Returning to business … has anything changed?

Our Wedding 11.11 2012


I’ve been away for the last fiscal quarter, transforming my life, falling in love and marrying the man of my dreams, my soul mate and my perfect counter-part in terms of how men and women need to relate. Having studied gender dynamics now for over four years (and probably the whole of my life truth be known) I knew when I met Jim last November, he was the man for me.

Jim is a highly intuitive gentle guy yet has a magnificent strong business presence. He doesn’t mind being emotional and yet he can be directive when needed. He is, for me, my gentle male (FM) counterbalance to my strident logical business persona (MF) now softened by his love. Could all men relate to women as he does to me? He allows me to be an empowered business women yet I can work side by side with him, equal in bravado, sensitivity and creative presence. We have a dynamic communication style and differing opinions still the counterbalance engages positive end results. Is this the way forward for boardroom balance and harmony between men and women I wondered?

Jim and I are a prime example of the possibility of productive harmony and creative success between men and women – can our learning apply to the boardroom I wondered?

Eager to get the news update on the EU commission’s pretentious attempt to sort the ‘women in the boardroom’ conundrum that has beset the world of businessmen across the corporate landscape, I read the latest review;
http://bdaily.co.uk/business/14-11-2012/eu-stops-short-on-boardroom-gender-mission/

Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, says: “The European Union has been successfully promoting gender equality for over 50 years (my emphasis). However, there is one place where we have not seen any progress: company boardrooms.” Sadly it’s still being diluted – read the full article … if we can’t crack the ‘women in the boardroom’ maybe we should consider a new blueprint at the top? Why not? Men – and women who appear comfortably complacent in their high positions, to a lesser degree – are singing the same old song … you know the words so sing along with me … “it takes time darling.” Meanwhile nothing …and I mean NOTHING … changes!

Disappointment swamps me and I cannot believe the lack of progress we have made since 2008 when Lehman Brothers went down and the cry for more women went up! That was the first time I realised that the higher a woman climbed, the more oppressive the gender restrictions placed on them became. Essentially, the prevailing wisdom is (and we know whose wisdom prevails) … one of the qualifications for a space on the board is a candidate’s natural ability to produce testosterone. I always kind of knew this, but now that gender diversity has impacted the balance sheet, the issue has become a major agenda item without solution. It will never resolve while business stays on the same tracks as the last century, a century designed by men for men. We need to re-design the playing field (men and women together) for the players we now have, not push women upwards by the same old route towards the same old goals.

Even in the light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – that mixed tops teams and boardroom make good business senses – men and women continue to drag their feet.

Surely we need a new partnership between men and women. We no longer have the luxury of being able to play the numbers game… surely in today’s world, our goal should be to focus on what the customer needs… and believe me … the global and local customer is mainly female!

To risk or not to risk – is LOVE a leap of faith that can change our world?

You can spend a whole lifetime wishing upon wish that true love, abundant wealth and good fortune comes your way. If you never step out and take a risk, life might just slide you by. I awoke early today with a feeling so scared in my stomach that it made me sit bolt upright in my bed. What was I scared about? What was tugging at my insides? I have taken risks in life many times. I have transformed by own life and those around me in a series of courageous ways, again and again. I have just met and am passionately in love with my true love with whom I plan to marry and work with for the rest of my life. My future is full of joy and laughter. Yet I recognise my ‘scared’ state came from feeling small in a world troubled by current headlines; economic crisis, Eurozone debts, unhappy, poverty struck communities in the heart of our country, wars waged both on the fields of Afghanistan and in our own streets, in gangs, protestors, and an increasingly disgruntled grumpy public.

Can I make a difference?

My personal position felt threatened when I sense the fear that mounts across the world. In my own experiences, I have many times released myself harmoniously from past toxic relationships (not easy), let go of my worldly possessions (seriously takes courage), looked at the world with inspired new eyes (why not?), have mentored and motivated friends and client alike (because I care) and reaped the joy of success in a variety of abundant ways (and with gratitude). I have been rewarded with joyful testimony to my work from clients and friends alike. However life has not always been so.

In my time, I have been told I was naive, unrealistic, impatient, a ‘silly woman’… my desire always has been for happiness for mankind, to guide and teach men and women to realise there is only one thing in their way, their disbelief in them own goodness and beauty. How many women feel ‘put down’ ?

I believe that together, men and women can co-create a world that I will be proud for my grandkids to inherit. I have sought always to walk in my path of integrity and to trust that people are primarily good well-wishing human beings. I was once told that I was trying too hard to make everyone happy. Maybe so. Maybe I didn’t need to ‘try’. The world is very ‘trying’ at this time. I see now that I needed to risk, to love, to do what I do best and to walk my talk in all aspects of my life. I believe in the possibility that current economic troubles and social chaos can be transformed through love, through people collaborating, through each of us taking a risk on love; pure unconditional love for our fellow companions in life and throughout humankind.

