"This is a service station. We offer service. There is no higher calling." - Socrates, in the movie Peaceful Warrior
^^ That quote is on the main Services page, but it's also needed here. It's so much of what this is.
Wayfinding is about finding our way forward in this world. In the ancient traditions, shamans or wayfinders helped villages with their wayfinding – whether it be within the community itself, on journeys, or in relationships. Any one of us may need wayfinding help here in the modern world from time to time.
Wayfinding is critical to the time that's now.
It's a part of all of the work on this site; it happens in a huge array of ways. The consulting and coaching side of things here is called Wicked Problem Wayfinding because we specialize in exactly that - wayfinding wicked problems. A friend in the problem-solving business said years ago that "the problems left to solve are the wicked problems." He's an optimist. Still, when you look at the structural areas that the nonprofit side works in here, they are all wicked problems - even more so given all that's going on in 2020.
The work we do here is grounded in wayfinding. All around. If this area resonates with you and you want to get into it further, contact us to arrange a free 30-minute consultation to see if there is resonance, or call (202) 556-0317. All work is currently remote. Coaching rates are inclusive.
On The Ways Through
I’ve been on the journeys, been a seeker, and was even a philosophy major. It’s definitely a lifelong journey; there is always more to come.
Here's some clarity I found that may be helpful. My take on the nature of things.
While there is a whole lot more going on as well, the core thing is really pretty simple. I don't think you have to go to the mountaintops or find gurus or speak to the ocean or watch bushes of fire to get it.
It looks to me like we're here on this planet to love.
To love each other. To learn to love. To live in love. To embrace humanity. To take care of each other.
That same thing is in this blog post May Day and Mayday!.
Also here, on the love.
There is a bit on shining in this piece.
There is light and insight in the epilogue of this story: “I Took the Red Pill: Why I’m on the Counterfear Path.”
There is nothing complicated on offer here. Loving is not for the faint of heart; neither is this planet.
Why all of that goes with wayfinding seems to somehow make sense with this scene from the movie Serenity:
Captain Malcolm Reynolds: ...It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I'm about to say.
River Tam: I do. But I like to hear you say it.
Captain Malcolm Reynolds: Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
It's not that simple, and that scene is partly about a spaceship; yet it is that simple. It fits.
Wayfinding work in any way it's done can be powerful, it can be scary, and it can take some time to paradigm-shift. It's simultaneously humbling, awesome, and emotional. Grace and peace and light and love. It's complex and nuanced and changing all the time – as is this place where we live.
“You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.” - Morpheus, in The Matrix movie
“Effectiveness is the measure of truth.” - Serge Kahili King, Hawaiian Shaman
We can each find a path that is effective for us. Wayfinding helps. Not just with finding the path itself... but with everything going forward from there.
Be well; be safe.
Wayfinding Writing & Resources
Related blog items
Related resource items
From the site: "The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community."
A Seth's Blog post about partnership, collusion, and "organizing the weaker side." Written for the example of Amazon's search for a new city for a second HQ, with interesting perspective for economic development and visions we want for our communities. Also helpful for the #opposition and #resistance.
"Ascension: Connecting With the Immortal Masters and Beings of Light," by Susan Shumsky. The counterfear relevance of this book is noted in the epilogue of the blog post "I Took the Red Pill: Why I'm on the Counterfear Path."
"Beyond the Storms," Strengthening Homeland Security and Disaster Management to Achieve Resilience," by Dane S. Egli. Also see this USA Today article.
"Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow," by Elizabeth Lesser.
"Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," by Jared Diamond. A TED talk is available here, and posted to videos.
"Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Homefront - or, One Woman's Solutions to Finding Abundance for Your Family while Coming to Terms with Peak Oil, Climate Change, and Hard Times," by Sharon Astyk. A Sharon Astyk blog is here. Check out this book review from homestead.org.nnHere is an excerpt from another review at The Blogging Bookworm, "Astyk's book is a reminder of the power of individuals to make a difference in the world during times of crisis. In New Orleans in 2005, it was Hurricane Katrina. Now we face... climate chaos, war, and energy depletion... People are struggling to hold on to their homes, to pay for their groceries, to know what to do next... If you are like me, this book will make you rethink your assumptions about population, about the separation of public and private, about the global impact of creating local economies. As Green Bean said in her recent review, Depletion and Abundance is both troubling and reassuring. It will make you have moments of panic and it will also make you commit to creating a just and meaningful life." The Blogging Bookworm review author says "I finished the book with a feeling not only of hope, but also with a feeling of radical responsibility."
"Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story," by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Also see video of Ms. Blumenthal Lazan speaking here.
"Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives," by Michael Newton. From the website: "Now a best-selling classic, Journey of Souls summarizes Dr. Michael Newton’s research and work with individuals whom he placed in a state of deep hypnosis during which they recalled their experiences between lives as eternal spirits." The Newton Institute is also listed as a Counterfear resource - check it out to find related additional books, resources, and contacts.
"Lucid Dreaming - Plain and Simple: Tips and Techniques for Insight, Creativity, and Personal Growth," by Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready. From the website: "Aimed at beginners, Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple shows the reader how to enter and fully experience the lucid dream." Iowa author Robert Waggoner has been the co-editor of the online magazine The Lucid Dreaming Experience for the past ten years. Waggoner has been a lucid dreamer since 1975, and has logged over 1,000 lucid dreams.
"Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self," by Iowa author Robert Waggoner. From the website, "Lucid Dreaming offers exciting insights and vivid illustrations that will intrigue not only avid dreamworkers but anyone who is interested in consciousness, identity, and the nature of reality."
"Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World," by Adam Grant. From the book jacket, "Using surprising studies and stories spanning the worlds of business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant debunks the common belief that successful non-conformists are born leaders who boldly embrace risk. Originals explains now anyone can spot opportunities for change, recognize a good idea, overcome anxiety and ambivalence, and make suggestions without being silenced."
Check out this book by Eben Alexander, M.D., "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife." Videos also available on the author's website.
"Stress-Free Sustainability: Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence Anyone," by Adam Hammes, an Iowa author based in Des Moines. Interview here.
"The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World," by Andrew S. Winston. See video also at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxYKO7oICiw.
"The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book," by Don Miguel Ruiz. The Four Agreements are an excellent foundation for partnership and community. These are useful at the beginning of a gathering or teamwork experience, and to revisit throughout the work. These are useful for any partnership or agreement, used for anything from homeland security or mutual aid to a small spiritual gathering. A summary of the agreements is here.
"The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World," by Paul Gilding. This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint. From the author's website: "It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources. The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability."
From author Chris McGoff in Part 1 of the book: "How do some people, organizations, and coalitions thrive in uncertain times? What enables them to appear so certain and take decisive action amid ambiguity about the future?" The PRIMES website says "The PRIMES are universal patterns of group behavior that outfit you to work with any group to solve any problem - especially the big ones." The PRIMES book notes "... Here's the deal. Almost all the tame problems have been solved. We get to solve the wicked problems. Wicked problems affect a lot of peple and it takes a lot of people, all with their own agendas, to collaborate and solve them. ... The people who, amid uncertainty, successfully lead large problem-solving groups share these characteristics. First, they are clear about what they are up to and how they spend their precious time. Second, they are intentional and willing to go first. Finally, they have mastered the art of enrolling others to join them." The PRIMES website also has short videos and info about each of The PRIMES. Another core counterfear resource is Chris McGoff's TEDx Rock Creek talk on "Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk." The author's company The Clearing has done significant work on wicked problems in many counterfear focus areas.
"The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell also asks the question "Are You a Connector" in this piece. More here and here on Connectors, Mavens, and Salespersons.
From the website: "Jeremy Taylor, an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, has worked with dreams for over forty years; he blends the values of spirituality with an active social conscience and a Jungian perspective." Jeremy Taylor's work is the basis that many groups around the world to do dream work and analysis together. Taylor notes that all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness, and that any dream that is shared is meant for all who hear it. His process of group dream work includes the idea that you take any dream for yourself, and analyze it from the perspective of "if it were my dream." Taylor has used dream work to foster community, build connection, and create unity - in urban and other areas where division has been deep.
"We all have a hero inside of us. When a catastrophe strikes, our heroes are called upon. In the heroic improvisation practice, we practice how to be ready to put on our proverbial capes and fly. Disaster preparation training might not like sound fun... knowing how to act heroically with others is the key. What determines success when catastrophe strikes is our ability to listen, trust and act together... Potential danger requires us to know the plan of action, and chaos requires us to improvise responses to execute it. The heroic improvisation workshop puts us in a chaotic situation and gives us the felt-sense of moving into action together in a high stakes situation."
Excellent resource to look at how we can "hold space" for people and the world.
