The poetic words of Rainer Maria Rilke ring deep inside me as I sit on the earth with spring bursting forth around me amid a world full of tumultuous change:

‘Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too, just once. And never again.  But to have been this once, completely, even if only once; to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing.’

To be at one with the earth – this, I feel, is the task of our time. To attune with how nature works, and to truly be here at one with life. To be fully human, completely, even if only once, in the moment and then off again into the voice-in-the-head’s dis-ease.

To fully participate, presence and regenerate with life is a radical healing act where we draw ourselves into life and feed the dreaming, weaving, reciprocating heart-work of humanity.

I have long been of the view that humanity has the hope, healing-potential and consciousness needed to turn a corner and right itself by rekindling our love of life.

Our mainstream industrialised, colonialised, rationalised head-based reductive scientism unweaves, pulls apart, distorts, fragments, corrupts and dis-eases our self-other-world connectivity, causing a corrosive carcinogenic consciousness that infects business, politics, socioeconomics and beyond.

Our prevalent way of seeing the world uproots us, tuning us out from our soul-sense of place and purpose, emptying the world of meaning, and superficializing our daily experience of life.

Today, mass globalized consumerism lubricated by social media promotes a dumbing-down distraction away from soul-life while inflating egoic-narcissistic tendencies.  Enter the ‘hungry ghost’ syndrome of desiring ever-more, never quite satisfied, existentially insecure, ungrounded, uprooted, off-kilter. Not just the dearth of celebrity culture, reality TV-shows, newspapers/gossip-papers, but also art and music these days have become superficialized. Most pop music tunes trending these days are AI-generated, automated copying-pasting of trending jiggles hacked into ‘new’ tunes to make fashionable yet flaccid hits that grab our attention like a sugar-rush. Even the food we consume has lost much of its taste and essential nutrition due to its mass production.  This perishing of what really matters degrades our lived experience at every level. We get caught up in short-lived superficiality, distracted from what really matters, trampling over life in vain attempts to seek happiness ‘out there’.  According to recent polls the majority of people in the ‘developed world’ are disenfranchised.  Yet this consumerist dream of the ‘good life’ is being busily exported to every corner of the world, pulling more and more of humanity away from any real and lasting sense of at-oneness with earth.

Life is an utterly amazing and deeply sacred experience.  We knew this truth early on in life, and if we quieten ourselves for a moment, we can recall this inner-knowing. Each evolving year, season, moon-cycle, sunrise and sunset, meaning-making moment and pregnant pause, is the meditation worthy of our contemplation.   No app required. Life IS the meditation.

Life invites our intentional attentiveness, an act of love that heals and recovers our self-other-world connectivity.

The repairing and renewing of our fragmented corrupted world can not only happen ‘out there’ through externalised fixings and fittings through sustainability solutions, but also ‘in here’ in the quality of consciousness, our intentional attentiveness to the ephemeral-yet-eternal experience of life. Inside us is the doorway into the immensity of interbeing, where our sense of place and purpose finds rootedness within the rhizome of regeneration right inside the rapture of reality.

‘The one who looks outside dreams. The one who looks inside awakens.’  Carl Jung

The time has come to awaken.   As above, so below; as within, so without.

The regeneration of nature and the regeneration of human-nature go hand-in-hand.  Nature’s wisdom is informing the organised energy-matter of all forms and beings. An unfolding intentionality of negentropic creative evolutionary becoming, steeped in purposefulness and meaning.  Try and pull out human consciousness from nature and disaster, dis-ease and degradation ensue.   Its time to reconnect humankind’s consciousness with nature’s wisdom, not in some retarded backward devolutionary retrograde attempt harking back to a bygone era before our digitized mechanized ego-explosion, but in a future-fit up-stretch that digs deep and transmutes post-modernity through a threshold-crossing waking-up process of becoming truly human in this more-than-human world.

‘In times of great winds, some build bunkers, others build windmills.’ Chinese proverb

Its time to build windmills, to work with the grain of nature, not against it, to long for the immensity of the mystery and meaning innate in each evolving moment of our lives. 

It is through life, through our daily experience, through our connection with the earth and our self-other-world right-relation that we find our sense of place and purpose in the world, and through this quality of consciousness we enter into the Era of Regeneration.

