The Modern World
The modern world can be a beast.
It’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Change happens frequently and rapidly. Our attention is pulled in a thousand directions all at once. Task lists seem never ending. Inbox zero feels like a distant and unreachable dream. Time is a finite resource, and there never seems to be enough of it.
Ironically, the pace of life that feels fast to us today is likely the slowest it will ever be in our lifetimes. Thank you technology! While technology continues to help us become more dynamic and connected, it also continually increases the amount of stimuli we are exposed to, the complexity of the decisions we have to make, and the number of considerations we need to tune into (learn more here).
As technology shapes the contours of our personal and professional lives, forces like capitalism, consumerism, hyper-individualism, paternalism, and white supremacy shape our response to this landscape.
These forces condition us to respond to change by staying busy, being productive, optimizing, doing more, making more, achieving more, figuring it out, getting it right, and avoiding failure.
We make task lists. We set goals. We make plans. We work harder, often alone.
Even if you are highly conscious and incredibly skilled, it’s still very easy to get caught up in the modern day storm and to lose your sense of grounding, direction, sense of self and authentic connection to others.
So many of us are coping our way through life – rest and play deficient, disconnected from our physical bodies, emotionally reactive, spiritually malnourished, hustling in silos for our worth, trying to keep all the balls in the air…and leading families, teams, and organizations from this state of being.
It’s exhausting and rarely leads to the experience and results we crave and that our society really needs to be more just, equitable and sustainable.
WHAT WE CAN’T DO IS JUST DO
In the words of author and activist, Audre Lorde:
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
In other words, we won’t get better at being more grounded in the modern world by doing more of what’s not working, and we won’t create the world we aspire to either, despite our good intentions:
- We won’t make more effective decisions by analyzing & agonizing over them longer.
- We won’t become less stressed by adding ten additional mindfulness tasks to our agenda.
- We won’t re-find ourselves by listening to more gurus, setting more goals, and creating more accountability trackers.
- We won’t respond to changes in our personal and professional lives with more ease by insisting that we just “be more flexible.”
- We won’t create products, services, initiatives, or organizations that foster greater equity and sustainability in the world simply by burning the midnight oil longer than before.
- We won’t create a more inclusive and just world for all by finding a camp and cancelling anyone and anything that doesn’t align with it.
If we truly want a different experience of life, a different relationship WITH life and different outcomes from our lives, then we can’t just do more stuff, and we can’t just do the same stuff.
WAYFINDING: ANCIENT WISDOM FOR A MODERN WORLD
Regardless of whether we are seeking change in our personal or professional lives, whether we are navigating a major inflection point or simply wanting more ease in our day to day, I believe that we all need to come home to some ancient wisdom: We need to unlearn over-relying on our brain to figure life out & learn to use our whole being – body, heart, mind, & intuition – to show us the way forward.
The concepts and practices that underpin how I coach and support others are neither new, nor mine:
- Presence & compassion
- Working emergently
- Cultivating discernment
- Observing and inquiring
- Exploring, discovering, and adapting
- Holding and acting on multiple truths
- Listening inside ourselves, to the ecosystem and beyond the senses
- Honoring our inner knowing & tapping into the wisdom of our lineage
- Seeing our bodies, hearts, minds, & intuition as sources of truth
These ideas have been present in and powerfully stewarded by a host of cultures and peoples the world over – many of them indigenous.
Given my own background and experiences, I feel most closely connected to how these ideas & practices are expressed within the Polynesian tradition of “wayfinding.” I use “wayfinding” as metaphor for how we can sense & sail through the modern spaces we traverse.
Wayfinding is how Polynesian navigators settled the Pacific (learn more here). Over a distance of 63 million square miles, they found their way across vast swaths of ocean to island chains they had never been to before without modern maps or GPS.
To do so, they navigated rapidly changing environmental conditions, unexpected storms, & diverse weather patterns, all while living in close quarters with each other aboard open air canoes! The stakes were high & less than ideal.
How did these Wayfinders do it?
They were curious & astute observers of the natural world & of themselves. They honed their ability to read & respond to cues & patterns in the wind, waves, & sky.
They listened, observed, & adapted based on what the present moment was showing them they needed to pay attention to. They worked emergently, pivoting their sails & their sail plan to reflect the daily realities of the ocean they were crossing.
These Wayfinders acknowledged & honored their interconnectedness. They worked together & in concert with each other & with the natural ecosystem to achieve their goals.
And as a result, they were able to boldly, yet strategically travel into the unknown. They were able to sense, discover, & sail their way to land – land that they had never before experienced with their five senses. They were able to expand the perception of what was possible for themselves and for others.
When the ancient Polynesian Wayfinders didn’t know what their future destination looked like, they stayed present & tuned into the signs inside & around them. They trusted that this would allow the sail path to land to emerge.
Was the journey easy?
I can’t imagine it was.
But it was powerful.
And we can invite in the power of wayfinding to help guide us as we sense & sail our way through the rapidly shifting & often unpredictable waters of modern day life.
Through our work together, I help you:
- Become a curious observer of what’s happening inside & around you – so that you know who you are and where you are and begin to trust that you are never truly lost, no matter how lost you feel in the moment.
- Connect with your story & lineage – so that you can take strengths from your ancestors, feel connected to your values and stand fully in the unique gifts you bring to the world in your personal and professional life.
- Operate at the intersection of multiple truths – so that you get out of the straightjacket of binary thinking and into the multiplicity of paths you can actually choose from to go where you want to go.
- Discern the timbre of your truth from the phonetics of your fear – so that you can make decisions and take action in your work and world that come from the clearest, most confident part of yourself.
- Use your body, emotions & intuition to make decisions (as well as your brain) – so that you can live & lead more authentically and confidently, and feel more aligned, alive & integrated.
- Experiment, explore, & adapt – so that you can build your risk-taking muscles, learn from experience what works and doesn’t, and create possibilities for yourself and others that you couldn’t see at the outset of the journey.
NO GURUS, NO INSTRUCTORS –
JUST FELLOW WAYFINDERS
Everything that I invite you into in our work together is something that I practice and continue to refine in my own life.
I’m not a guru and I’m not an instructor.
I’m not here to tell or teach you how to do life. I can’t hand you the answers to the questions you’re grappling with or make the existential weight of life disappear in an instant.
What I am is a fellow wayfinder.
I’m someone who, like you, is on this journey called life with all of its ups & downs, who is in process and always learning what it means to be with all that is & find her way through it.
I’m here to crew on your boat alongside you – to offer perspective, encouragement, challenge, & a bit of woman-power – as you sail into & through the unknowns in your life.
My greatest wish for you is that you leave our work together:
- In deeper relationship with your whole being – your body, heart, mind, & intuition;
- In closer proximity to your own nature, gifts, and aspirations;
- More self-aware and compassionate with yourself and others;
- More joyful, liberated, present and confident as a leader and a human being;
- More resourced to navigate the unpredictable waters of modern day life now and in the future.