As our college's amazing alumni rep, imagine if one of these had gone to Trinity Hall. Better still, imagine if our college, as a team, sparked by your kindness and grace at the last reunion when you gave up your seat for me, wove their legacies into a flow that projects us into a safer 🌍 future.
My interpretation of this 'flow' is that if, with simplicity (Einstein), we can take on taboos that hurt us (King), to help each to be more like one ☝️ (Lennon), then we co-create a better collective future (Jobs).
Now Einstein was a physicist, King was a politician, Lennon an artist and Jobs an inventor.
With so many taboos out there, which one might I be able to help on?
Growing up a Catholic in Italy, sitting in masses that I was being forced to attend, I had plenty of time to reflect on how 'the marketplace for religious and spiritual services' might be delivered better.
Sitting in those masses, and listening to that doctrine, it felt a bit like being shown this picture of Maradona's 'Hand of God' and being told that this was a legitimate goal.
Yet at the same time, Mother Theresa was real, and it's pretty incredible that XI men in the 1st Century could go to Rome and cast pebbles whose impact is still being felt today.
This led me to a natural question?
What if 'the key' that was handed down to Peter was the immensely valuable art of learning to be the right person in the right place at the right time'?
Rediscovering the 'secret key' to being the right person in the right place at the right time can unlock the pathway to solve many of our long term collective social problems, from global warming to pollution of the oceans.
Who would not want such a re-discovery? Using soccer and the economics I learned at Cambridge as my primary metaphors, I began a journey to make the case that Peter was not the #1 fan, but the student who was asked to lead a team of XI who had received the future altering art of 'being the right person, in the right place, at the right time'.
What might such a scenario look like? Well if Maradona's Hand of God embodies controversy and division, few are likely to argue against the beauty in 1970 of Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy.......
....that began with an example of (1) selflessness, with Tostão the centre-forward trekking back 40 yards to the left back position to start the move,....
(2) gave a beautiful example of a servant leader (ego-free) human system working as one☝️, sometimes at walking pace, sometimes at high speed, with (3) whether we call it inspiration, luck or 'je ne sais quoi' the presence of 'Something Greater', like the connection between Pele and Carlos Alberto which Telegraph writer Alan Tyers calls 'unworldly'.......
.....making this goal, that not even the late, great, Gordon Banks would have been able to save, a wonderful suggestion of what "collective right person, right place, right time" might look like.
How does one look for something so valuable?
I did not go into a library to start to read books. I simply held the possibility that Peter, 'the Rock on which the Catholic Church was built', was not holding a set of rigid rules like Moses (and the only occasion that we hear his teacher write something down, was in the sand), but instead someone who had received skills to collectively guide us to a safer future,...
if my assumption was false, I would never find any supporting clues
but if it held some truth, then it is not impossible that clues would begin to appear
Like Newton's apple, where sometimes breakthroughs come from the smallest coincidences, the 1st clue came on one of my final nights as a Trinity Hall student.
1st clue: Peter the brilliant manager of teams
The night before our final economics exam, I could not resist watching AC Milan lose 0-1 to Olympique Marseille in the 1993 Champions League final. It may have cost me a grade, but for the first time I saw the connection between the micro-economic game theory we had been taught, and the reason why the majority of Premier League managers who qualify for Europe are Catholic.
If one unchecked ego can spoil it for everyone, this all has to do with the art of taming tricky egos. By heritage, Protestants tend to be more linear in their thinking and approach, whilst Catholics, who in the extreme can be benevolent or malevolent Richelieu's, are more shrewd, which potentially gives a good Catholic manager an edge in nurturing a team of skilled servant leaders.
But what are these skills?
2nd clue: The key to taming Peter's ego comes from 'poke and reframe'.
The only team in Europe to win two Champions Leagues during the 1990's, AC Milan, blended a solid Italian defence built around it's rock and captain Franco Baresi, with Dutch attacking flair of Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten.
How was Fabio Capello the manager able to forge such a team.
The next clue came unexpectedly in 1998 when I was doing my MBA at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, via the number one US crisis communicator, Professor Stoller.
