Shift Happens: Changing Paradigms to Live Sustainably
After David Miller and Lee Van Ham met at the July, 2005 conference of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, they continued meeting. From that relationship grew this workbook, Shift Happens, about the process of deep change in our lives, the kind that changes how we view the world. It is a hope-filled process about our lives as we look at experiences that we’ve often left on the sidelines and choose to integrate them into a new and larger consciousness for living.
The process goes beyond the personal to the spheres of influence we are part of through where we live, work, worship, train, and socialize. It guides participants in making new personal choices and in helping change the institutions in which they have a role.
Shift Happens understands our work to be about healing ourselves, our institutions, and our planet, moving us into an era of cooperation with all of creation. Because our work needs to impact long-term structural change, the Shift Happens process calls on us to claim our deepest values, and to apply them in our households, our organizations, and our communities. Our work, then, is shifting our consciousness; shifting the world to operate from a different paradigm. We call the processes of such shifting “Metanoia,” the Greek word for changing our paradigms, making the actions of the old paradigm obsolete while new ones become compelling and give meaning that permeates our minds, souls, and communities.
The following is from the introduction to the workbook. For a closer look inside this workbook, see the sampler PDF.
What shapes our lives? Listen to the stories that we tell, the symbols that attract us, and the metaphors we speak. All of these make the texture and weave of the paradigm that holds and guides our lives. A paradigm is like a set of eye-glasses, lenses through which we view our experiences in the world. We tell our stories from that perspective or paradigm whether we are conscious of our paradigm or not. But we know ourselves better, and we are more aware of why we do what we do when our paradigm is known to us and we use it with consciousness.
Much of the power of paradigms comes from the way they function below the surface of our lives. We don’t see them directly, which gives them all the more power over us. But the more attentive we become to the metaphors, symbols, and stories we use, the better we can come to know our paradigm. Knowing our paradigm can help us change to a different one as needed.
David Miller continues to lead workshops using the processes of Shift Happens. Introductory workshops can be as brief as three hours; more complete processes require a longer commitment. They can be framed for organizations, businesses, campuses, and congregations. Workshops can be arranged by contacting JEM as well as contacting David directly at email@example.com.