My world is configured in concentric circles of consciousness and responsibility. These circles all have awarenesses happening both light and dark. In any given moment I am choosing what to pay attention to, what gets the brightest light focused on it, which circle is calling for action and which circle is planning the next leap. At the center of these circles is mySelf, the solid core of spirit or soul or purpose that connects me to the universe and all off life. That one that knows and teaches all the other circles what’s up, while at the same time being completely patient and benevolent. This I Am that provides reason and meaning for my being here in the first place.
The innermost circle is made up of my self. This man Henry that is walking around the world. This guy who is opening up his consciousness and integrating all parts of himself as he stumbles along through all that life has to offer him. This circle has some stiff muscles from working out yesterday and is proud to have taken off 2.5 pounds last week. This circle is full of feelings and emotions, excitements and worries. This circle is busy learning and being curious making sure to be pissy and resistant along the way. This circle demands a lot of time and attention and yet has loads of criticism piled on by the darker recesses of this circle about taking up that time and thinking that the time would be better spent paid on more of the outer circles. This circle is both proud and shy.
The next circle out is the circle of Karen and my relationship and marriage. The circle of significant other and all of the light and dark in that circle. And in my set of concentric circles just like the first circle bleeds out into all of the other circles this one does too. This circle has me being lonely sometimes when Karen is gone and bugged sometimes when she is here. This circle has me experience a love and commitment like I sometimes can’t even find in the innermost circle. This circle wants to make Karen happy and as I stumble and trip my way around attempting that I upset the apple cart as many times as I bite into a juicy apple. This circle is teaching me how to be in deep and true relationship in all my other circles. In this circle Karen has left for the next two days to work at CTI and we won’t really see each other until we show up in Florida for the Summit and LeaderDays. I miss her already and wonder what else I need to be doing.
The third ring out of me is family. My blood family first and my CTI family second. My 83 year old mom and the fact that her older brother Art just died and we are all headed to the funeral. My 2 brothers and 2 sisters who are all incredibly smart and sensitive people and who all do work that serves growing human consciousness. This circle is pulling me to the funeral and all of my cousins and relatives in Columbus, it’s pulling me to think about my Uncle Art and all of his lessons about being an authentic and generous man. The dark side of this circle is always doubting that I am doing enough and pulling on me to feel guilty for not. This circle sometimes pulls on the dark side of responsibility and the resistance to responsibility that goes along with it. This circle also brings alive stories and the traditions of Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthdays, summer and winter vacations and home movies.
The next circle out is the Co-Active Community. This amazingly wonderful global group of people that are committed to aliveness and meaning. Who want to have lives and careers that have meaning for themselves and want to bring those same gifts to others in their circles. This circle includes friends and aquaintences that are all pointed, in their own way, towards the global transformation and evolution that is underway. I am taking responsibility for this circle with The Co-Active Summit and all that it spawns. This circle thrills and excites me and terrifies me as it pulls me to my edges. This circle wants me to pay more attention to it and to grow myself more so that I can. In me this circle can feel as overwhelming in it’s scope and size as it feels exciting. It seems to have a life of it’s own and it will develop and grow, stumble and fumble, transform and blow up, like all communities and even countries are doing all around the world right now. It has many voices and one voice and it is ready to take responsibility for the next circle out. Or is it?
The next circle out in my circles of responsibility is Humanity. That is a terrifying truth. That when it comes right down to it I am responsible for Humanity. Will our collective consciousness grow to the tipping point that is needed or will we commit species suicide? Of course my intention is to keep growing consciousness and to keep fostering and nudging along evolution the best that my arrogant self can (“nudging along evolution” give me a break) Those are the voices of the judge coming back and the victim that get overwhelmed so easily. We humans are on a knife edge right now and we can feel it happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Iran and all over the planet. We can feel it happening in Equador and South East Asia, in Europe and here in North America, Humanity is waking up and either we have to take a step in a life affirming direction when we do or we will step in a life diminishing direction. At this stage of the game that second step is suicidal and yet very possible. What will humanity do? What will I do? What will we do?
The last circle out that I can perceive and still have too weak an eye to really take in much less hold in my consciousness for too long is the circle that has me take responsibility for All Of Life. Humanity is just a small part of life in this universe and on this planet. It has become a pretty potent form of life to the life on this fragile planet and yet it still is just a single form in a myriad of forms of life. We have to be able to get our attention off of ourselves long enough to be able to include all of life in our view. We have to know our place in the web of life and take responsibility for that place as well as the web. I know that I need to be able to broaden my consciousness more to include the world views that are contained in this circle too. I need to keep opening myself up to all the circles so that this one can become brighter for me. I know that it is urgent that I do so and that I learn to be able to speak and write and act in this circle as well as I am beginning to speak act and write in the others. Life is counting on me. Life is counting on all of us.