Black Belt Leader As Beginner: Part Fifteen

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

 John Lennon

Black Belt Leaders value the wisdom of many traditions, especially when it comes to teachings about how to participate with dynamic change.

Traditional peoples over the millennia have grown accustomed to dynamic change as the norm ? being so closely tied and exposed to the unpredictability of Nature and its mysteries. As such, over the centuries some cultures have developed protocols and skillful practices that when facing dynamic change have allowed them to survive, some to thrive ; preserving their culture and their heritage. 

An example of one such culture is the Moken, the sea gypsies of the Andaman Sea, who have lived for hundreds of years on the islands off the coast of Thailand and Burma. They have recited the legend of “the Seven Waves” from generation to generation around their campfires, which describes what to do when seawater acts “strangely,” when it recedes from the shore in an unnatural fashion, when a tsunami is on its way. “Head for the hills,” the story advises. When the deadly tsunami of 2004 hit their island, the Moken people, having seen the signs, climbed to higher ground, and were saved, untouched by the tsunami’s devastation.

Unfortunately, very few of us as “Black Belt Leaders in the Making” have employed in spirit the kinds of protocols and practices that our ancestors have used when dynamic change is upon us. Instead, we prefer to align ourselves with Woody Allen’s humorous yet poignant comment, “I don’t mind dying (i.e. experience dynamic change). I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”  


Why do we feel this way? One reason might be because change is unsettling; it shakes things up: there’s something new on the horizon, but what that is exactly or what that will be is unknown. And for most of us, this uncertainty elicits fear, and as a result, we try to cope with this as best we can, seeking to ease our own and others’ concerns. We want to feel confident and assured that everything is going to be all right, even though at the moment that’s not our actual experience.

Ultimately, the wisdom of our ancestors tells us that we can’t manage change anymore than we can control the tides. We can, however, as “Black Belt Leaders in the Making” learn protocols and skillful methods that can enhance our ability to participate consciously with dynamic change, so we don’t merely get dragged through the changes. And when our own capacity to participate with change increases, we can then more readily facilitate change for others.