This week we continue our month-long series of articles on TransformAction and the four prototypes that support a TransformActional way of being in the world. In the last two weeks, I have written about the first two prototypes, Seer and Explorer. We continue this week with the Co-Creator.
As we refine our skills as Seers and Explorers, we naturally start to become Co-Creators. Whether or not we acknowledge it, life is an ongoing co-creative process with the people, ideas, beliefs, and circumstances around us. For many, this is an unconscious process. They simply allow life’s circumstances and situations to create their present and future. However, we can also choose to be pro-active and intentional in the co-creation process. In a TransformAction paradigm, this means sensing the potential waiting to unfold within a circumstance, situation, or project, and responding in the most appropriate ways to who it is asking us to be and what it is asking us to do.
If you’ve ever participated in acting or musical improvisation, you know that the primary rule is that you must accept and work with whatever your improvisation partners give you. If you don’t, there is a good chance that the whole performance will fall apart. Improvisation is a co-creative process – working with whatever you have in the moment to create something new together.
Life works in pretty much the same way. We are constantly co-creating with whatever is around us in the moment. When we accept whatever comes to us and work with it instead of push against it, things are a lot easier. We step beyond our judgments and opinions, likes and dislikes, and accept that, at least for the moment, whatever is in front of us is what we have to work with. When we are willing to co-create with it, there is usually a much better chance that something new can emerge than if we resist it.
This “push against or flow with” concept is also one of the fundamental principles in martial arts. The idea is to take your opponent’s energy and work with it instead of fight against it – to receive your opponent’s energy and let it move through you, transmuting that energy into your own strength and power. If you push against your opponent, you actually give your power away to them and become weaker.
The same is true with a problem or circumstance. When we push against it, we give more power to the circumstance. However, in a TransformAction paradigm, we understand that a problem is not something to be solved (push against), it is a message to be listened to (flow with). Therefore, co-creation in a TransformAction paradigm means to intuit the message that the challenge is trying to show us, tap into the potential that is waiting to emerge, and flow with that potential. The potential then becomes a wave of power that carries us forward.
Intuiting the hidden message and potential is what makes “flow with” different from just giving up or giving in to whatever is happening. “Flow with,” in this context, means to sense the greatest potential waiting to unfold in service of all involved, and to do your part to steward that potential into reality. “What is happening” may not be leading you in a direction that serves the greatest possible outcome. If this is a personal situation, sometimes it feels easier to give in to our habits or patterns of response and let whatever happens happen. If it is a group or organizational issue, the pull to follow the mass consciousness opinion or a path of perceived safety or security may be very strong. Yet as a Seer, you recognize that this is not truly what wants to happen for a greater good. The potential that is trying to emerge needs a partner, a steward to help it take hold within your current circumstance. It is up to us to be that steward – to co-create with the potential by saying “yes” to what it asks us for.
Take five minutes for the following exercise to see how this concept applies in your life.
Consider a challenge you have right now. Just for a moment, regardless of your current relationship with this challenge, push against it. Make something happen. Fix it. And notice how it feels to push against, to manipulate, to try to force a result. What happens with your breath? What emotions come to the surface? What is your overall sense of wellbeing? Stay with the “push against” approach long enough to feel its full effects.
Then pause to shake that feeling out of your system. Take a couple of deep breaths and relax.
Now tune in to your circumstance or situation through your Seer and Explorer senses – your intuitive senses. Drop underneath the surface to the essence of what is going on. What do you discover at the essence level? Or if it is easier for you, rise above your circumstance to see it from a higher perspective. What is this really about? What do you recognize from the big picture view? Something wants to shift. There is a message trying to break through. What if you were to let that shift happen and flow with it? What if you were to follow the energy of the greater potential waiting to unfold?
How does this approach feel different from “push against?” What happens with your breath when you “flow with?” What happens in your body? What is your overall sense of wellbeing? Stay with the “flow with” approach long enough to experience its full effect.
What are you discovering? Which approach serves you?
TransformAction is a co-creative process. Co-creation is a “flow with” process. Therefore, it is important to be aware of our fundamental approach to everything. Are we “pushing against” what we don’t want or what is not working, or are we “flowing with” what wants to happen? Transformaction requires taking the necessary time and attention to tune in to our co-creative partners, including the hidden messages within circumstances and situations. It requires discipline, focus, and commitment to finding the path that will create the best outcome for all. TransformAction needs the full awareness of the Seer, the Explorer, and the Co-creator.
Being a skilled Seer, Explorer, and Co-creator opens the door to becoming an Ambassador to a more expanded awareness and new paradigms of thinking, living, and leading. Next week we will conclude this TransformAction series by looking at what it means to be an Ambassador.
P.S. You can find a short video on the “push against – flow with” principle on our website. Just scroll down to the “Push Against – Flow With Coaching Sampler.” Feel free to share it!
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