I declare that we are interdependent beings. I declare that acting as if we are not is damaging to each of us individually, to all of us as a whole, and to everyone. If you want to work with me on this, check out >>> Free Bird Apprenticeship <<<.

 

What it means to be interdependent ::

 

1.     No thing, relationship, person, place, gender, or anything else can fix or save the humanity of any human being. Humanity can simply be respected, interacted with, and witnessed. The practical application of knowledge in a skillful way can help result in a specific outcome, which may be relieving or life-enhancing. But, humanity itself is what it is.

 

2.     There are very real illnesses that can cause damage and harm to the human structure and optimal functioning. The ailments of humanity ought to be taken seriously, researched, and addressed in a systemic way rather than a superficial way. Symptom suppression does not serve anyone, and in fact, can often perpetuate systemic ailments. If a symptom is present, then there is also a cause. True treatment of ailments therefore, must include addressing the cause. Symptom treatment alone implies deep disrespect to humanity on a fundamental level.

 

3.     Treatments that do not take into account the whole body system are also deeply disrespectful to humanity. Great harm is done when one piece or part of the whole is damaged in order to address another piece or part. True resolutions honor all the pieces of the system and seek to resolve problems through resources, strengthening, cooperation, and support rather than through destruction, harm, suppression, or avoidance.

 

4.     Within humanity there is both masculinity and femininity. The force of masculinity seeks perfection. The force of femininity seeks wholeness. Neither is better or worse than the other. The existence of both is real and valid.  No human being fits strictly into any particular gender role. It is important to honor physiology for what it is and respect individuals. It is important to know that gender roles flow from stereotyped experiences not from actual individuals.

 

5.     We can seek for perfection and wholeness together at the same time through vulnerability. Vulnerability is allowing the present moment to be the perfect place to live with your whole heart. This is where connection can happen. Perfection and wholeness do not have to be at odds with one another. Men and women, masculine and feminine, right and wrong do not have to compete. There is room for both.

 

6.     I believe that many religious, educational, medical, occupational, and governmental systems are too large to support vulnerability. Vulnerability must happen in small numbers. Small numbers allow the time and space for accountability. Large numbers encourage symptom suppression inherently.

 

7.     Each part is as important as the whole.

 

8.     It is important to honor that we are capable of growing stronger, healthier, smarter, and in all ways evolving our capabilities through practical steps and that we are limited in what we can do at any given time by physical parameters. Therefore, in any given moment, we will both be able to know AND feel (which involves not-knowing), and both of those together are equally valuable.

 

9.     It is important to honor all aspects of humanity for what they ARE, rather than what they ARE NOT. Anything that is not something, also IS something and necessarily cannot be everything.

 

10. The belief that one male president, one male religious leader, one male doctor, one male god, one thought, one masculine anything that has all the answers or is the ultimate authority without the balance of femininity, is dangerous. I believe it is inherently dangerous, that system of operation is dangerous. No system set up that way can create health for all of its members. Symptom suppression becomes necessary and eventually leads to destruction of the whole organism or organization. It is the nature of the system. No person can be successful at experiencing wholeness and perfection within such a belief system.

 

11. I believe the most powerful system to appeal to is the individual human. I believe that all of these beliefs exist on a personal level and extend out to all other levels.

 

12. I do not think that men are dangerous or the men in leadership positions are the cause. I think it is the BELIEF that a single male holds all the power that is the problem. This belief can be perpetuated both by those in the positions as well as those not in these positions. I think that the belief that anyone is more responsible for my experience of humanity than me is dangerous. I believe that it is the responsibility of each of us to lead our own lives. And I believe that we can serve one another, offering valuable information, our presence and attention, and vulnerability.

 

13. When services are funded by those receiving direct value from them, then there is a measure of accountability. The greater the investment, the greater the accountability needed. That means smaller numbers and more attention.

 

14. I believe in small businesses and greater accountability. I believe that small businesses can provide more specific care and services to individuals than big businesses can. Small businesses can specialize and serve around one specific area rather than a large broad group. They can interact more personally and accountably with their customers and clients. Specialization allows for the most effective treatment of specific ailments and personal concern to unique individuals’ symptoms. So, small businesses are incentivized to serve actual individuals.

 

15. Many symptoms can be unclear to diagnose. Or, it is possible, that they may not even be diagnosable based on current understanding and technology. This, again, reaffirms the importance of personalized care in a small business setting. With a big business model of health care, clients with mysterious and undiagnosed/un-diagnosable symptoms are often in a very dangerous situation. These clients may be facing a practitioner who is motivated by quantity rather than quality of treatment by the system they are in, and so in that system, there is no reason for the practitioner to resolve or identify a cause. The best they can do is symptom suppression.

 

16. As a practitioner, I do not want clients to simply sit on the sidelines and react to what I say, take it in, and keep opinions secret. I want connection. I want to be respected as both sensitive + thriving, masculine + feminine, perfect + imperfect, whole + incomplete. I want my full humanity to be respected. I have some knowledge, some wisdom to offer and share. And it is the springboard for connection. It is just the platform, the beginning. Where we go is up to us, in that vulnerable moment when we both show up as we are. That is the true value that I offer, a container for vulnerability. This is the practice for connection. I do not want to offer a Trojan Horse. I do not want to trick you into buying something from me, thinking that some THING will fix you, or appeal to your desperation subconsciously. I know that there are many who are desperate. And they truly need resources, answers, treatments for their ailments. AND there is also more. There is our humanity that we can come to meet as we are and evolve together in a way that we cannot possibly know or plan for. I do not want to be treated as if I am an all-powerful god, magic fix for anyone in any way, or the ultimate authority on anyone’s health other than my own.

 

17. As a client, I want the same things from my practitioners and with them.

 

18. This way of being requires both trust in the present moment as enough, or perhaps what some might call faith, and simultaneously taking action with very practical steps. Faith and work. I believe that the idea of turning something over to someone or something else, such as god, the government, the doctor, or any service provider or sharer of opinions and information as a sole mode of operation is dangerous. The only thing left for us to do in that situation is be resentful, sick, angry, stuck, and victimized. And that leads to reactions, which can be very harmful. Desperate measures are taken by people who feel desperate for power in their lives. Instead, I believe that if we have both action steps based on wisdom AND trust in what is, then we create greater power as we utilize greater potential. When we are heard, responded to, and our symptoms responded to by someone who has specialized in what we are experiencing, then I believe we do not get desperate. I believe we get stronger, smarter, and more capable to respond to a greater number of situations that may present themselves. I believe that instances of violence including harm to self and others would decrease.

 

19. As a service provider, the value that I offer is BOTH my wisdom born out of experience AND my attention born out of vulnerability. I may be able to work with you to resolve some, most, or even all of your symptoms through addressing the systems. But, if I cannot, I am dedicated to learning how or who to refer you to. And, it is my best intention to be clear about who I serve and how so that my specialty is clear initially. This allows for a better fit between client and provider. I cannot serve everyone, and I do not expect to. I do not want to talk anyone into my services. I want to clearly and compassionately offer specific services to specific people for whom my services are inherently valuable.

 

20. With the internet, small business is incredibly possible with very little financial investment. Anyone can start a business online. The internet flattens many inequalities and increases access of wisdom, knowledge, research, and education to all who use it. It allows for small businesses who specialize to be easily found and be very searchable by those who need and want them most. It allows specialized knowledge to be shared freely and easily to all who may search for it. The internet provides incredible interdependence.  It allows for small business owners to create a livelihood of enough, rather than hording, manipulating, or being focused on trying to become a celebrity. Instead, it encourages small businesses to treat their customers well and thrive within a small community of people who truly benefit from these services.

 

21. I believe interdependence is necessary for highly sensitive people to thrive and for everyone to benefit from Sensitive Leadership. Highly sensitive people operate in response to their environments. Those born with a highly sensitive nervous system are like the nervous system for a cultural body. Each highly sensitive person picks up on and understands sensory information for their community in a different and important way. They can serve communities that operate interdependently by responding through their art, innovation, inventions, services, and advocacy. Highly sensitive people are a valuable asset to small communities and also need small communities for their own health and livelihood. Within these communities, highly sensitive people need an important balance of rest time to sensory input time. One or the other too much will be detrimental. In the same way that a lone nerve with no stimulation or a constantly overstimulated nerve are not so useful, an understimulated or overstimulated highly sensitive person is not useful or healthy. Right now, many highly sensitive people must choose one option or the other. It is my intention and declaration that we can choose a middle ground, interdependence, which allows for both stimulation and rest. A middle ground of just enough in a small community and small business setting is possible and valuable.

 

22. Power is in you and in I. We are both powerful and so we are both responsible. And when we are interdependent, we can be even more sustainably powerful as we connect. Interdependence means being your own powerful leader in each moment and responding to what is in you and around you through the act of vulnerability. Vulnerability is harmful if you believe the power is outside of you. But, once you feel it and understand it within you, you can strengthen yourself and you are capable to interact with others and benefit from that interaction. Take back any power you have given away. Give back any power you have taken or accepted. The less we use each other and ourselves as only objects, the more we experience a life of enough.

 

This is my Declaration of Interdependence for Sensitive Leadership. I own these as my thoughts, opinions, hypotheses, and beliefs. They may change. This is where I stand now and what I see as necessary now. I encourage you to consider your own feelings about this and I welcome your whole-hearted responses. You are welcome to share it, expand on it, and use it in whatever way serves you and others.

 

Sincerely,

Ane Axford

Designer + Facilitator of Sensitive Leadership