I spent two days this week doing something I haven’t done for five if not ten years: going to a retreat to explore who I want to be in the next iteration of my life. The retreat was led by Peter Senge and the Shambhala Institute outside Boston on bright, crisp sunny days that just oh-so-faintly smelled of springtime. We meditated, rolled around on the floor, did some movement that seemed to approximate modern dance and talked about the transformations we were most passionate about effecting in our own lives.
We discussed and explored questions that often elude us in the very focused lives we seem to lead. How do we balance “doing” vs. “being?” What is humanity? Why do we as a society place so little value on being? How much of the effect we have in the world comes from what we do as opposed to who we are? Why is empty space so uncomfortable that we seem to always need to fill it? How can we value what we don’t know as much or more than what we do know? Why do we have such a limited capacity to hold the whole of anything and seem to focus on its parts?
Reflections and thoughts. The difference between being committed and being a fanatic is that a fanatic is certain of the answers and has stopped asking questions. Real commitment comes in the midst of profound uncertainty. We live in a world of infinite interdependence. I met a woman who gave away 90% of everything she owned to become what she believed in. I was awe struck. The only emotion that expands creativity, possibility and potential is love.
So for me, the answer is to step out as boldly as possible into the center of the mainstream business world with all my passion and all of my might to inspire the profound change needed to alter the destructive path we are on and to capture the full potential of our humanity to create a world that is equitable, just, peaceful and sustainable.