Evolutionary Leadership Workshop

Evolutionary Leadership Workshop

We are off to the third annual Evolutionary Leadership Workshop. Here is a note to the participants:

You have probably had a set of landmark experiences in your life. You have had moments that you refer back to over and over again, you have had realizations that continue to feed you. Our goal is to craft another one of those experiences. We want the Evolutionary Leadership Workshop to become a landmark moment in your life. Our intention is to support you as you reach deep alignment with yourself and with your own highest purpose.  We want you to return home with a new community of people and a concrete set of steps that will launch you into what is next for you.  We want you to actualize your dream, we want to enroll you in the evolutionary movement of our time.

       Love What You Do or Do Something Else   I am thrilled to announce the launch of  Your Project X ! It is my latest effort to help people (re)discover their passions and build careers they’ll love.  You know I’ve devoted my life to helping people do the work that matters most. I cannot think of a more important moment to tap our creative impulse and do what our hearts are here to do.  I am excited by the ongoing success of the  Evolutionary Leadership Workshop . But not everyone can get away to a magical island for an intensive seven days. So here is  Your Project X .  We run 10 week part-time programs in New York City and Boston designed to help participants accelerate change in their careers -- by amplifying what they are already doing, breaking into a new industry or founding a company.  What I’m most excited about is nurturing a new community of doers. I’m looking forward to helping forge authentic connections among folks who dare say “YES” to their dream. The rigor of small steps, mutual accountability, relentless experimentation and the vibrancy of community. This is how we thrive at the dawn of a new day.  You know someone who is ready,  let them know about this .  Or maybe now it’s YOUR turn!  Thank you for spreading the word.     Saludos,  Gibrán

Love What You Do or Do Something Else

I am thrilled to announce the launch of Your Project X! It is my latest effort to help people (re)discover their passions and build careers they’ll love.

You know I’ve devoted my life to helping people do the work that matters most. I cannot think of a more important moment to tap our creative impulse and do what our hearts are here to do.

I am excited by the ongoing success of the Evolutionary Leadership Workshop. But not everyone can get away to a magical island for an intensive seven days. So here is Your Project X.  We run 10 week part-time programs in New York City and Boston designed to help participants accelerate change in their careers -- by amplifying what they are already doing, breaking into a new industry or founding a company.

Addicted to Outrage

Tim Ferriss shared Daniel Ketchell’s Medium piece breaking down our current media environment. It is an excellent exposition of the way a relatively neutral or even positive story is funnelled towards negativity and outrage. It’s really worth checking out.

Here is a quote that stood out for me –

There is probably an evolutionary reason for the virality of outrage, but I’m not a scientist, so I’ll use a simple, light example. Have you ever seen anyone scream at a sports bar or stadium full of strangers about a logical and sound referee decision?

Outrage encourages interaction and engagement, the fuel of our social networks. So outrage, too often, becomes the narrative — or at least skews the narrative.

All About The Heart

All About The Heart

Thomas Friedman launched a recent column reminding us that automation will define the future:

Software has started writing poetry, sports stories and business news. IBM’s Watson is co-writing pop hits. Uber has begun deploying self-driving taxis on real city streets and, last month, Amazon delivered its first package by drone to a customer in rural England.

He also reminds us that there is nothing that competes with the human heart. It is only the heart that can can love, have compassion and dream. He reminds us that only humans can build deep relationships of trust.

Your Image Of God

I’m a believer. Not the uptight fundamentalist type. I’m well over the idea of God as an old man in the skies waving a magic wand. But I believe. I have a cosmology that helps me to live into the infinite vastness of this great mystery.

 

I imagine a tantric dance between what is quiet, perfect and still and what is full, unfolding manifestation. What we might call the “ground of being” and what we might call “evolution.”

 

I don’t just hold these as intellectual abstractions. I seek to be in relationship with the divine. I work with the names and forms of teachers and deities. I look where other humans have looked before and I aim to see myself as an integral part of it all.

