Spring 2012 (Issue 47)    

2012: The Year for Practical Visionaries    |    FREE AUDIO CLIP: Creative Meditation

2012: The Year for Practical Visionaries|
By Corinne McLaughlin

 “Only from the heart can you reach the sky” -- Rumi

“Be a visionary--ignore those who want to hold back the future!” This was a good approach that I and other pioneers have followed for many years.  We learned to ignore the caution and skepticism all around us in our unending drive to innovate and initiate leading edge ideas and projects.

But I’ve noticed that 2012 is calling for a different approach.  Now the messages I keep getting from life are to become more of a practical visionary, rather than just a visionary.  I’m learning to keep my feet on the ground while my eyes are on the horizon and my heart is on fire for a better world.  I’m learning to bring heaven down to earth.  I see examples of an amazingly positive vision of a New World growing everywhere around us today, but I’m also acutely aware of the negative realities of the present, and I take practical steps to address these.

Many things are shifting in the inner dimensions of the world in 2012.  My intuition says big changes are afoot.  This is the Age of Synthesis. There is a growing collective awareness to go beyond “either/or” dualistic thinking in every arena—and thus beyond identifying as either a visionary or a practical person.  Instead we need “both/and” thinking—bringing vision together with practical approaches--if we want to survive—and thrive—amidst the current karmic crises.

Practical visionaries meet real human needs and create tangible solutions to social problems.  For example, they have developed permaculture to grow healthier food, restorative justice to reduce crime, and socially responsible businesses that provide for the well-being of both employees and the environment while making good profits for shareholders.  There’s now over $2.8 trillion invested with some type of socially responsible screen.

I always like to say that we have two eyes for a reason—to see both the positive and negative—future potential and current reality.  Just as our brain naturally synthesizes the input from our right eye and our left to create greater depth perception and so help us to navigate wisely in the world, so we need to include both future potential and current reality to navigate wisely.  If we ignore current reality, such as the financial or political side of things, we’ll be greatly hampered in our effectiveness. If we don’t follow up on the commitments we make or pay careful attention to details, including administrative, financial and legal details, we could undercut the manifestation of our wonderful vision.

When people describe big, overwhelming visions in my leadership training or individual coaching work, I always advise them to think through the very next steps they need to take tomorrow or next week.  Small steps can build on each other to make effective strategies.  Small sequential steps make their vision more manageable. 

In addition to bringing inspiration and vision through their higher energy centers (or chakras), I encourage my clients to focus more attention in the energy centers below their naval—their solar plexus, sacral and base centers, which I see as their “grounding” chakras.  This helps them bring their spiritual, visionary energy down to earth and become more practical and efficient.

Vision and inspiration come from the spiritual worlds, and practicality comes from the material world.  In the ageless wisdom teachings, Spirit can be seen as matter at its highest vibration, and matter can be seen Spirit at its lowest vibration.  They are both energy, but the energy is moving at different rates of vibration.  Spirit is more refined and moves faster.  Matter is denser and moves slower.

You can find a balance point in your heart, the point of synthesis of Spirit and matter, the visionary and the practical, and move between them with wisdom and grace. Practical, mundane tasks can be as equally sacred as prayer or meditation if done with love and the right consciousness.  In fact, practical tasks can be seen as prayer in action.

So how you can be more practical in expressing your vision and spiritual inspiration in 2012?  What are some authentic ways that you can reach the sky from your heart?   Remember, your heart is a vessel that holds the whole world.

Corinne McLaughlin is Executive Director of The Center for Visionary Leadership in California and co-author of The Practical Visionary, Spiritual Politics and Builders of the Dawn.  The Practical Visionary, on which this article is based, can be ordered from www.thepracticalvisionary.org

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