I was recently asked to comment on a blog exploring the idea as to whether or not it is “critical to follow your heart”. It got me thinking (quite a bit). Oh, and I make no excuses for the apparent New Age flavour to this post. It’s just how it came out!
Over the past few years, I have become more aware that we have several centres of intelligence. The mind is but one. The heart is another. More recently, the gut has been recognised by scientists as having its own intelligence.
In such a fragmented world, where academics and book writers are rewarded for micro-ideas that can be framed into sound bytes (such as the one above), I find it interesting to call on history and the ancient wisdom of the Hindu/Buddhist Chakra system. In this system, there are seven centres of energy within the body. Each system nowadays has a colour of the rainbow associated with it. The heart charka is green and is at the centre of the system.
One of the main issues in today’s world seems to be that the mind (indigo) and communication (blue) centres are so energetic – with our so-called “knowledge society” coupled with “mass broadcast media” that the other (lower) forms of subtle energy get drowned-out.
Maybe this is an age-old problem? For there is also an ancient buddhist saying that “the longest journey in life is from the head to the heart”.
Anyway, I am currently doing some research on how the seven centres of chakric energy can become better balanced – not just within the context of an individual – but also in organisations AND society in general.
- Without a higher purpose, life becomes meaningless.
- Without mind that is connected to serve others, life becomes ego-centric and selfish.
- Without clearly articulating what you want for yourself or your organisation, others won’t understand where you are coming from and ignore you or misinterpret your ideas.
- Without being allowed to truly express your feelings, life becomes emotionally blocked.
- Without a sense that you are truly empowered, life becomes deeply frustrating.
- Without a co-creative connection with others in your family or tribe, life becomes lonely.
- Without a place to call home, life becomes frightening.
And so, to the main discussion about whether or not it is critical to follow your heart.
On thinking about the idea, I came to the conclusion that it isn’t just when the heart-centre is “in flow” – or we are “in the groove” that we get that feeling of life-is-good. It is when ALL the energy centres are aligned to create an organic energy that is more than the sum of its constituent parts. It is at such times that we, as human beings, are most connected to our fellow human beings – and to the natural world around us.
In terms of organisations, as regular readers will know, I look for much of my inspiration in the work that I do a as a beekeeper. I find the universal energy which is generated in abundance from the colonies of bees that I keep is indescribable – it has to be felt to be understood. The ways that the movements and (unrecordable) energies from each tiny, individual bee are compounded to create a colony that vibrates and energises the space around for the greater good of the colony is not too dissimilar to an organisation or society where the subtle forms of energy are recognised, amplified and aligned to a higher purpose. Religious movements are one obvious answer. But there are many other examples – some with “good” objectives. Others perhaps, with more dubious ones.
I’ve also come to believe that intuition and flashes of inspiration (Ahah! moments, if you like) are not from us, but come to us when we most need them or call upon them. The egoic state sees itself as the centre of the universe. But spiritual practice is about removing the ego and tuning into more subtle forces of universal energy that pull you. It is as if you are plugged-into connected consciousness and more aware of the subtle energies that might give you a greater chance to allow your energy to be mixed in more rewarding, unique ways.
So, it probably is important to follow your heart (over your head). But true connectedness comes when each energy centre is in alignment with the whole. It is then that we give up pushing and allow ourselves to be pulled. It is then that all the dots are joined-up and where everything makes sense after the fact. This was so well articulated by Steve Jobs when he delivered his famous speech to Stanford graduates:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward,” Jobs told the Stanford grads. “You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Trouble is, it’s very difficult to put all this stuff into a few sound-bytes and broadcast them over Twitter – or even a blog post like this!
After the feeling of being stuck. Of being bogged-down. Of going round and round in circles, the thought changes. What if round-and-round gets you somewhere?
Life flows. Events line up. Coincidences happen without any effort. Dreams start to crystalise in elegant ways that you had not expected. You deepen your ideas on where you are. Present. Alert. Observant.
Life speeds up. The pace of change shifts from first gear to fourth – apparently without going second or third. Patterns emerge that you have been working on for months – or even years. Life becomes effortless.
You give up control, because otherwise those tiny rituals that were once so important will stop you from riding the wave. You surrender to the Universal stream of Life.
Then things go quiet. The entry into the centre of the vortex creates an intense sense of peace. You are in the eye in the storm.
All is clear. All is aligned. You can make choices that you’ve never seen before.
Play with the energy. Feel the power and use it for the good of yourself and your community. Point the axis to where you want to go. New openings will appear. New guides will arrive to help you on your new path.
You are not just in the vortex. You are the vortex!
All images from Crestock.
Last Thursday, I had a meeting with a business colleague. We had only met once before – but somehow the energy felt really good between us. Conversation flowed. Ideas bubbled to the surface. Creative spirit abounded.