Amid stormy seas, seismic turbulence and great winds ahead, we can consciously choose to either hold-on ever tighter to the old, or learn to enter into the regenerative potential of life itself, and in so doing find out who we truly are, individually and as a humanity. 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

This regenerative leadership quest is to see with new eyes, to become sensitized to the magnificence of existence and learn to trust in life, all the while drawing upon our capacity to make things happen ‘out there’ through our regenerative, sustainability and people & culture initiatives.

Leadership, ultimately, is about co-creating futures that enable us to become who we truly are—Homo sapiens, wise beings participating within this sentient, interconnected world we call home. The very gift that gives us free-will, self-reflexivity, and self-agency (the ego) is the very challenge we need to tame and train individually and collectively.  It’s an untamed ego running amok that lies at the root of our manifold crises.

Artist: Jodie Harburt

Collectively as a species, and individually as leaders in our organizations, we are at a critical time. This supreme moment, ripe for metamorphosis invites us to courageously open into nature within and all around us. Or we can choose to hold back with fear, reactivity, superficiality and separateness, and in doing so undermine the evolutionary potential innate within life. Our attention is a moral act. Our choices have moral implications. Every moment opens up the opportunity to attend to life with love or fear, with grace or dis-ease, with conscious sensing-responding or reactive controlling-managing. How we attend to the world shapes our world and in turn shapes us. The time has come.

Are you up for the Regeneration Revolution?

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For more detailed case studies, tools and processes see my latest book Leading by Nature, The Process of Becoming a Regenerative Leader.

Leading by Nature is THE handbook for conscious leadership. A must-read for every business leader who genuinely cares about the future of humanity.’   Jayn Sterland, CEO of Weleda UK

Giles Hutchins is a pioneering practitioner and senior adviser at the fore-front of the [r]evolution in organizational and leadership consciousness and developmental approaches that enhance personal, organizational and systemic agility and vitality. He is author and co-author of several leadership and organizational development papers, and the books The Nature of Business (2012), The Illusion of Separation (2014), Future Fit (2016), Regenerative Leadership (2019) and Leading by Nature (2022). Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy and Founder of Leadership Immersions, co-founder of Biomimicry for Creative Innovation and Regenerators, he runs a 60 acre leadership centre at Springwood Farm, an area of outstanding natural beauty near London, UK.  Previously held corporate roles – Head of Transformation Practice for KPMG, Global Director and Head of Sustainability for Atos (150,000 employees, over 40 countries). He provides coaching at individual and organizational levels for those seeking to transform their personal and/or work lives. Giles is a keynote speaker on the future of business and regenerative leadership. He is also a Reiki Master, a certified advanced coach, trained in advanced Integral Solonics leadership development, certified in Adult Developmental Harthill LDF, and other modalities.

A truly exceptional and timely book that redefines the locus of power in relationship to leadership; leadership that seeks harmony and alignment with nature.    Giles reminds us to bring awareness/presence to everything that unfolds.    This book is the teacher we all need.” Sue Cheshire, Founder and former CEO of The Global Leaders Academy

Leading by Nature gets to the heart of the shift in leadership that is now required to create a sustainable future for humanity.”  – Richard Barrett, Director of the Barrett Academy for the Advancement of Human Values.

“This book is a must-read for those involved in the future of business.  I can’t recommend Giles’s work highly enough.” – Norman Wolfe, CEO of Quantum Leaders and author of The Living Organization: Transforming Business to Create Extraordinary Results

“Giles Hutchins has for over a decade led the way with his championship of learning through nature. His new book is a really important evolution of these ideas emerging into a philosophy of systems thinking/being – it’s bang on the money, a really important book that will inspire all those whose role it is to champion resilience and adaptability, ethical commercial development, wellbeing in the workplace and the nurturing of a moral compass.” – Sir Tim Smit, KBE, Founder of The Eden Project

If you are interested in engaging in an embodied experience of regenerative leadership in practice, this special two-day deep-dive on regenerative leadership may be of interest to you, on 23-24th May 2024, amid ancient woodlands near London, with easy access from airports and international rail links, see here for more information:

Contact me for bespoke team and individual coaching here

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