Cultural Creatives…Are You One?

What if your current transition is calling forth a greater invitation?

Cultural Creatives is a term birthed by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson in their book: The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World.

Cultural Creatives emerge.

Often inspired and guided to step beyond approaches steeped in polarity, predictability & exclusivity.

This emergence arises from a deep desire for change; inner/outer sustained tensions and a final surrender.

All qualities common in transitions.

Transitions are palpable experiences that are process oriented and archetypal in nature.

Transitions are also great teachers. They teach us to develop inner muscles of resilience, creativity, courage; awaken to our innate strengths and tap into something that lives beyond our body, time, conditioning & circumstances.

If we embrace the process of transitions, we’re inevitably brought to an edge that invites us to look deeply at our attitudinal landscape of beliefs, values & attitudes. This begins to soften our focus so we can entrain the possibility that maybe what is happening outside of us actually has a deeper inner connection.

In many ways, transitions invite each of us into a passageway where there are no victims; time emerges as a construct of our thinking and love seeks to guide our choices.

It’s here, in this quiet, still and often dark place that the process of transition reveals a code. A code that illuminates implications beyond our personal lives.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Two questions to pause & ponder:

  • How might your transition have cultural implications?
  • What role could creativity & community play?

My intention is to share information designed to: ignite & inspire your thinking about these questions, and call forth your cultural creative impulse.

The Creative Leader

Ken Robinson
has said that “The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.

How many times have you started with a new group; job or project with others, only to hear how it is and how it has been. Often we say we want different & yet continue to embed processes that keep the same in check.

Traditions, processes and structures of predictability offer a sense of security and stability. Life today, across many arenas is quite uncertain. So, it’s of no surprise that we gravitate towards what creates certainty.

And, how might this quest for certainty be slowing our passage/progress?

Change is the new certainty.

Change is happening whether we like it or not. 

What once was viewed as something to be managed; change has now become our new state of norm.

In fact the one core certainty is, expect change.

What does this mean for us individually? Collectively?
Some are welcoming this and stepping up to the plate with their unique offerings to help us all ride the wave of evolution. This approach can at times feel at odds with traditional approaches to change management.

Holistic approaches to change include mind, body & spirit. Transitions unfold like a web of cascading rays of lights in our lives & organizations. Energy & information add to the knowledge base for many who seek to co-create the way forward differently.

Working with the energies of change organically calls forth deep questions of:

how are we/am I being; how do we/do I intimately relate to creativity and what do we/do I believe, value and hold as a possibility when it comes to change?

These inquiries take us to the edge of what we hold as possible for ourselves, each other & the systems with which we lead.

Understanding the past is perfectly admissible if your issue is accepting the past. But if your issue is changing the future, understanding will not take you there.

Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Pause & Consider your transition(s).

  • How else might you choose to relate to your creativity?
  • Are you willing to release the past?
  • What does your community, culture look & feel like?
  • What conversations are you having together?

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Jim Rohn

Imaginal Cells

Close to ten years ago, I dove into Bruce Lipton’s second book called: Spontaneous Evolution

I was excited to deepen a conversation that began to shift my thinking dramatically after reading his first book: Biology of Belief in 2008. 

So much of the wisdom shared in these two books inspired my own consideration of what’s possible. At the time I was still working in health care, leading change and supporting initiatives designed to improve systems of health practices & health leadership. I was hot on the pursuit to discover new ways to change “the system”.

A concept that clicked & still to this day inspires my thinking AND passion is the notion of imaginal cells

From within the dying population, a new breed of cells begins to emerge, called imaginal cells. Clustering in community, they devise a plan to create something entirely new from the wreckage. 

Out of the decay arises a great flying machine—a butterfly—that enables the survivor cells to escape from the ashes and experience a beautiful world, far beyond imagination. Here is the amazing thing: the caterpillar and the butterfly have the exact same DNA. They are the same organism, but are receiving and responding to different organizing signals.

Bruce Lipton

Imaginal cells to me represent the emergence of cultural creatives. When we each embrace the process of transition & embark on it’s great invitation we must transverse the ending of things before we leap into the new.

Pause & Consider

  • Can you see the imaginal cells in your systems ?
    (family; work; community)
  • Do you feel like an imaginal cell emerging from the ashes?

Embrace the Burn of Learn & Keep Asking Questions

When we stop learning, we stop growing. When we stop growing, well, we loose our connection with meaning, love & purpose.

Cathy Saunders, Choice Point Living

Learning I believe is one of our most precious gifts & capacities as a species. Often our greatest learning comes through a sort of burn. When things are flowing wonderfully, I’d suggest we learning and the kind of learning most often alive in transition comes with a burn.

There are great paradoxes alive today. Core system structures are dying. And innovators are emerging.

Diversity, gender, economy, business, education, health….you name it all have been pushing the membrane of potential. Can you feel it?

We’re asking ourselves deeper questions, together in many arenas of our lives, work & communities. This breathes hope into the moment.

Real solutions for our times, whether in our personal lives or culturally live in the courage of our questions. Our willingness to step into a space of uncertainty, where we don’t know, what we don’t know.

Ask what’s possible, not what’s wrong. Keep asking

Margaret J. Wheatley

Cultural Creatives Check in

Do you resonate with the call to be a cultural creative?

Want to explore & learn more?

Check out the list of attributes and various videos of relevant conversations here.

And remember, you do not need to travel alone!