From an ongoing conversation started on Facebook
Last time when I updated the map of the Roles that I’m filling in my lifework, a year ago, I streamlined the 8 roles in 2014 to only 4 in 2015. At the time of that re-mapping I believed that the container for the multiple dimensions of my creative expression could be captured using only 4 directions.
Yesterday, my annual birthday contemplation of my life journey yielded a more complex picture. Looking back at 2015, I realized that I’ve been playing in way more roles than what can be summed up by last year’s map.
So, the hoped-for pattern of continuous simplifying didn’t hold. Instead, what I’m observing is more like a cyclic compression and expansion of the bellows of the accordion, allowing my creative energies expressing themselves through the music of their own choice.
What you will find in the new map below is patterned after the archetypal forces associated with the directions of the compass, portrayed in the Medicine Wheel of the first people of North America.
The map is also informed by the distinctions of Holacracy, an approach to the self-management of organizations that I’m using here for the management of self. I wrote a bit more about that aspect of building my Circle of LifeWork, here.
In Holacracy, Roles have Purpose and Accountabilities associated with them, and the Accountabilities express themselves through Projects. So do they in my lifework. The map presented below shows only the name and position of the Roles and their Purpose (in red font). I keep track my Accountabilities and their Projects in another tool. The map below is only the top layer of my Circle of LifeWork toolkit.
In my post in the Holacracy Community of Practice, referenced above, I wrote about my map, “Particularly for people with a multi-dimensional lifework, it can help with weekly and moment-to-moment prioritizing, as well as discovering hidden synergies across the Roles. I guess, it will also help me sustaining a greater clarity and coherence of how each Role contributes to the overall purpose of my Circle of LifeWork. Testing those hypotheses will be one of my creative projects for 2016.” Of course, a convincing validation of them would call for testing them by others too. If you want to experiment with mapping of your lifework, let me know how it goes.
One caveat to all this: as Korzybski’s adage goes, “let’s not confuse the map with the territory.” The territory here is the creative impulse that manifests in all of us in various forms. The map is the structure we create for playing with the patterns that connect those forms.
A contemporary teacher of evolutionary spirituality, Thomas Hübl says, “Life is in a constant tension between free energy and structure. If there is no good balance, energy might not have an impact on life, we are not able to manifest things around ourselves. We are looking for a healthy tension, a healthy balance.”
An unhealthy balance can be the result of the existing map (the structure) not having the requisite variety to account for the emergent forms of creative energy, as it was the case before my updating it yesterday. Its symptom was an ongoing, nagging feeling that one or more of my projects are falling through the cracks of my memory.
An unhealthy balance can also be the result of overstructuring, which is frequently the consequence of defining Roles and Accountabilities not based on how energy is already manifesting itself, but on our imagining what could/should happen in the future.
Cultivating a Circle of LifeWork is more an art than a science. Artists work with the formless forces of their inner world, call it “soul” or “psychological energy”, and the forms in which their sculpture, or song, or film, or poetry manifests. It is that delicate dance of the formless and the form that we need to pay attention to as we build and maintain our Circle of LifeWork.
[Added a week later:] Those of us who have joined discovered this post and interested in the ensuing conversation, but don’t have enough time to read the 100+ comments, can get a sense of what is happening here, by going to a summary post on the dimensions of our play, here.
Rainer, one of the functions of publishing the map is exactly that: let likeminds and likehearts feel into which of the roles they are called to co-energize. These are not “my” roles, in the sense that I don’t own them. Only when people engage as co-players can the meta-pattern come alive: the connected web of evolutionary functions, for which I am only a placeholder.
And my evolutionary mentoring point is Teal into Turquoise, same for System Transition Advisor! The others, yes, I love playing in those already with you, and look forward to more in 2016!
I contemplate what other circles I might add for myself. It is indeed hard to put these things into words, isn’t it!!
The beauty of the fledgling mandala absorbed my gaze – for long minutes I became speechless – then I felt the power of the ancient Medicine Shields returning through our communication. “Medicine Shields were sacred, symbolic objects reflecting the personal vision and ‘medicine’ or spirit-guided inherent power of warriors.”
Karin, your art gives access to dimensions of the Circle of LifeWork, which my representation couldn’t express. I’m grateful that you were capable to intuit (into me you see?) those deeper layers and helped them come alive through the softness of the pastel colors…
subject line: Your circle of who you are
message: This is a great way of looking at our lives, integrating our essence to everything we do and see it from a system perspective… Thank you… I will follow upon on it looking at myself and my worlds in a different light. Thank you, Violeta
ps please feel free to publish… I do not have a private FB account
In the comments here, via FB Messenger, and email, I heard variations of that statement from many people, which made me think that if i published what is below this top layer of the my LifeWork toolkit, and how I plan to work with them, then it could lead to sharing with each other more of our “lifework” practices. In turn, that could lead the refinement of the toolkit, which could lead to better practices, in an ongoing spiral of improvement and camaraderie.
Of course such a community of “lifework mapping” practice would call for an infrastructure better than a thread of convo attached to a picture on FB, which takes a bit of work to sustain. If such a community was self-organizing and self-managing, then I’d request the Co-intelligence Catalyst and Technoshaman of my Circle to support it.
What you have done with your role mapping here is something I personally need to work towards… That is, knowing my own strengths, and potential, so that I can communicate this to others… It also means knowing myself, and what I want to do/learn more deeply… So that I don’t just end up with a job relating to my most easily marketable skills, but instead find a more meaningful role within a community…
On the bright side, not having full-time employment means that I can more easily participate in a hangout or any other co-creative experiment right now. Please count me as interested in anything that Springs out of this thread, and then some. From something as specific as a webinar on your LifeWork toolkit, to simply exploring our general interest in each other… “Each other” referring to a larger group, not just you an I (an idea that came up at the NextEdge festival)
I also have time to help organize. My primary email is chessscholar (at) gmail. Please plug me into where the action is. I will follow up in the other comments here too.
> it is sooo good to lift my nose from the specifics of daily work “in the trenches” and reconnect on this level with what the daily work is all about! And perhaps to generate some NEW “daily work” on the broader level.
Those thoughts inspired me to name an important value-adding function of shared, high-level mapping of our lifeworks:
The map allows us to see the territories of our lifework from a satellite’s eye, detecting the contours of the continents, then zooming in the bio-regions of any of them, and down to house where I’m writing these lines.
Noticing developments on the continents ( = Roles with their Purpose) and the bio-regions ( = Accountability areas) that we can see only from that high above, helps us reconnecting and re-adjusting our daily work ( = Projects ) with the needs of higher-level developments in our Circle.
[Words with upper-case initials in the paragraph above refer to specific distinctions of Holacratic self-management that we are applying to management of self.]
The practice for supporting our emergent collective intelligence about shared, evolutionary mapping, which I mentioned in the opening of this comment could consist of:
1. Naming actionable insights that we stumble upon in each other’s comments, where the actionable aspect worth our shared-attention was not made explicit
2. Creating a shared G.doc containing a growing a list of all such insights, complete with the observer’s recommendation for action.
Robert Best George, I put a similar question to your’s in the reply I gave to everyone who sent me an email. “What is it that you are hoping to do or discuss during our hangout?”
The following is my summary of what I got back:
A. Networking: Simply getting to know each other better, make friends, discover synergies.
B. Mapping: Everyone is interested in the process of creating a similar Lifework/Roles map, and in disucssing the benefits of doing the mapping and having a map.
C. Roles: The desire to explore some of our roles more in depth with each other. Discovering synergies between roles.
D. Evolutionary Purpose/Potential: What is it exactly, and how does one explore it?… A few people expressed having a gut feeling about our group, how we spontaneously formed, and are curious about our collective “evolutionary purpose”. Many are also interested in how mapping can provide some clarity or direction in life (Prioritizing).
E. Community of Practice/Play: How can we continue to collaborate in this field moving forward? What are the GAMES we could be playing together in this space?
F. Tools: General interest in learning to use new tools. (For sense-making, collaboration, communication). Interest in the tools that George has developed and wants to create a webinar around (Medicine Wheel and Holacracy related)