When solving problems - don’t take sides!

It can feel difficult to wholeheartedly celebrate anything at the moment, humans are relational beings, we need each other to thrive, but Covid19, the climate crisis, systematic bias, inequity, are on a growing list of anxiety inducing triggers that all have the potential to make many of our essential life exchanges problematic.

Take the industry we work in-fashion- it should be associated with fun and celebration, we dress for weddings, formals, first dates, festivals - but as we become increasingly aware of the dark side of the fashion industry, how our addiction to fast fashion creates toxic waste, and with it the horrendous exploitation of the majority of people in the supply chain, it becomes increasingly challenging to enjoy our fashion choices. We are conflicted with everyday dilemmas, and our normalised ways of living are (understandably) under threat.

slow fashion

The Possibility Project is a social enterprise, by it’s very nature, social enterprises are designed to find innovative solutions to societies most pressing problems, it is the word innovative that is most exciting, our approach (innovative in itself) is to elevate the power of common sense, creative thinking and other freely renewable resources to solve our problems (avoiding people who come up with a problem for every solution is a simple example!).

We truly believe that things are not getting worse, they are being revealed and we are being invited (sometimes abruptly) to take action! But here’s a life hack when it comes to taking action, you don’t have to take sides. Like anything we are attempting to master (particularly our thoughts and emotions) it is of course easier said than done. Contrary to a commonly held belief, when you choose not to take sides, you are not on the side of the oppressor, you are not being apathetic, you are not being weak - you are actually exercising a choice which is courageously different in systems that are built on side-taking - and that’s worth celebrating!

Taking sides has become a default position when approaching problem solving, this dangerously limits not only the potential for positive change, it also alienates and exhausts. Side-taking is of course normal, our educational systems are based on things being right and wrong, (standardised testing ultimately stifles imaginative thought). We have been entrenched in battlefields because our conditioned norm is to take sides, which leaves so little room for creative thinking, instead of accepting a diversity of thought on how we as individuals and as a collective can respond to our problems, we continue to cling onto narratives that seperate us.

common ground
We are often so indoctrinated with side taking that we have normalised ways of thinking that are actually the antithesis to creative problem solving, think about a difficult person or situation in your life, you have probably had many ‘shower’ conversations in your head about this (you know the debates you have with yourself when you are taking a shower), how much of the self-conversation is taken up with justifying your position with all the reasons you are right and they are wrong? How many reasons can you come up with blaming them for the way you feel? Are there strong feelings of betrayal, abandonment, lonliness, anger, frustration, stress - the list leading you to compounded stress can go on and on. What if instead you became entirely present and approached the problem without the precursor of taking the position of right and wrong? Difficult but not impossible.

The energy that arises from presence is the most powerful resource you have to create solutions that serve, not only you and ‘the other’, but the whole. When we decide to shift our reactions away from our mental positioning of seperation, we create the capacity to respond from our heart. Take a breath right now and open your heart, drop the thinking about any stressful situation into your heart and ask yourself the ultimate unifying question - ‘what is the purpose of the conflict I am experiencing’, stay open to receiving wisdom from your heart, your intuitive self, it will feel peaceful. It’s highly likely that all your conditioning about what is right and wrong has come from constructs that are external to you, these have been imperative to your belonging, that is why resolutions from the heart will require courage, you are going it ‘alone’ - ( but ironically, it is with the only thing that can resolve lonliness -you! ).
Australia is headed for a Federal election in a month, this is a brilliant opportuntity to observe the default position of side taking when dealing with problems, by blaming, denigrating, dismissing or the simple belief that it is not possible to do things differently, all this (not even cleverly) is an illusion, smoke and mirrors stuff, that appeals to our conditioned self to take a side. What is so exciting about this election are the number of true independent candidates that represent a kinder and compassionate way forward, particularly on issues that shouldn’t even require debate - whether we should treat all humans fairly without discriminations based on sex and sexuality for example. What we are seeing being played out in our world is reflective of our shifting consciousness, as difficult as it is, we wholeheartedly support, encourage and are inspired by all of the brave people out there choosing not to take sides, and instead walk with presence and purpose to help create a better world for all.

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