The George Washington Parkway is one of my favorite drives — for many reasons, not least of which is that it offers many fantastic views of our nation’s capital and scenic natural vistas. It was during a pre-dawn commute on my way to teach a 6 AM yoga, that I found myself contemplating creativity and the chakras.
Watching the scenery flow by, I noticed the Washington Monument across the river before exiting to jump on 395 past the Air Force Memorial. Thinking about balancing our physical need and metaphysical needs – it struck me that there were few more perfect symbols for yang & yin
— than these two monuments.
In his New York Times best-selling thriller, The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown wrote about how if you look you can see the symbols for the divine female (a triangle point down) and divine male (a triangle point up) everywhere. The more I thought about it, the more it fit. Across the river, the Washington Monument stands like — well a huge phallus. It is a literal monument to our past — honoring both our first president as well as an homage to the ancient Egyptian obelisks. It represents our physical worlds striving for convergence – for hierarchy.
And then you come to the Air Force Memorial… As an Arlington native, the Air Force Memorial is painfully new. It is literally a monument to technology, our ability to defy gravity.
It is composed of three spikes arching serenely into the sky. Whereas the Washington Monument commands focus – the AFM is all about divergence, space, and air. It intentionally draws your eye upward while at the same time recalls a fourth “fallen” plane. I visited on a bright spring day practically alone, it is a serenely beautiful space.
Moving from survival to growth
According to Beau Lotto in his popular book, Deviate, thousands of years of evolution has wired the human brain for physical survival. This is normally a good thing, but too much of a good thing leads to imbalance. It is a problem when folks cling too tenacious to the world as it is and refuse to grow or change.
Power comes from our hearts (no. 4)
Much of my work as a creative coach, HCD designer, innovator – comes down two things 1. helping people open up and get comfortable with messy ambiguity and 2. more and more there is a huge trend for more humanity in our products, management and processes. The irony of AI and robotic advancements is that there is an increasing demand for humans to be human and humane.
To innovate and grow we must move beyond survival mode and accept the risk that comes with moving past the comfort zone. As individuals, once you can assume that your physical needs are met — then you have the luxury of thinking about the future, long-term, happiness, you have the luxury of diverging, dreaming of the future. It’s interesting as individuals move to this stage to see the impact that this is having on our organizations and society.
I don’t know what the tipping point is for folks to move past focusing on only the physical world / the first three chakras / the masculine. Although I appreciate the irony of calling it a tipping point implying hierarchy. Truthfully it’s not about tipping or one side winning over the other — it’s about valuing both sides, finding balance, and sustainability. It’s about us discarding “sides” and looping in perpetuity. Learning from our past, honoring our physical needs and growing into our potential.
#CombinatoryThinkind #Spirituality #Chakras #OrganizationalBegavior #Maslow #CreativeManagement #divergence #Convergence) #Taoism #gender #art #ChristianitybywayoftheDaVinciCode.
Author note: Two of my close family members have served in the Air Force (another in the Marines) I know I am going to get so much sh*t for describing the AFM as a representation of the divine feminine, the future, possible, divergent thought. That said, they can stuff it – especially Philly who’s an artist/photographer. 😉