I’m at the Institute for Noetic Sciences annual conference in San Francisco. This morning one of the plenary speakers was Joanna Macy, PhD. At 82 years old, she is an incredibly dynamic presence and really challenged us in our thinking for creating a sustainable future.

She spoke about listening to the future beings to show us the way and inviting them to be a part of our conversations and decisions. There was nothing woo-woo or “out there” about how she spoke about these future beings. She was really calling into our awareness the fact that the future generations live within us now, just as those who have gone before us live on within us. She called us to listen to their wisdom about the world they wish to inherit. After all, we are the ones who are creating that world by the choices, decisions, and actions we take today. She helped us to see ourselves within a much bigger generational flow.

In Transformational Presence Coaching and leadership, we talk about listening to the future and letting it show us the way. We talk about listening to the potential that is wanting to unfold and following its lead. Joanna Macy reminded us to invite the future generations to also be a part of that energetic conversation. What kind of world are we creating for them? The Native American traditions remind to us to “consider the 7th generation.” Inviting the greatest potential of the future to advise us in our choice and decisions of the present is a powerful way to move forward.

Dr. Macy also invited us to let go of our need to see the results of our work now. At the Center for Transformational Presence, we speak of this as “cathedral building.” In our culture, we are so focused on immediate results that we tend to not engage in projects that we don’t think we will see a result for in a short time. Yet in the bigger scheme of things, the truth is that big creation takes time–perhaps longer than our lifetimes. And that’s ok. She reminded us to just “do our part” and not worry about whether we see the results in our lifetimes. Bigger things can happen then. This is such an important part of creating a world that works.

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