Love arrives when you least expect it

In May this year, after many months of learning about myself and the man I had met by chance in Budapest last November, I discovered true love. He lived 5000 miles away from my home City of London. It could have slipped away in a pile of business cards collected and never followed up. It didn’t. I now know a new way to love unconditionally and the experience changed my future in a heart-beat. Could that happen to my whole world? Why not? He and I walked into the same conference, neither wanting to be there, both at odds with life as it was, yet we found a magical conversation of sharing without condition that slowly opened up a channel to our fragile hearts. Opening up to love is a risk and the only risk worth taking on every level. Sharing, communicating, supporting each other over months led us to a truth neither of us dreamed possible before that time. And both mature, over 60, love could have seemed a step too far.

If we want change to occur, we need to be the change ourselves

Sensing that I could not expect the troubled world to change if I didn’t, I risked my own heart to fly half way round the world and find out if it was true love, the kind of love that surmounts all fear. It is and we’ve discovered at last a truth that is so simple the whole world can hear. Love is all we need. He and I are now committed to service to our world, to work to spread the possibility that each of us has a natural desire for a safer, happier, more inclusive world. I am no longer alone on my path.

The world resists love and blocks the way

And as I stand in that newly found truth, the truth that being deeply unconditionally loved really is the only way to live, I wonder why the world strives constantly to block love. And that blockage is crippling our business life as well as our domestic & social life, the two being intimately entwined. Where ever people are, wherever people meet and connect, respond and react, love can flourish. There seems to be little notice of this powerful asset in business. Business will risk all in search of profit, yet risks human life everyday by putting men and women alike under pressures that can make them ill. FEAR can flourish just like love. Men fear women, women fear men, men fear each other and many women have, I believe, left love at home with their children because they think work has to be unemotional. LOVE, in its purest unconditional nature, in friendship, comradeship, familiar or intimate, local or global, is the only energy that will transform everything. We can own this freely. Love drives customer loyalty. Love creates great relationships. Love can create wealth. Yet LOVE is not featured on a balance sheet. FEAR is its only rival. We own that too.

Fear runs the world

So why does the world seem run by fear – and love heard often only in rhetoric? It feels like we have allowed our power to be controlled by the past, and the components of FEAR, leap out of every newspaper headline. Fear of recession, of poverty and lack. Fear of separation, isolation, loneliness. Fear of phone hacking, libel cases, misdemeanours in high places. Fear created by rigid rules and legal restrictions designed to monitor and manage society yet which strangle us in many ways. Fear of our own shadows I think! Who can we trust with love anymore? Not the Bankers who ‘look after our money’, nor the Politicians who ‘manage our social care’ nor sometimes even our friends and family who ‘are our flesh and blood’ yet rape us daily of our common sense and drown us with moans. Stress and doubt creeps in every day and many are being tested to the hilt by every part of our lives. So often we read ‘sad bad news’ about double dip recession, Eurozone crisis, war torn lands, celebrity bitching, twitter rage… you name it, FEAR has a name.

The Beatle, Paul McCartney, famously wrote… “…AND IN THE END, THE LOVE YOU RECEIVE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU GIVE”

If you never step out and take a risk on love, never give love to others unsolicited, never communicate unfretted by judgements, never give love equal to that which you want in return, then life might just slide you by and none of those hopes and desires, true love, abundant wealth and good fortune, come your way. This is true for big business and governments too, as well as individual citizens. We all have responsibility for where we are right now.

What are we scared of?

Maybe the scariest prospect for all who trespass on the path of LOVE, is that they don’t actually need the Bankers, the Politicians or even our friends and family, to truly love themselves with humility and the honest love of creation. We are in charge of the choices we make. For all humanity, we merely need to choose to see everyone in their core beauty within. Love comes from within us all. The Dalai Lama shows us the capacity for one human being to smile at the world, to take a risk against all odds and say there is another way. And we need to take action personally and collectively right now.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama

At a conference recently, a senior man, a quite caring gentleman, when challenged by me that ‘love was the only way even for business’, he agreed in principle yet said “business is just the way it is, we can’t change the way we are”. I don’t agree. I believe we can build a new template, a better blueprint for business…and life…and society… and for our world. I believe men and women have different perspectives, different needs, common goals and collective responsibility for a wholly new blueprint for business and society.

We need to stop the ‘same old same old’ conversations and step out into the unknown.

A scary prospect?

Why not? Together, bound by loving intention, might we get it right this time?

I say that “The future defined by the past is bound to fail. The future defined by our heart’s intention could be the answer, however we need to take a risk and step into the unknown”.

I have stepped into the unknown and found a truth that is so powerful it has changed my life in a heart-beat. Worth a risk? DEFINITELY YES. You’ll never know if you don’t step out onto that invisible path of love with trust in yourself as I did.

