The concept Vectors of Love™, which I introduced during my recent TEDx ALC talk “Our World in crisis – how Love can provide a solution”, came as a result of many years of work, different life experiences and my personal reflections on how to support transformational change processes from a place of Love. To prepare for my TEDx talk the script that eventually led to this talk went through many different versions. As with all creative processes, different stories come up spontaneously while reflecting on how best to share the key message. There is never one way to share a Story for Impact. Since these earlier stories are not visible in the video of my TEDx talk here, I like to share with you in this post some of the Stories of Impact that I had to leave out in the final version.
STORIES OF IMPACT – VECTORS OF LOVE
We are standing on the edge of two different futures. One is the future of collapse via the breakdown of our civilisations and all the vital eco-systems on which we depend. The other is the future of our transformation and the breakthrough at the moment of our darkest night. Which future do you choose? In one direction you become a Vector of Love for a world in change, in the other direction you become a Vector for destruction.
How can you become a Vector of Love for a world in change? How can you help birth a future that is born from the process of change and transformation that is guided by Love?
In a living system when the components of a system do not learn to work together to address the challenges faced by the system, the system will collapse. When parts of our bodies start fighting each other, we get ill,.. and if left unresolved we die. So why then do we assume it will be any different for 7,4 billion people sharing one body – our Planet? It makes sense, right, to learn to get along, to learn to share the resources of our body, our planet, and to find peaceful solutions to the challenges that hit and effect us all?
We are the ones bringing on the crisis. Mother Earth is not doing this to us. We are causing the changes now affecting us, and the planet as a whole. Yet because we are a system, there is not one component of the system that can make the change for all us. So lets use our interconnectivity wisely, lets really work with this. If you and I are connected in visible and invisible ways, this can be precisely how we can affect change for the future we want. And this is what the journey of being a Vector of Love is all about.
To manifest the future we want we need a new narrative, a new Story and a different kind of language from the one that keeps us locked into collapse, fear and breakdown. The more we speak to the collapse and breakdown the more we move into despair and hopelessness. We then feel hindered by our connectivity instead of empowered by it.
Through my 20 years of work and research in transformational change processes on the individual and collective organisational levels, there are certain things about the nature of Life that I like to share with you, which can help co-create this new narrative for the Future we want. When people or systems are under stress and under pressure, when we are stretched to our limits something else gets activated in that process. Those who work as catalysts for new growth and transformational change know how to work with this. They sense it when it happens, and then bring it forth to guide it to new breakthroughs.
When I was only 18 years old, I met one of the leaders of the Romanian revolution that took place in 1989. He was an actor working in theatre. He shared with me his Story of Impact, how each Sunday people would come to watch him act and that in those few hours they spent time with him, they could dream freely again. They could reach in to places that felt locked to them during the day, and they could reach out to each other in ways that was not safe while going outside the walls of the theatre. The theatre became a place of hope, of inspiration, and a place where it was still allowed to dream and feel yourself free. In that way he gained the trust of the people. When the army marched to his theatre at the time of the revolution the leaders of the army told him: “you guide the revolution because the people trust you. You are like the soul of our country that we lost“. And he did, but he told them: “I will not become a political leader. I will lead this part of the change process and then others will need to take over from me after my role is done“. He became a Vector of Love in the moment of crisis. He moved the process from breakdown to breakthrough for a new system. I was so young when he told me this story during my visit to Scotland. It was a full moon on the night he shared this with me and we were standing together under the full moon in the Scottish High Lands. It was a magical moment that stayed with me forever and inspired me to become a Vector of Love myself.
At that time I did not yet know the impact his Story would have on me and I was in fact training and dreaming to become a classical pianist. I had been accepted by John Bingham, one of the most talented British pianists and trained by the old Russian maestros, to become his student Yet my path called me in different directions, and I realised 12 months later that my place was not on stage as a pianist since I could not reach enough people for what I felt was necessary to help co-create a better world and future. I then went to study International Law and Political Science at Leiden University (the Netherlands), which three years later brought me to Pretoria (South Africa) in 1996 to study the change over from Apartheid to new democracy building. Again, I realised that I needed more experience and a deeper understanding of our humanity. I moved to Australia in 1998, where over a period of 8 years I learned from and about the Australian Aboriginal knowledge systems for our humanity, and their understanding of our interconnectedness as Custodians of the Land.
I am also a Mother. I have two children, who inspire me deeply. I relate with our planet as my Mother. I see how she rebalances, regenerates and revitalises herself. Yet she also shows me the critical boundaries to system integrities that we must not cross. Mother Earth in all her beauty and all her strength gives me the courage and vision to fight for what I want to maintain, in myself, in my community, in my relationships and for our future, so that we may all enjoy a truly good life, and not one built on false assumptions and the cost of others.
Too many people are focussing right now on change and transformation, too few people are focusing on Love. What makes the difference? Love is to stand for that we do not want to loose or give up in the process of change that can lead to collapse.
We may save our future by means of all kinds of engineered and technological green solutions. We may even find ways to engineer our minds to no longer have customer preferences for fossil fuels, lol. Yet what are we loosing in that process if we only focus on the outcome and not on the process that brings it forth? A Vector of Love reaches so deeply inside to Love itself, that it gains the strength to reach far outside to those who need it the most.
Strong high trees always have long deep roots. Most of the strength from where we source is under the ground, under the soil, inside our hearts where this is invisible for others. Yet without this we cannot reach out.
Start with yourself. Start reaching in for what truly matters to you. Remember who you are amidst all that happened to you in your life. Remember who stood for you and by you and how that made you feel. Keep the direction of your arrow, your Vector, guided by Love to makes sure that we keep the integrity of who we truly are, in tact.
Give direction to the change that is now upon us. Make it safe, for yourself and for each other. Bring forth your love, not for things or images, but love for Love itself. Love is what becomes activated as we are stretched, as stress is exerted on our systems. It is what pushes back to the forces of decay and collapse. See and understand this, just like the generals did of the army who led the crowd to this leader of the Romanian revolution. The crowd was activated for change; they were fed up, no longer willing to accept the systems forced on them. Yet this actor activated the love by connecting their desire for change with a larger vision, inspired by the stories he had shared with them for all those years.
Remember that vectors are highly elastic yet somehow they don’t loose their essential qualities. By being stretched we also build resilience and become stronger in a dynamical way. Love keeps the integrity of our inner most being intact and precisely there where we cannot always reach ourselves.
This is why I believe that the Vector of Love metaphor can provide us such a powerful imagery for a new narrative right now to help our wold in crisis. Especially now during this time of great change when many people fear the collapse of the worlds they have known, both inner and outer. By changing that focus from fear to love, we change the course of the Future that we are co-creators of.
THE FINAL VERSION – THE TEDx ALC TALK
And this is how the final version of the TEDx talk became. The main message can be applied to many different contexts. The way of sharing the message will continue to evolve and deepen as more Stories of Impact are created through our Vectors of Love™ Initiatives.