Embracing Disintegration, Emptiness, & Chaos

Most of today’s leaders have been taught to measure themselves by their ability to keep things from falling apart and to fix them when they do. What courage it takes for the leader to endorse disintegration (those “plagues” that accompany the ending) and to embrace the emptiness and chaos that the neutral zone brings! But the wise leader knows that falling apart during a transition is essential. The same disintegration that is dangerous and frightening produces the new energy, identity, and purpose that the organization needs for the next chapter of its life.

William Bridges
Getting Them Through The Wilderness

Rebuilding Authentic Meaning & Identity

Rebuilding can be an incredibly challenging process. The work of growth requires detaching from and releasing deep-seated goals, identities, and assumptions, while also building up new goals, schemas, and meanings. It can be grueling, excruciating, and exhausting. But it can open the door to a new life. The trauma survivor begins to see herself as a thriver and revises her self-definition to accommodate her new strength and wisdom. She may reconstruct herself in a way that feels more authentic and true to her inner self and to her own unique path in life.

Carolyn Gregoire
The Surprising Benefit Of Going Through Hard Times

Rebuilding Ourselves & Our World

By Tedeschi and Calhoun’s account, the way that trauma shatters our worldviews, beliefs, and identities is like an earthquake—even our most foundational structures of thought and belief crumble to pieces from the magnitude of the impact. We are shaken, almost literally, from our ordinary perception, and left to rebuild ourselves and our worlds. The more we are shaken, the more we must let go of our former selves and assumptions, and begin again from the ground up.

Carolyn Gregoire
The Surprising Benefit Of Going Through Hard Times

Nothing is Different, Yet All is Transformed

This does not mean that the old world has been abandoned; rather . . . it is seen in a new way. The journey does not take away our old experiences, as we often fear before we embark. It simply gives them new meaning. . . . Nothing is different, yet all is transformed. . . . In this change of perspective, in the transformation of meaning lies the meaning of transformation.

Laurent A. Daloz
Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners

Avoiding a Parcelled Self

I haven’t defined a self, nor do I want to. A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming. Being does mean becoming, but we run so fast that it is only when we seem to stop — as sitting on the rock at the brook — that we are aware of our own isness, of being. But certainly that is not static; for this awareness of being is always a way of moving from the selfish self — the self-image — and towards the real.

Madeleine L’Engle
“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity

Playing Outside Time & Self

So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we also escape our self-conscious selves.

Creativity is an act of discovering. The very small child, the baby, is still unself-conscious enough to take joy in discovering himself: he discovers his fingers; he gives them his complete, unself-conscious concentration.

Mostly, no matter how inadequate my playing, the music is all that matters: I am outside time, outside self, in play, in joy. When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child, this is: art: prayer: love.

Madeleine L’Engle
“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity