Second Order Change

I met up with my friend Laurel before Sustainability Drinks last night. The city was hopping and the energy was frenetic. It took us a bit to get where we were going and the few drops of rain didn’t interrupt us once we got into conversation & catching up.
Sipping a locally brewed pear cider next to the Yarra, we talked about our work, her facilitation with community groups, reviewing a book etc. And she asked what I was doing with my business, a question I don’t enjoy much, just coming out of a reassessment and time of questioning what I’m doing. I wish I had something more definative and substantial to say. Seeking out collaborative opportunities, thinking about how to revamp my website, find new language to speak the value I have to offer. Starts to feel like blah blah blah sometimes.
Just before we headed up to Tjanabi she described what I was talking about, the work I want to do with my business, as ‘second order change’. I was intrigued by this term & asked her to say more. She described first order change as rearranging the deck chairs and the second as replacing the ship. This really struck a chord with me. It felt like something I’ve been strugling to name being articulated with such simplicity! Like a breath of fresh air, literally inspiring me! It gives me a new experience of what I’m doing is real, valid and important, not just a good idea inside my head!

Heaps of gratitude to Laurel for this revelation!

Southbank reflecting in the Yarra under Princes Bridge, we were at Riverland sipping cider, catching up.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

The Invitation

(This is the poem the book I’m reading is based on. It’s rocking my world right now.)

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to
be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.