This is a time of great creative vitality in the air. Some folks are tapping into their creative vitality because necessity is the mother of invention. Others because they have had of enough of going through the motions, or doing what they think they are “supposed to do” and ready to take risks to craft a better life. The people who really impress me are the ones like my sister R, and two friends M and T all of whom making big career changes, but are dreaming responsibly. Each of these women has made calculated decisions to actively pursue their careers in a new way. All are educators who felt the need to grow professionally in ways that support a positive environment, stretch them, align with their values and adds to the richness of their whole lives, including their families. Two are actively pursuing Graduate studies while working full time in new roles; as an assistance principle and as librarian. The other has elected not to pursue tenure at the college where she’s been employed for the past 5 years, because the environment feels poisonous to her. Each woman is taking risks, working hard, facing the unknown courageously and focused on gratification. Long term, lasting gratification born from exploring, exploiting and building on their innate strengths, exercising their personal agency to craft their lives to suit their most important needs, make the most of their abilities and position each for long term authentic happiness.
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009 was my first day of fully committing my working time to my Coaching and Consulting practice. This is an exciting adventure; this new chapter in my professional life is one I have been working towards for many years. The overwhelmingly positive responsive I have received regarding this new chapter in my professional life has been and will continue to be a great boost. Thank you. While I have the plot line and characters outlined in great detail and in some cases fully realized, there are additional possibilities for me cultivate and others unknown to be open to as well. I am fortunate to have many sources of information and wisdom from which to draw: my mentors, my family, friends, colleagues and clients to name a few. It is time for me to be on the “Edge to Chaos” and fully attend to creating a better future for my husband, my family, my friends and my community, and consequently myself as are R, M and T.
As I talked about in my Crafting a Future on the Edge of Chaos post “Edge of Chaos” is a concept explored in complex adaptive systems and is a place for growth. Defining features of complex adaptive systems is they form entities that are greater than the sum of their parts and the parts that make them are whole systems in their own right (Dimitrov, 2003). My family, my clients, my colleagues, you my readers and all the elements in the varied networks that intersecting in my professional and personal realms make up the larger complex adaptive system of my life. Each adds a unique dimension and opportunity or challenge, for growth and change along the Edge of Chaos.
There are four broad areas of activity associated with Edge of Chaos:
- Setting vision
- Creating boundaries
- Ensuring adequate communication flow
Couple these areas of activity with reality-based hope, openness to possibility and you can create a vision for your future that becomes real. In the coming weeks and months I plan to share with examples of how I and other people I know who are also making big changes are living these areas of activity out. I also invite you to share with me and the readers of this blog examples of how you are/have done the same.