SIX DEGREES OF EVOLUTION…
“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself”
For much of my life, I’ve felt as though I’ve been navigating this journey alone. From growing up at loggerheads with my family to time spent trying to carve out my place in the business world, the truth is that I’ve always felt a bit ‘different’… a bit of an outsider in my own life.
Having lived and travelled through a lot of different worlds, experiences and cultures, this feeling of separation has at times been both a gift and a challenge – It’s given me a fresh perspective from which to observe change, but on the flip side; it has often been a lonely path.
Whether it’s travelling the world, forming your own company or reinventing yourself and starting again, the challenge of innovation and transformation can be a rather isolated and bumpy ride. The moment you make the commitment to do something or to journey somewhere, your identity is instantly defined as being ‘different’. You’re defined by your separation and although we find strength in this identity, equally it can be filled with sadness and pain.
Over the last decade, I’ve found that my focus on ‘evolution of the self’ started much like my life began: with no safety and security, an absence of ‘constants’, walking a path that at times felt poles apart to that of my peers.
When I first started talking about ‘evolution’, it was often met with strange looks, opinions about Charles Darwin and a general misunderstanding of the word. I am not focussed on biological evolution but on the evolution of the people of the world. I do not want to ‘fix’ people, rather to inspire others to take a closer and more conscious look at their lives, to take responsibility for what they bring and to encourage anyone and everyone to be open-minded and flexible when it comes to their own unique evolution. For the purpose of clarity and outside of ‘Darwinism’, evolution is generally defined as ‘a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form’.
In the era of connection that we now live in, we have an incredible tool at our fingertips and the power to change the ‘hand we’ve been dealt’ into the ‘life we want to live’. The world wide web lets us connect digitally, enabling us to form our own communities, to locate our tribe and to discover the place where we feel like we can belong. It lets us connect with the like-minded, engage with the people who have similar passions and to collaborate with those who champion the same things that we do.
One of the greatest sources of human suffering is the illusion that we are alone and that process of separation can be a great source of pain to a vast number of people. Transformational work and change-making work involves community and what this means is that you don’t have to do it all alone anymore.
It’s taken quite a bit of work for me personally, to reach a point where I understand that we cannot complete our own ‘evolution’ without community. Loneliness can sometimes be an addiction, a trap keeping us safe in our past, keeping us company in our old and familiar story. It’s important to learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and to be more vulnerable by taking ownership of our ‘new story’, taking responsibility for our ‘now’. We aren’t here to do things alone, we don’t transform or change in isolation, transformation requires a witness – In order to grow and evolve into the people we want to become, we need to find our people, we need to find that place where we feel we can belong.
A key part of our evolutionary journey is to ‘connect’ to others. We should consciously seek out our community and if doesn’t exist, then we need to create it. Your evolution doesn’t end with you, my evolution doesn’t end with me – transformational work ripples out far beyond you, me and our personal stories, it becomes integrated into the tribes we join, the communities we form, and the way that we lead – our stories don’t exist if there is no one around to hear them…
As I mentioned earlier, this point has taken a while to become part of my understanding and because of that, my community is eclectic yet still relatively small but the lessons have been learned and the toxic ones have been asked to leave. What now remains is formed of the evolving ones, the positive thinkers, the storytellers, the innovators and the change makers… those defined not by their separation but by their evolution.
“There is no passion to be found in playing small and in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”
If my words resonate and you’re one of the evolutionary ones, it would be my pleasure to connect with you. You can reach me via Twitter @EvolutionOfoME or my personal website: www.SalleePoinsetteNash.com