Our way into peace requires an understanding of how life works, rather than a singular solution-fixing of each conflict in isolated separateness. For sure, we need to approach each conflict within its own living context, and yet if we approach it with the same level of consciousness that creates polarisation, antagonism and separation (a narrowed mechanistic perspective that reduces and fragments life) we will ultimately fail to cultivate a wider-and-deeper culture of peace and harmony, whether within the team, organization, community, or wider civilization.

It’s time to get radical.  Our rising dis-harmony, dis-ease, dis-connect and stressful conflicts will become the new-norm unless we learn to not merely ‘cope amid complexity’ but ‘thrive amid complexity’.  In these challenging times we can learn to work with tensions to reveal transformative insights that bring us forth beyond the conflictual ‘me versus you’, ‘us versus them’ polarity into a deeper dance with life.

To be ‘radical’ does not mean to revolt, push against, or fight fire with fire – which inevitably invokes yet more egoic-assertive war-mentality. No. To be radical, in its true sense, means to address the root of the matter, to attend to the underlying source as well as symptom; to dare swim upstream to the source rather than taken down-stream into symptoms.

All-too-often our attempts to fix conflict prioritise symptom-fixing with a linear cause-effect mentality while largely leaving the underlying cause gapping. In doing so, we busy ourselves with the very up-rooted energy that created the conflict in the first place, distracting ourselves from what truly matters.  Rather than a challenging tension aiding our learning and evolution, we get further caught up in the very fragmenting separating consciousness we ought move beyond.

It’s time to start awakening out of our own egoic-absorption, and realise that conflicts and tensions might just be creating the very crucibles for us to see more deeply into our own humanity.

This is the choice we have available to us right now amid rising tension, challenge and conflict.

Put simply: the root cause of our outer wars is an inner war inside our own human minds, bodies, nervous systems, cells and neurons.  How rare it is to find the beam of attention being bended inwardly amid outer conflict-fixing, and so the root is further up-rooted. Enter more dis-connect.

Try and fix outer conflict while leaving the root cause unattended and conflict will rear its head soon enough in a different guise, perhaps in even more violent ways as symptom-fixing creates suppression that often further exacerbates violation.

From ‘Conflict Resolution’ to ‘Tension Transmutation’

Often in today’s organizational development (OD) circles I regularly come across the term ‘conflict resolution’. I believe this term needs an upgrade, as seeking to merely ‘resolve’ conflict (usually through some outer fix) fails to bring forth the wisdom revealed through life’s tensions inherent in diversity, difference, creativity and collaboration. In collapsing the tension through an outer achiever-orientated symptom-fixing resolution, the magic the tension contains for revealing creative transformation is lost.

The ego-achiever overly-yang mindset dislikes tension and seeks to fix it using linear cause-effect logic (the only logic the left-hemisphere egoic-mind understands). Yet if we allow the tension to transmute the conflicting aspects, unfolding into an alchemizing of a third-way beyond dualistic opposition, then, we work the way life works, and allow for ‘tension transmutation’. This is the logic found through the heart-mind and the wisdom of life.

From ‘conflict resolution’ to ‘tension transmutation’. This shift in awareness brings us into right-relation with life, allowing Nature’s Wisdom to flow through our everyday tensions.

This is an important realisation upon the regenerative leadership journey: tensions create crucibles for creativity. The very creative adventure of life is fuelled by tensions.

Collapse the tension and we miss the developmental learning, and drain life of its deeper meaning. Hold the tension and we allow life to work its magic – from the alchemy of difference spawns creative emergence. This is the evolutionary potential of our humanity in harmony with life. Make peace with tensions. Learn to play the tensions like musical harmonics, with just the right amount of yin (being) and yang (doing).

But let’s get even more radical, and get behind even the tensions between ourselves and others, and go into our own selves. Let’s explore what drives the discomfort, mild anxiety or outright urgency to fix and resolve tensions and so preventing the birthing/rebirthing of regenerative insights.  Let’s get into the very bodymind of our psyche. For many leaders (and adults in general) today, this psyche within is imbalanced, out-of-kilter, dis-eased.

From Brain Incoherence to Bodymind Coherence

The very electrical impulses in the neurons, cells and networks pervading our bodyminds’ are being triggered by an imbalance.  The dominance of an overly yang outer-doing, achiever, high-beta, left-hemispheric, mechanistic, self-as-separate mentality is running rampant through mainstream consumer society and business today, infecting us with a carcinogenic consciousness that fragments, polarises, projects, judges, blames, separates.  The anxiety this breeds inside means that when tensions arise in us and in our relationality with others, we feel a need to fix, because the tension can often feel to our imbalanced psyches like it is the source of our anxiety.  From this tense imbalanced overly-yang state its all-too-easy to buffer up ‘against’ and need to ‘fix’ life’s inevitable tensions, and so seek to outwardly control-manage ‘resolve’ the tension rather than inwardly-and-outwardly sense-respond ‘transmute’ the tension.