In a nutshell, I got lucky, by becoming the first student to show that he could be beaten in a classroom debate. In response, two weeks later, he gave me a lightning quick insight into the art of 'poke and reframe'.
This art requires mastering several skills
Awareness of what the blind spot or prejudice might be, as well as how deeply embedded it might be.
The ability and timing to gently and lovingly 'poke' this blind spot to help bring it to the surface.
The ability to reframe, either directly, or through a team member, to co-create a win/win/win.
Here is an example, to slowly help diffuse an area of wide confusion.
Example of a 'Poke': Jesus Christ and Johan Cruijff had the same initials, and both helped their next XI let go of linearity and rules to 'better feel the flow' and help revitalise their local communities.
Now this might seem absurd to some and offensive to others
Example of a Reframe
On the one hand, Peter's journey involved letting go of a reality of THINKING about 613 clearly defined rules (such as 'only forgive three times'), to FEELING his personal connection, like a GPS (which Piero della Francesca below depicts as a Dove, to 'Higher Order/Nature/God' or whatever word one wishes to use for 'That Beyond Name and Form'.
Upstream from Baresi's Dutch team mates Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten, Johan Cruijff is attributed for teaching players to let go of 'positional rules', with freedom to roam wherever it made sense in the moment, co-create the flow of the ⚽️ ball like improv jazz. Furthermore, as this docu-film explains, following decades of bullying by Franco, Johan Cruijff is widely regarded as a 'minor Messiah' who sparked a renaissance in the city of Barcelona.
Now, let me not disguise that this technique is 'high risk'. Poke too little and nothing happens. Poke too much, and it can spiral out of control into anger, fear or all sorts of other unwanted outcomes. Over two decades of trial and error, error, error, my friends slowly began to call me Taz
However, thankfully, over time, my % inaccuracy in poking began to drop, and realised that it was best done in a mini-forum, which, while this can be done through email, messenger or Whatsapp, in 2007 I sketched out a an 'online arena' for this.....
Now initially this was intended as a profit-making venture, but the potential first client, a top investment bank, said "This is brilliant. It will save us so much money. However we would rather be second or third client than incur the challenges of being 1st client."
As fate would have it, a week later, having just photocopied the 14 page paper, I met my local Catholic priest, exasperated by the fury unleashed by the latest child abuse scandal, on the Wandsworth Bridge Road.
"What are you holding in your hand?" he asked.
Somewhat flippantly, because it had all been so near, and yet so far (my business partner had refocused on other things), I replied "Well if General Electric were to re-write the Bible for it to work as a filter of ego, fear and laziness, it would probably look like this".
"Wow! Can I read it?", he asked to my surprise, surprising me even more when he asked me, a week later to attempt it on his superiors, inviting me to go meet his line manager, the Bishop of Westminster, as a starting point.
As this video testimonial explains, this left me with the most difficult decision I've yet had to make. While probably around 30% of my friends and family believed in some form of Higher Order, I guessed that less than 2% would have endorsed considering such a risky choice.
The reason it was such a risky choice is that, having spent years in church reflecting on it, as per this adaptation of Caravaggio, the only phrase that seemed to authentically unlock mental defences was the impossibility of the Arnie-like "I'll be back",
so all of a sudden, like Indiana Jones being faced with the choice of whether to attempt to cross the void, life events seemed to be playing a 'Hail Mary pass' with three possible outcomes.
If Higher Order does not exist, I would crash & burn, and my loved ones would suffer the most.
If Higher Order does exist, but I am not skilled enough at sensing/interpreting my GPS/inner voice/role on the field of play, I would crash & burn, and my loved ones would suffer the most.
Only if Higher Order does exist, and, like a servant samurai, I learn to sense my optimal line of 'right person, right place right time', will it be a happy ending.
As this video testimonial explains, it was one of the toughest decisions I've yet had to make.
