Life 9: Balling Out of Control: Living at The Edge

It has truly been a synchronistic journey over the past seven weeks. When I began this journey, I knew that I was in a “good place” because I was thinking creatively and living purposefully. I found myself enjoying the ebb and flow of life as I consciously navigated down a very exciting new path. Along the way, I learned a lot about myself, about my life, and about how to live. I have embraced my own personal transformation and more importantly discovered a way to show others how to ball out of control by living at the edge all the time!

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I would like to begin by remembering, Will McWhinney, a pioneer in the field of transformative education and transformative learning, who passed away just a few weeks ago. Will McWhinney left behind a legacy of inspiring insight into the field of organizational and community development as well as a book that has helped inspire my understanding of transformative change and learning, Paths of Change. Although one path has come to an end, Will, a new path and journey begins. The paths of life will always be changing, but the power of transformative education and learning will continue beyond liminality!

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On Tuesday night April 17, 2007, my father and I led a program entitled Balling Out of Control: Living at The Edge. For us, this program was the culmination of several discussions over the past few months. My father and I have always been very close. He has been tremendously supportive of me throughout my life. Recently, this support and love has translated into a very positive working relationship for the two of us. And now that we have come together to collaborate his life’s work with my life’s mantra, we are on the crest of an energetic wave of creativity. This is the start of something very special for many years to come!

The purpose of our two-hour program was three-fold:

1) To provide a new definition for Balling Out of Control.

2) To layout a creative framework for living that transforms your experience of the daunting circumstances in your life.

3) To offer an opportunity to participate in a series of programs to help people learn how to transform the experience of the daunting circumstances in their lives and ball out of control all the time!

Balling Out of Control is a mantra that I have been living for the past three years. It is a positive context for living that translates perfectly into all aspects of life. By focusing your consciousness on the best possible course of action in every single moment; by constantly re-evaluating your actions as they occur; and by truly living life for yourself, others, and your surroundings; you can ball out of control all the time!

But that being said, balling out of control is not easy. In order to embrace this positive context for living, you need the proper tools, the proper framework, and the proper mindset to truly live a purposeful existence. This is what we are looking to provide for people on their transformative journey through the liminality of life. We are offering both a framework, but more importantly, a set of principles that will help you sustain yourself while you are balling out of control and living on the edge.

When you are the edge of your box of possibilities, you do not have any attitudes, judgments, beliefs or history, which govern your actions. You have the opportunity to face the daunting challenges in your life without all of the constraints and “impossibilities” in your life. It is in this space that you are free to creatively explore yourself and your vision as you redefine your personal understanding of yourself. You have limitless potential for transformative change!

Now, as I mentioned above, balling out of control is not an effortless task. I can say that you need to live on the edge of the box of possibilities in a liminal space, but actually living that dream takes hard work, perseverance, and focus. You must have a vision. You must know your roles and identities. You must have cultivated a strong personal foundation to sustain yourself. You must understand your service and relationships with the people around you for mutual success. You must be able to take action for yourself and for your community. And finally, you must be able to grasp that it is your destiny to fulfill this vision as you lead a whole and complete life. It is only when you have mastered all of these principles of quality of life that you will be able to truly ball out of control all the time!

Fortunately, we are all ballers! We are all able to ball on some level, even out of control at times. We are able to have positive and productive relationships at home and at work. We are able to play the best roles and identities in each facet of our lives. But for all of us, we must understand the importance of transformative learning throughout our lives. We must realize that that status quo is always changing. As every moment passes, we have irreparably changed from the previous moment whether we are conscious of it or not. When you realize that life is transient, you will begin to realize the need to constantly evaluate your life in order to maintain the positive context of living that you desire! You want to succeed, you want to be satisfied, you want to be fulfilled, and you want to enjoy every moment! You can and will feel this way all the time!

Are you interested to learn more? We are offering another program that will lay out the creative framework for living with the opportunity to face the daunting challenges in your life. And further, we are offering experiential programs and workshops that will focus specifically on the areas that you would like to transform in your life! This is an open question, but I would love your feedback and input. Let me know what you’re thinking if you’re taking the time to read my thoughts.

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In honor of Will McWhinney, I would like to leave you with a passage from the very first issue of The Journal of Transformative Education:

“A third outcome of the inner passage is…where the individual continues to question and lead others to explore beyond their habituated lives. This is an ultimate goal of transformative education: to live in perpetual self-renewal, reviewing the assumptions by which self and society are guided and given support, reflecting on and challenging their belief systems.” (p.30 Transformative Education: Across the Threshold).

Well, here I am, at the edge! This is the last of my cat’s nine lives and it is time to see what is next…


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