Share Your Thoughts

As you read this, the process of renewal is occurring in the communities, cities, businesses and organizations where we work and live, all over the world.

As part of our preparation for the 2nd World Café European Gathering in Bilbao, we would like to share our thoughts on the subject of renewal, and invite you to share your own ideas with us (please just use the ‘comments’ feature below, and tell us what you think):

What role does renewal play in addressing the challenges of the world today?


  1. …While this question tempts me to look “out there” for a response, training and a touch of obsession requires me to look “in here”, as ~ inside myself, in order to fully respond with integrity to this enquiry.

    There is no doubt that many circumstances, situations and challenges exist in the world today that are screaming for renewal. Renewal is a very nice word. I would be more inclined to say overhaul ~ but I’ll play by the rules, this time…

    : )

    Nature thrives on the element of renewal. Nature sustains itself on allowing the natural process of renewal to exist and flourish at every level of its expression. Whether we look to the seasons, night or day or the rhythms of our physiology, the element of renewal appears to be threaded as a need into the pulse of all life and humanity.

    Most human beings have lost touch with the renewal that naturally exists as a result of having an intimate relationship with nature, both inwardly and outwardly. Most human beings crave for the inherent sustainability that unfolds effortlessly as a result of Being.

    To reignite the fire of renewal on the outside, we must first cultivate it on the inside. To be connected to our inner nature, allows us to connect to and respond successfully to the forms and phenomena of our extended outer nature. I want to be clear that I’m not suggesting in any way we ignore the compassionate pleas of humanity or the Earth on the outside. We need to pursue the calls of our compassionate attention, to the needs of all mankind including the Earth. We just need to be clear were the source of our greatest challenges lie.

    I imagine that if the entire population of the earth were eliminated in the twinkling of an eye, the planet would easily thrive without the need of our attendance, within a few decades. When we come from a place clarity rather than confusion; when we express from a place of creative freedom, our choices will be then informed by our inner wisdom, rather than determined by our outer reasoning.

    Personal renewal, Self renewal, psychological, emotional, and “Spiritual” renewal, is the platform and foundation for all the social, environmental, or political renewal we could ever want, need or desire in life. In my own life and through the observation of the lives of others over years, I have scene the impact of applying or neglecting the practice of Self renewal or Self care on ones life. Through experience (pain and suffering) I have learned that my entire life will be a process of learning and practicing Self renewal in order for me to continue from a place of inspiration, balance and joy, while also having the energy, passion and commitment to move out into the world to serve where my gifts and talents are uniquely received. When I can take care of my own needs first, I’ll be more inspired and renewed to take care of the needs of others.

    While I may not have the bells and whistles that most might say are the signs of successful living, I feel very full! I have lived my life pursuing the gifts, talents and hunger for inner inspiration and have reached a place where an endless supply of contentment is available for the sharing and service to others. It’s not always been this way, and I know that with neglect or inattention I can quickly lose the momentum of this state. The practice of personal renewal, whether that be daily meditation, a daily abhyanga (self massage), walks in nature, creativity, surrounding myself with people that nurture and inspire me or pursuing the dreams and visions I have for my life, all are my own favorite (learned) ways to engage actively the experience, expression and application of renewal in my life.

    I think I can say with confidence and without the need of studies, statistics, or polls that when enough of the planet has learned the method and magic of Self renewal, there will be a time where we will wake up one fine morning and the world and our life, will have changed forever…

  2. Dear Micheal,
    I do resonate with your words a lot,
    renewal has to start inside yourself. But somehow we seem to be very restitant to renewal. Being in contact with ourself and nature (we are part of it) surely helps us renewing, growing. And doing things that nurture our soul, like meditation, walks or being surrounded by friends.

    Thank you for reminding and encouraging me.

  3. Ilona made a very astute comment about how humanity struggles around renewal…

    “ But somehow we seem to be very resistant to renewal ”.

    I thing this is very true and it’s true not only on an emotional level, but also a psycho/physiological level. Resistance is “naturally” hard wired into our body/mind as the flight/fright/freeze response. The old brain while useful in the face of “real” danger unfortunately overshadows most of the cognitive process. Our very thinking is driven by the “drive to survive”, and it can occur at very unconscious levels.

    Renewal implies change, and for most of us the idea of change while sometimes attractive, romantic or inspiring will also bring up for most of us fear that triggers to some degree the flight/fight/freeze response. Depending on the particular circumstance or situation the person will be perceiving reality through veil of this “drive to survive” filter to some degree.

    When it is unconscious we will have a tendency to avoid change (renewal) at all costs. We will deliberately attempt to live our life in very safe ways, as a way to avoid addressing the imagined fears that have been associated to change (renewal) and our biological tendency of avoidance.

    This has devastating results both on a personal and collective level. We attempt to hold on to out dated modes of thinking, acting, doing and being, and why not? Our mind/body is programmed for survival! We simply create rules, regulations, beliefs, cultures, political systems and social systems that mirror the resistance to renewal and change and god forbid anyone come along to rock the boat!

    Genius is bold, irrational, and unpredictable. It is driven by the new brains ability to tap directly into creativity itself. To come up with new and different ideas that transcend the day to day thinking that keeps us locked into the same repetitive results. It is not necessary to be a genius to be able to tap into the creative soup of renewal though, for each and every body/mind was given the new brain and a hidden talent that was also hardwired into the brain: we have the ability to become aware of the fact that we are aware. This gift allows us to momentarily step out of predetermined, out dated ways of thinking and being. To tap directly into the same source of inspiration and creativity that we assumed was limited to only a chosen few.

    This is why some of the most simple methods or practices (such as spending time in nature or meditation) can elevate our thinking process to heightened levels awareness. This is place where renewal and inspired thought occur naturally as we slip out of the modus operandi of the “drive to survive”. This is the place were our nervous system (brain) settles down, and our body/mind experiences a state of restful alertness where we can be reminded of the freedom and wholeness that is ever present within us.

    In perceived change there is a changeless factor, you! And when we take the time to cultivate the inner stability that comes from connecting to this resource, we are once again reminded that renewal can become a very natural day to day occurrence. All our choices, all our thinking and all of our doing can be calibrated from this place and we can give up some or all of the struggle or limitations that were once associated to this necessary occurance. We can orientate our lives and the world around us from this place…

  4. When I sent a US colleague information about the Gathering in Bilbao, she shared a story with me about Bilbao’s renewal from its industrial grimy days more than 40 years ago…

    “I remember driving to Bilbao in 1965. The smoke was so heavy over the valley that it felt like descending into a black fog. What a contrast now!!

    We have a Frank Gehry museum in Minneapolis (Weisman Museum on the University of Minnesota campus)The design of this building was expanded for the Bilbao Museum. I’m sure that it is stunning.”

  5. Dramatically increasing the quality of dialog—and decisions—in a company, requires thinking boldly. What if Unisys encouraged people to write
    critical in-house blogs? (And allowed them to do so anonymously if they wished.)
    What if it encouraged employees to read and respond to those blogs? What if it tracked the number of responses each blog or post generated (its “authority index”) and required senior executives to respond to those that generated the most traffic? What if it appointed an employee jury to award a Cash prize each year for the best blog—as a way of rewarding the most thoughtful, amusing or courageous contributors?”

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