on brokenness, dialectics and warmth

on brokenness, dialectics and warmth

once upon a time, my favourite cup broke into pieces. my brother had given it to me, it once had belonged to someone he loved. the handle was broken off already. he didn’t want to throw it away, so when he moved houses, i took it. i came to love it, with it’s broken handle and it became my favourite cup. and then, one day, it fell of the kitchen board and broke into many sharp edged pieces.

once upon a time, my relating really deeply got hurt. something within me broke into pieces. not only once, but many times. my heart, my trust, my favourite feelings of being accepted, nourished, appreciated broke into pieces. the experiences i had with other human beings, with school mates, colleagues, women, older men had left brokenness in my relating to others. the sharp edges of the pieces were or still are able to hurt myself and others. i became overly cautious and overly mistrusting.

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i took the shattered cup and carefully collected the pieces. i couldn’t let go. not yet. i wanted it to not have happened. i was angry with the world. i couldn’t throw it away. even the shards were still important to me. i grabbed a tissue and wrapped them, making sure none of them got lost. i knew it would take a while until i could face them again. i hid them away in a cupboard, somewhere between my “projects” — things i knew i wanted or needed to finish and take care of, once there was the right time. but everytime i had my morning coffee, the not-being-there-ness of my cup was painful.

though i tried to hide it or better not perceive it, my relational brokenness from past experiences was and is affecting my everyday life. i tried and try to push it into the outside world, blame others for difficult relationships rather than accepting that it is also a part of me in the relational space as well. but it was/is still there — for some obviously broken, for some just weird, and for some very understandable, relatable or even loveable.

so i let it sit for a while. hidden in my project corner of my cupboard as an “open gestalt” — haunting me. was i to throw it away? could it be fixed? what if i screwed it up and it just got worse and then i had to throw it away? why was i so fixated on it? why was it so important to me? couldn’t i just grow up and get a grip? one day i was ready to have another look. i took it out of the cupboard and placed the shards on my altar. out in the open, to be seen every day. i was curious as of what would happen if i just accepted and faced it.

it was quite some work to become aware of the nature of the brokenness in me, resonating with yours. as well as it was work to get to know the nature of the edges, how they hurt me and others, what triggered them and how i could — over time — sand them with resilience and courage, real appreciation and warmth from others. still, they were shards. scattered. i couldn’t even remember how i was before, not hurting. how the whole, alive being i was felt like.

i had one more go of trying to throw it away, but i failed. when i finally decided to recreate the cup out of the shards it once consisted of, i decided i would repair it with gold. i would appreciate the brokenness, i would appreciate its course of life, the falling off the kitchen board, the broken handle. i would make it visible, since it couldn’t be undone anyway, only reframed. so i got all the necessary material including two component glue and putty, urushi (a japanese varnish) and metal powder. i would just do it.

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i had almost given up on real and deep working relationships when i understood that others are broken too — in different but similar ways. that our whole way of relating to the world was broken. that there was no way to hide it, to throw it away. even the garbage, the trash, the waste is part of our brokenness of relating to life. there is no way out. it can’t be undone. but i could reframe. i could do my part and apply warmth and dialectical thinking onto the sharp edges of my inner brokenness. this is my take on the two components that are needed to bring our parts together again.

when i had lovingly sanded the edges of the cup until i could run my fingers across them without getting hurt anymore, i checked whether the cup would be able to be recreated from the pieces i still had. it could be done — apart from the handle that was broken off before the cup came to me. i mixed the glue, arranged the pieces and patiently glued them together. piece by piece, minutes of holding on to them, waiting. then i filled the gaps and the chipped of parts with putty, washing off what was too much. slowly the cup became visible again.

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i realized that othering didn’t work. i realized that i wasn’t holding the one truth, i needed to consider that my view and perspective on things were only one part of the puzzle. that i was actually a piece of the broken whole and my sharp edges needed to be sanded in order to be able to relate again, making it possible for me and you to see the larger picture. i need you in order to perceive it, i need you in order to keep becoming. we have forgotten how the whole looks like. if we ever knew. i needed to consider that i wasn’t separate from the whole, that i was actually a process in time, becoming aware of our breaking and healing, loving the brokenness that with its sharp edges hurts us and we can become aware of what wants to be looked at and appreciated.

in the end i even managed to recreate a handle. clumsy — for it is not my profession nor hobby — i got a grip. with finesse i painted the filled fissures and rifts with varnish and afterwards dusted them with brass powder. after polishing them they became shining and glowing. now the cup just needs to sit and be polished again and again for some time. you can tell it’s been broken. you can tell i did it the first time. you can tell someone loved this piece so much, they took care of it in a very different way then we normally do with broken cups.

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so while repairing my cup i integrated huge parts of my own brokenness. may this article be the glue and putty i bring for you to become curious how you can integrate parts of yours. we’re all broken. our systems are broken. there actually might well be no such thing as individual brokenness. but we can look for the components that help us relate again, the components that fill the cracks, after we let the light shine onto the long dark tea-time of the soul. the light that lets the now healed fractures gleam without leaving undisposable waste and unfinished projects hidden away while blaming others.

May we relate in a fundamentally different, warm way, that is able to hold the paradox while observing itself. If you’re interested in our ways of working, you are so welcome to connect.

thanks again to

A deep bow to all of you for being wholesome companions on the way!

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Originally published on Medium, January 25

Influencing our narratives

Influencing our narratives

How does adult development play into the internal narratives we hold? How can we shift those narratives?

Internal narratives are the stories we tell ourselves about the world. It’s our self-talk, the way we explain or attempt to think something through. By better understanding these narratives, we can see where to shift toward to change the structure of our thinking.

In this WEAll Citizens event, Jackie Thoms, co-founder of Fraendi, introduced ‘Adult Development’ as a lens through which people can shift their internal narratives. As a body of work, Adult Development has been researched over 40 years internationally, and is now entering more fully into discourse around organisational and leadership practices. This approach is not about defining what the narrative is or needs to be, but supports adults to perceive more and perceive differently, sensing into the deeper patterns of what may be true and potentially enabling shifts in epistemology.

Epistemology is the understanding of how we come to know that something is the reality. It is the understanding of or justification of knowledge claims or a systematic way of interrogating our own thinking, mental models or how we make sense of things.

Often crises support people to make developmental shifts, and we are living through such a crisis now, with the coronavirus pandemic. At this time, we need many more narratives to paint the richness of who we are as a society and to nudge ourselves in subtle and more obvious ways to develop.

With a developmental view of who we are as humans we have the capacity to shift our narratives through different levels. Multiple descriptions and multiple stories illuminate what the problems are and the possibilities and paths forward. It’s not that we need to define or be given the new narratives, we need to be given the structures to support us to create many, many more stories. However, the scaffolding required to support people to develop more mature and complex ways of thinking is not integrated into our way of life.

Most institutions in western cultures: educational, political, and organisational tend to foster reductionist thinking. Reductionist thinking doesn’t include the idea that things are moving and changing, and avoids conflict and dissonance: often the main motor for change. This leads to more static and stable thinking, which contributes to our difficulty in moving  beyond the status quo,even as we face the destruction of our ecologies and multiple significant crises. So although people are born with the capacity for complex thinking, it does not develop. Vanessa Andreotti in the Climate Change Sessions, (A school called Home, Nov 2020) goes further to say that we live in a self-infantalising society in western cultures and that “Children are born. Grown-ups are made.”

Another factor that is limiting, is the narrative of (neo-)liberalism from the 1800s which is dominant in most western cultures today. The focus on humanity being the destructive species we are currently, ignores and limits our capacities to be different. It continues the ideal of competition as a priority and downplays or dismisses interdependence and connectedness.

The narrative that we can individually determine our health and wellbeing is being challenged through this lived experience that our health is interdependent on our neighbour, our community, the policies and response of governments across the world and much more.

Mark Langdon, a WEAll member in the session shared that in the book “Wilful Blindness”, Margaret Heffernan comments that competition makes us more likely to conform than to think autonomously.

Adult Development approaches have relevance for education, politics, organisations and are embedded in a broader movement to break out of our limiting narratives and sense making to re-story life on this planet. This is especially important today.

Here are some resources on Paths to perceive more and differently, informed by an Adult Development lens:

The post How Do We Shift Our Internal Narratives – Event Recap appeared first on Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

On Adult Development

On Adult Development

In 2018 I wrote the article below, which has been published in a german magazine called OYA Nr. 47. Authors having been featured before or who had written for the magazine before were asked to write something about what was essential to them. A few days ago I had written this piece which is now even more actual then 2018. Interestingly enough, I wrote that before I had read The Listening Society by Hanzi Freinacht and before I had come across Otto Laskes Work on Dialectical Thought Forms and Social Emotional Stages in Adult Development and before I had come across Warm Data.

This topic of adult development in forms where we do not look at as a society has since not left me and has brought me to Nora Bateson’s work and Otto Laske’s work and has then brought me to Fraendi. And this topic is why I go on tour through Europe now, in times of a global pandemic, to talk about this and to bring these practices into the communities I am part of.

Enjoy reading the slightly agitated kind of rant I wrote two years ago – and know that I found some practices that can lead us into a world where people who are dialectically and social-emotionally mature lead us into desirable futures. You will find these practices described on our homepage under “Explorations” together with links to go deeper.

If you are interested in finding out about your own cognitive capacities for desirable futures and your own social-emotional maturity, feel free to contact us for an assessment that leads you across your developmental thresholds towards your next plateau of human maturity. You will find a button for this below. May we journey into desirable futures together as fraends.

For a psycho-active society!

In mid-January (2018) one could hear on the radio that Donald Trump was, according to his medical officer, physically and mentally healthy and fit for the office of the US President. Being physically and mentally healthy is not enough in my opinion. I hear this report and I know perfectly well that at least half of the world’s population is absolutely clear on the fact that Donald Trump does not meet the corporeal requirements to exercise the office of US President for the good of at least the US people.

Yes. You read that right. I mean that he “does not meet the corporeal requirements”. Corporeality is a philosophical category of phenomenology that understands body, mind and soul as always influencing one another and not separated from one another. Corporeality is a fundamental and constitutive (creating) element of our experiences. The results of the research, which certifies Donald Trump’s fitness for the office he holds, apparently neglects relevant aspects of his corporeality such as dialectical cognitive capabilities, and social-emotional development. There seems to be no testing, measurement or certification at this level.

Rest assured, I am not calling Donald Trump stupid or mentally ill.

But for me it is about dialectical cognitive capacities, social-emotional maturity and the psyche/soul – that part of our corporeality that is completely hidden in educational institutions, unless it is the field they are working in. We have physical education, go swimming and jogging, we do brain jogging, sudokus, we pound our heads full of decontextualized knowledge … But apart from a bit of culture, that’s the institutional education we get until we grow up. Emotional education, psychological knowledge, sociological knowledge, knowledge of the origin of and dealing with conflicts and relationship dynamics, conscious experience of the self and the inner worlds, the capacity to think dialectically and a healthy inner projection of the other are hardly taught to children in school contexts. There is also a lack of space to gain experience.

Opening up inner spaces of experience is not particularly welcomed in “our” society. Meditation, autogenic training – that is being applied, whilst it is beneficial for our performance in a capitalist system. But people who seriously deal with their inner spaces and relate them to the outside – where do we get there? There’s nothing to be consumed in inner worlds! And what kind of illegal and dangerous things need to be taken in order to experience inner worlds?

Donald Trump’s assessment clearly shows what is missing: dialectical and social as well as a special kind of spiritual maturity – and the research into it. That is where our blind spot seems to be. Attention is paid to physical and mental fitness. In this domain there are trainings and self-measurement, but dialectical and social and psychic fitness? Have you heard of any of these before? Remain physically and mentally active until old age!? – But dialectically or psycho – active? What could that mean?

There is this word “psychoactive” which refers to substances that affect the human psyche. These have been ingested from time immemorial in order to relate to what is in and around us in a non-day-to-day way, and are expertly used by people such as shamans or medicine people, whose job it is to help others navigate through the soul and spirit worlds. In the meantime, there are increasing numbers of studies that ascribe some currently illegal substances a curative effect for (among other things) mental illnesses. Some are considered by science as less dangerous as alcohol, nicotine and sugar.

Of course, psychoactive substances are by no means the only way to become social-emotionally and dialectically flexible and healthy. There are a wide variety of ways to gain other states of consciousness and insights into the connections between inner and outer worlds, starting with dance, music, poetry or other creative or imaginary methods, focussing on inner expression, from vision quests to therapeutic approaches such as gestalt therapy or methods from the field of body psychotherapy. However, these eke out a niche existence. We do not focus on this aspect of our corporeality in society as a whole. The result is an accumulation of psychological inadequacies and diseases that we could prevent if we brought these hidden dimensions of our corporeality transparently into society and made it an issue. People who go to therapy are (still) often picked on and often no longer taken seriously.

I wish that we as a society deal seriously with the topic – that we use current and existing research results as the basis for long overdue and necessary changes. How do we become more mature, ready to master soul storms, more empathetic people? How can we get to know ourselves and our patterns, our sensitivities, vulnerabilities and strengths so that we can become deliberate, co-creating members of the community?

If we are already testing how fit or capable we are in different areas, then please on a holistic level, without neglecting a relevant part of our being. In this way we can develop instruments that also confirm our completely correct perception that Donald Trump is not fit for the office he holds. In this way we can become capable of acting, instead of being psychologically reactive like four-year-olds blowing the consequences of our personal sensitivities and unresolved issues into the world.

a capacity for desirable futures

a capacity for desirable futures

I stumbled over the term the first time when i attended a grief ritual held by Naf Tali in berlin in december 2018. When he said it, it hit home right away. We were 8 or maybe 10 people, coming together for the first time, to grieve together. I had had a tough year of deep climate despair, my divorce had happened 2017, i was 44 and still not at home in this world and i didn’t know any longer what to tell my little kids about the world they were growing up in. The backpack of things i had to let go and grieve for had grown enormously the years before and i was longing for this to be acknowledged and seen. And held.

And there we came together, being led into ritual, play, dance, closeness, openness to witness the other, to with-ness as Bayo Akomolafe puts it so beautifully. We were there to be held and to hold. To hold the grief of other people we didn’t even know. And there we were. A sudden village.

A sudden village

Our group will become a sudden village and a human laboratory as we use our own stories and interests to explore diverse methodologies which will help us imagine alternatives to our common challenges and provide opportunities for communal healing.

“It takes a village to raise a child” we say. But it also seems to take a village to hold grief, withness brokenness and heal traumatic experiences. I only really understand that since i listened to Nora Bateson speak about brokenness that’s within the interrelational space rather than attached to an individual.

My health is not my own. My health is the whole community’s, it belongs to the elderly, the youth, and even to the biome of organisms that live in my body and in the soil. This, is the opposite of everything that the last centuries of manufacturing, education and politics have forged into societal infrastructure and even the making of identity.(https://medium.com/@norabateson/my-health-is-not-my-own-ec824c463cb)

So, what about this sudden village?

What about this village at all? What’s in a village, that makes this term hit home so well? If i look at the healthy side of communities in functional villages, i find “it’s all there”. The food from the forests and fields around it, the craftsmanship from the people in the village, the care for each other, the feasts, the rituals, the deep knowing of each others stories, the genuine interest for the whole to thrive, the focus on a bigger “We-Space” than just on individual satisfaction, the taking care of the children and the elders, the stories, the fireplace, the home, the hugs, the solace, the warm smell of freshly baked bread. All it takes is there.

The word village is said to come from a protoindoeuropean root *weik- meaning “clan”. The clan is the tribe, the group of people that i belong to, that are part of me being at home somewhere, taken care of, sharing good and bad times, food and shelter, grief and joy. The people holding me accountable, forgiving me, knowing me, holding space for me when i reach my limits. My extended family unit, kin.

Where do we have that today?

Where do we have that tomorrow?

Our clans and tribes and families are spread out, scattered, all over the place. We live in neighborhoods that are not necessarily bound by above qualities of a rather romantic idea of a village. We do not necessarily share these qualities within our extended family units. And still we long for nothing more than that. If we’re lucky we have a few friends or a group of likeminded souls that we can lean into, or we have a therapist, or maybe our partner is holding this space for us. But quite often, especially the realms of brokenness we hold whithin our chests and dreams stay unaddressed. Unheld. Un-withnessed.

How can they be addressed, when they are so deeply engrained into our colonial “connective tissue” (term in this context from Nora Bateson/Gregory Bateson) that we perceive the brokenness as normal and unspeakable? And, even worse, as individual? It’s like the incredible brokenness we live with the taboos in the money system. We take resources from the commons (the earth, water, soil, air, life, plant and animal people), we build things with and from them and then sell them, making money with the money we make from selling what is not ours in the first place, destroy our and other lifeforms habitats while doing so in a ruleset of a deeply flawed capitalist system that directs the flow of privilege and status and individual property always to the ones that have more than enough, literally destroying life on the planet trans-forming it into virtual non-matter “money” on virtual non-matter “bank accounts” — but these bank accounts are not to be talked about. Your debt is your individual problem, your wealth is your individual success, we don’t talk about money, you’re not supposed to know what your colleague “earns” while contributing to one of the biggest brokennesses we’ve ever collectively created.

Where is the village that can hold our grief? Where can we come together to withness what needs to be addressed but can’t be said?

A capacity for desirable futures

The times that lie ahead of us will need us to develop this capacity. The sudden village capacity. We will need to dream with strangers, grieve with neighbours, trust people we don’t know yet. We will need to hold space for people we just met. The scatteredness of our tribes and clans and families make it necessary that we come together with people we haven’t met before to process and witness the dying of the old and the birthing of the new on the very land we stand on. The melting of the in between into juice and soil, from which desirable futures may or may not emerge.

So let me try and define the sudden village and the capacities that go along with forming it:

“A sudden village is a group of people, who have not been a close group before, coming together for a rather short period of time to digest, process, grieve, mourn, learn together, hold space for each other and to perform actions and imaginations that bring life back into numbness, movement into stuckness and words into the unspoken silence in order to witness and perceive the brokenness in the interrelational space in between us.”

“The sudden village capacity describes a set of capabilities of a (human) being in a group that enables the group to form a sudden village. The set of capabilities contain being able or at least willing to

  • host myself well & take responsibility for my own and the groups wellbeing
  • be hosted by others
  • establish a genuine caring interest in (almost) every other human being
  • respect the space of the other without the need to stop their processes
  • experience my own triggers without acting them out
  • take active part in rituals that open spaces for exceptional emotions and feelings
  • “step out of my comfort zone to step into my comfort zone” (term from Jeroen Vermeer)
  • enjoy and allow physical contact through dance, embodiment, being comforted and/or held if people so wish and consent to
  • have the courage to show my own exceptional emotions without dodging or bypassing
  • trust myself, the group and the process to bring forth what can be processed at that time”

This is by far not complete and it does not mean that who cannot (yet) show up with these capabilities cannot be part of a sudden village. In fact, the less we are able to show up like this, the more important is a sudden village for us to be able to give our in-dividual brokenness into the communal space and have it become a dividual brokenness. I myself have grown exactly in and through these spaces and i have not always been able to show the above capabilities of the sudden village capacity. And i still bring brokenness. We all do. It’s in the interrelational space.

Let’s bring it on and in, so that we can see it. And heal.

The roots

Alexandra Robinson, Alma Omega Maegan Melissa, Jonathan Klodt, Jenny O’Hare & the Re-EDEN-ing family — Jeroen Vermeer, Jackie Thoms, Rainer von Leoprechting & the Fraendi family — Nora Bateson, Phoebe Tickell & the Warm Data and Cloughjordan family — Andreas Duda, Heike Pourian & the Precamp family — Ümit Konuray & the Leadership³ family — Mary Alice Arthur and the Art of Hosting family — Hilarion Petzold, Juergen Lemke and the Integrative Therapy — Pablo Schickinger and the Weltweite Initiative Family and again many, many more.

and to qoute Nora Bateson once again (and i really tried to link the fb post here, but fb wants to stay in fb):

Ideas are their stories, they are not naked.

Ideas are clothed in the experience and languaging of those that give voice to them. Ideas are made of relationships, they travel on and through relationships. They are not smooth bullets flying through the air, they are encounters aggregating between us, the land, our art, other ideas…

To separate ideas from the relationships in which you, or I find them is to strip them of their vitality.

Ideas are not just dangling, they are living in particular spices, brewed in their own sauce of our hurts, our glee, our unique searching.

This makes a big difference that makes a big difference.

We can say that it is impossible to trace the origin of an idea, and that is no doubt true.

But you know where you met, and that meeting is something not to be erased. The meaning of the idea to you is shared in the way you share it.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter. White Privilige. A year ago, no, two months ago, I thought quite different about these topics:

“Yes, of course black lives matter, because all lives matter. I may be privileged with my skin color, but doesn’t everybody carry their own personal demons and burdens? Isn’t this whole racism issue a US issue, which we should not project onto our own European issues?”

But wow, how purifying have the past weeks been for me, and I believe many others. Yes, the United States has its own uniqueness in this issue, but just because it is so much more pronounced (like with many other issues), than what appears on the surface here in Europe, it just serves to more clearly show the core of the issues we all face.

How can I claim not to be part of the problem, when my ancestors were the ones colonizing the US and have been part of the most recent form of slave trade (which in itself is much older than the Black African slave trade to the New World)? How can I claim not to be part of the problem, when I can notice my body to react to ‘difference’ in a defensive manner? How can I claim not to be part of the problem, when I can hear an inner voice say ‘yes but’, instead of just listening to what my fellow brothers and sisters want to tell me?

I may not be – or at least I don’t perceive myself to be – an overt racist, but I come to believe that I, and all those like me, are exactly the ones who keep the patterns intact. Just because we keep the ‘otherness’ intact, by focusing on stating what we are ‘not’. Just because we say ‘All Lives Matter’. Just because we find it difficult (or are simply too lazy) to really sense into what it means to have ‘white privilege’.

My systemic teacher Jan Jacob Stam taught me the principles of accepting the world as it is, beyond judgements and beyond ‘wanting to help’. He wrote the following about dealing with deeply engrained societal patterns (originally written within the context of corruption, but here edited for the context of racism):

“If you want to do something about racism, you need to understand it. If you want to understand it, you need to accept it’s existence. Or, actually you need to embrace it and to love it. If you love it, you can from the inside out start to understand what racism is trying to do in the world. You can start to feel into the movement of racism. This kind of love, is a kind of very connected and at the same time detached love. But love it is! The misunderstanding is that to love racism does not mean you like it. To love racism means you’re not denying it’s existence, nor excluding those people who are practicing racism. But this doesn’t mean you believe it should be a normal part of society.”

This whole concept of accepting the world as it is, is a daily challenge for me, often catching me off-guard when I’m not watching out for it. It is so easy to say that racism needs to be vanished off the face of the earth. It is so easy, to call out the racists as ‘the wrongdoers’. It is so easy, to make myself just part of the solution, and not the problem itself. But what if I AM part of the problem?

Can I still love myself and others, if I acknowledge this? Can I leave my black brothers and sisters to deal with their own matters, and instead of jumping in to help as a means to cover up my own wrongdoings, deal with healing my own racist patterns and the potential ancestral trauma that lies buried underneath it?

For me, the embracing starts with searching for the racist within myself. Its small (and maybe big) personas within my multitude of personas. I then see myself shying away from curiosity when I encounter ‘otherness’. Seeing otherness, and wanting to understand the otherness, but not daring to open up to it, and closing myself in defence of what could come at me when I would open up. I see myself liking to be with ‘people like me’, thereby unconsciously building a virtual fence around ‘people like me’ for those who ‘are not – as much as others – like me’. I can see myself comparing myself (and thereby disliking myself for my lack of strength) with often strong & athletic black brothers, instead of celebrating our differences & diversity. And so I can continue. And I then haven’t even started to mention the very Dutch racial issue of ‘Black Pete’ yet…

My fellow white folks, we’ve got work to do. Yes, it’s upon us to pick up our piece of this puzzle and really dive deep into it. To embrace it. To love it, and to understand what racism tries to do to us, with us and in this world. To feel into the movement.

My sense is, that this movement is about keeping alive the “Story of Separation”, which Charles Eisenstein has so beautifully written about. And that it is now up to us to move into a new story, which we need to write together. It is a story about a More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.

There’s not much use in blaming our ancestors, or blaming ourselves for not yet having done enough or anything at all. Apparently, we and our ancestors were not ready yet. Now I am. Now you are. I hope.

So, what does all this have to do with Frændi you could ask? Well, our developmental approach is built on the premise that development happens by including more and more of that which was not included before. My own reality, which Otto Laske would call ‘actuality’, is just a part of all that is reality. By expanding our awareness of what more is ‘real’, we develop. We develop social-emotionally, as well as cognitively. By learning more about the actuality of my black brothers and sisters, my own actuality expands and my perspective on the world changes. What I need in order to be able to do this, is being open to the fact that my perspective on the world is just one perspective and not reality itself. And that this perspective doesn’t define who I am, so doesn’t need to be defended for that reason. That stance is one of the most important stances – if not THE – to be able to develop. As an individual, and as a collective. It makes us face the world around us with an open mind, ready to learn, ready to constantly be challenged, and loving to be challenged. Because we know that this is how we will develop, and the world around us with it. 

The world around us is whole, it is completely fine just as it is, just as it has evolved to become where it is today. We are whole, we are fine, just as we are, as we have evolved to become who we are today. Knowing that, the question remaining is who and how we want to be in this world right now. What is it you want your organisation to be known for? How would you like your leadership to be characterised? How would you like to be remembered as a human being?

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m no enlightened being telling you what it’s like to have solved these questions for himself, having left behind all personal suffering. I might well be struggling with this more than you are. All I wish for is to find more companions on my path, who are willing to say “I don’t know” with me. 


Ibiza, June 2020


This blog post is a slightly edited version of a post which appeared on my Facebook timeline on June 8th 2020: https://www.facebook.com/jeroen.vermeer.98/posts/2997316077023730