Unsurprisingly, I was conflicted. Beckebauer's efficient Germany won the 1974 World Cup final 2-1. That side of me said "no way jose". But the Cruijff side in me said "Look at all the unusual things that have happened in your life to prepare you for this. You can do this. Just take little tiki-taka steps each day, and as Oogway says to Shifu in Kung Fu Panda, just hold the belief that the flow of life events will somehow take you there."
3rd clue - The key to Peter helping find his GPS
So in the end I followed my gut and accepted, conscious that initially this might ruffle a few feathers, and defining these 7 guidelines for how I guessed I might best sense my GPS.
At Father Roger's request, I went to meet the Bishop of Westminster who understandably played back "what on earth are you going to teach me about my topic?"
Luckily after Cambridge I had worked for a lovely little strategy consulting firm that had taught me how to keep people talking, and he kind or liked the "seemingly impossible bet that can only be survived by the Grace of Something Greater" idea, and he agreed to shake hands on a bet as to whether we could surprise him by making a meaningful change in a valley where three out of four families were reported to be in law suits with each other.
Unfortunately the project was not a success. Too many pokes were off-key. The 'small wins' were simply not spectacular. In essence, this was my ego trying to change things, rather than me having learned to really let go and be a conduit of Life's Flows.
During this time, every time I came to London, two friends from Trinity Hall, who are both now senior lawyers, now known as Jake and Elwood (one is an gifted musician and the other was our captain of soccer), would give me continuous support, like for example on Friday January 26th 2017, for my 45th birthday at l'Anima Café, where they helped to facilitate bridges between perceptions of reality, with Cruijff-like Cambridge alums like five times author John Purkiss on the one side, and the more schematic Beckenbauer-like alums on the other.
Now Jake was involved in the discovery of the third clue. On May 2nd 2016 he encouraged "As you're going to Baldock anyway, I guess there is no harm in seeing if you can present the enormity of your findings to College"
But despite an awesome meeting earlier in the day on May 3rd 2016, when I reached the gates of College, however much I wanted to share the 'story so far', I suddenly felt a clear intuition to 'not try'.
Unsure what to do next, I rejoined my Conscious Leadership facilitator friend, and as a result unexpectedly found myself as the right person, in the right place, at the right time, because, like the film Inception where 'one idea changes everything', I suddenly received a world 🌍 altering awareness - which was that as recently as 500 years ago, Jews, Christians and Muslims were in the same room, helping each other to evolve to the 'zone of inspired decision making'.
Suddenly, by chance, I had stumbled on an embodiment of the journey that Peter must have undertook to evolve his 'right person, right place, right time Higher Order GPS!'.
So if, pre the onset of politics, religions were invented as spiritual practices to help us make wise choices in tune with Nature, how can I increase the % of choices in the Zone of inspiration as part of my pathway for effortlessly navigating through life?
4th clue: I just need to let go and let life guide me 😊
As the story progressed, I seemed to get more and more lucky, certainly helped by my ex-lawyer father, at the age of 74, amazingly deciding to open a lovely vineyard that features upstream in these blogs from 2015 and 2017)...
Flowing on from these 'lucky breaks', the 4th clue came when on November 24th 2017, when, in the German Gymnasium near King's Cross, a few of us got together to begin to test the possibility of a Consciousness Co-creating Academy.
Like a music academy or martial arts dojo, the concept is simple. The example of being conscious and making inspired choices is slowly shared by those who most effortlessly manifest it, to those who are most ready to receive it, thereby creating a beautiful win/win/win cascade of consciousness.
So for example, here are four of my upstream friends that I have most regular contact with;
Chef Antonio, who is transforming the weakest members of society in Asti (see video and blog)
Ali, that on Tuesday 18th September 2018, on the eve of Yom Kippur, gently guided me to the statue of Gandhi, is normally the first to help me see that I've Taz'ed too far and should be kinder.
John who was probably the harshest of what I wrote, until I finally produced a draft of this blog that he, with his more Eastern alignment could align with.
Our wonderful Aikido Sensei at Aikido Asti who will provide instant feedback if I am not perfectly in the moment.
Is there a way we can measure the benefits?
