It’s the end of February - two months in to 2017! Vancouver is still freezing and battling with snow storms, many people (including myself) very much want to see and feel the spring sunshine burst through the grey clouds. I know that people laugh and roll their eyes making new year’s resolutions however I knew that I had to do things differently in 2017. Looking back, I did not make an official resolution at the end of 2016 but I pushed myself to do something different and stretch out of the dull boring treadmill of work life spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week trapped in one building with no windows and not seeing daylight until the weekend. As it became apparent that I wanted and needed a change, I discovered Groundswell. As soon as I met some of the facilitators of Groundswell I knew I was in the company of great people who understood that the world is changing and we do not all want to work in a comfortable salary job with good benefits until retirement. I felt at ease, relaxed and that maybe these people could help and give me the kick start that I needed to be the change that I wished to see.
I signed up for their 6-month social entrepreneur program without a clue on how I was going to pay for it or even if my job would allow me to take time off for the classes. I just did it, it felt right and I like to follow my intuition. Of course, everything came together – my job accepted my request to go part time and I pulled some money from here and there and came up with the reasonably low fee. I was all set!
I started the program in January and met the number 6 Cohort and as a group we all shared similar outlooks on life. We not only want to be entrepreneurs and create business ideas but we also want to make change for the betterment of our community. We all shared the passion for creating meaningful work so Groundswell took us in and the process started!
Two months in and I feel very overwhelmed with the big project that I simply do not know how to start, define or begin creating. Is it just too big for me to achieve? Can little old me be the start of such a big change when there are already so many others advocating strongly for change and getting nowhere? This is a confusing time in both life and the world – a world where Donald Trump is president of the United States of America. Even through all the fear of the reality of a Trump presidency being real life almost gives me hope in weird way, literally anything can and will happen at this point in the world.
Does it seem so ridiculous that a British girl with a fierce personality can change Canadian society? It seems like a whole societal change is needed, one more focused on us being humans. Not products, not machines and not robots who make someone else rich but fully functional social beings. I know that this does not seem to make much sense in a capitalist society but we must start to look at humanizing our world.
I feel weirdly unproductive when I begin to think about a brilliant idea that can or may spark change, like I am stood still on stage ready to sing but nothing comes out. I feel like I’m choking and everyone stares waiting for me to do something but I am stuck in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of trying something that does not exist yet, fear of having to face trying and giving up and heading back to a 8-5 job with my tail between my legs. Fear that moving to Canada was all for nothing, no purpose and I will fall and fail trying to make a change.
I think everyone at some point in their life has a moment where they suddenly stop and realize, ‘Why am I here?’ not just in the physical ‘where are my feet situated’ sense but in a philosophical sense. Whatever your beliefs are as to the point of our lives here on earth we must all agree that if not for a point then why are we here?? If you listen to your heart, passions and desires they can take you in crazy places which do not seem logical at all, sometimes downright illogical! However, these decisions have always been the best decisions I have ever made. So there must be no exception this time, I have to push through, be strong and swallow the fear as this point in time is all I have.
I remember from one of Gilad’s Personal Development classes he spoke about how the journey of learning is spiral, NOT linear. It is often thought that when we draw or visualize our learning process we think of a linear line from A to B.
This implies that there is a start point to learning and an end point. As we all know not everything always goes smoothly or according to plan so to visualize learning in any sense (academic, personal etc) as a constant level is unrealistic. If we remember that we are humans, we do make mistakes or go forward one step but end up going back two steps at times. Learning definitely has its ups and downs which is why thinking of learning as a spiral really makes more sense to me!
Your start point is wherever you are and with a little confidence and movement you begin your journey. You feel unconfident at first but learn a few things which get you to a ‘safety’ point. Many people chose to stay here with this level of knowledge never wanting to ask any more questions.
However once you become open to learning and start asking these meaningful questions you realize there is much you do not know! Here I am bang in the middle of the unknown and it’s scaring the heck out of me! Groundswell have said to ‘trust the process’ so at this moment through the fear and anxiety I am going to continue to keep learning and follow the spiral to the top. Looking at the learning journey as a spiral clearly sets out a path for me to understand – to become all that I can be I must not stay in safety, I must take the leap to the unknown to be able to rise higher than I was before. Just imagine if this continues how much we can learn!
At present I am unsure of where my Groundswell learning journey will take me but I have to have hope that collectively together we will make change and start believing that I really can make a difference.