 

I don’t have any need to push these ideas on anyone. But I do agree with the Richard Rohr quote that Casper ter Kuile recently shared:

Good theology is still important. Your image of God creates you. You become the God you worship. If your God is an eternal torturer, then torture is validated. If God is presented in the image of a king, then we’ll all want to be kings. If God is love and relationality that creates a very different kind of humanity.

Secularism has been a liberating force. But it also left us with a false binary. You are either a religious fundamentalist of some stripe or other, or you are a rational person who is part of a cosmic accident. Today, thankfully, we have the rise of the “spiritual but not religious” crowd that is doing all sort of things to tend to our spiritual longing.

The question matters. Even if you are not a believer. Like Wade Davis says, we, each of us humans, each of our cultures, all of us are caught in the same predicament, trying to answer the same question - “how did we get here and why are we here?”

Your answer to that question is impacting how you live. It is impacting what you contribute to our culture. And it is impacting your commitment to the future.

2016 Mattered

There is a narrative out there that 2016 was the worst year ever. Not only did we lose beloved icons ranging from Prince to Carrie Fisher, but the United States just handed the Nuclear Codes to the least qualified individual ever to hold the Presidency. And this is without talking about his white supremacist tendencies!

I am the last person to deny the very real implications that our political choices will have on very real people.

At the same time I find it important to agree with Charles Nevin’s recent opinion in the NY Times. We have done much, much worse.

If we stay on this side of the Atlantic, we must consider the devastating implications of 1492 for the indigenous population of the Americas. It took less than 50 years for the first slave ship to land in the continent in in 1526. Think about the implications for millions of Africans and their surviving descendants. The year 1898  is a bit closer to ours, and we can call that the birth of American Imperialism as it grabbed the reins from Spain in the Spanish American War.

I hold the passionate understanding that we are the most privileged people to have ever walked the earth. We are our ancestors’ wildest dream! It is imperative that we hold on to this truth even in the advent of dark times.

2016 was a year that truly mattered. We will have to meet its implications for years to come. I believe it’s best to do so with an awareness of history. We cannot forget where we come from and how much we have achieved.

We take hits.

And we move forward.

Addicted to Outrage

Tim Ferriss shared Daniel Ketchell’s Medium piece breaking down our current media environment. It is an excellent exposition of the way a relatively neutral or even positive story is funnelled towards negativity and outrage. It’s really worth checking out.

Here is a quote that stood out for me -

There is probably an evolutionary reason for the virality of outrage, but I’m not a scientist, so I’ll use a simple, light example. Have you ever seen anyone scream at a sports bar or stadium full of strangers about a logical and sound referee decision?

Outrage encourages interaction and engagement, the fuel of our social networks. So outrage, too often, becomes the narrative — or at least skews the narrative.

What if this is true?

We know that human beings are wired for connection. We know that the irony of the internet age is that while we are more connected than ever we are also more isolated than ever.

Our human essence is longing for connection.

Outrage encourages interaction and engagement. And even more importantly, it allows us to bond with our tribe.

There is A LOT to be outraged about. The planet burns, injustice abounds and the rich are still hoarding. Outrage is the fuel that got Trump elected. It is also the fuel that gives life to the resistance.

But I have seen the way that calls for justice can so easily give birth to righteous mobs that will not be appeased until they see a head has rolled and a person finished. I have seen the cruelty of outrage, its powerful blinding force. I’m not saying there is no place for it. But I am proposing we are addicted to it. It is a lot like caffeine, it gives a strong boost and ends with a hard drop.

I used to think outrage was just turning righteous about being right. But today I’m wondering something else. What if it’s just what we turn to because we long to connect? What if healthier forms of connection feel riskier, too vulnerable, and we haven’t honed those skills. What if what we are trying to do is bond and engage, but we are doing it with empty carbs when what we really need is whole health?

Coming Home

I've been quiet during this ominous week. Even when we still thought Hilary was going to win I found myself walking the city streets and murmuring to myself - "this is not good, and I don't know what to do." Little did I know how much worse it was about to get. 

I've stayed away from social media, jumping on from time to time mainly to seek the healing wisdom of people like Adrienne Maree Brown. I know it's not the time to retreat. I've just been so angered by it all. Not just the fact that it happened or the fact that the whole game is rigged, but also by all the "knowing" on our side, the so called side of the just. We are fighting about safety pins? WTF???