As part of this project, we have a healthcare professional observer panel with backgrounds from radiology, oncology, psychology and the pharmaceutical industry, and here is an interview that the Dutch radiologist kindly conducted to dig deeper, into the process.
However, whether the cascade of consciousness is really working is only manifested by a continuous stream of examples.
Top left is Marco Capra, a local politician and farmer who is solid, grounded, in tune with nature, does not rush into statements or decisions and is evolving into the sort of servant leader Italy needs.
Top right is Flavio Mo, enologist, a lovely example of an artist evolving to surprise himself by how well he weathered a storm.
Bottom right is Dafina, 'the Albanian warrior' cleaning turned conduit of serenity in her community.
Bottom left is oncologist Dr Harris, conduit of calm in four hospitals. One of her most dramatic stories is from a terminally ill 43-year old mother of two to whom she had suggested Headspace. One months later the patient left her speechless by calmly saying "I can't believe I'm saying this but maybe this illness is the best thing that has ever happened to me as it has taught me to live each moment"
Meanwhile, our team's athlete with currently the greatest potential to benefit the wider human system is probably the Swedish economist Dr Susanna Sallstrom Matthews, who was trained at Princeton by the protagonists of a Beautiful Mind.
This is because she has been graced with a mathematical breakthrough that "does to Nash what Nash did to Smith", both evidencing the blind spot and non-sustainability of ego-centric capitalism, and by offering a viable, sustainable alternative, rooted in the principles of generosity, personal excellence and the availability of natural resources.
As per her blog on mini forums, we're helping her in her journey of growth from an academic of 30 years to a magnetic servant leader capable of attracting consensus on the need for change.
How can I know if am 'walking the walk' as the right person in the right place at the right time?
Often, as in the case of this car accident, it is just a question of how I choose to frame it.
Secondly, navigating in the zone of 'right person, right place, right time' with six senses is no guarantee that I won't trip out of Zone in the next moment and fall back into trying to fight reality.
However here is a beautiful example from this Thursday, February 14th 2019.
I was suppose to meet Jake, Elwood and a few other friends at 4pm for a coffee by St.Paul's, following a heart scan at St. Barts
Confronted with a situation where Beckenbauer's reason said 'go left' whilst Cruijff's intuition said 'go right', and I went right, and it seemed to be the wrong choice because I arrived 55 minutes late in a one hour meeting.
Nevertheless, I trusted the flow, only to find myself in front of a different doctor, named Lorenzini, who knew senior (and amazing) external medical observers Dr Ragni (Taz'ed) and Dr Giardini (control). Choosing to speak Italian, despite perfect English, he asked if I had ever fainted. I gave a factual but unusual reply that could be considered a 'Black Swan reply', which he could have dismissed, but instead he kept the flow going pointing out that my wannabe don Giovanni career was rather short lived. This then flowed into probably the most pitch-perfect 15 minute reality-bridging conversation I've yet had with a medic, which in 'old school terms' I would argue was an M18:20.
Whilst just one block away in Artigiano by the side of St.Paul's, undoubtedly helped by my not being there, Jake in particular, as 'network Top Gun', was being gently held by the hand in his journey of growth as an inspiring conscious leader, who will, with time, share on the joy, effortlessness and power of with the next Top Gun in his Carlos Alberto line.
Might our original dream team align with a flow of consciousness academy unlocking doctrines of business, medicine and politics?
Einstein would probably have ❤️ loved the simplicity of the flow.
King would probably have ❤️ loved that in this flow, we're all equally important human beings in a 🌍 world that belongs to Nature.
Lennon would probably have ❤️ loved the flow helping us live as one. ☝️
Jobs would probably have ❤️ loved that rather than stagnate, we'll continuously urge each other to reach our potential and 'invent a better future'.
Thank you so much for being part of this continually evolving story Liz (I regularly edit and update this flow when new insights are played in), and to give an example of thousands of tiki-takas exchanges that have flowed into this project in the last 26 years, I have acted below on your kind permission to share our fun email exchange.