For me “the true aim of love is to achieve happiness and harmony for all – and that starts with me”
Is this an impossible dream in an unloving world? I believe it is necessary to keep aspiring to it as it is the only way to make improvements in our world society today.

People sometimes say that I am “one scary woman” to be around because I believe in this dream and say it’s easy – they say my dream is unrealistic. If we aren’t scared by what is happening in our world, we aren’t alive. Be SCARED. And ask WHY NOT BE SCARED?

I believe that men and women need to do this together, as my true love and I have discovered, in harmony, collaboratively and joyfully working in ways that achieve a deep and unconditional commitment to create a better, healthier, wealthier wise world.

LOVE is the only risk we need to take for a better brighter more abundant future.

Join me in more scary debates and magical conversations about how love can transform business, your life and your legacy. http://www.corporateheart.co.uk http://www.magicalconversations.co.uk

Business, relationships, sex and snow!

A new era of conversations is required – it’s not about men versus women or the survival of the fittest but “survival for all, abundantly” working together to create magic.

It’s been a hugely transformational 2011 that has led us all to this year, and the bad stories have not gone away in 2012! Where are we going? The New Year of the Dragon sky tells a story of fire and fun maybe?

Major financial issues attack us on every news report, EU confusion and mayhem, top men tumble and top women get isolated from the marzipan layer of females who just haven’t risen to the top yet, social unrest rides high in youth communities, vulnerable women and children grow greater in numbers, as do prison inmates; education is under the critical spotlight, students rebel or just stop going to university, the NHS crumbles more, the Government is challenged at home and abroad; hacking, benefits scandals and unemployment figures rise. BUSINESS is sticky. We’re still having the “same old same old conversations” and nothing gets better. I have friends who just don’t watch the news at all!

Then SNOW came this last weekend brought a kind of strange release from such matters and a crisis once more brought people together, everyone helping sliding cars to stay on the road and people get home even after hours in freezing conditions. Today the snow has gone from my street and the world looks pretty much the same.

Why is it we see the magic of human kindness only in crisis?

With many like minded enlightened circles of friends and mentors, I see the requirement for people is to collaborate, to share resources and to realize there is a different blueprint required. Collaborative living and working, full of conversations about collective consciousness and practical application come to the fore for me. A wonderful balance of the material and the esoteric, task and relationship, operation and service. We need both men and women to be responsible co-parents if we are to survive and thrive as a society and a sustainable economy. These thoughts impact the way I see ‘business and life’ merging and coming together as there is no longer a defined separation in that relationship. This merger has come mainly through the influx and growth of women wanting careers, business recognizing markets are changing, consumers being more feminine and men recognizing business is about RELATIONSHIPS and service; entrepreneurism is growing at a rate of knots, and philanthropy and social responsibility are key to our overall fulfillment and meaning of life. Our old paradigm economic foundations are now shaking in the very concrete pillars of our once stable male world and many struggle with leaping into a new paradigm of the unknown.

Is this a battle or a game? Maybe SEX does get in the way?

It sounds like I’m full of doom and gloom, however I am very positive and incredibly excited about this year – the crisis of collapse will shake us all together at last? Men and women will maybe own their true authentic nature, SEX will play a part and we will all have to do things different whether we like it or not. We’re all humans, we have needs and that surely our passion for life itself is the main force of renewal and hope?

It’s now time to take on board a serious paradigm shift for 2012

It’s now time to get serious about new ways of working, living, connecting, sharing, and survival for all. The old ethos was ‘the survival of the fittest’ and in that paradigm we shall no doubt continue to experience battling between the sexes both on a business and political stage but also in the streets of our towns and in our own backyards. If we shift our thinking to ‘survival for all, abundantly’ we grow hope and prosperity of mind, body and soul. However we need trust in all we do and each other. We need to open up trusted conversations, let our egos go to the wall and enter a circle of human value as key to renewal. I do believe indeed we have all the resources we need right here, right now and, with care, men and women can co-create a much healthier wiser world that will emerge through coming together in magical conversations.

I do believe the way we unpack the conundrum about women rising further in business, and maintaining their natural female attributes to co-create with men at the top…. is to get the men talking! I am convinced that women will never make the top in greater numbers unless men have a mind-shift change that allows them ownership of a new blueprint to do business in ways that will suit women.

Do read our latest research on MEN it shows that men really do want things to be different but don’t know how to hold the conversation. Call us now to learn more or go www.corporateheart.co.uk for our programmes for men.

MEN ONLY PROGRAMME for men who want to learn to be more aware of how they manage everyone – this would embrace gender aspects, communication barriers, relationship mastery, dialogue and professional presence among a range of topics, allowing men an opportunity to own the conversation in a closed male group, guided by our experts.

It’s time for a new playing field, a new game and new rules.

