; with the beginning end facing up or down?

Your approach indicates if you are outgoing or keeping to yourself; whether you perceive life with a positive or pessimistic perspective.

The spiral itself gives a first idea of your attitude towards the environment. Size, line flow and distance between the curves matter.

Showing whether you are generous or cautious; confident or shy; conservative or diversified in your current way of living.

None of this is graved in stone. It is a momentous insight in your being, which may serve as an entry-point to look for patterns that could be amended to improve the quality of Your life.

What do you notice ?

A glimpse

What was is and will be.

Through the crack in the shell the light gets in, and out. Vulnerability is our path to share who we are. It opens the door to connect with others in a space of shared being, human. Shying away from showing who we are inside, for fear of being hurt, disregarded, frowned up or denigrated is part of the process. Only where fear was transition can happen. Without prison no liberation. Once we set ourselves free the prison becomes a building stone in the foundation of our strength.

The doll of salt went to the ocean and dissolved. This is not a tale about destruction and loss; it relates to freedom from form. Like the thread of a piece of silk becomes indistinguishable within, we melt into the woven whole that we were always part of.

Once the physical dimension dissolves in our inner eye, the mental dimension becomes substance less; no longer contained the emotional dimension and the aspirational core merge. What is, was and will be becomes one for a moment out of time.

Words are weighty. They discipline into rigid form what is fluid and soft, lighter than breath. Attempting to capture the moment it escapes our grasp. The expression of an experience is a shadow. It cannot replace it, nor live up to it.

Told by the traveler it might serve as an incentive to explore the same path?

4 arenas of Being

Today was a 360 degree day. I wrote about POZE, had a good conversation with a friend, went for a long walk in the park. The four dimensions of my being – soul, heart, mind and body were addressed.

Soul, heart, mind and body mutually influence each other. Their interplay matters.

These four dimensions of our being manifest via the four arenas of our life – Growth, Love, Work, Play. These arenas capture our time, energy and resources.

The Soul, our aspiration for a WHY is exercised when we pursue our beliefs, acting upon the urge for meaning that we have inside. The Heart, the place of emotions that shape WHO we are as a person, is nurtured by mutually beneficial relationships. The Mind, our intellectual desire to make sense of our environment and to fit into it designs the circumscription of WHERE we find ourselves in life; it is also where we think about WHERE we want to be. The Body is the interface between our inner reality and the outside, where we experience sensations – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling touching what surrounds us; and where express WHAT we think, feel, and stand for.

Broadly speaking our pursuit of meaning relates to the core of our being, the first layer of our multidimensional ‘Self’, the 1 (Growth);
our relationships be it friends, partners or family are the 2. layer (Love);
the work we do, be it as part of a career, study or other efforts that we contribute to society are the 3. layer (Work);
the physical satisfaction that we get from material aspects represents the outer 4. layer that shields our inner self from the outside (Play).

Ideally all four dimensions are addressed by what we spend our time on every day. Often that is not the case. But being aware of these four dimensions and the arenas that relate to the offers an entry-point to shape our days, or at least the overall week layout in ways that allow us to get at least minimum exposure for each dimension. Sustainable inner balance is conditioned be balance of these four dimensions. Lopsided energy investment is prone to result in lopsided being, thus un-wellbeing.

Did you address the four dimensions of our being today?