This blog is primarily intended to address concerns of people in community leadership positions. However, it can just as well be applied to team leaders and for individuals engaged in the awakening process.
It has its roots in the Eastern tradition of energy centers in the body. They are commonly referred to as ‘chakras’. I won’t go into detail here but refer you to piece done back in 2015 in Work Design Magazine.
What is Being and How does that relate to Wholeness?
My emphasis here is on your state of “being”. This is usually taken as the emotional part of our lives. But it is bit bigger than that. The broader meaning of being is rooted in one’s social psychological status; located in the present and is about synthesis and right brain processes.
Being is the experience of the workplace. Whereas knowledge is the subjective aspect of function discussed under team leadership, consciousness is the subjective aspect of being. Historically, function has been the hallmark of workplace design. Now, being is starting to merge as we realize the connection between subjective experience and at least well-being.
Harkening back to my chakra analogy “being” is about the solar plexus and heart energy centers combined. Solar plexus has its’ community analogy in expression of personal power. An underactive solar plexus chakra emanates a weak brand, conversely over activity brings an overly critical and judgmental environment.
The heart center of a community is about compassion and caring for the less fortunate among us. An underactive heart energy manifests as a needy, clinging place and fosters uncertainty. Whereas over action here could be seen as entitlement for the few.
Where would you place your community along these underactive/overactive scales?
Re-cap of the Wholeness Design Process
This is a good place to take pause and be explicit about our philosophical design guidelines follow. I assume:
1. People strive to develop in a positive fashion towards greater self-actualization.
2. The meaning of governance policies is derived from the phenomenon of interaction with others and the environment.
3. Symbiotic evolution of people and social groups is facilitated by open communication.
4. Purposeful communication provides a material benefit to human action.
5. A person or group has meaning only within the identity of a larger social context.
6. Development of technology tends to increase the scope and rate of human interaction.
7. Clear, concise conversations, based on mutual nonjudgmental respect, provide a clear pathway for people to transcend narrow self-serving behavior.
8. The creative aspect of people arises from the act of serving beyond self.
Let’s go back to the way I’ve laid out the overall design for wholeness process. (Note: that is the subject of the previous blog you read on “The Three Pillars”. In conclusion, I’ll put the pieces together for you.
For the foundational principle of ‘being’ we are expressing the ‘place brand’ and fluid actions. That leads to design objectives of building, maintaining and signifying community followed by competencies of identity and interaction.
So ‘being’ in the community is about branding, community, how we are identified and finally how that place helps or hinders interaction among citizens.
Suffice to say at this point, ‘being’ leads us to people being engaged with their large lives and places where they live.
The Five Questions of Being State
How does this idea of designing for ‘being’ get put into practice? I like to think about making these design ideals real inside a process of questioning. This sets up a process of design dialog among citizens, policy makers and administrators who make it happen. Yes, it can talk to you and tell you what it wants to be. Sometimes we like to call this ‘wants to be’ the dominant culture context of the community. Here are five key questions to ask.
1) What is the focus of attention in the community? Just what do people need to pay attention to here? Is it some sort of analysis, collaborative interpersonal interactions, or idea creation?
2) What are we sure of? What does this place need to do through time in order to serve the larger whole of local society?
3) What is becoming necessary? Looking towards the future, what can we see emerging on the horizon as a new need or requirement for this place?
4) What will help or hinder us? What kinds of things can help you get to where you want to go? Is it process, technology or perhaps even new knowledge? And also what gets in the way? What barriers to change exist?
5) What is possible? Given all this how do we reconcile the forces for progress with existing restraints?
Each of these five questions is a process within a process. Focusing just on ‘being’ is not just a simple desk research exercise. In practice we find a ‘futuring workshop’ to be the best practice to answer these design questions – before pen is put to paper or the procurement software is fired up.
What’s the Future of MY Community?
He best way to describe this comes from someone who has a led a community through the recovery process embodying these principle, methods and questions we are suggesting.
“WTF! is happening now! The fight is on for those of us who daily Work The Future! Today within impoverished communities surrounded by an abundance of natural and human resources. Like the prophets of ancient civilizations, whose
influence continues to be felt in “modern” civilization, Whitney and Charlie are calling out to our peoples, our new world of local and international neighbors, awakening our hearts and minds to receive new, resurrected ancient truth; sounding the alarm— sharing the vision—the plan for our escape to attain truth, liberty, justice for our people, our planet, our prosperity. They offer everyone within these pages the lifeline many of us carry forth daily onto our community recovery battle fields. Take heart, have faith, take action and join us in restoring purpose, place, practice.”
~ MelanieFae Garrett, Valley Fire Disaster Recovery Manager, American Red Cross, and Community Restoration Advocate, No Boundaries