From the article, "What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control."
Mission Statement: "The Institute for Healing of Memories-North America seeks to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities and nations. It provides emotional and spiritual healing to people recovering from painful or traumatic experiences and offers seminars and public presentations to inform other individuals and organizations about its work. It also trains other care providers to use its methods."
From Wikipedia: "Deemed an inspirational film, Atchison remarked that his theme for the film was about overcoming obstacles despite difficult challenges along the way... The film alludes to the importance of community... It also deals with esteem and stigma in school while criticizes the public school system. Cast members said that although the film was aimed at children, they considered it had important lessons for the parents as well."
Beautiful movie on resilience, persistence, finding a way forward, building creativity, and connection. Stuff that matters.
What can be said? The Star Wars movie series may be the primary myth of our time. Episodes IV, V, and VI - the original series - are a foundation for finding the ways of The Force. Excellent Jedi wisdom and training from Yoda in Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI, Return of the Jedi. Episodes I, II, and III are primarily useful as back story for the more deeply curious. Star Wars for a new generation came in with Episode VII, The Force Awakens. No spoilers here, but The Force Awakens truly is a myth for our time. It brings tools we need for the world we have in front of us. The myth and the metaphor are more powerful than we think. The newest Star Wars movie to be released is as fitting a myth for our time as The Force Awakens. Rogue One is powerful and unexpected. Myths and story bring to our consience the possible and the inspiration.
I was not expecting this to be probably the most profound movie I've ever seen - well beyond something like Star Wars (all eight) meets The Matrix (the first one). Also hilarious. Awesome #Team stuff. Here's a link to the official trailer for this movie.
This is an anchorpoint for the time that is now. This story follows the classic Hero's Journey. No spoilers, but this is the key to what we need.
Myth is a powerful tool, and this movies serves as an incredibly powerful myth, parable, inspiration, and model for our time. It is unexpectedly good, and powerful on many levels... the family elements, parenting, the spiritual, life itself, the power of teamwork, leveraging creativity, vision, dreaming, realizing, and the challenge and way forward for effective problem-solving, at scale. And of course, "Everything is Awesome."
If there was one movie that represents where we can go and who we can be in this amazing time of challenge - this is it. This is how we navigate disruption, find a way forward, and counterfear. Who would have thought?
"It's the chance of life, get ready, set, fly high.
Above the fear of your mind, go for it.
It's hit or miss, too late for you to quit.
You gotta show 'em how bad you really want this, so...
Live your dreams, it's not as hard as it may seem.
You gotta work to get the green, on your hopes you must lean
From your fears, you have to wean yourself.
It's all or nothing, give your everything...
...Are what you believe, you got to bring the dreams.
Set the pace, competitions take the lead.
This is it, all eyes on you.
So stay on point and prove,
that you deserve whats long overdue...
...My heart is still recovering,
From the heartbreak of another kind,
I'm still drying my tears.
Getting over my own fears in my life.
So I wanna make sure this time that I'm strong enough,
To give it my all...
...So you gotta live your dreams,
So don't you be afraid.
Just set the pace, and take the lead,
It's your time to shine.
Theme song from The Lego Movie. Intro lyrics from Google Play: "Everything is awesome / Everything is cool when you're part of a team / Everything is awesome when we're living our dream / Everything is better when we stick together / Side by side, you and I gonna win forever, let's party forever / We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me, we're all working in harmony..."
"Feel so close" - Calvin Harris. "I feel so close to you right now." If you are looking for a video of community and neighbors and fun and people taking care of each other, this is hard to beat. Fantastic. I learned of this video when I friend I was rooming with at an amazing convention woke up with the lyrics in her head from a dream. We Googled it, and this came up. We should have expected nothing less.
Official Lyrics Minions Version of Pharrell Williams' "Happy," from the Despicable Me 2 movie soundtrack. From the YouTube: "check out http://24hoursofhappy.com to experience the world's first 24 hour music video!"
From The Walking Dead collection. With lyrics. A good anchor for going through a tough time... like a big move, or a leg break, or a career change, or a bunch of stuff like that all at once. Here is the original scene, although it makes more sense if you've been watching the show.
"Tubthumping," by Chumbawamba. It's no secret that this song is about drinking, but the chorus is fantastic for thinking resilience: "I get knocked down... but I get up again... you are never gonna keep me down...."
"Changes" Lyric Video, by Longhorne Slim & The Law.
