2015 Resolutions – art, not doing and paternalism

A few extra ideas and intentions drifted across my mind and captured my attention over the New Year Period…and could be called “resolutions”. The etymology of ‘resolution’ feels particularly apt here too, especially the reference to ‘loosening’, ’solving’
I say ‘extra’ because through investing in coaching, daily practising and ongoing inquiries, I’m fortunate to have developed some clear values, priorities and guiding principles and values for life…and mostly captured in this little diagram.
Andrew's Trichotomy


1. Refrain from ‘doing’ new ventures (or “Appreciate, grow and harvest what’s already sown”). The positive expression of this intention feels something like “Let go of the idea that you need to ‘do’ something new, which will allow you to be, connect and instead invest in nurturing and harvesting existing people, relationships, skills, practices, projects and ventures”. In support of this resolution, I’ve created a checklist that defines what a ’new venture’ means, and what criteria I will use to assess any new opportunities. I suspect that refraining from new ventures will allow more time, energy and generative relationships that let my best self to shine rather than always giving in to my impatience to ‘do something’ or preference to ‘design something’ (Note: my suspicions about how refraining could be enabling are based on my life experience so far, but also an understanding some of the dynamics of my 5/7 Enneatype e.g. Stressed 5s behave like 7s: http://www.enneatype.com/typefive.html ) I’m particularly curious about the new ways in which I may earn money while ‘doing’ less (projects, consulting, ventures); it may be writing, presenting, coaching, training, facilitating…who knows!

2. Refrain from being paternalistic (or “Discover the most appropriate expression of caring intention”). This means something like continuing to hold and deepen my caring attention, however shifting my expression from: paternalistic “knowing what’s best for others, as defined by me”, towards: mutual inquiry into “what’s enabling of my, your and our best, for all?” (i.e. shared inquiries in the practice of Apithology). Whether it’s relating to my partner, little girl, peers, friends and my community, I can sometimes fall into a pattern (pattern-alistic!) of intellectually deciding what’s best against some implied criteria and then making judgements, interventions or creating enabling structures that aren’t found in mutuality. In 2014 a less paternalistic (and even less martyr-like) approach has already borne fruit, from adopting clear ‘win-win-win-win’ (me, you, us, all) position with my work at Pollinators, right through to having open conversations with my 6 year old about how best to structure meal and snack times to enable healthy eating.
3. Live life as a work of art. My interpretation of a life lived as a work of art is two-fold: 1) Something general, founded in my appreciation for artists holding of an intention or vision that finds eventual expression through consistent, deliberate practice…even if it takes a thousand brush-strokes, a thousand different camera angles or a thousand edits, 2) Something specific, like a Mandala – a meaning-full representation of the whole cosmos, full of symbols, meaning, nuance and beauty . There are lots of ways for me to take inspiration from this intention, a sort of contours inquiry into “How can this moment, conversation or artefact be or become an artful expression of my deepest intention and most coherent practising?”
A final thought on this is probably an intention to ‘share my working as I’m doing, not just the final outcome’, of which I guess posts like this area an expression! Here’s to 2015 as the best year yet, for all, and forever!

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