When change happens in our lives, organizations, or communities, it often happens either because we are pushed away from something and/or because we are pulled toward something different. In my personal life, I felt pushed away from my job as an executive director but it wasn’t until I re-envisioned the Fruition Coalition that I was able to make a change. I am currently feeling pushed from my current home and pulled toward something different. Once we start to feel pulled, the possibility for detachment emerges. We then become free to reattach to a new and better reality. Push is external and repellant. Pull is internally driven and is a magnetic attraction. Push creates disorder while pull seeks to create a new harmonious state.
One of my favorite social scientists, Kurt Lewin, developed a theory about the process of change. He suggested that change consists of three steps: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing the new social understanding or condition. I think social change work is the process of intentionally and continually unfreezing ideas, assumptions, myths, and practices through inquiry and dialogue and then letting go to see what naturally unfolds. Through this process, we can cooperatively live open-ended lives with no right answers. No dogma, no power struggles, just peace.