During the conversation, it became apparent that I had talked in our previous meeting about intuition. I had forgotten this – but it is something I have recently become very interested in. In summary, it’s the idea that the world is far too “mental” and that many have lost touch with their intuitive guidance system – based around the heart. I’m also a strong believer in the idea that everything is connected.
And so it was, just by chance (as happens when browsing the internet) I came across this video below:
I don’t know too much about the organisation behind the video – but just love the overall theme, messages and visuals. It somehow helps us to remember things we have forgotten or lost – so we can get back into the life-force and remember who we are.
Sit back and enjoy!
Today, the Parish of Goudhurst and Kilndown in rural Kent (which is where we live) came one step closer to achieving what most others in the UK have access to…..
It wasn’t fresh water. That has been flowing freely from boreholes and the local reservoir at Bewl Water for quite a while.
It wasn’t gas. Goudhurst used to have gas – but the Gas Works blew up in the 1948 – a few weeks before all gas works were nationalized. Coincidence or dodgy insurance claims, no one quite knows.
It wasn’t electricity. That has been delivered to all of the Parish since about 2006 when the folk in Bedgebury Forest came onto the Grid.
It wasn’t being connected to the mains sewage. Our house still has a septic tank at the bottom of the garden.
What it was that we came one step closer to getting half of the Parish – perhaps more – onto Superfast Broadband.
The next stage of the scheme is due to go live next week – in time for the end of June go-live for four of the cabinets in the village to be fibred-up to Superfast Broadband. And the spectacle today was watching the fibre being blown down the plastic ducts that have been laid under all the key roads in the village.
The event went off without an audience – large or small. Simply two engineers diligently waiting whilst the meter showed how far the end of the fibre had been blown. The fibre wrapped over the right arm to give it control as it entered the plastic duct pipe.
Looking forward to the fibre being lit next week. Come on, light my fibre – or something like that!
The speed awareness course that I wrote about last week focused on stopping distances.
Since then, I have been thinking a bit more about reaction times – because that is the part that, as a driver, you control. Once you put your foot on the brake pedal, it is all down to physics.
It also reminded me of the sequence that I was taught when learning to drive: Mirror > Signal > Manoeuvre.
Yet, even before looking in the mirror, there is the thought or intent to move the car in a new or different direction.
So the whole sequence looks something like: Thought > Intent > Mirror > Signal > Manoeuvre.
And that got me thinking about work.
How often, in business, do we start by looking in the mirror – and we expect to be inspired by looking at the figures of last month’s performance?
How often do we start moving things before we signal to the wider group affected by the change?
In today’s frenetic online world of tweets and likes and such things, the opportunity to act without thinking, to press the “Buy Me Now” button before remembering you already have enough (books, clothes, food…<insert your particular collection obsession here>) for your needs.
How often do we act before we think about the consequences?
How often do we manoeuvre before thinking?
And what about this strange word, Manoeuvre. Is it spelt right? And what does it really mean?
I looked up the second part of the word (oeuvre) and found this:
OEUVRE = A work of art – Synonym = Work
Etymology: Today’s word was borrowed so recently from French, we have not yet resolved its pronunciation in English. It devolved from Latin opera “works,” the plural of “opus.” Sanskrit apas “work” and German üben “practice, exercise” derive from the same ultimate root.
The interesting thing, I find, is that holidays a good time to move out of work mode and into work of art mode. It allows you to look at your life as the creation of a series of works of art and puts a different emphasis on the process or the day-to-day grind and allows you to review your creations in the past year and those that you wish to create in the coming year. I always have a small notebook handy so I can jot down ideas on new works of art. Notebooks are much more fluid than a smartphone. Not sure yet whether an iPad is as good. Don’t think it is.
So, basically, before you start the next round of your Man-Work (or Woman-Work), it is best to take time to think. Think about signalling to those around you that you are going to create this new work of art – and even before that it is worth looking in the mirror to check there is no one behind you that is going to get in your way. Oh – and before ALL of that, it is worth thinking about the implications of changing direction and creating new works of art that might affect other users of the road you have chosen.
Have a great holiday if you are still to go – and hope you got inspired if you have already been! In any case, think before you man-oeuvre your life towards the creation of your new works of art!
I have to thank my brother, Angus, for alerting me to this extraordinary video.
There are no words to describe the thoughts you will have once you have watched it:
Last Sunday, I took my friend Sam to visit my bees. He has been trying to keep bees for three years – but to no avail. The last swarm that I gave him on his birthday two years died off the first winter he had them.
And so it was, I was completely charmed that, on Tuesday morning, he rang me to say that a swarm had gathered on the window of his office – exactly above the desk he works at! We set about to catch them later that day – and yesterday we installed the swarm in one of his new hives not so many miles from here. I’m sure the bees will stay with him now.
This evening, I came across a beautiful piece by Tolstoy about the ultimate purpose of the honeybee – which I thought I would share with you.
