To lead, or not to lead – that is the question!

I’m starting to love and appreciate the weekends more these days because I get to spend time with my wife Gyöngyi (that’s a Hungarian name and it took me ages to be able to pronounce!) and my beautiful little daughter Joy, who is now 11 weeks old! I work full time so these moments are very precious.

This morning Gyöngyi and I had a rare breakfast together, not something that happens very often with a young baby, but Joy had a little nap. We got onto the topic of leadership, especially in relationship to this project I want to create. My dream is to have a forum that is literally not led by any one person, but the flows and directions would be guided by the natural impulses that emerge from the individual’s passions, in natural unison together. Gyongyi said, and I am paraphrasing here, “we always need a leader otherwise when you come together people will just be doing there own thing… so a leader can guide people to work together harmoniously and create the space for others to grow and bring out their talent”. In principle I agree, but I really believe that it is possible for us to let go of this model and work together in what I have started to called dynamic relationship. If you think of any group, class, company etc you are, or have been, a part of the it usually has a very rigid hierarchical structure, in terms of the social order and dynamic. Even in situations that are more informal, with our friends, things we are interested in like sports, we unconsciously assume positions in relationship to each other. This is just how things are and the idea of working together without any one person leading is quite alien, although of course people have been experimenting with this idea for a while, with mixed results.

I was involved for many years in a spiritual community that was deeply hierarchical and overtly rigid in its obedience to this, which was in stark contrast to the message that it we were supposed to be living from the principal that we are One. But when the community dissolved, and maybe because it was so explicitly hierarchical, I started to see a space in myself for a different way of relating. I see this possibility not as a living reality but as a spark of something possible that I would love to explore with other people. Especially as people are really interested in this possibility and are exploring it in their own way.

As these ideas start to form more clearly, or should I say I am forming these ideas in a way I can share with others, I feel called to make this impulse concrete and start this forum. But I really don’t know how! How can I start something myself that I don’t want to be led by one person, without me leading it in some way, at least to begin with! I guess the only way to find out is to give it a go and move into it with an open mind and open heart, working together and finding out with others. Even though it’s a scary time we are living it’s also such a beautiful and creative one where we get to ask these questions and explore things together.

Now I think I better go and do the dishes! My daughter has woken up and I’m not sure if wife appreciates me sitting on the laptop all morning day! 🙂

Creating and Relating Dynamically

I’ve always loved working creatively with others, dancing your creative edge in spontaneous dialogue together. But it’s also incredibly challenging! Whether it’s the ego of the artist, or just the clunky way we humans have been wired, it’s really hard to work together with others.

Something I have been exploring and really want to bring to this work is how to relate dynamically, freely, so we can be ourselves fully and in total relationship. We live in a world dominated by hierarchical relationships, built on 1000s of years of this form of social structure. We also live in a time where we have begun to recognise the limitations of this way of relating, and many of us have been fighting against it in different ways, especially since the 1960s. But we are still just fighting against it and however important and significant that is; it is still against, in opposition, which means it is we make it real and are not able to be free from it.

However developed or evolved (or not developed or evolved) any of us think we are, we all exist in this network of hierarchy. I lived in a spiritual community for a large part of my adult life where the ground of relationship was supposed to be based on the realisation that we are all one. In reality it was as far from that as you could possibly imagine. It was essentially a military organisation, with our teacher as the main general. Now that’s a longer story and there are many dimensions to that kind of experience, but the point is that hierarchy has become an unconscious, and in some ways natural, part of our society. Just take a look at you own experience when you are in any situation with other people. At work, with friends, maybe a creative project, like a band, or even something as supposedly subtle as a spiritual group. We are all always positioning ourselves in relationship to others, or trying to justify to ourselves that we are not doing that. Whatever position we take, we are always locating ourselves in relationship to others, and positioning ourselves in an unconscious hierarchical structure, like some kind of invisible 3-dimension web that has different levels of importance on it. We do this unconsciously, it’s basically how we operate, how we navigate, how know who we are and where we are in the world.

Basically the fact that we do this isn’t really our fault; it’s what we’ve inherited. Our social structures and the ways we relate have been built over thousands of years where, for better or worse, we organised ourselves, and what we do together, through hierarchical structures. But now that many of us are starting to see this as a limitation/problem, and are really starting to question it, what can we do about it? On some level there isn’t much we can do about it and we also can’t just get rid of it, it would be like tearing out the very ground we are walking on. But, if we can begin to understand how this function operates in and between us, understand more deeply why it is there, then we can begin to find a way of relating that is not dominated by this; a dynamic relationship where all individuals get to be fully themselves in the natural web of dynamic relating. We are all different; we all have different skills, talents and potentials, which are mostly kept down by the structure of hierarchy. None of this will mean anything though if it stays in the realm of ideas and so I feel called to explore this possibility with others, through the medium of dynamic creative collaboration. Hopefully I’ll finds some humans who might be able to help!