Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Part 2: Navigating today's Economy while regaining a sense of self

The recent collapsing of our economy, specifically the real estate and banking industry is not something we are hearing about from a far remote country, but actually has affected our immediate neighborhood and many of us are coping in one way or the other with economical, financial, emotional and mental hardship.

So last year, I created the intention of individuals, professionals, and small businesses to come together to support each other during a time as such on a personal and or business level.

As a result of that, over the last couple months I have been hosting many different social and environmental events in collaboration with other local groups and organizations: it started out with my very own Afford Eco Holiday Trunk Show, and continued with EcoTuesday, L.A. Green Drinks, Women Of The Green Generation, Art Exhibitions with Ken Merfeld, a local photographer, and even a House Concert with singer and songwriter John T. Howard. On average 50 – 100 people attended per event to our environmentally conscious built home we completed 1 ½ years ago. The idea was for our house to function as an example and inspiration for conscious home construction and interior design all the while offering a space for like-minded people and professionals to gather, socialize and network, to form new alliances, or partnerships and to support each other during a time in flux.

One factor that most of us seem to have in common is our drive and motivation of wanting to actively participate and make a contribution to a much needed-evolutionary transformation of the individual, of society and our environment.

As a highly philosophical, idealistic, passionate and motivated individual I envision myself to take it a notch up and in addition to the networking and socializing events, I would like to provide an infrastructure to bring about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of our personal and collective lives right here in our neighborhood. To build on that drive to challenge conventional thinking and outdated paradigms I see myself create my own model, and or collaborate with other thought leaders, thinkers, visionaries, philosophers, psychologists, and perhaps scientists in the field of conscious evolution and transformational actualization.

I did. Or at least, I attempted to. For the past couple months I worked with an individual on outlining a program contained of introductions and seminars. He was super inspiring, of ancient wisdom, and full of profound knowledge. Unfortunately, some things I discovered were…let’s just say, disturbing and inappropriate.So much for my transformational attempt! What an experience.

However, he did leave me with some thoughts to ponder, specifically on the topics of feminine and masculine principles as I found myself stuck on the collective hardship so many of us are experiencing in today’s economy. How do you navigate today’s economy while maintaining a healthy, positive sense of self? Or shall we say, “regaining” a “new” sense of self? After all, do we really know who we are, now that we have been laid off from our adopted social and corporate identities, from our corporate persona so to speak? Perhaps this time is an opportunity, or shall we say, a needed framework “to wake up”? What is it that we want to do with our lives when we are no longer owned by the government? When we are no longer owned by a corporation or a school, or by our cultural, societal and or family traditions? Some of us welcomed the newly gained freedom, as it dropped stress levels, increased exercise activities and allowed time to prepare healthy meals for our families. Overall, who will complain to that! It just so happens that the model of our cultural and social economic system was created within the framework of co-dependence. You loose your job, you loose your home, potentially default on all your credit cards, and going back to school for a new degree is not even a considerable option as you are still paying off your student loans as we speak. So the very same system that gave you the degree, the job and the house have now decided to pull the rug. And between all of that I am asking you to search your soul, discover your true authentic self, and recognize and own your personal, unique, independent, autonomous voice and power. Well, what else you gonna’ do?

The catch is as we are searching “our souls” to find purpose and personal fulfillment, we still have to make a living. For the past year I have been working on building Afford Eco, distributing biodegradable and compostable food service containers and tableware to the commercial food service industry, assisting restaurants, catering businesses and coffee shops, etc., to get away from Styrofoam and other toxic food containers. I’d be embellishing if I was to claim financial abundance. Unfortunately, unless I get more accounts, I may have to slip back into my “corporate social persona” and sell my soul once more to the corporate world. Yikes! An ongoing conflict I struggle with as I am transitioning from "conditioned me" to "new me" is how to stay true to my authentic self trying to execute my noble intentions, yet simultaneously I still need to survive in today’s model, however corrupted and broken it may be:

1) An educational system, in which the structure provides the perfect ground to become an army of mindless robots, that are “trainable” and learn how to “take instructions” from those in power.
2) An infrastructure whose system is rooted in credit and loans, creating co-dependence between the governing body and its civilians starting at the tender age of a college student.
3) And thirdly, an economic system that has been built on the speculations of real estate, the stock market, and the banking industry, affecting tier 1 and tier 2.

Well, doesn’t it all sound glorious? Anywhoozy, as we are gazing into the eyes of our mirror reflection pondering if there is perhaps a hidden god or some all empowering goddess behind those lenses through which we navigated life so far, we may discover the concept of female and masculine principles as we are entering the lands of our own true authentic self. On our pilgrimage of understanding our own evolution, we may discover that we have spent the last 3000 years in a male-dominated, patriarchal-influenced value and belief system. As a woman, try to define your own femininity from such a reference point. Anything you say and do is most likely referenced and executed from a male, patriarchal set of value and belief system, as you probably can’t discard 3000 years of patriarchy in one instant. And we don’t even know that we are doing so. We are forming decisions and executing actions while being on auto-pilot, programmed, conditioned, and impacted by a masculine reference point hardwired in our neural network.

The solution for creating a new system and a new society may not be achieved through an ugly battle between men and women, but perhaps has more to do with looking at the default operating system that’s at play behind every man and women in power? Looking at it from that perspective, power, or qualitative change in this case, has nothing to do with gender. In fact, a woman in power might be even more brutal, hard, competitive and difficult than a man in charge, if she draws her reference point for success and change from the very same set of masculine attributes and principles that got us into this mess to begin with.

So at last, as we journey through the lands of finding our lost or hidden authentic self, we come to conclude that in order to find or create an authentic self, we have to look at the components of our personal operating system in the here and now, especially the ones that are running on auto-pilot, the ones we are unaware of, unconscious. The scary part is that these hidden aspects are influencing and co-creating the direction and events of our lives as equally and powerfully as the ones we are aware of. Perhaps they might be even more powerful?

In conclusion, this blog today was not about men versus women, in the contrary, it is about the awareness and integration of both, matriarchal and patriarchal principles and attributes into each of our personal operating systems. That hopefully will contribute and lead to the formation of a new sustainable society and system where men and women aren’t dominated by one or the other value and belief system, but rather function as conscious equals and co-creators balancing harmoniously masculine and feminine components. Looking at it from that perspective, we can probably stop tossing around statistics and analyzing quantitative change about women rising to the top. Isn't that focus almost missing the point? As mentioned earlier, if the woman in power executes from the very same masculine principles that she learned to value in order to succeed and "make it out there", our world may not find the personal, societal and environmental transformation we are trying to bring about. What is really the needed objectivity today? For me, it’s about qualitative change… bringing about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of our personal and collective lives, all the while considering the environment and all its inhabitants.

What is it for you?

Tatjana Luethi