Harvesting your VisionOctober 23rd, 2008
A Harvest Moon
is a heady time outside. Even here in Oakland, the season is
shifting. My lips are a little chapped by the winds and the leaves on the trees
are turning crimson and gold. The moon is full tonight, and I am reminded that
even amidst all of the transformation there is a constancy, a steady heartbeat
that undergirds us all.
I've come to understand that our work in social transformation does not change with the seasons of the sun or the pulse of the political season. Our work is not dependent on who sits in the Oval Office - our strategies may shift, but the work remains the same. I sometimes forget this in the midst of all the media bombast and political posturing. Every new poll has me on tenterhooks until I remember that the last of my tomatoes are still ripening on the vine and the corn in my neighbor's yard will soon be ready to pick. There is a greater intention, a vision that transcends this moment in time.
I find it helps to remain mindful of my place in all of this movement - a place of collaboration and partnership - I am not the orchestrator of our vast dance of social transformation. When I remember that my job is to wake up in the morning and say "YES!" to the world, I am less easily distracted by the "News Story of the Minute", and I can gracefully respond to what is going on rather than simply react because I am afraid or out of balance.
If you can, take a moment and look out your window. Or go outside and walk around whatever you might call a block. Are your leaves changing? How is the air? How are your neighbors?
Now, having connected with the real world, what might you best be doing today? This week? This month?
I know that many of you have been doing a lot of heavy lifting this year, and that given our current political and economic situations, your hard work won't lessen anytime soon. It will be necessary to have a strong vision for your work - a vision that not only will get you up in the morning, but will sustain you for awhile. Reflect on what will happen when you are successful in manifesting your vision for the world, your organization, or communities. Remember that there are legions of us with strong and compelling visions - you are not alone.
Arundhati Roy reminds us that "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." I am almost ready to say that this world is already here, and that her breath is our breath. We are, indeed, the ones...
Our collective visions are greater than any single administration or empire. So take a deep breath, maybe howl at the moon, notice the autumn changes - it's all connected, we're all connected.
Rockwood Leadership Institute, President & CEO
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