Saturday, December 8, 2012

School for Living: December 20

The next meeting of the School for Living will focus on the question of how we maximize and accelerate our personal transformation into the fullest possible expression of our potential.  As with any project, we need a plan, or a set of plans.  We need a map by which to see where we currently are, imagine where we might be, and select a course for moving from where we are to where we might be.

This map is what we call the Orders of Self.  Everything that grows, grows through set and predictable stages.  The conceptual framework that is the Orders of Self gives us a way to know what we need to work on now and it will provide a skeleton for understanding each of the Disciplines we will explore through the winter and spring meetings of the School for Living.

If you missed the first meeting on the 6th of December, let me just lay out a bit of the foundation we are building upon.

Our choices matter.  When we focus on the things we cannot change and wish they were different or even try to change them, we become frustrated and hopeless.  When we focus on the choices we can make that will move us toward what we need, we discover just how immensely powerful we really are.  It is in that moment of choice that we create our lives and participate in the creation of the world.

Creativity is conflict resolution.  When we encounter a problem we don’t yet know how to solve, we experience it as a conflict.  When we resolve the conflict, we create a new and better way of being.  While we all do this all the time, we sometimes think a conflict has no resolution and we give up.  All conflicts can be resolved when we consistently avoid what doesn't work and use the tools we know that do work.  We must be confident about our competence in conflict resolution.

The center stage for most of us is our relationship with significant others.  Outside of the issues of serious physical illness, it is the quality of our relationships with others that most dramatically affects our sense of well-being.  Whatever we do to improve the quality of our most significant relationships is effort well applied.

We are in conflict with ourselves.  The transformative power of conflict resolution is most easily apparent in our relationships with others but it is also present in the relationship we construct with ourselves.  Indeed, the conflicts we have with others are always, at least to some degree, a projection of a conflict we are having internally.  When we use the conflicts with others to identify our own work, address the internal conflicts and resolve them, the conflicts with others dissolve.

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