The Elephant in the Boardroom – the “unspoken conversation” is among men.
Increasing numbers of MEN are shifting their views due to women’s influence at work.

Corporate Heart’s research reveals the “unspoken conversation” as 83% of men surveyed see themselves as ‘relationship focused’ leaders rather than ‘tough guys’ yet they don’t share their views with other men out of fear of ridicule. Read more in The Sunday Times November 20th

Women are in demand but not succeeding to the top as fast or in great enough numbers to influence major cultural change. The business door is only dented not open. Men still hold the master key but don’t talk about how to unlock it from the inside.

With recent evidence from the Lord Davies’ report that progress of women into the Boardroom is slow and that radical action is required – Chairmen and CEOs would do well to open up a different conversation with male colleagues to re-seed a playing field fit for men and women together.

In our research, 60% of men stated ‘a desire for change’ and would like to engage in discussion about new ways of working since women invaded their workplace and how these impact men.

Men are not engaged proactively with the debate from their own point of view. If more men desire change, they need the opportunity to change themselves first and for male leaders to join in the conversation without prejudice.

While Lord Davies points to an increasing commercial imperative that ‘more women make good business sense’ not only at the top but throughout an organisation, women are still challenged to squeeze into men’s shoes when the fit is not always natural. With the major focus on changing women to fit the Boardroom, men are starting to feel excluded and mis-communication is rife. This costs business hugely as relationships deteriorate.

Latest research from Corporate Heart uncovers men’s behaviour differs under pressure. On average 50% said; when under pressure they revert to behaving as “tough guys”. They hide their true emotions when stressed.

The paradox is that senior men are under serious directives to bring Women on Board. There is a business imperative for cultural change with regards to women. Yet men cannot navigate an inclusive pathway on the current pitch.

It’s time for a new playing field, a new game and new rules.
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Background
The Research from Corporate Heart asked a selected range of senior and middle management business men, across the world, to share how they think MOST MEN manage relationships with women and each other at work, in comparison to their own view. This research indicates that more business-efficient ways for MEN to work with women, and each other, are not being fully explored, and the potential cost of mis-communication is draining financial results.

For more information CONTACT Founder of Corporate Heart, Pauline Crawford on +44 7976 512117 pauline@corporateheart.co.uk http://www.corporateheart.co.uk http://www.paulinecrawford.co

“Women on Board” – who’s really blocking progress – men or women?

There is a huge gapping hole between past and future. Business still struggles to make sense of the changes required and the focus on “Women on Board” highlighted once more by Cameron through Lord Davies’ reporting on numbers of women rising to the top, yet again showing slow progress and many major organisations resisting the call.

Business is confused, and in many places, stagnant where women are concerned; while in some arenas, business thrusts ahead without substantial impact coming from women. Why still little change at the top, and at all levels? Why still no significant flood of females stepping into major numbers at the top and succession plans to the boardrooms of the UK?

I believe we are stuck because we still have the “same old ‘same old’ conversations” about the players and not the playing field. Specifically, I fear that that many women’s initiatives and achievements have alienated men and pushed them to a corner. My challenge to women is to keep on forging ahead with more positive success stories and prominent acts of female judgement and achievements; while remembering to include and educate men into meaningful (realistic and practical) conversations that create useful inclusive collaboration; and aiding the co-creation of a new blueprint for success and a language that feeds business performance (measured in service and profits) and society (measured in health and wellbeing).

While not wanting men or women to sacrifice any advantages gained over the last 6 decades, I truly do not see why women need lose touch with their emotional savvy, intellectual mastery and their loving female power in relationship energy. When this is mixed with a strong operational task focused male energy, the mix is more successful. “The future of business is emotion” says Patrick Dixon, Futurist. “We need masculine and feminine contributions to collaboration that ensure that the rise of women integrates with the best of men”.

I do not believe, as is often written, that women are the only salvation of the economic crisis – although I do know that women can bring huge value and highly intelligent commercial input to the economy with their ability to integrate emotional intelligence into monetary value, service and wealth. However I am concerned that this is not attained at any price that robs us of our female natural wisdom. If women can stand firm on all that is good for the heart and soul of business as well as minds and bodies, especially in an era where markets demands the best service. I believe this will fuel a passion for a more meaningful wide view of ‘wealth’ – that of authentic health and wellbeing, wide spread growth in family and community value, a ‘better life’ as well as a more sustainable economic environment for all.

However immediately we do need to see what is happening for MEN. They are not included in the conversation unless focused on women. What is happening for them? In a recent survey carried out by Corporate Heart earlier this year; some insights emerged;

RESULTS HIGHLIGHTS
Looking at the gap between what men think ‘most men’ agree on, and their own personal view, we uncover:

The “unspoken conversation” 83% see themselves as ‘relationship focused’ leaders rather than ‘tough guys’.

A desire for change 60% said they would like work to be different yet continue to work in the same old way.

Actions differ under pressure 50% on average, behave as “tough guys” yet hide their true emotions to get the job done!


These highlights and the comments and insights in the full report show us that men are shifting their views however not talking about it with other men. Possible shy of our PC world, men don’t know how that conversation should be structured. In working with groups of men now, we find a huge change in their mindsets occurs once the new blueprint is explored. It gives them a framework to see the whole picture as men and women integrate their talents at work together.

My intention is to support men and women – and in particular for women across the world to get talking WITH men (not against them) with a WISE mind set, a REALISTIC yet loving manner, an INCLUSIVE collaboration, AUTHENTIC female dialogue and PRACTICAL result. Vice versa, my current work is developing MEN so they can open up meaningful dialogue WITH women so that work-life is more successful for both sides.

Rather than playing the ‘male’ game of the last century and endangering our female species, I urge women to honour our collective gift of “soft power” and our diverse talents of service, collaboration, ingenuity, organisation, multi-tasking, innovation and entrepreneurial creativity.

My greatest fear is observing the growing changes over generations of women who are being moulded into hybrid models of ‘male behaviour’ unnaturally rather than using their natural masculine mindset appropriately alongside their feminine life perspective and female biological drivers. Women can be and are great business leaders and wealthy and yet still value their natural role as women who care, love and nurture our world, grow future generations, and be mindful of our environment and its future sustainability. Men are biologically primarily designed to be tough, warriors, competitors, providers; their natural testosterone drives that energy to go out, provide and hunt – and over the last century to build wealth in material form; they too seek to grow a world fit for their children and many want to nurture and grow into their family role in an equal role. However still many men don’t and aren’t necessarily as suited to stay home as women.

Can the two sides get together to forge a new conversation?

This is the conversation I desire to develop along with a new ‘gender dynamic’ blueprint where ‘building profit’ takes on a wider ‘wealth’ meaning aligned to emotional ‘life’ requirements. This is a conversation to forge a truly global collaboration that safeguards our threatened world; and to evolve a truly authentic socially responsible, sustainable future without losing the financial buoyancy we need to revive our economic stability.

Sacrifice or salvation?

MY JOURNEY CONTINUES:

“I transformed my own situation at the beginning of 2011. I recognised that as I teach companies about shifting attitudes and reducing negative tensions, and living and working with a healthy, wealthy mindset, I was actually living in the wrong place. Tensions were manifesting where I lived due to issues external to me in the building but that would affect my lifestyle and the people around me. How often in business does that happen to us yet we stay out and put up with negative tensions, getting more and more despondent. I am designing a more collaborative yet independent environment where I have control over me!

In my approach to developing my clients for their business success, I teach them how to value themselves, their contribution, both natural and acquired, and their choice to create the right behaviour and good practices for themselves and their team. For me, collaboration creates results, mixed with a good pinch of individual talent, a heaped spoon of awareness and energy for creativity – and behold magic starts and multiplies the bottom line. The culture of collaboration and wellness seeds creativity and trust – and so creates a potential new playing field for business sustainability and success to go hand in hand – and especially when men and women, of all generations and nationalities work together, much is possible.

I found in my own transformation journey, anything is possible. Let go and venture forward to seek new ways to live and work – and notice along the way who is playing, and how the playing field is laid out; welcome in diverse mind sets and set a path of shared intentions for grow and profit as well as service excellence. Acknowledge that what people bring as individuals, whether male, female, old, young; whether they focus more on logical or emotion, task or relationship, production or service; all are unique and different and their individual characteristics form great talent pools. Men and women have different natural life-skills sets, old and young bring different perspectives, different nationalities bring diverse experiences and cultural norms; the mix can be seen as rich and diverse, rather than conflicting and at odds. All people bring and receive a diverse range of contributions for overall success in any business – not merely in financial terms but in human valuation, appreciation and good will. Understanding and valuing our differences makes for a great mix depending our point of view!

My point of view is that the “same old same old” conversations get us nowhere. And we are NOW here to set about transformation for good.

For me personally, yes it’s been a tough exciting year so far, challenges at all corners, wonderful and inspiring new people in my life, old faces falling away, new friends arriving; possibilities and fears mixed with opportunities and healthy risks; and many magical conversations with both male and female friends and clients; and many new networks and associations that have heartened my resolve. The playing field is seeded, now I watch it grow.

I wonder if it is sacrifice for men or salvation for women as business evolves in the current climate?

A friend asked about the sacrifices I made (?) i.e. selling up, simplifying my life, letting everything go even my cat (she is fine and well housed) – but as I look at the energy, freedom, joy and resolve I have now on this journey, the beautiful place I live in and the new potential for me to give back to society – it’s not a sacrifice at all! Maybe salvation has nought to do with sacrifice, we let go of the past and the future arrives early!”

A Tale of two Cities…and one Future


One city is built on the square mile principle; every inch measurable and maximized for the owners, each square inch is sold and resold, marked up, traded down; every skyscraper fields a magnificent view yet many streets are cold from the deep shadows the towers make. The inner city is paved with gold and has a labyrinth of tunnel journeys and caves connected by long corridors, lift shafts and stairs.

This city is inhabited by Bears.

The other city is designed by a life-giving community, with open landscape, cozy rooms, and play stations for the younger members to learn and flourish, nesting nooks for conversations, space for innovation and creativity coffee breaks; there are support systems that barter resources and reduce waste. The inner city is a mesh of inter-connected live wires and tree top nests.

This city is inhabited by Birds.

The Bears and the Birds are all creatures of the earth that live and breathe the same air, drink the same water, eat the same resources; however they live in different ways, they have different biological needs, although often similar aspirations and dreams for their future.

Their challenge is to understand each other as the two cities stand side by side, growing intertwined ever more over the last decades where viral changes and ways of working have become blended in style. They know their world is changing and surrounding market boundaries are collapsing, evolving, and revolving in ever decreasing circles and natural disasters attack the very land they live on. They face a world-in-crisis and obstacles that threatened to undermine life as known previously.

The Bears prowl their city, some are gruff and dangerous; some are strong and proud of their mighty presence; others are cub Bears who are learning from their elders; some are afraid of their own shadows and yet many teddy Bears, warm and cuddly, keen to protect and nurture their young.

The Birds are very variable, plumes of many colored feathers, bodies of different sizes and wing spans; big and small, wild and tame; some fly in formation, others live as family units, others fight their own battles, while many twitter happily over the garden wall. They all sing beautiful and creative songs. However once damaged or caught on the ground or attacked by Bears, they are terrified of losing a limb, a wing, or a feather.

Some Birds are terrifying even to the Bears; they swop and soar; they prey on the most vulnerable; the cub Bear often heads for the caves when he sees a Bird coming! However most Birds sing from their hearts and are the evening song, the sweet sound on the airwaves of life as they fly from work to home; they flow with the winds, and dive for worms to feed their offspring.

Nowadays Birds go to the City of Bears regularly for their daily work, seeking bigger worms and prospects for their life’s survival. It’s tough going for the Birds as the Bears are so big and strong and have built their city to be the powerhouse that generates wealth and provides resources for everyone’s cave and nest. In the big world outside, it is often a perilous journey for the Birds, as they swoop and perch on the higher levels of the skyscrapers, looking for safe habitats and life-saving perches.

Many Bears don’t want the Birds to get into their work caves and high-rise ownership stakes; however the Birds are agreed that they are here to stay, and growing in numbers every year. They know that for the survival of their species, Birds and Bears, the only way forward is together. They long to bring their birdsong to be truly valued and honored by the Bears, as an intrinsic part of a fulfilled and successful life. They value the Bears for their strength and tenacity, and their ability to bring in the major provisions; they also love the adoration the Bears give them as Birds when they are at home in their own city.

Now that the Birds have discovered the city that the Bears have created, they want a piece of the worm pie. They know they can add new ingredients – natural skills, more emotional relationships, different expert knowledge to that which the Bears have. They know they can deliver much of what the Bears offer yet with a nurturing spirit that maintains a healthy lifestyle alongside the tradition success that Bears seek in pots of golden honey. Yet given all that the Birds bring, the gateways to the high skyscrapers often have difficult and closed combination locks to bar their way.

Singing a new song

The Birds stridently continue to sing their beautiful songs, lyrics that bring many tears of happiness and joy; others that tell of fears and frustration; many written to bring tunes of harmony and cords of perfection to a noisy chaotic world. The Birds want to bring this new harmonic to the service repertoire for all but often the Bears don’t understand these songs and when they try to sing along, their deep voices threaten the very nature of the Bird song. The Bears love their ‘pow-wow’ warrior games, and ganging up to play sport together, munching happily on wood bark and accumulating their bank of red berries and golden honey.

Probably to an alien visiting these cities, the Bears and the Birds might seem at odds with each other for there is a fatal attraction between them; Bears and Birds love each other, and when the attraction flourishes, they form families and are partners of the new generation of Birds and Bears, and can find true happiness in each other’s arms.

However there is trouble brewing…

The Bird songs are disturbed, the Bears sense danger afoot. There are rumblings far and wide and getting closer. What will happen next as the Bears and the Birds realize the mutual threats attacking both cities? Will the Bears listen to the Bird’s plan to work and live together; will they ever see eye to eye, beak to beak, bear pad to bear pad? The tale continues….

The abdication of responsibility

Why does anyone abuse another or themselves? Surely if we each took full responsibility for our thoughts, actions and reactions, we might easily resolve even the seemingly irresolvable relationship breakdowns, the possibility of feeling abused and so reduce the seedbed of negative attitudes on which traumatic damaging abuse could grow.

