The Tao of uncomfortable change, Part two

What makes it so difficult to change,  for individuals and collectives? One answer is identity. We naturally form identities in life, identities that help us feel a sense of self and functionality. Identities help us carry out various purposes beginning with giving us a self identity to "hang our hats on." This holds for individuals and collectives.

But identity can also be box of limitation. "I/we are this and not that." Fair enough until we bump into the "other," the one that we deem "not me," or "not us." It also can be a limiting factor when change is afoot. Then disturbance can rock or tickle the box of identity unless we are fluid or aware enough.

Troubling events; symptoms whether physical, relational or organizational; and "others" can signal the arrival of change. Evolution, positive change, and transformation mostly seem to happen without our bidding or without our full awareness. That makes life and change exciting and not infrequently stressful. Our identities are like familiar old shoes. We know them. The unfamiliar shakes up and pushes up against our "edges," the rough defining lines between what we know and what we don't, what we intend and what is unintended.

Organizations often experience conflicts that represent this collision between the known and the mysterious. And this may have little to do with strategic plan or mission. Systemic processes are alive, not easily tamed, and contain power that can be utilized for creative purposes. There are an infinite range of growth processes that may occur. One not uncommon process is the process of democracy. Sometimes organizations are hit by conflicts that push up against hierarchical structures and imply that this kind of change wants to happen beyond the expressions of any one person. Sometimes the opposite can occur when more hierarchy naturally wants to occur in a system that lacks it.

Somewhat arbitrarily we in Process Work refer to the "me" or "we" as the "u" energy, and the "other" or disturbing force as the "x" energy. Then it is following the dance of u and x as they meet, collide, and inform each other's awareness process. Want to follow the Tao of your individual or collective life in little and big ways? Then follow this dance as your main identity bumps up into momentary and longer term disturbers. The study and immersion into this meeting of known identity and mysterious "other" will probably show the deep current of actual movement and change. This again is often beyond the intentional. This is what life dishes up.