The Tao of uncomfortable change Part 3

If following the dance of "x" and "u" energies is a good way to follow the Tao and uncomfortable change processes, how precisely can we do so?

Today, I feel uncomfortable, anxious, and self-critical. This is roughly my “u” energy. In this case the "x," or disturbing force, is an unresponsive world, or at least unresponsive according to some arbitrary timeline I hold. And so the "u" is an insecure part that this "x" impacts, riles up and disturbs. In this sense the "x" is “designed” for this vulnerable part of me.

If I stay with the "u" for a few moment it starts to waken. I get to know this part of me by focusing on my feelings and reactions. But we often stay with our "u" experience without enough inquiry into the "x" or the disturbing forces in life that we deem "not me or we."

We can learn about other experiences, perspectives, and energies of life by going beyond our personal experiences and shifting to, at least temporarily, "become" the other energy, the "x." So, if I take a moment and drop my own identity and become this unresponsive world, what will I find? I immediately feel more stable; I’m not in any hurry. I see that "Bill" is jittery, nervous, and impatient. But as the "x" I am slower moving than he is; I'm actually not unresponsive. And contacting this other part calms me down.

The dance of “u” and “x” is a helpful model for collective work as well. Consider a collective situation that you are part of, whether family, church, work group, or community. Is there an “x” energy that is currently disturbing your group? What is “u” of your group that the “x” is impacting? Perhaps the “u” experience needs more support and unfoldment. Maybe it needs to learn from the interaction with the “x” energy. As disturbing as the “x” might be, can the “u” learn from it?

The dance of “u” and “x” is usually an akward one, uncomfortable. Yet, as I suggested in Part two, this dance is one that often reflects growth processes and change. Developing fluidity as individuals and collectives with this dance is a power that can better weather even extreme change.

Stay tuned for Part four!

Join me at Modern Taoism: Finding Your Way in Life with Process Work in Berkeley Aug 27-28; at the Process Work Institute Portland Oregon Oct 15-16; or Breitenbush Hot Springs Detroit Oregon June 1-3, 2012.

Berkeley seminar info: Process Work Leadership & Facilitation Monthly Training Group begins August 6.  Free presentation July 24, 10am Berkeley Register: HUB Soma: Free presentation: Trouble at Work: Integrating Organizational Disturbances Register: