• Pedro Valdjiu

Eco Village Design Education - Social dimension reflection

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

Greeting web surfers.

In this post I will share one of many essays I wrote for the Ecovillage Design Education course hosted by Gaia Education. These words of reflection entered my head after studying a module on Leadership and Power as part of a Social Dimension course. Hope you enjoy it.

The hollow seed

In 1990 the music collective Snap released a hit track named "The Power". Throughout the track, the lead singer drops the line "I´ve got the power". First time I listened to this track I think I was around 15 years old. It totally blasted my mind. I felt the power surging throughout my body, a sense of immortality that kept with me along the way.

"I´ve got the power!" But what kind of power? Creative or destructive? The power to see the "New" in every day, to see beauty even when drifting through the concrete jungle. The power to accept life and death even the death of a loved one.

While I was growing up I passed through many different stages. Until the age of 5, there was this creature that was haunting me in my dreams, opening my belly and taking my power away. This dream caused me one or two weeks sick in bed. Nobody knew what disease caused that. Some years after I did a regression I discovered that the evil creature that had tried sucking away my life force was actually me.

My eyes, at that age, saw patterns of destruction and misused power...somehow I couldn't process at all. I felt like a stranger in this world and I still had, at that age, strong memories of a better place from where I had come from, deep Universe memories. I was sabotaging my life. I needed rescuing from the pain that was at play in the global theater that is Earth. 

Love kept me here. My father and mother's love was so immense that slowly the creature stopped coming and I was, finally, free to grow and to become an agent of cultural transformation.

I saw how my family dealt with power. First, facing poverty, and then slowly earning more in life and gaining better conditions for us. What impressed me most was how my father dealt with money and power. Honesty and compassion were principals I was raised with. Principles that I still nourish and hope I can pass on to my daughters.

As life came in my direction, and time guided me through different episodes, I also felt the Power of destruction and separation. The Power to start projects and be dominated by them. To lose track and to lose best friends in order to follow the vision and mission of the project. 

Waves of joy came at me from the grestest teachings of life. Elder waves showed me how strong Power is. Waves that singing my name told me to lead with humor, with compassion, with focus. To lead by seeing how great others are.

I guess I have developed the power to see others' gifts and to empower people without hooking them onto my energy. I read through my biography that I have the ability to start projects, gather people like a magnet, to dream visions of utopia, to manifest and act in synchronicity with life. It's quite an immense power. Along with it comes a lot of reflection, frustration, achievements and the illusion of expectations...What is leadership? And how can one lead groups, or projects without the preconceptions that we have from authority?

For a person that starts projects, that finds the baseline of something easily, the fevers of authority are always there. The suffering of letting go and the capacity to empower and trust others to fulfill certain roles. One of my biggest challenges is to find people that are not traumatized by authority and actually understand self-leadership and natural leadership in relation to what is happening and that it needs to be manifested.

We live in such a neo-liberal world that individualism has seemed to take over like a new religion. For some people who I have been working with it seems that these neo-liberal values don't go with my need for commitment and responsibility. I personally deeply appreciate working with people that are centered and tapped into their own power. Why invite a drummer to play in your band if you end up asking them to reproduce the beats you're singing? A drummer must be better skilled in making beats than myself, right? Sure! So when I work with people I kind of expect that they do their part in whatever play we are in. I really like the concept of constellations of stars, to see groups like we see star constellations, where each one shines their brightness and all are important in that alignment. That is the power of functional community!

Love in Economics

What an immense power a seed has! Even that when we break a tiny mustard seed it is hollow. Who could say such a huge creature would emerge from it? My soul is still amazed by the power that Earth, Sun, stars, water, the Moon and the small bee have among existence. What a mysterious power that seems to be eternal. Is it Love? What is love? Although it is sung in many songs it seems that I still don't know what this power is, Love. What about love in Economics? Just imagine the front page of the newspaper saying "The economy of Love spreads out through the world, FMI forgives Portugal debt and Donald Trump returns some indigenous land to the Native Americans leaders", and imagine a judge in court saying:

Sir, you committed this crime because you were not in a state of love! Both the victim and I forgive you for that. You will be doing community work with the elders for one year long.

One day, when Power will be used in the way that the Sun powers the flower and the bee sucks its nectar and transforms it into honey, that day Power will be at the center of an abundant society. Systems will be redesigned to incorporate Love, the Love beyond romantic love. The one that is inside the mustard seed. 

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