It has been a magical and charmed week and the honeybees have truly touched my friend, Sam and me with this amazing encounter. Long may the honeybees swarm into people’s lives as they did for me so many years ago.
“As the sun and each atom of ether is a sphere complete in itself, and yet at the same time only a part of a whole too immense for man to comprehend, so each individual has within himself his own aims and yet has them to serve a general purpose incomprehensible to man.
A bee settling on a flower has stung a child. And the child is afraid of bees and declares that bees exist to sting people.
A poet admires the bee sucking from the chalice of a flower and says it exists to suck the fragrance of flowers.
A beekeeper, seeing the bee collect pollen from flowers and carry it to the hive, says that it exists to gather honey.
Another beekeeper who has studied the life of the hive more closely says that the bee gathers pollen dust to feed the young bees and rear a queen, and that it exists to perpetuate its race.
A botanist notices that the bee flying with the pollen of a male flower to a pistil fertilizes the latter, and sees in this the purpose of the bee’s existence.
Another, observing the migration of plants, notices that the bee helps in this work, and may say that in this lies the purpose of the bee.
But the ultimate purpose of the bee is not exhausted by the first, the second, or any of the processes the human mind can discern.
The higher the human intellect rises in the discovery of these purposes, the more obvious it becomes, that the ultimate purpose is beyond our comprehension.
All that is accessible to man is the relation of the life of the bee to other manifestations of life. And so it is with the purpose of historic characters and nations.”
Extracted rom Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace: Chapter IV
You can also find this, and other bee stories on one of my other blogs – http://beelore.com/2007/08/07/the-ultimate-purpose-of-the-bee/
Photo from iStockphoto
For those who have followed this blog for a while, you will know I presented evidence at the House of Lords’ inquiry on the present UK’s government’s policy on Next Generation Broadband. So it was at midnight on Tuesday, the Lords published their report which can be found <HERE> entitled “Broadband for all – an alternative vision”.
Lord Inglewood was interviewed in a video:
“Our communications network must be regarded as a strategic, national asset. The Government’s strategy lacks just that – strategy.
The complex issues involved were not thought through from first principle and it is far from clear that the Government’s policy will deliver the broadband infrastructure that we need – for profound social and economic reasons – for the decades to come.”
The report has had a mixed response. Supporters of a truly open-access fit-for-purpose National internet Infrastructure applauded.
Other analysts were eless complimentary:
Matthew Howett, lead analyst of Ovum’s regulatory practice, said many aspects of the inquiry’s report are “simply odd”.
“With nearly 50 recommendations and no indication of costs or how they should be met, it’s likely to be dismissed as nothing more than a pipe dream,” he said.
Odd it was for me that so many Peers took the time out to learn about the industry and the pros and cons of various options for technology and business models. It was a piece of work that involved many hours of their time to see the problem from different perspectives. It challenged the status-quo and came up with an alternative vision for what the UK’s national internet access infrastructure might look like. It was bound to be unpopular in certain quarters as it threatened the status-quo.
Sure, the government and BT’s in-house analysts might dismiss the ideas as pipe-dreams, but one wonders where the whole BDUK process is heading. It might be the Games in London – but this particular game will go one well into the Autumn after all the athletes have left London.
It is definitely time for the status-quo to be challenged. BDUK is at best a strange construction and at worst a totally bonkers policy for a government set on Localism and Community Engagement. The Lords’ report went to the heart of this matter and has suggested a framework for a truly revolutionary approach to fixing the monopoly of BT’s infrastructure – particularly in the middle-mile.
At times, I think of giving up banging this drum and doing something more conventional and toe-the-line. Yet at one minute past midnight on Tuesday, I had a new surge of enthusiasm that the ideas that we have been working on for several years now are getting some traction and that a body of revered and highly intelligent Peers actually understood what many on the fringes of the industry have been saying for a while.
If only the Government could stand back and listen to some of the concerns about the current vision and understand that they have alternatives that are better, faster and cheaper that will help the UK’s international competitiveness, we might actually come up with something that really does get the economy back on its feet in a fairer way, based on an infrastructure that no single part is too big to fail. Surely there is a lesson here from the banking system that is staring us in the face?
Come on, Jeremy. Put the bell head back on the stick, put the bell down and start listening again. Unless, of course, you get reshuffled – in which case it is round-and-round we go!
Source of quote and more on this story at:
I was chatting to Oscar the other night and he pointed me to a really interesting site:
If the frame above does not work for you, then you can link to the site HERE. It makes you think how extraordinarily small in the Universe we are. And how big we are too! If you did not see my previous entry, the great 1977 video from IBM: “The Powers of Ten”, then have a look at that too.
The day before, I had come across another rather more abstract view that sets a new world record for representing a Mandelbrot Set – which gives a bit more of a zany trip towards infinity.
Oscar liked it – and called it “trippy”!
I hope these two views stretch your mind to think a bit more about our place in the Universe, touching both your left and right brains.
As ever, please feel free to comment below.