A Letter to SCC Applicants
Dear beloved applicant,
Back in the Summer of 2021 when Niyonu invited me to consider leading Seeding Conscious Co-creation I did not have a clue what her invitation was going to do inside of me. As soon as she mentioned this opportunity my spirit lept! It felt as though something innate in me was desiring to be seen. Something I had been hiding, or hiding from, yearned to be expressed. It felt like an invitation not just to lead a program but to step into a part of my wholeness, to step into all of myself. This was a profound experience for me. The invitation, and my acceptance of it, opened in me a passionate and deep desire for all of myself to be known, seen, and expressed - for me to be fully me in all my mess and wonder. I began to explore myself in new ways and explore questions like: What does it mean to co-create? What does it mean to be conscious about co-creating?
Fast forward to January 2022 - I was attending a Beyond Diversity 101 (BD101) intensive and we were going over the 4 Mindsets, a framework that looks at how we approach and act in regards to power. As Niyonu introduced #1 the Tyrant (acting controlling) I saw how I often took that approach in parenting my children. As we went over #2 the Victim (acting powerless) I realized I was currently, and had been for a long time, taking that approach in my relationship with my partner. And as we looked at #3 the Reactor (acting as though nothing will change) I noticed how it showed up in my work life. And as she defined #4 the Co-creation mindset (acting with both power and responsibility) I knew I had to practice acting in my power and responsibility in creating what is. I realized that I can be in a relationship, in community with others, in my authentic power and them in theirs and not feel threatened by each other but celebrate each other’s fullness. This realization and practice is transforming my life. I believe and have found that being conscious of and practicing co-creation leads to liberation.
If conscious co-creation is about being aware that each of us has power in creating what is then what is authentic power? There is often a quote used in BD101 from The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, which inspired me to pick the book up. Again, I did not realize that my world was going to be shaken. The book served as a reminder that power comes from within, not from anything outside of me. Real authentic power is found within our essential self:
"Our deeper understanding leads us to...a power that loves life in every form that it appears, a power that does not judge what it encounters, a power that perceives meaningfulness and purpose in the smallest details upon the Earth. This is authentic power.... Authentic power has its roots in the deepest source of our being. Authentic power cannot be bought, inherited, or hoarded.... Authentic empowerment is the goal of our evolutionary process and the purpose of our being."
As I looked inside and sat with my authentic self I began to see and explore another reality - our interconnectedness. I believe that when we can celebrate our own and each other's full authentic selves while understanding our innate interconnectedness there is rich soil for beloved community, for liberation, for transformation.
"Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world."
- bell hooks, Killing Race Ending Racism
So, what am I up to in writing this letter? As I was putting together the program overview, application guide, FAQs, etc... for SCC I felt the desire to use a format in which I could speak more from the heart. I've found that promotional materials often have a hard time articulating the essence of something. I wanted to speak more about my journey towards practicing conscious co-creation. The practice of me being my full essential self in relationship with you in your essential self is part of the essence of Seeding Conscious Co-creation. I intend for SCC to be about co-creating an inclusive and courageous community to practice this. I intend for SCC to be about practicing our collective liberation.
"How to do that? People have to experience their interdependence. To recognize that any limit in your ability to love limits my ability to love. One has to penetrate the truth of interdependence such that I am moved to a place in which I am not doing something for you, but it is actually about me, which is tied to you because there is, in an absolute sense, no separation."
- Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Sensei Radical Dharma
A core part of what I want this SCC cohort to practice together is:
Engaging with our whole selves and our inner authentic power,
Acting from a co-creative mindset - understanding we each have power and responsibility for creating what is, and
Experiencing and celebrating our interdependence.
I believe each of these practices help move us towards a more inclusive, equitable, and liberated community and world.
I, along with Leyanne and everyone else holding SCC, intend to work these practices into the ground to seed the practice of consciously co-creating liberation.
Will you join me?
I invite you to come to an information session to learn more and/or start your application today. Thank you for taking the time to read this as you consider applying for SCC.
With deep gratitude,
Slate Ballard (he/him)