Byron's Babbles

How Can We Reinvent Ourselves?

file-2I had the honor and pleasure of being given an Advance Copy of Indivisible: Coming Home To Deep Connection by Christine Marie Mason. I love being part of book launches for Weaving Influence. This book was absolutely awesome. In fact, my first tweet was that the book “rocked my world.” If you want to check out my tweets about the book go to @ByronErnest or use the hashtag #Indivisible. There were so many things that resonated with me as an educator and leader.  Most notable were sections that discussed, “Where does our core worth come from?” or “If you want to see separation in action, go to a public school cafeteria.”

file-2At the end of the book Christine spends time discussing resilience. This quote has stuck with me: “A long arc of a lifetime of achievement requires resilience and tenacity.” She goes on to explain her epiphany of, “I used to think that the traumatic things that happened to us in life were a curse, but I was wrong. Now I see these experiences as preparing me to serve.” Christine also taught me in the book that “A bad experience can be a point of departure from which we bring service to others.” Here’s the deal: This book is authentic! Christine wrote this book from her own perspective as what I call “the deer in the headlights.” This book will cause you to do a lot of reflection on your own life and how you lead.

Here is an excerpt selected by Christine to offer you in this post:

“The Western worldview teaches that we are independent, individual beings. In this system, our worth comes primarily from what we produce. We are always being graded by others, and our worth and security are wrapped up in how well we conform to what they expect.

This is the perspective within which I, like many other Americans, was raised. But as I grew up, moving from childhood experiences to experiences that I chose for myself, I realized that these teachings felt fundamentally untrue. My direct experience was one of increasing interdependence and interconnection. Each person was infinitely more complex than I had ever imagined.

I decided to question how I had lost touch with myself and others, and how to live better in relationship with one other person—and beyond that, to how we, as a culture, had lost touch with our interdependence in the first place. I would undertake an experiment to answer these questions, and my methods would be a combination of research and lived experience. The broader questions were: can we “hack” our own evolution, and the evolution of the collective? In other words, can we get in there and speed it up? What if everything we had taken in unconsciously was up for discussion, and we didn’t accept any of it whole hog? If we give ourselves permission to question, alone and with others, we might design any manner of new ways to live.

If we go through our lives unconsciously, the neurons and atoms that make us up will continue to play out their repeating code. But if we become conscious, we can (to a certain extent) rewire ourselves, as well as the culture we live in. Every bit of information we have about how we work – historical, sociological or scientific – can help us with this rewiring.

I’ve found that approaching this inquiry with a heart of compassion toward the institutions under inquiry, rather than a mindset of attack and critique, helps a lot. All systems are exquisite adaptations. They are contextual and place bound; they arose naturally to meet the very real needs of the time in which they were created. But as time and circumstance changed, they overstayed their welcome, and ossified.

When there’s a problem with the dominant culture, and we have the enthusiasm for reconnection and redesign, and we also join that enthusiasm with loving rather than destructive intent, we are using the force of our intention to create systemic change. In doing so, we can honor and celebrate what we’ve learned so far, and give it an honorable retirement. Of course, this requires that the whole society be willing to look together and release what isn’t working—rather than hold on tight, as if they can’t handle the coming change.

This process of questioning and reinventing may be difficult, but the result is more than worth the effort. In my experience, those who are seeking more connection and continuous reinvention are happier. They are open. They know that it is the separation that is the lie; the union is the true thing. These are people who are at ease with each other, even in conflict. They are egalitarian and able to equally commune with all. They are the ones for whom there is always a couch to sleep on, a table to sit at, a band to jam with.

I wanted to know this in my bones, not only conceptually. I wanted to investigate how will we move fully into our own lives, evolve and grow, rethink our assumptions, float above our judgments, and redesign things that aren’t working. What could I learn about disconnection and connection? About choosing to be perpetrators or healers? Who was already successful in creating a more loving and interwoven world?” ~ Christine Marie Mason in Indivisible: Coming Home to Our Deep Connection

Thank you Christine for allowing me to publish this excerpt from your book for readers of my blog to enjoy and see just how great this book is. I certainly believe everyone could benefit from reading this book!

******

This post is an excerpt from Christine Marie Mason‘s new book, Indivisible: Coming Home to Our Deep Connection.

Christine has been a leader in the tech sector for 20 years, as the venture backed founder and CEO of several companies. She has always been a convener, bringing people together to have conversations around growth and change, and to spark action around new possibilities. She is the curator of 9 TEDxs, the convener of Naked Conversations and founder of LoveSpring.

Her own deep journey exploring anger, violence and disconnection in the aftermath of her mother’s murder, early abandonment and general chaos have propelled her explorations into the interior life and capacity of the individual to heal and connect; her work as a victims’ right advocate for restorative justice and prison reform; and as an investigator into the neuroscience of human evolution and behavioral change.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: