Currently I am at the beginning of a new life woven of a wide array of new elements: a living space that is the most expensive space I have ever occupied but the most appropriate choice of my options for what I need and want at this time, the delightful and surprising arrival of a man in the realm of romance for the first time in many years, and the initiation of my mentoring practice and my work as an elder-in-the-making and a resource for others on their journey of becoming. Even my diet has changed.
In the midst of all of this newness I am in the aura of a grand and complex story that I am only peripherally involved in but to which I am deep witness and sometimes support. This grand and complex story is under extreme duress, and it’s future is uncertain for reasons relating to its foundations.
All of this exists within the current drama of the human endeavor of society and civilization, an endeavor currently straining to the breaking point in no small part due to the nature of its foundations.
What makes a foundation solid and what compromises it?
Contemplating my new life, I am deeply devoted to making good foundations for myself. This isn’t my first turn on the wheel: there’ve been a few beginnings in this wild life of mine. I know how it goes to start without even considering the foundation, or to stumble forward into a new life from a place of radical dysregulation and internal devastation: neither grew a healthy garden. At this point in my life I have the vision and the wisdom to pay deep attention to the foundations that I lay, knowing that for this life of mine to have longevity and vitality I need to attend to the foundations with the utmost care and respect, which I am still learning how to do.
I am blessed in this way. I can begin as an integrated system.
The human endeavor, however, is not at the beginning. Both the endeavor of civilization and this story I am witness to are at turning points; the house of civilization is collapsing, and the garden of the story could die.
It is a time of extraordinary opportunity.
So I wonder this too: In a complex and dynamic system, how can it be met when it becomes apparent that the foundations of the system are faulty?
Thinking about both this story and the human endeavor, I know that there has been ample time and ample opportunity to recognize and address the rot in the foundation before now. There have also been attempts to do just that that haven’t yielded meaningful results. Why is that?
Attachment to the idea.
Isn’t this so often the rub?
At the beginning of any undertaking, relationship, practice, or endeavor of any kind, all is vision and dream and possibility. All is concept and idea, even if it’s been planned to the nines. In the beginning, before the dream is breathed into life, we cannot see all the grit and sludge and violence that will arise as the dream moves into the material. In all situations there are things that only present when the process is in motion: we could be friends with someone for years, and then begin a business together or begin a romance together and suddenly experience parts of them that we’ve never seen before. Gnarly things and amazing things. New things.
What do we do then?
We have to be willing to honestly respond to what we see. We have to be willing to pause and reflect and pivot in a new direction if need be. And we have to be willing and able to let go if necessary.
That’s the hardest part. Especially the farther down the path we go.
Sick soil will not grow a healthy garden. A shoddy foundation will not hold a house up. Corruption, control, greed, and violence can only grow a civilization that will eventually tear itself apart. And the immanent collapse of all of these things is a natural moment of opportunity: the garden dies, the house falls down, the society collapses. Then there is the fallow time, and then there is the space for something new to emerge. The new cannot emerge within the outline of the old. It needs to create its own space to breathe.
So being able to behold, respond, pivot, and/or let go when its time is crucial if the process is already underway.
And at the outset of any new thing making healthy foundations is critical to creating a healthy reality.
What is underway in your life that needs reviewing? What red flags are you ignoring that need your attention so that your garden doesn’t die? What are you avoiding fully beholding because you are attached to the idea at the heart of the endeavor?
What are you beginning that requires a healthy foundation? How are you going to make that foundation for yourself? What boundaries, practices, resources, support, and structures need to be there so that you can grow that garden and build that house well?
How can you meet these things?
We have just passed the new moon, the time of beginning the new cycles. Even as we are entering in to autumn, we are in the aura of that fresh energy. Contemplate your foundations today and make the subtle shifts necessary for your creations to be strong, integrated, and vital. And of course, reach out if you want support with that. That's my jam.