What Do I Do Now?

What Is Meaningful Work As Things Fall Apart?

Join Margaret (Meg) Wheatley for a Contemplative Journey to discover your own answers to this question.

October 22nd to November 19th

Five Contemplations to do privately, one each week.

Four 90’ live teachings with Meg to explore the week’s contemplation.

Each session includes ample time for conversation with Meg.

What do you define as meaningful work?

For most of us, our work has meaning if it enables us to fulfill our purpose. A clear purpose gives us focus, direction and motivation. We use the lens of purpose to consciously choose our work and we feel satisfied and rewarded when our good work bears fruit.

But now, the world’s turbulence and destructive dynamics challenge us . . .

  • We witness suffering increasing among people everywhere.
  • We cry out in protest at the injustices and inequalities exposed by frequent tragedies.
  • We rage against the insanity of leaders indifferent to the suffering created by their self-absorbed pursuit of power and wealth.
  • We feel acute pain at the grievous loss of species and planet caused by human greed, arrogance and indifference.
  • We experience natural disasters close to home as nature’s irrefutable laws play out in climate catastrophes.
  • We feel overwhelmed by anger, grief, despair and loneliness.

We live and work now in a world of sorrows and tribulations. How do we respond?
Do we withdraw in fear, seek self-protection, grab what we can for our own brief pleasure?
Or do we engage with this world, connect with its harsh realities, and resolve to keep searching for meaningful work?

In the past, we self-determined our purpose. We defined the contributions that would satisfy us, we decided what would make life meaningful.
We expected the world to welcome us as bright and committed people eager to contribute.
We didn’t notice that our purpose was an imposition on the world, demanding it give us what we wanted, not thinking to ask what the world needed from us.

This world needs us more than ever. It needs our skills, our caring, our perseverance. We still want to contribute. We still want our contribution to be meaningful. But who gets to define meaning? It is the world, not us. Meaning is defined by the situation, the person, the moment.
To discover what is meaningful, we need only ask this simple question:

What is needed here? Am I the right person to contribute to this need?

This is a huge shift. We stop asking the world to give us opportunities to fulfill our purpose.
Instead, we look to the world to tell us what it needs from us.

Such a profound shift requires our deep attention. This Contemplative Journey offers you the time to go deeply into yourself—past, present and future—to discern where you are needed. And then determine where you can best contribute.

FIVE CONTEMPLATIONS

WEEK ONE: Preparation for contemplation. What is contemplation? How does it differ from meditation? What is the distinction between Dwelling Mind and Analytic Mind? How we can invoke Dwelling Mind with silence, creative expression and physical activity.

WEEK TWO: What has been meaningful to me? Noticing your definition and experiences with meaningful work in the past. Now, in this time of great challenge and uncertainty, what has proven to be most meaningful? In exploring the contrast between then and now, are you content with the shift or do you still yearn for greater achievements?

WEEK THREE: Are my sources of motivation trustworthy? Do they support me to persevere through difficulties? Do I force myself to be optimistic, positive, hopeful? What happens when I experience disappointments, failures, setbacks, despair? How often do I want to give up?

WEEK FOUR: What is my offering? What are my skills and capacities? What have I learned from my experiences and past work? Am I able to offer these as my particular gifts to contribute without a need for applause? Can I offer them confidently but without arrogance?

WEEK FIVE: Where can I contribute? Wherever I am—in my sphere of influence, at home, at work, in my community–what becomes visible when I ask “What’s needed here, and am I the one to contribute to that need?” Can I then step forward and offer my gifts? Can I ask this question in all situations, always curious to discover where I can best contribute?

PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Live teachings with Meg on Zoom. All live sessions are videotaped if you can’t attend in person.

Fridays 12:30–2:00 p.m. Eastern; 17:30–19:00 U.K.; 18:30–20:00 CET

October 29
November 5
November 12
November 19

The first contemplation, Preparing for Contemplation, is sent October 22nd. Live teachings start Friday October 29th. The contemplation for the next week will be emailed to you every Saturday following the Friday teaching and includes the video from that Friday’s teaching.

Each contemplation includes resources to read and listen to in order to provoke and deepen your inquiry about the theme.

Please note that if you cannot attend the live sessions, you will be able to watch them on video and keep pace with the series of contemplations. You will miss the interactions with Meg but can fully benefit from the teachings and contemplations.

Tuition

Five weeks of Contemplations with Meg’s guidance and provocations

Contemplative Journey
Standard Tuition

For individuals

$339

Contemplative Journey
Gift Tuition

Yourself and a gift to another

$450

Contemplative Journey
Discounted Tuition

Students & those needing support

$208

If you require further tuition assistance, contact  Ellen Sims info@berkana.org