Note from EE Magazine: This was George’s 75th birthday. We honor you, George, as the Founder of Enlivening Edge, and appreciate you for all you have contributed to EE and to this world. Wishing you many more happy, healthy, contributory years!
Square pieces of paper in friendly colors are turning into menacing monsters, as they heap one on top of another on my desk. Each one has an important “to-do” scribbled on it and they keep growing faster than I can process them. If there was a 12-step program for ‘Overwhelmed Anonymous’, I could stand up at the meeting and say, I’m George Pór and my life has become unmanageable.
That is happening in spite of using a task management system and practicing and writing about prioritization. The truth of the matter is that if you live on the frothy edge of evolution, participating in any of today’s numerous movements for civilization renewal, you will be bombarded by zillions of new, hard-to-resist opportunities to engage with the flow of opportunities.
So, then what to do? Well, the “TAP”ping into Teal Art of Prioritization will help but is not enough. What you may also need is the practice of mapping your Circle of LifeWork (CLW) which is patterned after the Native American practice of casting a Wisdom Wheel. I was introduced to it by the elders of the Ehama Institute of Earth Wisdom Teachings, in 1992.
Casting my Circle became my personal tradition every year, around my birthday (that just passed). It consists of spending a couple of days in solo retreat, meditating on recasting my Circle, a practice I described here. In the visuals presented in this article, I share with you the fruits of this year’s ceremony.
What you just saw didn’t change much from last year’s Circle of LifeWork. (If you click on the link you can find more information of the CLW process.) The center of that mandala’s new name is “hollow bamboo” with a footnote which expresses my relationship to it that until now I kept implicit.
You can think of it as a self-reminder that I’m not the ultimate creator of this CLW. This particular form came through my contemplative practice that I was blessed to inherit from many generations of people using the Medicine Wheel for foundational life-orientation. I acknowledge and bow to a higher intelligence that has been supporting my practice.
Another change from my CLW 2018 is that the smaller circles inside the big one are no longer four roles representing the directions into which my creative energies are flowing but four sub-circles with distinct roles and associated projects within each.
That change was not caused by my arbitrary decision. Rather, I just recognized the many more roles that I’m playing at different times. I used the sub-circles placed in the four directions as a natural way to group them.
What’s not changed is the use of cardinal directions for denoting the position of my primary circles. This helps visualizing their resonance with the traditional representation of the elementals and the four human attributes:
The position of the elementals and human attributes in the directions of the compass, and their color, vary by the different indigenous traditions based of Earth wisdom. (The one that I’m using is based on the teaching by the Ehama Institute, New Mexico).
If you notice a rapport between two circles occupying the same position in the two wheels above and sense into the nature of their affinity, then you can also intuit how that energetic connection may affect my approach to pursue my work in the primary circles of CLW.
The next slide shows my support circles without which my work in the principal circles would be much more difficult if possible at all. I couldn’t possibly energize all the roles in the 4 sub-circles of my lifework, without the enabling circles shown below.
One of them, the “Family & Friends” is much more than just an “enabling circle.” In fact, they are at the heart of my web of relationships that connect me with the larger web of life.
Before you look deeper into my CLW 2019, get introduced to some lenses that may enhance your experience of absorbing and interpreting the other glyphs that will follow and, eventually, create your own CLW.
Future-responsive organizations started dropping strategic planning and, instead, embracing strategic navigation. Similarly, in my Circle of LifeWork, where I energize roles (rather than perform to scripted jobs), I navigate and respond to the ever-changing landscape because it’s more fun than planning out everything in detail.
It’s not that I don’t use any plans. When the CLW directions translate into projects and I’m working with others in my life, where the coordination of collective output also depends on everyone’s timely input, then of course, we do create some plans.
On the next 4 slides you will see the 4 sub-circles of my lifework, fleshed out with named projects and opportunities. They are integrated with my “Todoist” task management system that is, in turn, integrated with my calendar and email.
The closing slide below presents my Circle of Inner Work that provides the life-giving energy to all of the above.
If you look at all the professional roles, projects, and opportunities mentioned in this story and ask yourself, how can a 75-year young man accomplish all this, the answer is that by myself, I can’t. That’s because, first of all, they are not something to be accomplished.
Instead, I can play with and energize them only when some conditions in the social field surrounding me are ripe for them. Second, the signs of that ripeness manifest only in the feedback/feedforward from others who share the vision and have something to contribute to love it into being.
I sketched in this report of what came out from my birthday retreat, hopefully with enough detail to let you to feel into which of my work territories/roles/projects resonate with yours, if any.
If you find one, I’m open to explore how we can enjoy the best game on Earth together: liberating the “what it can be” from the “what is.”
Expressing my lifework visually gives me a better chance for “cross-training” across its various contexts. The work in any context of creative activity produces not only the object of its focus but, even more importantly, enhanced competencies in that domain. Some of them are also re-usable in the other context, thus, enabling exponential learning.
Visualizing my CLW may inspire you to think about the territories of your own life and what you could gain from engaging in a process similar to this. There’s another template for a process that dovetails with mine, developed by Daniel Schmachtenberger, here.
Imagine what could become possible for you and us if the kind of self-reflection that Schmachtenberger or I suggest would become a popular pastime. Why not test some steps to find out by drawing your map and posting a link to it?
I’m curious about your most important questions after reading my story. I may answer some of them, if I can. They could even spark a conversation when others, too, comment on them.
May 2020 bring you more of what you want to see in your life, in the life of your beloved ones, and in the world!
Republished with permission.
Featured image,, block quoting, and some paragraph spacing added by Enlivening Edge Magazine. Featured Image by Barefoot Peace from Pixabay