Whether in anger over a love breakup, a bullying dispute at work, a deeply entrenched violent relationship or merely a bickering home argument, our negative attitude to others and our self is selfish and abdicates the responsibility we are gifted at birth; the valuable gift of human life. Even in pain or sorrow, we can take a soul decision to be responsible for how we receive that challenge.

I believe we all can be far more responsible and therefore accountable today for the collective verbal abuse, sorrow, and unjustifiable human pollution of violence that infects our natural world with inhumane behaviour. We can each take personal responsibility for all we think, feel and act out in our life from the smallest action, we can spread joy rather than anguish; a smile to a stranger, a word of praise to our family, an attitude of gratitude whatever happens, a mediation style of leadership, conversations that include our differences.

I pondered over how we might transform our world to one of love rather than fear, one of contribution rather than isolation, one of sharing rather greed.

In many ways we have made it easy to abdicate responsibility. “It’s not my fault, they are to blame” we say to ourselves. “It’s not my issue, I can’t change the world, too many people, and it’s not to do with what I do!” We play small and abdicate consistently that which is in our power; to love and be loved, to express with perfect voice, with understanding, with grace, with trust and ask for what we need with respect for all around us and far away.

Is your life now full of easy ways to abdicate responsibility? We blame others; blame our childhood, our bosses, our debts, our lack of money, our politicians? Do we abdicate when we find easy ways out of our major responsibilities such as parenting and education of our next generations? I see often parents abdicating responsibility unconsciously and consciously when we stick our kids in front of the TV, computer or offer self service upbringings; when we get addicted to alcohol or drugs; when we ignore the potential abuse that may be happening under our noses, down our street, in our neighbourhood?

I know teachers who do not go the extra emotional mile with their pupils because of paper work and exam quotas even when they know the children need more of their attention; I know bosses who regular undermine their colleagues and juniors who disrespect their elders; we know there is a spiral of domestic violence, child abuse and substance misuse in our communities; we live in time where men and women continue to perpetrate crime and disorder in our so called ‘civilized society’, yet we abdicate helping because we don’t see these things happening to us personally. Women allow other women to be marginalized and brutalized around the world and we don’t rush to their side. Men allow other men to continue wars and major violence and crime and don’t get together to say “peace is the best option”

Many people wish they could win the lottery to make their lives better or grab at high salaries and bonuses when others are starving – in the belief that money is the only way to survive the devastation that currently faces many people financially and emotionally and health wise. It just doesn’t work that way … money will not solve broken attitudes or fear based living. It won’t solve climate challenges, natural disasters or rising mental illness. We have some major issues to take responsibility for today and we all have a part in our future together.

Once we choose responsibility for ourselves – often seen by many as burden – we find that it is actually a joy and gives us a reciprocal energy and willingness to serve, to love, to nurture, to grow happy relationships, to be a good guest, a wise friend, a helpful resource; to share, to care, to be kind. Personal responsibility is the first step to collective responsibility. we each make a difference.

If we all made that choice right now, I believe we can reduce and eventually eliminate abuse and spread joy around the world, one person at a time. I take responsibility right here right now for the rest of my life to do whatever it takes to bring about a loving, sharing, caring world. I don’t know yet how I will do that, however I do know if we each set a similar intention right here, right now, our intentional thoughts will show us the way.

Will you join me?

Let’s challenge the ‘same-old’ same old conversation

Did you wake today to the ‘same-old’ same old day, doing the ‘same-old’ same old things? Is your day focused on small viewpoints and safely within your comfort zone? Some days this is just what needs to happen. But day after day, this gets us NO-WHERE if we wish to transform our world.

NO-WHERE does not get us to NOW-HERE.

The time is NOW-here to play a bigger game, and step outside of the box of the ‘same-old’ same old conversations.

Such a day was yesterday, May 24th and I presented for the OASIS PROJECT in Brighton as a keynote “setting the scene” speaker to a varied audience, mainly women, all with a common focus; the members of the audience, from across the land, work with and to support, educate and enable women who live in the shadow-land of substance abuse, domestic violence, and addictive habits; their goal is to help these women discover and maintain a better life. They work with women caught in a downward spiral of dependency within their intimate relationships, their families and their social environment. I respect them all for their commitment to such a challenge.

Earlier that morning I had read my book of daily thoughts, written by Eileen Caddy, of Findhorn. She wrote;
“Move out of your puddle, and expand your consciousness, realizing there is no limitation. Many people see themselves no further than themselves or the group or community that they are living in”

I wanted to encourage my audience to see the bigger picture while still dealing with the nitty gritty of those ‘same-old’ same old issues with the many women and children in their care.

