Answering The Call is a leadership program that investigates the intersection between spirituality and leadership, exploring spiritual development as a key foundation for tapping into and expressing one’s unique leadership in the world. The program was conceived as we experienced the way in which unique leadership arises naturally when one starts to consciously embody the qualities of their Unique Self. It is designed for leaders and change agents who feel called to contribute to world change and aspire to tap into their unique gifts. This program is our response to a need epitomized by these words from Marc Gafni, “The Unique Self mystics have taught for over a thousand years that every human action should be preceded by an affirmative statement of meaning: I do this act for the sake of unifying and evolving divinity. When every significant action is taken for the sake of the all, infused with a profound awareness of evolutionary context, one stops reacting from ego and begins acting from the place of a powerful evolutionary integrity.”
This powerful statement elicits the inquiry: How would the world change if more people considered the sake of unifying and evolving divinity before taking any decision or action, hence taking responsibility for our collective future together? And what would need to shift in people’s current consciousness so that they could hold and sustain such a vision?
We define leadership as the capacity to influence change – from personal change to collective, organizational, cultural or systemic change – through the way we strategize and direct our intentions and actions. We are all leaders to some extent – whether in a formal leadership position, in an activist role or just as leaders of our own life, most of us are involved is some sort of leadership capacity. What the world needs however is a greater number of leaders that can create and support a more ethical and sustainable future for our planet. This is true for everybody, regardless of his or her leadership engagement.
It is our experience that when one starts to more consciously embody the qualities of their Unique Self, their unique capacity to lead arises naturally and we believe that in this context, leadership can become an act of conscious evolution that has the power to transform a situation or state of being that is less than optimal, in service of the highest sake of the all, thus evolving divinity. From this vantage point, leadership appears to us as one of the most critical enactment of our times and we can only imagine what it would be like if a critical mass of our world’s leaders today were holding these intentions and taking action from their Unique Self.
And yet, too often, our highest intentions for creating a better collective future dissolve as we become overwhelmed by the world’s suffering. The pain is so vast and complex that we numb ourselves to it out of our helplessness and inability to heal it. We close our hearts. Having closed our hearts, we become alienated from the very Source, the Love Intelligence that holds and sustains us.
Unique Self is the portal for arousing this consciousness, the Love Intelligence, which can hold and address the pain of the world. When we awaken to our Unique Self, we are able to release sole identification with our Separate Self consciousness. Having embraced the whole of existence that is often referred to as True Self or Oneness, we become aware that out of that expanded consciousness emerges a need to individuate and we come to recognize our unique perspective. This is our emerging Unique Self starting to reveal its unique contours and gifts. Quoting Marc Gafni again, “Unique Self is the personal face of essence, our ultimate nature – it is the unique God-spark or love intelligence that lives in you, as you, and through you.” As we continue to live more consciously from our Unique Self consciousness, we start to feel more at home in our own life, with a deep sense that our story is irreducibly important. We realize that all along we have tried our best to carry out a unique purpose and obligation and this realization gives rise to greater self-compassion and appreciation for all we are, as we are. This is an important shift in the course of the emergence of Unique Self, because in becoming more intimate with our own life we also start developing a new relationship of intimacy and mutuality with the universe. This is when our unique leadership comes online, arising naturally as a creative spark. Grounded in the awareness that we are one with the whole, our unique obligation that is ours to fulfill naturally arises. From this state of clarity, we are no longer stuck in overwhelm in the face of the impossible task of “having to fix an ailing world” nor do we wonder any more what our life purpose might be. Instead, our purpose becomes us . . . it arises naturally from our own unique story along with the sense of responsibility to fulfill it as best we can. We believe that if and when more people open and surrender to this way of being, individually as their Unique Self and collectively as an evolutionary WE Space of Unique Selves, this will create a new way of relating and functioning as a species. Ultimately, this new way of being can and will change the world.
Recent research on human development shows that as adults grow into higher levels of awareness, their capacity for perspective taking increases which in turn impacts what they do, how they do it, who they are and are becoming. It appears that as consciousness evolves into these higher levels, the capacity to access and express spiritual qualities starts to emerge from one’s own unique expression. Leaders who access these states of consciousness – whether from a structural stage from which they live, or as states of consciousness that they cultivate, seem to all report an expansion of the capacity to tap into what is often called the “ground of being”, or the “causal field”, “point zero” or also, what Otto Scharmer refers to as “the bottom of the U.” No matter what we call this “place,” the qualities that are evoked by those who access it have to do with being able to stop one’s habitual train of thought while becoming present to a sense of “what wants to happen for the highest good of all”. In the Unique Self language, it is described as a shift from “my will to God’s will” as we start hearing and listening to the whispers of our Unique Self.
Empowered by Marc Gafni’s Unique Self spiritual teachings, as well as drawing from the work of Susanne Cook-Greuter and Terri O’Fallon’s leadership developmental research, Ken Wilber’s Integral Framework, Integral Coaching™ and Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, Answering The Call is a nine months intensive program. It combines on-site retreats and intercession training with extensive individualized coaching utilizing our Unique Self Coaching methodology to develop leaders’ unique leadership through facilitating the emergence of their Unique Self. Through a series of enacted prototypes and practices designed to create more capacity to access a deeper source of wisdom, participants of this program will cultivate a new awareness of conscious being and becoming that can allow the “future that wants to emerge” to come to awareness and action in service of the love intelligence that lives in us, as us and through us.
The Unique Self Coaching Collective will be offering an Answering The Call beta group in the fall of 2015. For more information write firstname.lastname@example.org