Pause… Reflect… Realign… Respond!!!

by Raúl Quiñones-Rosado, Founder & Co-Director, c-Integral

At the end of each year and the beginning of the new one, for some time now, I have been doing what has become my annual ritual review and envisioning journaling process. More than ask myself, “So, what did I accomplish this past year?” or “What are my goals for the new one?”, I deeply consider: “Where have I been?”, “What have I learned?” and “Where do I intend to go this coming year?” The questions beneath the questions, though, are more like, “Am I still on course with my life purpose? Is the direction of my gaze and my vision aligned with my core values and my true heart, still, at this stage of my life? What in me or in my life must I tweak or, perhaps, change altogether, in the context of the events and realities unfolding before me?”

Typically, this process may take me a few days. Sometimes up to a whole week. For some reason, though, this year it’s taking me somewhat longer. Maybe it’s because of my emergent elder identity, especially given the implications of aging in the material(istic) world. Probably. Or perhaps it’s because of all the important issues and global challenges of the past year to consider, among them: the Arab Spring; the Occupy Movement (dare we say the US Autumn or, as some suggest, the beginning of the Fall of Capitalism as we know it?); fraking, tar sands and cross-continental pipelines; the US wars on Iraq and Afghanistan; Wikileaks controversies, Anonymous hacks, and the increased use of information technologies and social media in the shaping of world events. These are piled on top of the historic, on-going and ever-increasing disparities between whites and People of Color, between the wealthy and the poor, particularly of the women and children of these disempowered social groups in the US and its colonies. Clearly, racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and all forms of oppression are as alive and well as ever as we enter 2012.

I think my process is taking longer this year because I’m still trying to gauge the impact of current events on our present collective circumstance, and to understand their significance for our times. Might we actually be experiencing a shift in the nature and scope of social movement? Or, more significantly, might this moment really represent a leap in our collective human consciousness? Either way, it seems to me to be a moment of tremendous potentiality for social justice and for cultural transformation; a moment requiring keen awareness and focused intentionality.

One thing’s for sure: it is not easy to connect the dots of all that’s going on, or to make sense of such great complexity, especially when we are caught up in its midst, just as it is occurring all around us… and inside us… all at once! As I said, I, too, am still trying to sort it out, particularly as it concerns the role and function of c-Integral in support of people in social justice and cultural transformation movement.

What is clear to me, to all of us at c-Integral, is that indeed we are in the midst of an upheaval, a shift in consciousness. An exciting time of change and, as I said earlier, of great potentiality! A time and an opportunity to deeply examine our place and role in the processes that are unfolding within and before us.

And while we at c-Integral may not offer definitive answers (are such answers even possible?), we do offer an appropriate response: a framework and a process for deepening our development as leaders for these times.

As we enter 2012, we are gearing our programs to this end. In late Spring, we will be holding our first Spiraling into Oneness weekend retreat, funded in part by Kalliopeia Foundation. Meanwhile, we are seeking additional grants and donations for other retreats and workshops throughout the year in both the US and in Puerto Rico.

We hope to see you at these and at the thematic talks and presentations we will be announcing as the year progresses. These will be ways to get to know each other better: for us to hear what’s on people’s minds and in their hearts; for people to hear about us and how it is we seek to contribute to integral change.