The internal imbalanced is like a war inside us, a part of our selves suppressing, dominating and violating another part of our own selves.  This war inside creates an overstimulated sympathetic nervous system which then further exacerbates a war/victim mentality.  Enter fight-flight-freeze activating panic/aggression/victim mentality. This inner war is rising and spreading; it’s becoming a new-norm.  It can take subtle forms like imposter syndrome, background anxiety, easily triggered reactivity, or more outwardly obvious forms like mental health challenges, addictive behaviours or self-abuse.  The very wisdom, intuition, creativity, empathy, adaptability and responsiveness we need to flow and thrive amid rising complexity is starved at source.

Little wonder we find increasing tensions, conflict, even wars breaking out in our cultures at work, in our lives, and throughout the world.

Sure, each conflict needs to be addressed within its unique context and most certainly deserves holding with respectful right-relation. Yet there is a global ground pervading the local individual nature of these conflicts, and this ground dares invite us into Nature’s Wisdom, to work and flow the way life works and flows. This requires courage, and trust. It requires our humanity to wake-up into life, and realise that our small selves are in continuous participation within larger systems and the wider holistic nature of Earth and cosmos. And with this waking-up process we find inner harmony, peace, truth and wisdom flowing through our veins and neurons. A natural capacity we had as children comes back on-stream – a spontaneous sense-respond capacity to transmute tensions rather than an imbalanced anxiety to impatiently fix and collapse them into right-wrong, us-them, left-right binaries.  This spontaneous sense-respond capacity which sees beyond simplistic binaries is our way into a synchronistic symbiotic way of living in harmony with nature. Enter Regenerative Leadership, which is totally natural and something we have all felt at various times in our lives. And when we do, it feels like coming home. Because it speaks to who we’re born to be: participatory expressions dancing with life, working through tensions, finding flow: self-other-world attuning through each learning-lab of a day.

Brain incoherence –to– Bodymind coherence

Fight-flight-freeze  –to– Active-relaxed flow

Overly-yang –to– Yin-yang

Control-manage –to– Sense-respond

Parent-child –to– Adult-adult    

Outer-achiever –to– Inner-outer regenerator

Cope amid complexity –to– Thrive amid complexity

Conflict resolution –to– Tension transmutation

Violation –to– Right-relation

Inner psychosomatic harmony aids our right-relation of self-other-world. One’s bodymind becomes attuned to nature and at-one with the entire universe. The splendor of life’s rich learning laboratory is evoked, and self-as-separate permeates into a participatory communion of source-self-system.

Rather than the control-manage fixity and certainty amid a world of separation and fear, we find connectivity, synchronicity and soulfulness amid a world of participatory interdependence. Outer events inter-relate with inner psychic states.

As one changes one’s own nature, so does the nature of the world change toward oneself.’ – Gandhi

The underlying source of all life speaks to us and informs our revealing learning journey.  This is a radical review of causation (and with it, a radical review of our ‘Theory of Change’), from linearity and outer egoic-assertion, to co-creative inner-outer participation. We are no longer strangers to our own selves, to others and to life itself, projecting our inner-war on to the ‘other’, seeking simplistic control-manage fixing. We no longer seek to fix conflict by asserting our anthropocentric ego-will upon ‘it’. Instead, we befriend self-other-world by deeply trusting in life, and realise life is beyond objectifying ‘it’ but instead is deeply sentient and conscious all-the-way-down.  Blind random chance and linear cause-effect evaporate as our perception of how life really is deepens. 

Synchronicity becomes our language of life when our bodyminds find coherence and peace amid tension and change. This is an affirmation to life on all levels – mental, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual – what I call ‘life-affirming living and leading’ or ‘regenerative living and leading’. And it provides for our way out of this meta-crisis; its simultaneously radical and practical, costs nothing, no debt or credit required, only courage, coherence and consciousness.  And the more we open into life the more we realise this courage, coherence and consciousness is infinitely available to us.

‘Those who flow as life flows no they need no other force.’  Lao Tzu

This is why I have written my latest book NATURE WORKS which explores – indeed activates – regenerative leadership consciousness so we don’t merely ‘cope’ but ‘thrive’ amid increasing complexity by learning to flow as life flows.

