let it breathe

moved to write more…

just home from occupy Oakland, and hearing reports from the first general assembly meeting in Detroit. last night I heard from folks who had gone to check out occupy sf, and i am following the budding of several cities in their parallel efforts.

in each instance there are various levels of excitement and disappointment.

there is such urgency in the multitude of crises we face, it can make it hard to remember that in fact it is urgency thinking (urgent constant unsustainable growth) that got us to this point, and that our potential success lies in doing deep, slow, intentional work.

we need to go beyond having a critique/counter analysis/alternate systemic plan for society – we have to actually DO everything differently, aligned with a different set of core principles for existence.

especially our movement building.

how do we LIVE compassion, justice, love, accessibility, in alignment with this planet and with the people on it? how do we live our values?

as we are, so it (our work, our movement) will be.

for the majority of us, myself included, this means VAST ongoing transformation from how we are currently living and being. and as we transform, we see more things that need transformation, within ourselves and the world.

it is so important to cultivate our patience, our thoughtfulness, our willingness to slow down and seek the wisdom of those not already part of our movements – not to get them in step with our point of view, but because we need their lived experiential wisdom to shape solutions that will work for the majority of living beings.

it is imperative to regenerate our curiosity, our genuine interest in different opinions, and in people we don’t know yet – can we see them as part of ourselves, and maintain curiosity, especially when we want to constrict and critique?

can we each take our little spark from the fire that has started and truly let it breathe enough to grow?

occupy wall street didn’t start off as big as it is now, it started small and built community, cultural norms and communication…and it’s still building.

the challenge in other cities is that we are all starting off with a lot more people at the table with ideas and directions and agendas to push.

that means time spent on getting a clear decision making process in place will be worth every second in the long run.

that means facilitators skilled in consensus and synthesis have an important role to play.

that means that individuals and organized bodies with all variety of experiences are showing up, and we have to humble ourselves to value all contributions, from the newest people to the most organized professionalized folks.

that means our socialized practices to control each other and compete are going to emerge, and we have to be attentive and accountable as we try to open ourselves to something larger than our particular formation or analysis.

that means we can do, be, and create whatever we want to see, knowing ours is one effort in the midst of many, and the multitude is where our power lies.

before joining occupy oakland folks today, I got to witness two incredible presentations on movement and network building at the engage community of practice gathering I am facilitating.

one of them offered a key metaphor that is used at allied media projects: the role of organizers in an ecosystem is to be earthworms, processing and aerating soil, making fertile ground out of the nutrients of sunlight, water, and everything that dies, to nurture the next cycle of life.

all that has come before is in the soil which now yields the movement to counter wall street and the systems of capitalism and create a new economy of relationships, a new society of care and respect.

in that paradigm there is no failure. everything we attempt, everything we DO, is either growing up as its roots go deeper, or it’s decomposing, leaving its lessons in the soil for the next attempt.

another lesson I observed from the people’s mic experience at occupy wall street…if someone called for the mic, they were granted it. but if people weren’t feeling the statement, eventually they stopped repeating it.

I shared that observation with Jenny Lee from allied media, and she observed that in a way, twitter has prepped us for this succinct and self-selected rebroadcasting of each other.

and just like with the people’s mic, and our social media efforts, what we pay attention to grows. let’s cultivate the movement we want, and leave space for others to do the same.

there’s room. let it breathe.