This article is a result of a 4 year systematic study on the effects of inner transformation to meet our worldly challenges. Enjoy!
I got a reflection and a question, on one of my latest articles. Thank you Kjell, for sharing your thoughts, planting the seeds of this article. The reflection was:
“A lot of your communication centres around the individual. Around finding our 'self' and our best context. So, how did we get here? Why is it important to start from the individual?”
So, why all this focus on inner development? Shouldn’t we focus on the big challenges ahead, that we share as humanity.
The short answer is: We have seen (through 4 years of systematic studies) that an inner journey is a prerequisite for a human being to relate to self, to others and to the system in a way that can truly enable transformation. And that transformation happens from the inside out. When the relations and systems we build grow out of a deeper awareness of life. Letting emerge a system that cares equally for the individual, the system and the world. When the world we shape grows out of a deeper awareness of life, into a world that we can be truly proud to give forth to our children.
And now to the long answer: So, how did we get here? And why is it important to start from the individual?
We have seen in our work that the path to meeting others, creating systems that benefit ‘the many’ with sustainable perspectives for future generations, goes through exploring oneself and transforming from the inside out.
" When we meet and understand ourselves in an inner journey we get access to more of what is truly us. In this meeting of ourselves, an integrative, inclusive intention is crucial - to meet and understand ourselves in embrace and love, of every aspect. Not wanting to change, remove or improve ourselves. But just letting us unfold as the perfect, divine creations that are we. This intention will open for deep transformation. And this transformation will open new realities of what is possible."
In this inner journey we also open the gates to deeper meetings with others. In more mutuality, compassion and love. Our relations grow deeper, and the care for others grow. In this, we can let emerge a dance allowing us to co-create truly amazing outcomes, far beyond our imagination.
In this inner journey we also see a deeper awareness being shaped. An awareness of how the systems we have made (organisations, associations, societies) strengthen or hold back human well-being and growth. We see a growing intention and capacity to re-shape the parts of the systems holding us back, into systems that liberates our full power. To dare to let go of the old. To dare to let emerge that which will serve us better. To dare to be who we need to be in service of that transformation.
In this inner journey, we see a longing being born to give back to the world the gifts we have been given to give. The gifts of being fully me. And in that, a longing is born to shape a society and coexistence with others built on mutuality, freedom and love. Where others are free to give the gifts they have been given..
" These are bold things to state. Huge statements! That an inner journey will unlock these aspects. How dare I? How can I? On what basis and data do I claim what I claim? "
Buckle up, here it comes:
We state what we state on the basis of having systematically studied this for the past 4 years.
The research base for these studies are the year-long leader transformation programs we give for large organisations. Programs that have opened that inner journey for over a hundred leaders. Programs based on a synthesis of different research fields, such as developmental psychology, relational organisational psychology, sustainable change of social systems and complex systems theory. All of which we have certifications from leading researchers around the world.
These programs open an inner journey.
They also connect that inner journey to the outer by strengthening the present centred awareness and deepening the understanding of complex social systems. In which the interrelatedness of the self - other - system dynamics become clearer. Where we become present to how these three, the self, our other and the system, dances in an unbroken continuum of an integrated and mutual creation and re-creation of each other.
We see that the inner journey is an absolute prerequisite to open for this wider awareness. Learning new models and frameworks explaining the external world is almost useless if we don’t, simultaneously open to our inner world. Open for transformation of the filters and constructs we view reality through. If not, we will interpret and apply the new models through our existing mind, and the outcomes will be more or less the same.
I want to put emphasis on this, because this is really important! We have a too strong faith in models and frameworks being able for us to shape transformation. And we are partly blind to the fact that what really makes a difference is the constructs and filters we hold when applying these models. This is why the inner journey is absolutely crucial! Because it helps us let go of limiting constructs and filters. It opens us for a wider and deeper awareness.
In these programs we have been able to study the effects of that inner journey. Effects in the self, in relations and in the system.
We have seen and collected data showing that people become happier. The perceived quality of life increases. And the acceptance and love of self increases and deepens.
We have seen and collected data showing that one’s fear becomes less fearful. That we, as individuals, can meet our fear as a guide to growth and to life. And that people in this experience have become freer.
We have seen and collected data showing that relationships, both at work and privately, become closer, better, more authentic. That people are perceived as more appreciated, more present spouses, parents and leaders.
We have seen and collected data showing that the presence in one's life experience becomes stronger. That the ability to sense, make sense of and act on what is really going on becomes stronger. Perspectives widen and deepen. An experience of more clarity.
We have seen and collected data showing that people being led by these leaders feel better, and more content. Experiencing more growth.
We have seen and collected data showing that the power of the organisation being led increases, and that outcomes and creativity of that organisation increases.
In summary: we have seen and collected data showing that the inner journey opens for big positive shifts in the self, in the relations with others and in leading and shaping systems that hold the benefit of many.
Therefore, we see that it is absolutely crucial to start from the individual. Because transformation happens from the inside out, letting relations and systems we build grow out of a deeper awareness of life. Letting emerge a system that cares equally for the individual, the system and the world. When we let the world we build grow out of a deeper awareness of life, into a world that we can be truly proud to give forth to our children.