I came home. Deep home. I came to Puerto Rico and sat at the feet of my 90 year old Abuelo, I sought his wisdom and perspective. "My heart is for people" he told me "countries are not what is real." 

I went to San Germán, to the town where I was born, stolen by the Spanish 500 years ago. I spent my time there alone. It was 30 years to the day since my family picked up and moved to the mainland United States. I needed to remember something. I needed to touch this piece of earth. I needed to touch the waters of the Caribbean Sea. I'm seeking to understand, to learn something that I don't yet know.

The tears have come in waves that make little sense to me. This is a deeper grief, something that was here before all of this.

There is so much I don't know. But I know we are of this earth. I know that we still have elders and that children are born good. I know that hate feeds on fear and that Trump voters hurt too. I know that binaries are both simple and seductive and they never hold the truth. I know that we must turn to one another, that we must care for each other, that we must love in the most radical ways.

I know people will get hurt. That the most vulnerable have reason to fear the worst. That we must take our stance to protect and to defend. I also know that it is in the worst of times that we show up as our best. And I trust us. Even when I'm mad at us. I trust us. We know what it takes to be free.

Glenn Beck is a Person

Glenn Beck is not on Fox anymore. Many of us don’t hear from him as much. But his media empire is growing. I remember when he was front and center in the imagination of the progressive movement. He was the embodiment of evil. The mouthpiece of the right. I heard more about him than from him. And what I heard was all bad.

I remember the intense Color of Change video that so clearly demonstrated Beck’s race bating.

I also remember sitting on an airplane and catching a Glenn Beck episode on TV (I don’t own one). He was poking fun at Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth. I saw him deny climate change.

Hard to see how this guy is anything other than a really bad guy. Stoking racial fears? Denying climate change?

That was years ago.

 

The other day I caught a Glenn Beck interview on the Tim Ferriss Podcast. I’m certain that the left can be no fan of Ferris and his predominantly white, predominantly male, Silicon Valley loving show. But Ferris is no right wing nut.

I was blown away by the interview. By the impact it had on me. I did not become a Glenn Beck fan. But it allowed me to humanize him. I was able to see him outside of the media caricature. I was able to hear him, to get a sense of his beliefs, to come to terms with the fact that no matter how big a disagreement I have with him, he is more than simply “an evil man.”

I keep reflecting on that experience. I don’t quite know what to do with it.

Then I read Beck’s opinion piece in The New York Times, where he is expressing Empathy for Black Lives Matter. We have to understand that this is nothing short of blasphemy for much of his base.

Look - I don’t quite know what to do with the likes of Beck. But I do know that my side of the argument tends to be just as intransigent as their side of the argument. I know that racism is among our most destructive social ills. I know that denying climate change threatens the future of humanity. But I also know that I agree with these words of Glenn Beck:

I am not looking to condemn, I am looking to understand. For some readers, this may be surprising to hear coming from someone like me. But on my show, I often discuss pivot points. Our opinions or perspectives are not impervious to change — nor should they be. My take on Black Lives Matter has not changed 180 degrees, but it has certainly evolved.

We need to listen to one another, as human beings, and try to understand one another’s pain. Empathy is not acknowledging or conceding that the pain and anger others feel is justified. Empathy is acknowledging someone else’s pain and anger while feeling for them as human beings — even, and maybe especially, when we don’t necessarily agree or understand them.

Are we able to let go of our own pain long enough to tune into, get a sense of, try to understand to the pain, and the fear in the one we believe is here to hurt us?

What becomes possible then?

 

The Six Hour Work Day

The Six Hour Work Day

n the US it is common to make fun of the French and their unions, their strikes and their 35 hour work weeks. It is easy to forget that the unions are indeed “the folks who brought you the weekend.” I was excited to read Sweden is introducing the six hour work day.

Our relationship to work is all wrong. It is by now a cliché to say that too many of us live to work instead of work to live. But it is true. We have left our children to be taken care of by iPads, and we have limited our own lives to an idea of “productivity” that has simply come up short. Too many of us are not happy.