I impressed upon them the changing nature of women in the world over the last 60 years; and explored how collectively women are more than half the population of the world, make up 80%plus of consumers purchases, and probably more like 90% of consumer decisions; more women than men are coming out of university with degrees; women are now gathering more wealth into their own control than ever before (yet this is the hands of a few women and not the majority); women are gaining some ground in the boardrooms of PLC corporate life yet so slowly as to make little impact in social transformation; women in politics is rising but still low in world numbers; the gender pay gap is still evident, and even though much attention and care is given to the equal opportunities and the rise in the numbers of female entrepreneurs, women are and choose to be the administrators in business and major carers of the elderly, the children, the sick and disabled .

Even with all those facts standing true, I believe we can create a more balanced world for all, where value is not merely money or possessions, but is measured by society valuing loving harmony in relationships as common practice; where intimacy is respected with gentleness and passion; where business acumen and personal wellbeing are equally sacrosanct and we value social integrity so that all people honor each other what ever their role, and respect the natural essence we bring to the party. In a world of loving collaboration and contribution, everyone would be who they are born to be, live a life they love, and co-create generations of self motivated, talented human beings who pull together to ensure everyone is healthy. We need to set a strong intention on the bigger picture, while holding the reigns too. A challenge. Yet the stories are there. I heard many stories of great achievements only yesterday. My urgency is to take these stories out to the wider world in a way that encourages the chaos to turn into gold, for a new conversation that goes to the heart of the matter in all walks of life.

We’re often seen as females fighting amongst ourselves, working and living on a male playing field, and trying to plaster the cracks and play their game; when actually there is safe and fertile ground if only we searched and conversed together. Yesterday I recognized so clearly that the real conversation for me is about a new society blueprint as well as a new business/economic blueprint, and indeed each is integral to each other.

Sisters – we must come together!

Women collectively are so profoundly the key to transformation of our world – in conversation, collaboration and empowerment – with each other – and with men of course. Do we do that? No, we do not get together as women unconditionally. We allow injustice to stay alive and we don’t share the stories of our abused sisters in order to stop the mayhem. There is chaos in our world and it is time, now-here, to heal the addiction of abuse.

I encouraged the audience to consider the big picture, the whole world and their part in it; especially women honoring all women and seeking the creation of a new blueprint for life that embraces everything from the boardroom to the bedroom, the blessed to the abused. We are all women and the mothers of future generations. We are not even close to talking together as a collective world culture of women – yet! However we all share our female nature – our hormonal cycles, our menstruation, our childbearing gift and our nurturing nature. Whether we have babies or not, we are all sisters, and the thread of life-giving love links us together.

I stand up to be counted too as a sister to my sisters across the world...

I realized yesterday how little I knew about women disenfranchised and abused in this country, let alone the world. I dream of a world where all abuse can be dissolved; where there are no bad relationships, no abuse, no violence and consequently no substance abuse. In a world of loving harmony, collaborative cohesion and perfect self expression, compassion, and respect – there would be no place for abuse.

We need to step outside of our ‘puddle’ and take on the rain! Are you willing to join me in a new conversation?

Being a mature woman

On the eve of my birthday, it’s always a great time to pause and reflect on the state of play.

I am so assured of my contract with life in this moment, to be my best and at every age; to continue to release the old worn out baggage of constraints and limitations; to spread a different perspective of abundance and collaborative living and working so we don’t get stuck in those ‘same old’ same old conversations about men and women, boardrooms, business, politics, social change and equality… blah, blah, blah.

Now it’s time to get REAL, my dearest female friends and many wise men – we need to get very serious about transformation of our whole world, our way of being joyful together whether it’s in the boardroom of PLC UK or in the entrepreneurs back garden or the local schools where our new generations of boys and girls are rising stars into a world we created.

Top tips to being alive at work and play :

• Be yourself and honour your own gender characteristics and be mindful of how women speak of other women and how men honour the nature of women at work as talented and meriting top positions because they fulfil the role best

• Value men and women who are not like you as a complement to your natural type, and see life from other’s perspectives especially when you believe you’re right and yet it’s painful! (the painful feeling is a big clue!!)

• Recognize the ‘masculine’ mind is logic and the ‘feminine’ mind is intuition, and that both men and women have both in some way – honour that which is most natural to you and acknowledge what is not natural to you. Your biology informs your behaviour, and your upbringing may temper it – don’t have a temper with it!

• Seek to know what the best outcome is for all involved – being a victim or an aggressive serves no one and damages your own chances of success

And my darling female friends…

• Remember men and women are different and ‘she’ is always more like you than ‘him’ when it comes to hormones and handbags
• And consider men buy cars (toys) because they don’t have handbags!

and to those of us, MEN and WOMEN who have reached a full age maturity… as I have …

• Wherever you are, boardroom or supermarket, mature woman may be having a hot flush (power serge), so be kind and compassionate to strange behaviour!

Have a fabulous week and enjoy life – it’s whatever you choose right now…