You can't beat this if you need an inspirational-leaping-or-fighter-type song... "Livin' on a Prayer," by Bon Jovi. A sparkly diamond from the world of 1986.
The link is the opening scene from the movie Stigmata, with the song "Mary, Mary" by Chumbawamba. Full song available here.
My gypsy road couldn't take me home either, so I finally switched roads. A little something for the GenX crowd; an homage to roots & home... and the road.
"No Time to Kill," song by Clint Black. Lyrics here.
Excerpt: "No time to kill, even I've said it, and probably always will... But I can look ahead and see that time ain't standin' still... No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I've been in... And quit this work and worry lookin' back at where I've been... If you don't look ahead nobody will, there's no time to kill."
State of Mind song, by Clint Black. Lyrics here. Excerpt: "It can make a right from a wrong, it can make you fall in love, It can get you singin' along, Chase the clouds away and make the sun shine above. A melody can bring back a memory, Take you to another place in time, Completely change your state of mind."
The "Top Gun" movie anthem, by Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens.
Katrina & The Waves (not the hurricane) - "Walking on Sunshine." One of the best-ever quick-pick-me-ups -
From the website: "Small groups of 8-15 people can form Resilience Circles for learning, mutual aid and social action. Circles are a great way to form community, build resilience, and have fun."
"Thoughts on travel, photography, code schools, venture capital, growing startups and small businesses." This site is also the heart of Paul Singh and Dana Duncan's 2016 trip across the US to amplify all of the above.
Seth's Blog is an excellent resource for wisdom, inspiration, vision, motivation, and follow-through. It is also a great resource for further resources. Very worth receiving in a daily email or RSS feed.
"The Dream Corps was founded by Van Jones in 2014 to help cutting-edge initiatives grow big enough to impact millions of lives. Our slogan is '21st-century jobs, not jails.' We support economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators - all under one roof. Our shared platform helps leaders create synergies, leapfrog obstacles and maximize impact. Every day, we are reshaping 'what’s possible' in the field of social justice. The Dream Corps finds aspiring leaders who have the courage and determination to tackle America’s toughest challenges. Then we connect them to world-class partners, smart digital tools and national media platforms to help them succeed. We back initiatives that close prison doors and open doors of opportunity." Current work is on three programs, described on the "About" page.
Iowa author Robert Waggoner has been the co-editor of the online magazine The Lucid Dreaming Experience for the past ten years. Waggoner has been a lucid dreamer since 1975, and has logged over 1,000 lucid dreams.
The Newton Institute is a center dedicated to the work initially published in the book Journey of Souls - also a Counterfear resource.
Excellent blog post tool when you are "Stuck on What's Next." #FindAWayForward.
"Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk:" Chris McGoff at TEDxRockCreekPark. This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint, because it is a rare, short look at what we need to do to solve wicked problems. Also check out Chris McGoff's website and book "The PRIMES," another posted Counterfear resource. The website has videos and a summary of each of the PRIMES.
TED Talks are a great source for video inspiration, and many have gone viral. Check out TED.com or a smaller, local TEDx near you for more. From the site: "TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics - from science to business to global issues."
Video on "The Big Pivot - Whiteboard Animation," 3:12 min. Based on book by the same name, by Andrew Winston: http://www.andrewwinston.com/books/.
Excellent video summary of the book, posted 3/2011: "Author and leading security expert Stephen Flynn discusses The Edge of Disaster Rebuilding a Resilient Nation with Patricia Gras on a HoustonPBS the Connection Special. Are we vulnerable to disaster, terrorism or acts of God? Is America living on borrowed time? His book is a wake up call demanding that we shake off our denial and sense of helplessness and start preparing immediately for a safer future." See Counterfear Toolbox book resource link for book reviews.
"The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage," with Yossi Sheffi, recorded 11/2005. Sound is a little wonky partway through but improves through end. See Yossi Sheffi blog at MIT here. From the video post summary: "Yossi Sheffi fires a shot across the bow of business owners who, even after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, still have not assessed their organizations’ vulnerability to catastrophe. Sheffi piles on examples of organizations that simply did not have the appropriate mechanisms in place when disaster struck or evolved undetected." Also see book by the same name.
This TED talk by Seth Godin is one of the classics. From the video summary: In The Tribes We Lead, "Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so." Check out Seth's Godin's blog here; it's the only blog I read daily (also posted as a resource).
From the TED blurb: "Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how - if we see it in time - we can prevent it."