How can we be the change we wish to see?

Utopian dreaming is a delicate balancing act. How can we hang on to a dream and how do we lead by example while staying balanced ? 

I’ve often been called a dreamer. Campfire has a history of dreaming. In 2017, Convention 002 (Union Chapel, London) was entitled ‘Reimagining the Future’ We all have visions. it’s one of humankind’s greatest gifts is to imagine how the world might be and then act upon it to change something for the better. But never before has the balance seemed so fragile. 

Now, more than ever, new ethos, new values, new patterns, new language, new entities, new ways of governance are needed - and given the vacuum in the outmoded top-down society, those ideas have to come from us. That involves letting the imagination flow freely, inviting in a new way of looking at the world. The shifts have to be about *radical* change not just tinkering around the edges. The more a system turns rotten and starts to crumble, the more likely we are be able to usher in wholesale systemic change. 

So now feels like the time. Simple?

Not entirely. One of the key paradoxes for evolving humanity is how we live in a new earth-based modality whilst still operating in an old, outmoded system.

This throws up any number of questions so I’m going to put a few of the obvious ones out there to consider…

How do we navigate the bridge, which often feels narrow and unsteady, without an end in sight?  How do we maintain positivity, hope, resilience, balance, mental health and energy when people are falling around us in different ways (Dr John Campbell’s recent video looked at huge rise (16%) in non Covid-related deaths in Europe in summer months)

What processes are involved in getting to our true calling? Any amount of meditation and nature connection can help us separate from the hurly-burly of our day-to-day lives but how do we best do the work to discover what can make a difference?  How we can transcend fear-based living traps, how we can make that switch from a ‘what’s in it for me?’ society to one where we recognise that we’re all inter-linked and that working for the good of all is the missing formula at the heart of world leadership?

How do we do the dance of the personal and professional? How much can the two be intertwined? Can we make a living doing something we love? How can we cut back on our debts and costs? How can we live more lightly, more frugally and with less possessions and clutter? 

How much energy do we give theories that a new world order is being planned by world leaders using governments and their citizens as conduits? 

What do we put our own love and energy into? New frameworks? More than ever, I sense that we need new concepts and ideas that are easy to grasp, new ways of doing democracy, new spaces where our individual voices can be heard and validated. 

What do we do when we hit a wall? What support mechanisms are around us? When there is an obvious disconnect between our utopian dreaming and the harsh reality of what is unfolding under the death-throws of capitalism, how do we find a space of balance that doesn’t exhaust us, drain and diminish us?  

How do we step up and make a difference? How do we invite people into their own power when often that power is seen as being limited by circumstance, by family commitments, by health considerations? How do we break free of lives ruled by fear, by debt, by a plethora of regulation? 

How do we find the space to give others the process, create the space where they can fulfill their potential, master new skills, challenge them to push themselves beyond their comfort zone?  

How do we move out of busyness, distractions, addictions, sops, the old models and clichés (‘retail therapy’ anyone?)

How do we keep a check on what we soak up, what stories, vested-interest reporting and media bias we expose ourselves to?  News, propaganda, advertising, social media algorithmic feeds that use our creativity as data and the raw material for vast profits, peer group pressure, even community-think can all have an effect of brainwashing. One only need to look at many of our friends’ posts around the Queen’s death to realise how people can be swept away.

If you’re not familiar with the works of Mattias Desmet and ‘The Psychology of Totalitarianism, check him out. (

There are many questions and I’m sure we each have our own suggestions as to what the answer might be.

That’s why connection and discussion is so important. Doing the dance and being open. Open to change, open to a completely different take to our own, not automatically jumping to fence and taking sides, agreeing to disagree, looking beyond the bubble, remaining conscious of the polarity and where it might occur, looking for common denominators, joining the dots. 

Some further food for thought:

It is worth remembering that every conversation has the potential to make a difference, to change lives. 

It is also worth keeping our eyes and ears open to where the seeds of change might come from. Awareness through other peoples’ ideas will stimulate our own imaginations and help us to hone our own visions, to inspire us. 

