Recently I’ve been going along to Impact Hub in King’s Cross to join a group of others who are working through the U Lab Reinventing Democracy, Leading from the Emerging Future course.
I first came across the ideas in Theory U in the early days after losing Mark, when what I understood most was the process by which you could reach the bottom of the ‘U’ – the letting go, the suspending of judgement. This was useful to me at the time, because I felt as if I had to let go of all my preconceptions in order to find new ways of getting through, new strategies for coping, because nothing I knew was appropriate. Grief takes you into new territory in terms of who you are and how you respond to life.
It feels like I’ve been asking this question for a long while, or at least building up to it, but what do we do at the bottom of the U in preparation for moving out and upwards – moving on? It’s this space that seems to be about listening, sensing what is to come, sitting with the silence and not knowing, until something begins to take shape, form and coalesce.
It’s the question that is posed about what it is in you that has to shift before you can do the kind of listening required. It seems that it’s to do with the discomfort of not knowing – the fear that wells up in me when I think of the future is pretty strong. It is challenging to think of moving into space where there is expectation, expansion of horizons, and opening up to possibility. I want to, but that also seems like dangerous space.
I’m writing this in the Peckham Refreshment Rooms where I’m working alongside my friend, Ellie, who is preparing for a talk. At the Reinventing Democracy sessions we are forming coaching circles, which is also a welcome change from my often solitary work. I know I need to be on my own to write, but I also appreciate working with other people, talking things through with them. This seems like a time when connections are being made, and although nothing’s concrete yet, perhaps there is potential for collaboration. Again, it’s not entirely comfortable idea, but I think it’s the discomfort of coming in from the cold.