Transforming Fear to Joy


Life always reveals to me exactly what I need to know.

Gratefully the shadow side of Self, which inhibits growth, is constantly forced to die.  In essence, these death cycles mark a necessary ending of beliefs and behaviours that no longer serve us or Life.  Our work during such a death cycle is to consciously allow the old to be removed, that is, to let our old identity die with dignity.  The transition to our new identity is a gradual reforming and is rich with connection, exploration, imagination and new experiences.

On a personal note, I am letting go of my identification with desire and ambition.  I understand that both only feed my ego thereby encouraging a self-esteem dependent on external sustenance.  To release myself from this dependency is to truly stand on my own two feet and to hold my esteem within.

My work during this transition is to trust my process—to relax, release and receive before taking action.  In many ways, this process of evolving a new identity is the antithesis of what the world of business asks of us—to rush and to get results and returns on our investment.  Instead, I am required to let Life lead, to cooperate with what emerges rather than manipulate Life’s offerings.

On a professional note, today closes the coming together of the Integration Team, a small group of colleagues from the Socio-technical Systems Roundtable’s (STS-RT).  The STS-RT is a global network of business leaders, researchers, trade unionists, academics, managers, and consultants who share the principles and practices of Socio-technical systems theory, and a common interest in developing more humane and effective organizations.

As a professional learning community, we have dedicated ourselves over the past several years to a process of theoretical and identity reinvention.  Collectively, we are reforming our “hands, heads and hearts” through a whole-person and whole-system transformation.  Most recently, the STS Integration Team spent three days in Portland, Maine, synthesizing our discovery and learning process.  This death cycle of old behaviors and beliefs was signaled by the forming of wisdom which always emerges when a team shows up, opens up, sees the truth and accepts what is.

I was heartened by the transformation of ‘elders’ into curious children who witnessed a wee kitten also pulled between her desire and need for chaotic play (exploration) and restorative sleep (integration).  This delightful kitten, as metaphor, played out our workflow process—Connect, Explore, Imagine, Mobilize, Act, Evolve.  Like us, she needed to connect with all in order to fully explore her field of experience.

The experience of ‘all’ energized and internalized our knowledge sharing and learning processes.  This cumulative, collective energy desires a convergence or focus, which mobilizes the unifying breakthrough of imagination felt as a synergy worthy of acting upon.  From the actions taken, we step into the field of experiencing what to keep doing, stop doing and start doing.  In this way, we evolve into our next iteration of possibility and eventually land comfortably (transform) into a new way of being in the world.

The STS-RT synergy of many voices, iterations and playful attempts of redesigning the theory and practice of humane and effective organizations occurs within the ideals of humanity, community, nurturance and beauty.  As collaborative discoverers, we collectively sew the seeds of our evolution.  Today, we stand at the threshold of that desired state.  Like the kitten playing at our feet, the creative wonder child residing within each of us is in pursuit of wisdom.  S/he asks us to:

  • step into the unknown . . . (RELAX)
  • trust that the leap of faith we need to take will show itself one step at a time, so we can . . . (RELEASE)
  • receive the necessary knowledge and learning . . . (RECEIVE)
  • evolve into our new identity, way of being in the world . . . (ACT)


This is where we landed.  Our next step emerged in front of us, and in September we will ask the rest of our STS community to join us by crossing the threshold from their known worlds of organizing and order to this less known, but emerging world ordered by the ideals of humanity, community, nurturance and beauty.

. . . passion has come to the verge and leaps
headlong to the blind abyss,
yet gathers thereby the strength of deeps,
and eddies a moment and swirls and sweeps
till peril is one with bliss!

Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton
Songs of Water, IV

Join us in New Orleans or join me here by sharing your reactions and thoughts.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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