The Way Forward

This new system essentially offers a model for a post-Capitalist world but it goes much further, tapping into new experiences around shared leadership, horizontally organised rather than top-down government / organisation, and as Frederic Lalou put forward in his landmark book ‘Reinventing Organizations’’ - a guide to creating organisations Inspired by the next stage of Human Consciousness "The shift to Evolutionary-Teal happens when we learn to disidentify from our own ego. By looking at our ego from a distance, we can suddenly see how its fears, ambitions, and desires often run our life.”

Could a team of people with different skillsets come together and work collaboratively, each one taking on the leadership role when their expertise comes into play and then uncoupling and becoming a follower when the next leader takes centre stage?  No single person would be in charge of running the show. In this situation – there are many leaders – each one an expert in a different field. Each task is portion of a task is a signed to someone who is best equipped.

Can we hope for an aligned but autonomous team, all working towards a common goal and stepping up as leader as and when each person’s unique gifts skills and expertise is required?  Or is this still too vague a concept? Are we far enough down the road of emergence as to know when to take on the leaders roll and when to relinquish it? Will we be driven by our desire to achieve the greater good or will we be controlled by our egos to hold onto the throne for as long as possible, like many of our so-called leaders?

So I’d like to propose a few suggestions for those who may have been inspired enough in their recent reflections to want to make changes. These are spontaneous, random and meant as a kind of ‘starter-for-ten’ as the saying goes. I often find that writing things down and making lists is a good way to get inspired and motivated. 

1 Meditate, find quiet space and time, adopt your own rituals

2 Build castles in the air - didn’t neglect time to dream, envision 

3 Notebook, sketch pad - don’t miss the chance to note down that brainwave or heart flutter

4 Work on how best to articulate your vision - how does it land with friends when you explain it? Ask them for feedback.

5 Join a community where you can talk about it, hear others ideas, realise that you’re not alone. Catharsis 

6 Tap into that community as a safe space for transformational therapy. Some of us were lucky enough at Campout to witness the effect that Yael’s breathwork sessions had on us.

7 Look at your ‘World A’ situation - what can be changed, housing, air quality, friends, food, possessions, carbon footprint 

8 Who are your ‘Trailblazers’?  Who influences and inspires you? Make a list.  With many influencers, you might resonate with some if not all of what they say not all. Trust your gut instinct. It’s a good exercise to do.

9 How we do conversation is so important.  Deep listening, making our points land succinctly, space and rhythm, and art of conversation and the joy in can hold when everyone is aware not to dominate the space.

10 Be present. Find enchantment in the everyday. Reject fear about the future, create your own reality. Words are spells and it all emanates from you. 

And one more for luck!

11 Think of community leadership as a murmuration, moving away from straight lines, whether vertical (top-down) or horizontal (networked) 

I’d love to hear from others how we can collectively make that move through the liminal towards the next stage of human consciousness. And how you might come with us on the journey….

Thanks for being on the journey so far... 

Edited version of original post from Campfire Network 06.10.22

Open Heart Therapy

Radical change is as likely to come from within as it is from Mick Lynch's strikes, XR's actions or votes of no confidence. Those things can still spark change but the 'parallel polis' is unfolding underneath, starting with each of us.

Today I have been reading about physician Gabor Maté’s new book which examines the profound physical and psychological harms of “normal” capitalist society, which makes a small minority very well-off while sowing illness and despair on a vast scale. As a backdrop, I remarked that it doesn’t help that a fair few of the people running the UK are people who were abused at boarding school. It's ingrained our our outmoded systems, in the patriarchy. It’s no wonder we’ve perpetuated this trauma played in out in competition, bullying, lies, wars, cover ups and exploitation. All these things are inevitably hallmarks of what feels like the dying embers of capitalism. 

After doing two Campfire events over the summer, at a time when confidence in governments is hugely diminished and those dying embers are surely being revealed for what they are, against a backdrop where policies around ‘growth’ and ‘progress’ are being pinpointed as leading to existential threats, it’s always interesting to bring things back to the source, back to love. And this is probably where the true alternatives to capitalism start to take root. I’ve often said that the change we need to make at the most fundamental level is based on the question ‘how do we move from a ‘what’s in it for me?’ culture to one where we place collective and planetary wellbeing firmly centrestage.

People are questioning. This is good. They are asking many questions about how we adapt to climate breakdown, about how we can make the change we wish to see, about the bias of media, about how we react to the globalists who are conspiring to enact their vision of UN Agenda 2030 or asking what we can do about the ongoing transferring the ownership of the global commons to the stakeholder capitalists.

