With each passing week, there seems to be increasing uncertainty in the world. Many of the institutions, beliefs, people, values, and expectations that we always thought we could count on are now compromised or under fire. We’re living in “VUCA” times – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous.

The term “VUCA” was first coined by the U.S. Army War College after the end of the Cold War to describe the conditions of the world at that time. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the term crept into the business lexicon. Today, it feels more relevant than ever.

A couple of weeks ago, Raquel Ark and I sat down to talk about these “VUCA” times – what is happening, where we are, and how we can respond. An American now living in Germany, Raquel is the creator of Listening Alchemy as well as a Certified Transformational Presence Coach and a leader within our community. She and I have been recording a series of interviews about Transformational Presence in today’s world.

We covered a lot of ground in this half-hour interview, yet we kept coming back to the question, “What do we do now?” Many people fear that we are losing our way – that things are coming apart so rapidly that it’s hard to know where we are, and even harder to predict where we are going.

Living in uncertainty over an extended period of time begins to gnaw at our psyche. It chips away at our deepest sense of trust in the institutions, beliefs, values, and societal structures that we thought we could always count on. For many people, it’s exhausting, and in worst-case scenarios, it can become debilitating. It’s as if the world as we have known it is crumbling away, and at the most fundamental level, they’re scared.

Yet there are things we can do. There are ways in which we can reclaim our lives and our sense of safety and security. We can start with creating stability and safety within ourselves.

Which actually takes us to even deeper questions: Who are we going to be? How do we choose to show up? And what are the presence skills and capacities that we can develop in order to support us in these VUCA times?

In the interview, when Raquel first asks, “What do we do now?” my first response was, “Breathe!” We laughed about that, yet went on to talk about how, in fact, that is a start.

Simply learning to be fully present in the moment with whatever is going on creates a space for engaging our intuitive intelligence to tap into the situation itself. When we become fully present with what is going on, we have a better chance of sensing what is happening on deeper levels, and finding our next step.

Raquel asks wonderful questions. Together we explore how Transformational Presence can make a difference in these VUCA times and how we can not just survive, but actually thrive. There are opportunities within what is happening right now to turn things around and begin moving in another direction. Yet we must be present and paying attention.

Will it be easy? Probably not. Yet if we focus on one step at a time, it becomes manageable, both in terms of presence and action.

Can we do it quickly? Not likely. Yet taking the “longpath” view that I wrote about a few weeks ago reminds us that what is important is that we do what we can now. Step by step, something new will be created. Don’t worry about how long it will take. Just take the next step.

Enjoy the interview.



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