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ReGenMatch and CHOICE for self-development
The Web is awash with advice for self-development, self-improvement, and all other kinds of tempting things. These may be regenerative in some way, but mostly are not on a global scale, partly because development of the individual is often seen through a mindset in which individuals are more central than any collective.
I would like to focus on self-development as a means towards, and a way of supporting regeneration. I've already written about how I see ReGenMatch helping with family life and with co-living, and these both benefit from and contribute to self-development.
I've also written a lot previously about IFS and collective ikigai which are very relevant to self-development, but I don't want to repeat those ideas here, just to mention that
- self-development is a vital step towards many aspects of regeneration
- one can see IFS as a kind of internal regeneration
- what I call collective ikigai is in some ways the ultimate self-development approach, and I have pointed out how a good collective can be of vital help in many ways.
Rather, I want to stick with this series of writings, and look at the motivation for ReGenMatch in terms of contributing to self-development. There are two entwined strands to this.
I pointed out, both for family life and for co-living, that people and communities can ask questions about an individual's ‘stage’ of development,1) because that affects the nature of the relationships and what can be done in virtue of those relationships — the potential for collaboration and co-creation, if you like. It's not that one stage of development is better than another – being older is not in any real sense ‘better’ than being younger – but rather that the different mindsets characteristic of different stages need to be worked with in different ways.
With ReGenMatch, one of what I see as the key challenges will be to create self-assessment scales around these developmental dimensions. As I said for co-living, using the Pathways to Liberation scales is not easy for self-assessment, because the scales are very clearly value-laden, with a strong ‘more developed is better’ feel. But if we can manage to create scales that invite people to positively identify with the different positions, that would open up some important pathways.
- It would enable more informed choice of relationships, members and communities, contributing to family life and co-living.
- It would allow people at similar levels to find each other for peer learning and self-development.
- It would allow people to find others at suitable levels for developmental coaching.
- It would enable more accurate choice of, and targeting of, developmental courses, spaces and opportunities.
Finding “deliberately developmental spaces”
I'd like to focus on this last option. Picking up threads from a recent talk,2) development can be seen either in terms of specific planned “learning objectives”, or in terms of providing space for people to develop in their own autonomous ways. Clearly, if the intention is to support a particular developmental pathway, then it is essential to choose people at the right point on that pathway. Here again, the CHOICE approach is to lay out some self-assessment scales with points that people can positively identify with. Taking the other track, one would need to look at the general, common developmental stages of people (to the extent that there are such stages that can be identified) to ensure that the general kind of support is appropriate and helpful.
Ria Baeck in her book Collective Presencing also sets out what could be seen as a developmental path, and Collective Presencing practice could well be seen as a deliberately developmental space.
However, I'm coming to the view that development is not an end in itself, because any particular supposed ‘level’ is not better than another level. To me, what matters is that each individual human being is helped to find their very particular contribution to the world, close by or further away, and the development that is needed is whatever makes that possible. And this brings ReGenMatch into even sharper focus. There is no assumption that more is better. What matters is that the development fits its purpose; to enable one's “soul's calling” as some people call it. No one ever finishes their developmental journey in this life, so enough is enough.
So the matching of the skills, purposes, levels of development, passions, and all that contributes to regeneration of people and planet takes on an even richer perspective. And, I hope, ReGenMatch can help assemble, bring together, the people, the opportunities, the learnings, the resources …