My answer tends to be along these lines. In essence it’s about matters of the heart. 

What would love say? I see an earth which is calling for our stewardship, our attention and our resonance with and embracing of nature. That’s a starting point.

People wonder whether we’re on a spiral or whether there are grounds for optimism?  Many sense that there is a plan behind the manipulation and that a ‘Great Reset’ is facilitating the economic transition demanded by the unelected holders of private capital. 

So if the foundations of Capitalism 2.0 are being being constructed, what can we do about what some see as the encroaching AI-dominated world where Digital IDs, Central Bank Digital Currencies on permissioned blockchain built and managed in-house by central bankers and governments, carbon footprint trackers, a new food ecosystem, smart cities and conditional UBI keep us all tracked in some kind of dystopian nightmare scenario?

My reply might take as a starting point the words of Thomas Schorr-Kon’s Campout session as he framed it earlier this summer. It’s in stark contrast.  

We will explore how to rest in the heart and what true courage is, looking at the many processes that block us from staying heart connected. We will endeavour to create a map that identifies the blocks so we can recognise what causes us suffering and let go of these processes.”

The letting go is fundamental to the unchaining process. We all have what it takes to step out of the tumble dryer into our own power.

I sense that the world is crying our for a tenderness, an embrace, a different credo to underpin everything. 

People might say ‘you softy’, you’re too tender. But losing that tenderness or blocking it out is what threatens to numb us to the horrors of war, the inhumanity that is inherent in much of the posthuman condition.

If it really is time for action, why don't we make a pledge to open ourselves up? To identify and call out the blocks that are causing us suffering and let go by casting them out. ‘Being open’ was the fundamental theme to this year’s Campout. Taking a chance on vulnerability, bringing that vulnerability into the heart and resting there, staying in our heart-centred love that we’ve been conditioned over the years to resist through fear, through shame. Let’s look after our own hearts and cherish our own soft centre. 

This shift at our core might just become so disarming, so empowering as we tap into our wisdom. We could all become Life Coaches. We could all plant seeds. We could each find that liminal space to come up with and construct an everyday utopia which each one of us could take forward as our unique gifts into the world as we learn to articulate our vision through the blessings of words. A framework and new language for the real changes starts at home, starts with us and how we each feel into the more beautiful world of our dreams. 

We are the change, in these ways, teaching others... deep listening, use of language, being aware of where the power lies, pulling the wool from our own eyes and others, working co-operatively, working with nature's rhythms. The more we use those new tools in our dealings with each other, the more it becomes the norm in our circles, the more it spreads beyond those circles, the more it renders the existing system and its morals, habits and language obsolete. 

Some of today’s radicals may be lying on motorway tarmac or climbing trees, fastening themselves to objects of love. Other radicals may be going off grid, or simply sitting and being rather than constantly doing. What we can learn from being silent and still is immense. Observing, watching, not getting too involved, keeping the bird’s eye view. Radical change is as likely to come from within as it is from Mick Lynch's strikes, XR's actions or votes of no confidence. Those things can still spark change but the 'parallel polis' is unfolding underneath, starting with each of us.

Let’s be conduits of connection, ambassadors for community, stewards for collaboration and for sharing. Let’s get out in nature (it’s part of us all, not separate) and lavish it with abundant care, with attention to detail, with an awareness of its cycles and rhythms. And bring that awareness into other aspects of our everyday lives. 

Let’s be playful and brave, let’s keep dreaming, let’s delight in the rhythm of an open conversation, in our uniqueness and our differences. Let’s really notice what a difference loving ourselves and others can make. And from there, new ways, alternatives to capitalism start to take root. Systemic change starts with us. That’s you and me being human, alive and present in the moment.

Kindness really is the only way forward, love is the answer.  An answer, at least, but a very important one. One to keep uppermost in our hearts. We reap what we sow. Let’s find the true courage that’s resting in our hearts and feel just how much can be changed through this transition. 

Nurudeen Ushawu once said, “Be soft, don’t let the world make you hard. Be gentle, don’t let the people make you difficult. Be kind, don’t let the realities of life steal your sweetness and make you heartless.”

Blog originally posted on 19.10.22 on Campfire's Network