“Welcome to the Regeneration Revolution. It’s time for humanity’s upgrade— enhanced creativity, embodied empathy, increased resilience, and improved agility. We have at the ready all we need to shift our mindset to one which is more future-fit for ourselves, for those around us, and for the organizations we serve.” – Giles Hutchins, Nature Works

NATURE WORKS is a way of leading and living; a way of perceiving and participating within Nature’s Wisdom, so that we can flow as life flows. I wrote this book to help initiate a deeper inquiry into what it means to become more fully human amid this rising technospheric consumerisation and conflictualization of life.  These increasingly volatile times actually hold the very alchemic energy that might just wake-up our humanity in time to realize what it truly means to be human in this more-than-human world of ours. NATURE WORKS conveys ways for alchemizing yin-yang tensions within and throughout everyday life so that we may enter the Mystery of this creative regenerative act we call Life.

NATURE WORKS is a guide for those who want to nurture their soul and deepen their relationship with nature, Earth and cosmos.  For in truth, we are Source and Source is us. And now might just be a good time to wake-up and work with Source rather than struggling in conflict against it (and ourselves). 

Having been educated and acculturated in an imbalanced outer-yang way for some centuries in the West now, the dominant worldview has become ossified into a conventionalized set of beliefs that warp how we attend to life, which creates the very conflict we now need to reach beyond. From this place of steeped acculturation and collective programming our way back into the Mystery of Life is not necessarily easy, but it is our birthright and costs nothing, yet saves everything.

Amid this meta-crisis our very ways of embracing life are being called into question. The worldview shift we now need starts by recognising the inner-war and then making peace inside our own psyches. Then our attention and intention embrace tension inherent in the symbiotic synchronistic nature of real life. We tune into life rather than struggle against it. We sense-respond rather than control-manage, and flow as life flows.

NATURE WORKS – Book Description

We live in a world of rising disconnect, distraction and destruction, and it’s increasingly apparent that the meta-crisis now facing humanity cannot be solved with the same level of consciousness that created this crisis of crises in the first place. Nature Works is an urgent response to this call for change, illuminating a pathway toward a new dawn where humanity finds harmony with all life on our planet. Giles Hutchins draws upon decades of research and experience in activating regenerative leadership consciousness to address the root problem of our interconnected crises. Blending pioneering neuroscience and cutting-edge findings on consciousness with ancient wisdom, he has catalyzed a way of living and leading that’s more resilient, agile, whole, and wise. In doing so, this book becomes the metaphysical foundation vital for the Regeneration Revolution.

Book reviews:

‘This is a fascinating read which will challenge your approach to life and the way you consider every action. I loved reading this because it didn’t just throw out a statement or idea and expect you to merely react. It guides you through each thought, consistently delving deeper… This isn’t a light read, but then I wasn’t looking for that, I wanted my perceptions to be challenged and to expand my mind. This delivered on that front and I cannot recommend this enough. It will change how you look at life.’

‘This book will open your mind and heart and transform the way you live and lead. Giles is a wonderful writer with an ability to weave scientific, spiritual, natural and practical threads into compelling narratives that illuminate a pathway towards the harmonious relationship between humanity and nature that we so urgently need. Underpinned by his decades of real-world experience as a regenerative leadership coach and consultant, this book combines cutting-edge scientific findings with ancient wisdom to show us a path forward that is more integrated, wise and healthy for all the planets creatures and systems. Highly recommended!’

‘The worldview shift described in “Nature Works” invites us all to embark on a profound, personal, and collective transformation, recognising that healing from separateness to interconnectedness is crucial on our pathway. “Nature Works” is not just a book but an experience that will have you thinking, feeling, and most likely challenged. Certainly curious. It is part philosophy, business, and regenerative frameworks and touches the edges of a psycho-spiritual journey. It is a must-read for those committed to leading in harmony with nature.

‘This is so much more than a book! Its wisdom in text, conveying a richness of life beyond words. Truly profound – in fact, life-changing. Read it!’

NATURE WORKS is now available direct from the publisher here https://www.wordzworth.com/sales/authorbooks?ISBN=9781783243112

And from Amazon here  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nature-Works-Activating-Regenerative-Consciousness/dp/1783243112   as well as other book providers and all good book shops.

For more on coaching with Giles, visit his website here.

You can also sign up to his newsletter here.

There is a special one-day immersion with Giles at Springwood Farm on 19th September 2024, see here for more details.

Feedback from a recent immersion with Giles:

‘The immersion at Springwood with Giles was very powerful, thought-provoking, energising and soul-touching. I’m still strongly feeling the ripples from our time, many days after, and have already started some conversations which could be life-changing as a result.  Thank you Giles! Highly recommended!’   Jules O’Donnell, Founder, Talking CAT Consulting

If you are interested in attending a one-day immersion with Giles near London on 19th September, you can contact him here https://gileshutchins.com/contact/ 

You can join the LinkedIn Leadership Immersions Group here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13767578/

You can also sign up to his newsletter here.

For the special one-day immersion with Giles at Springwood Farm on 19th September 2024, see here for more details.